News & Events

Terracon in the Community

Welcome to our newsroom! Here you will find the latest information about our company, projects and people. Browse articles published by our engineers and scientists in national publications and conference proceedings, view our press releases and read through news coverage of Terracon.

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Terracon Foundation Awards $104,200 in Grants and Scholarships

OLATHE, Kan. ­­– The Terracon Foundation is pleased to announce the award of $104,200 in community and university grants, and scholarships. The Terracon Foundation was established as the community investment arm of Terracon with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of company employees and the communities where they live and work.

“The recent grants awarded by the Terracon Foundation represent a variety of local needs from a diverse group of nonprofit organizations where our employees are actively involved. These range from helping to educate students in STEM careers to building and maintaining trails,” said Matt Wheaton, chair of the Terracon Foundation and manager of the environmental department in Terracon’s Seattle office.

“The grants continue our commitment to helping prepare the next generation for careers in engineering. Each grant was championed by a Terracon employee who is actively involved in the organization or university,” Wheaton said.

University Grants

As part of an ongoing effort to support higher education, the Terracon Foundation presented university grants for graduate-level scholarships, fellowships, and programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

This year, the Terracon Foundation has presented $37,500 to five universities:

University Grant Recipients Location
Birmingham-Southern CollegeBirmingham, Ala.
University of Oklahoma FoundationNorman, Okla.
Texas Tech University – The Institute of Environmental and Human HealthLubbock, Texas
University of Texas at San AntonioSan Antonio, Texas
University of Texas at TylerTyler, Texas


Community Grants

The Terracon Foundation has awarded $36,700 in community grants to 10 local, nonprofit organizations whose employees are actively engaged with an emphasis on education and the built and natural environment.

Community Grant Recipient OrganizationGrantRecipient Location
Alliance for Youth, Inc.Great Falls, Mont.
Boys Scouts of America Old North State Council #70Greensboro, N.C.
Future Farmers of AmericaPort Orange, Fla.
Great River GreeningSt. Paul, Minn.
Greater Cincinnati Construction FoundationCincinnati, Ohio
Holy Cross SchoolNew Orleans, La.
Iowa Architectural FoundationDes Moines, Iowa
Central Iowa Trails AssociationDes Moines, Iowa
Kiwanis Club of Bradenton Foundation, Inc.Bradenton, Fla.
PTA Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers – Starside Elementary SchoolDeSoto, Kan.


Dependent Scholarships

The Terracon Foundation also distributed $30,000 in scholarship grants to 15 dependents of Terracon employees who are pursuing four-year degrees through a community college, college, or university.

For more information about the Terracon Foundation, visit

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 4,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 140 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 24th on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit

Terracon Names Packer New President

Expanding Company Selects Proven Leader from Within

OLATHE, Kan. —  Terracon is pleased to announce M. Gayle Packer is now president of Terracon Consultants, Inc., and a succession framework is commencing for her appointment to chief executive officer.

Packer has developed a highly successful career of progressive responsibility and influence in Terracon and gained tremendous knowledge of the company since joining in 2004. Most recently, Packer served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer, coordinating acquisition and integration of 50 companies. She has served on the board of directors since 2011. Packer will continue to lead the development of the company’s new strategic plan.

“Terracon’s success is based on the efforts of great employee-owners to make positive impacts for the clients and communities we serve,” Packer said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to work together with our employee-owners to continue to grow and innovate on behalf of our clients, our communities, and our industry.”

She succeeds David Gaboury, P.E., who has served as president and CEO of Terracon for more than 20 years. Under his direction, the company has created a legacy of safety, climbed 63 spots on Engineering-News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list, and exceeded $650 million in revenues. Gaboury and Packer’s CEO transition becomes effective in 2019. Gaboury continues as Terracon’s chairman through 2021.

“Gayle’s entire body of work makes her uniquely qualified to lead the firm going forward,” Gaboury said. “Working in close partnership with her for many years, I am highly confident that her vision is well aligned with our history, values, and direction, while also bringing a new and fresh perspective to our continued success.”

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 4,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 140 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 24th on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit

Terracon Consultants, Inc. Overall Winner of 2018 ARTBA Foundation’s “Helping Hand” Awards

Terracon is honored to be awarded the 2018 ARTBA Foundation’s Helping Hands Award. The awards “recognize extraordinary programs — outside the scope of normal business operations — that demonstrably benefit and help improve the quality of life in the community where the company is based or conducts business.”

Read more here

Brownfield Funding Drives Community Development Project Down the Tracks

Pickens, a small rural town in the upstate of South Carolina, had big dreams of revitalization. Dreams that may never have been realized without an abandoned railroad, support from Terracon’s Greenville office and an EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant.

Revitalization and small towns don’t always go hand in hand. Funding can be hard to come by to make dreams a reality. Luckily for the City of Pickens, one Brownfield grant award set into motion a project consisting of ten local, state, and federal grants totaling $1.5 million in awards and matching funds to create the Pickens Doodle Park.

