Brian Berquist, Class of 2010
IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Brian Berquist, president, Town & Country Engineering Inc.
What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?
In looking at my application from 10 years ago, one of things that sticks out was a goal of leading an engineering firm someday. Through some great mentors and vision for opportunity, I became president of Town & Country Engineering in 2017. Our firm specializes in providing a full range of engineering services to small and mid-size communities and utilities, including complete wastewater and drinking water treatment, stormwater management, streets and site design, pipeline and pumping infrastructure, electrical controls and power, field survey, unmanned drone imagery, and sophisticated GIS mapping. I have been able to both grow in and with the organization that gave me a chance over 15 years ago. During my time with Town & Country Engineering, we have more than doubled to more than 17 engineers and almost 30 full- and part-time staff. While maintaining our sharp focus on providing the engineering services that municipalities need at a great value, revenues have grown almost 120 percent, and we have introduced and developed two additional locations in Wisconsin to better serve the needs of our client communities. Even more rewarding has been the ability to grow with those same communities over that same amount of time, contributing to their success.
What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?
I have been very fortunate to have spent the 10 years since my 40 Under 40 selection enjoying many adventures with my wife and family. Learning (and relearning) the best ways to maintain a healthy and productive work-life balance has sometimes been tricky but always worth it. We have evolved to see how much of a help we can be for each other’s careers while raising two kids. In addition to some great trips, I have learned more about softball and soccer than I would have ever guessed. It has been very rewarding to see our kids grow and become their own people, with their own goals and endeavors. Since turning 40, I have been working on qualifying for and running in the Boston Marathon, which has at times been both rewarding and frustrating. Getting in good shape is great, but I have missed the cut by as close as 48 seconds.
If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?
With the benefit of hindsight, the clear winner would be to simply trust the process. It continues to be a great idea to always work a bit harder and smarter than your competitors, but when the time between “wins” starts to stretch out, it is easy to lose sight of that mantra. As time goes on, that faith in the extra effort is easier to come by.
How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?
Having been selected for inclusion has benefited my career from quite literally the first day. A village board member for one of our client communities had received the issue and called attention to the honor at that evening’s village board meeting. Since that time, there have been numerous direct, and undoubtedly indirect, opportunities to meet other dynamic colleagues in the area. The recognition helped the younger version of myself with increased confidence and greater abilities to grow further.
What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?
Perhaps a natural outgrowth of having kids, two things my wife and I are passionate about are making memories with our family and helping our community. We enjoy volunteering with Oregon Youth Soccer and supporting DAIS and United Way. Time moves by more quickly every year but taking the time to create and savor the special moments from simple to epic continue to breathe life into all of the other things we do. All too often, I see an activity-packed weekend or even a family trip as something that will make things too busy at the office. Without fail the memory of what task had to wait fades quickly, but the memory of a funny joke or an unforgettable sight continues to live on.
Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?
Always remember that we all can learn at least something from those both older and younger than us. Return that favor.
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