Top company by employee – 18 – Burns & McDonnell – Missouri US
Industry: Industrial Services – Engineering
Previous rank: 26
2011 revenue ($ millions): $1,174
What makes it so great?
Employees of this engineering consulting firm bought their company from Armco Steel in 1986. On the first working day of every January, they mark the anniversary of their ownership by having officers and managers serve a bowl of hot chili to employees.
Kansas City, MO
Burns & McDonnell is one of the leading design firms in the United States. The company provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services for the aviation, defense, environmental and utilities markets. The group ranks among the top 10 designers for the power industry market, and nearly 40 percent of its revenues are earned from projects for that market. In 2005 the company created a new business unit to offer architectural, engineering and construction management services to the health care industry.
Burns & McDonnell is a 100 percent employee-owned company with more than 4,000 employees.
Board of directors[edit source]
On Jan. 1, 2009, the board of directors expanded from five to seven. Then-Chairman Joel Cerwick retired, and Ray Kowalik, John Nobles and David Yeamans were added. President and CEO Greg Graves was named chairman at that time. On Dec. 31, 2012, board member Walt Womack retired. The 2013 board consists of:
- Greg Graves – President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board
- Don Greenwood – President, Construction
- Ray Kowalik – President, Energy
- John Nobles – President, Process & Industrial
- Mark Taylor – Vice President, Treasurer and CFO
- David Yeamans – President, Aviation & Federal
Global Practices[edit source]
Global practices are the internal business divisions of Burns & McDonnell.
- Aviation & Federal
- Business & Technology Services
- Environmental Studies & Permitting
- Global Facilities
- Process & Industrial
- Transmission & Distribution
Burns & McDonnell, Consulting Engineers, was founded in 1898 by Clinton S. Burns and Robert E. McDonnell, two Stanford University engineering graduates. They based their new engineering consulting firm in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. They specialized in providing clean water, reliable power and effective sewer systems to growing municipalities throughout the growing Midwest. The firm’s first major project was a combined water and light plant for the city of Iola, Kan.
Burns died at age 53 in 1924, having designed more than water systems and patented railroad and sewer equipment. In 1930, the firm name was changed to Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. McDonnell died in 1960 at age 82.
In 1942, the company began its first aviation industry project, the Smoky Hill Army Airfield, the Salina, Kan., home of the B-29 bomber. In 1971, Burns & McDonnell was bought by Armco Steel. Burns & McDonnell acquired the C.W. Nofsinger Co. in 1983, establishing what would become the Process & Industrial division.
In 1985, employees purchased the firm. It has operated as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) ever since.
In 2012 Burns & McDonnell was ranked the 26 best place to work according to Fortune Magazines 100 Best Companies to Work For.
In 2013 Burns & McDonnell was ranked the 18 best place to work according to Fortune Magazines 100 Best Companies to Work For.
- 1898-1924: Clinton S. Burns, co-founder
- 1898-1951: Robert E. McDonnell, president and co-founder
- 1951-1974: R.H. McDonnell, president
- 1974-1982: Raymond B. Luhnow Jr., president
- 1982-1984: Newton A. Campbell, president
- 1986-1993: Newton A. Campbell, chairman of the board
- 1984-1993: Dave G. Ruf Jr., president
- 1993-2003: Dave G. Ruf Jr., president, chairman and CEO
- 2003-2009: Greg Graves, president and CEO
- 2009-present: Greg Graves, chairman, president and CEO
Kansas City World Headquarters
- 1898: Startup in the New England Life building
- 1908: Moved to the prestigious Scarritt Building
- 1915: Interstate Building at 13th and Locust
- 1933: Carmen Building on Linwood Boulevard
- 1947: 95th and Troost
- 1959: 63rd Street and Elmwood, east of Swope Park
- 1996: Current world headquarters building at 9400 Ward Parkway
- 2005: Expanded into building I-435 and Holmes Road
- 2007: Expanded into building at 9201 State Line Road
- 2011: Expanded into building at 9300 Ward Parkway, leaving building at I-435 and Holmes Road
- Austin, Texas
- Calgary, Alberta
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Doha, Qatar
- Kansas City, Mo.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Madison, Wis.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
- New England
- New York Metropolitan Area
- Norfolk-Hampton Roads, Va.
- O’Fallon, Ill.
- Oklahoma City
- Omaha, Neb.
- Orange County, Calif.
- Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
- Raleigh, N.C.
- Richmond, Va.
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- St. Louis
- Wallingford, Conn.
- Washington, D.C.
- Wichita, Kan.
- Mumbai, India