E&A Adds 11th Stockholder
Brad Williams, Engineering Technician and Photographer
Brad’s story is an illustration of the E&A culture at work; a culture that grants the latitude for people who wish to grow the firm, fueled by their own unique talents.
Hear about it in his own words:
Back in the early 2000s, I bartended while going to school for Architectural Drafting. There were some regular bar patrons who worked at E&A and encouraged me to explore Civil Engineering. At first, I disregarded their advice. After a while, they got my attention and I applied for a job with E&A. I am sure glad that I did. Here I am, 15 years later as one of 11 E&A Stockholders.
The road to my current position took many turns. During high school, I fell in love with photography and went on to study it in college. During college, I quickly realized that most photography jobs didn’t align with my interests. After tabling my photography dream, I worked several different jobs, met many great people and learned a lot about life. I knew that working in bars and restaurants wouldn’t last forever for me, so I began thinking about my goals for a long-term career. I thought back to what I enjoyed most in school, and AutoCAD came to mind. That fall, I enrolled in the Architectural Drafting Program at Metropolitan Community College and continued to bartend around my school schedule.
In 2005, I started in the E&A survey department, which was an amazing learning experience. I didn’t know the first thing about surveying or what surveyors did. I found out that they are really one of the most critical departments in the firm. They are on the front lines of nearly all of our projects, and they do more behind-the-scenes work than I ever imagined.
A year later, a position opened in the engineering department on a Civil Site team. I made the move and have been working on Civil Site projects ever since. I have worked on everything from a storage shed to a hospital, and all sorts of interesting projects in between. Some of my favorites have been redevelopment projects in the urban parts of Omaha. Working on buildings around the TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha has been rewarding too. There is nothing like seeing one of your projects on ESPN during the College World Series!
In 2006, I purchased a digital camera and rediscovered my love for photography after an eight-year break. It didn’t take long for people at E&A to notice my photos and ask me to photograph projects for the company. I now photograph many of E&A’s projects.
Project photos are always challenging. I juggle my vision as a photographer with my eye for engineering, and add in the perspectives of my peers and our graphic designers. Meeting all of these requirements and showing our projects off is a good feeling.
As part of our 50th anniversary celebration, I was able to comb through our historical photos and retake many of them. My photography has also allowed me to photograph many great sporting events. For the past decade I have photographed the Omaha Storm Chasers, Creighton Bluejays, Omaha Mavericks, the NCAA College World Series and a few other special sporting events.
My professional and personal life intersect in other ways, too. Since 2010, I have been a regular guest and co-host on the Grow Omaha Radio Show, which airs at 9 a.m. on 1110 KFAB. We discuss the growth and development of Omaha. My favorite discussions center around construction and restaurants, and my role at E&A allows me to add unique insight to the conversations.
I saw the opportunity to become an E&A stockholder as a next step in my career, and a further commitment to the company. It’s a chance for me to learn another side of the business and make an impact. E&A is a great company. The people are wonderful and we have a fun and flexible environment. I want to be a part of it for years to come. I discussed the opportunity with my wife, Dana, and we decided that this investment made perfect sense for our family.
In the future, I look forward to continuing to work on new projects. I love watching our community develop and introducing my two young children to all that it has to offer. I see the current renewal of Omaha’s urban core continuing for years to come and look forward to the challenges that these projects will bring. I can’t wait to work on these projects and photograph them as they move forward.