Photo credit Jeff Gurrie Pickens Depot Demolition

Starting with an idea

The cities of Pickens and Easley came together to create a “rails to trails” project along the abandoned Doodle Rail Line and an 8-mile asphalt multi-use trail was born. With the popularity of trail projects sweeping the nation, it seemed only logical to follow suit with the success of the neighboring Swamp Rabbit Trail located throughout Greenville County. There was only one problem, the blighted rail depot which sat at the trailhead in Pickens.

Although most residents saw the dilapidated structure as a roadblock to success, Tice Welborn, P.G., a senior geologist and Jeff Gurrie, senior industrial hygienist in Terracon’s Greenville-Spartanburg office saw opportunity. After coordinating with the local city administrator, Bruce Evilsizor, Terracon set out to identify the issues which needed to be addressed. Upon completion of the site assessment activities, it was determined the best route would be for the City to apply for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield Cleanup Grant to fund asbestos abatement from the structure. Once City Council approved, work started on the cleanup grant application. In the fall of 2015, the City of Pickens was awarded $153,000 to remove the hazardous materials from the building.

The impetus of revitalization

Family enjoying the Doodle Trail

The Brownfield funding acted as the catalyst for redevelopment. With the help of Becky Horace, former city project manager, the city was able to leverage funds from multiple agencies. A South Carolina Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant was used to demolish the building. A grant from the South Carolina Recreational Trails Program allowed for the extension of the trail through the future park site to Highway 8 to allow for safe passage to the historic downtown. The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded $500,000 to create the Pickens Doodle Park, which will boast an open-air farmers market created in the likeness of the historic train depot, ADA accessible playground and outdoor exercise equipment and a sensory rain garden for children with sensory processing disorders. Additional local and state grant awards will allow for additional amenities including solar lights, a mural, art sculptures, a mobile app, and kiosks.

In addition to environmental services, Terracon is currently providing special inspections and construction materials testing services for the Pickens Doodle Park project and any other environmental work needed for other City projects.

“This has been a once in a lifetime project that will have a tremendous impact on this community that spans many generations. I am honored to have been a part of this undertaking and proud to represent Terracon who was instrumental to the success of this project.” -Tice Welborn, P.G., senior geologist in Terracon’s Greenville-Spartanburg office.

Terracon Foundation Awards $50,000 in National Partner Grants to Girl Scouts of the USA and Society of Women Engineers

OLATHE, Kan. — The Terracon Foundation is pleased to announce the presentation of two National Partner grants: $25,000 to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and $25,000 to the Society of Women Engineers. To date, the Foundation has granted more than $1.6 million to community organizations, universities, dependents of employees, and for disaster relief efforts. The Terracon Foundation encourages employees to submit grant requests for local organizations aligned with the company’s mission.


The grant money awarded to Girls Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) will be used to support the organization’s National STEM Strategy: Math in Nature Badge Program. GSUSA works with 1.8 million girls through 800,000 volunteers in 112 councils in all 50 states and overseas troops in 92 countries. This is the second time the organization has received a national partner grant from the Terracon Foundation.

“In recognizing the need to address the future demand for strong female talent within the STEM arena, Girl Scouts remains committed to programming that encourages girls to embrace the STEM career path,” said Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA chief executive officer. “This generous grant from the Terracon Foundation will help to ensure our organization – both at the national level and through our Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri council – will have the ongoing support necessary to fortify our STEM leadership development efforts.”

The GSUSA grant was recommended by Karen Rieken, P.E., site investigation group manager in Terracon’s St. Louis office. Rieken’s long association with the organization started when she became a girl scout in first grade and has continued into adult volunteer roles including troop leader and educator. Rieken recently presented the grant check to Bonnie Barczykowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, on behalf of the national organization. For more information about Girl Scouts, visit

Society of Women Engineers Grant

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) will use the grant money awarded by the Terracon Foundation to help support its SWENEXT program to engage the next generation of female engineers. SWE has nearly 40,000 members, 100 professional sections, 300 student sections, and global affiliates throughout the United States and around the world.

“Through the generous support of the Terracon Foundation for the SWENext program, SWE can develop new resources to inspire the next generation of female engineers and technologists,” said Jonna Gerken, SWE president.

SWE’s grant request was submitted to the Terracon Foundation from Catherine Rocky, P.G., CSPM, national account manager in Terracon’s Wichita office. She has been a supporter and participant in the SWE local, regional, and national organizations since college, and currently serves SWE Magazine’s editorial board. Rocky recently presented the check to Gerken at the organization’s local conference in Tulsa. SWE was also the 2015 recipient of the Terracon Foundation’s national partner grant.

The Terracon Foundation’s goal is to reach out and become a real part of the lives of Terracon employees and the communities where they live and work. Employees may apply for local community, university, and national partner grants, allowing them to recommend investment in causes in their own communities.

For more information about the Terracon Foundation and other organizations it has supported, visit

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 4,000 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 140 offices with services in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 30th on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit