September 2009

This month we honor our most recent Partnership Award winners and share a report that seeks to redefine the way we look at water infrastructure and management of water resources. Learn about how CH2M HILL employees are helping communities through education and leadership. We also take a moment to thank those who helped us raise funds for the American Red Cross. Finally, we reflect on the loss of Ralph Peterson, former CEO and chairman of CH2M HILL.

Our company

CH2M HILL family and friends remember Ralph Peterson, 1944-2009

Ralph PetersonWith sadness, we note the passing of Ralph Peterson,  former CH2M HILL CEO and chairman of 17 years, who lost his long and courageous battle with cancer September 2. Ralph joined CH2M HILL as an intern, and over the next 42 years, he would lend his vision, inspiration, generosity, passion and purpose to help the company become one of the premier engineering firms in the world. An early champion for environmental sustainability, Ralph had great passion for making the world a better place, evidenced by his pioneering of CH2M HILL’s "Building a Better World Award," which recognized global executives for their transformational leadership and environmental stewardship. One of Ralph’s proudest accomplishments was the creation of the employee-ownership structure that allows employees to participate in CH2M HILL’s success. His kind and generous spirit, his passion for excellence, and his respect for the world and the people around him have become a part of the CH2M HILL culture and account in large part for the company’s recognition by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" and as a "Most Admired Company." Ralph received many industry and professional awards, and was slated to receive the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 2009 Distinguished Award of Merit in October. His was a life well-lived, and he will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.

Thank you to our clients and vendors who helped raise funds for the American Red Cross

With the support of clients, vendors and other local corporations, CH2M HILL raised $224,000 for the Mile High Chapter during the recent American Red Cross Golf Invitational. The monies raised will help bring community preparedness, disaster recovery and life-saving services to the people of Colorado. CH2M HILL has been the presenting sponsor of the Invitational American Red Cross Colorado Chaptersince 2001. CH2M HILL and the American Red Cross share core values around health and safety and have worked side-by-side during some of the most devastating disasters in recent history, including Hurricane Katrina.  We thank our valued friends and partners for helping raise funds to support the important work of the American Red Cross.

Our partners

Clients recognized with 2009 Partnership Awards

Kim KirbyPartnership is at the heart of everything we do, and we couldn’t do much without our partners. Kim Kirby, City Manager of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., is this year’s recipient of the CH2M HILL Partnership Award. Established in 2005, the 25th anniversary of our O&M business, the Partnership Award is presented annually to exemplary leaders who work with CH2M HILL to accomplish mutual goals. Criteria for winner selection include making a personal commitment to people and safety, demonstrating a willingness to work through challenges as a team, and acting as a champion for partnerships. A strong advocate of our public-private partnership, Ms. Kirby knows that a true partnership extends beyond day-to-day business. She collaborated with CH2M HILL staff to bring the company’s award-winning quality program to her city – a targeted, four-session training program that enables DeFuniak Springs to benefit from the company’s expertise at minimal cost. Assistant City Manager Bill Holloway accepted the award on Ms. Kirby’s behalf at a luncheon during the company’s annual Leadership Summit. CH2M HILL has operated and maintained DeFuniak Springs’ water and wastewater treatment systems since 2003. Also recognized were three representatives of a confidential industrial client.

Our communities

‘Teaching students about water conservation

CH2M HILL employees take special pride in helping young people learn how to be good stewards of the environment. In Crestview, Fla., and Farmington, N.M., nearly 400 students have learned about the importance of water conservation and protection through classes, tours and hands-on experience. In Crestview, more than 100 fifth graders toured the wastewater treatment facility and learned about clean water, with a special emphasis on safety. CH2M HILL has operated and maintained the Crestview facility since 1994. Employees in Farmington, N.M., participated in the San Juan Water Fair, where they taught classes on water salinity and reduction. There, fifth grade students learned how to use a conductivity meter to measure total dissolved solids and took home ideas on how to reduce the salt they put back into the water system. CH2M HILL has managed the City of Farmington’s water and wastewater systems since 2000.
Fifth graders at Crestview, Fla.

Our industry

CH2M HILL teams with Aspen Institute to develop important water policies

CH2M HILL played a key role in developing the Aspen Institute’s recently issued report on sustainable water infrastructure in the U.S.: Sustainable Water Systems: Step One – Redefining the Nation’s Infrastructure Challenge. The report recommends a system that incorporates green solutions, creating a sustainable path toward delivering clean, safe drinking water while protecting the environment and the nation’s natural watershed. In short, the report provides 10 key policy recommendations that advocate a broader definition for "water infrastructure" to include man-made infrastructure as well as the natural environment. They also recommend removing barriers that impede government protection of watersheds, as well as targeting federal investment toward green solutions.

Our people

Georgia media pro helps teens learn leadership skills

Rosemary TaylorHer background is impressive – CBS News, Good Morning America, People magazine and The Associated Press. Rosemary Taylor built her career working for some of the most notable media outlets in the United States before joining CH2M HILL. She now serves as communications manager and public information officer for the City of Johns Creek, Ga., where CH2M HILL provides complete municipal services. Even with such noteworthy experience under her belt, Rosemary knows a good leader never stops learning and giving back. Earlier this year, Rosemary was selected for the Class of 2009 Leadership North Fulton program. This intense nine-month program identifies and develops candidates into community leaders through a curriculum that promotes community awareness, instills civic responsibility and builds relationships.  Candidates also work on a team assignment in which they conceptualize, create and implement a community-based project. For Rosemary’s team, this project was the creation of Teen Leadership North Fulton, a program that gives average high school students the chance to expand their public speaking skills, set goals and improve their ability to work in teams. Students also gain valuable leadership skills while engaging the community and interacting with local civic and business leaders, with the ultimate goal of becoming better citizens.

Clients in government and industry rely on the people of CH2M HILL to provide a range of custom-tailored operations and maintenance solutions. The company's services include water and wastewater system optimization; contract O&M of water, wastewater and other utilities; facilities management; and complete municipal operations, including administration, public works and community development – all backed by a commitment to safety, quality, innovation and customer service. Founded by CH2M HILL in 1980, the company serves clients in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Middle East.

Headquartered near Denver, Colo., employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in full-service engineering, procurement, construction and operations for public and private clients. With more than $6.4 billion in revenue and more than 25,000 employees worldwide, CH2M HILL delivers innovative, practical, sustainable solutions – helping clients develop and manage infrastructure and facilities that improve efficiency, safety, and quality of life. The firm long has been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer, including being named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For (2009) and one of America's Most Admired Companies (2008). CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2008).

Elisa M. Speranza
President’s perspective

Each year at our Leadership Summit, we take an opportunity to get together with our project managers for a few days of connecting, sharing ideas and learning best practices. We also recognize and celebrate our top clients — those who partner with us to achieve common goals and improve the communities where we live and work.


This year Kim Kirby, City Manager of DeFuniak Springs, Fla., was in the spotlight. Our success as a company depends not only on delivering outstanding service to our clients, but also on having exemplary partners — clients who are committed to working together and who allow us to work as an extension of their teams to achieve great results for their stakeholders. 


We’re grateful for every client, knowing that each contract renewal means our client is pleased with our work and sees our partnership as a success. It’s particularly sweet when the renewal comes from one of our long-term clients or is initiated even before the contract ends. Within the spirit of partnership we find trust, strength of commitment, open communication, respect and support. We reach for mutual goals and find the best way to achieve those goals. We build strong and lasting partnerships, and we make our communities better. We’re all part of one team, working together to build a better world.



Elisa M. Speranza


P.S. This month brought a few tragedies for the CH2M HILL family. We were saddened by the loss of Ralph Peterson, our former CEO and chairman, mentor, partner and friend. Throughout his life, Ralph embodied the spirit of partnership. He taught us to care about the world and its people, the environment and each other, and to not be afraid to face challenges. Ralph’s passion, courage and generosity created a legacy that strengthens and encourages us to give our best every day. Also this month, we lost our Crestview, Fla., project manager, Paul Frigon, after a brief illness. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to his colleagues who knew and loved him best.

Come see us!

Conferences are a great way for us to connect with clients, share our technical expertise and support our industry. When your plans call for you to attend a conference, make sure to look us up. Here are some of the upcoming hot spots where you can meet us:

October 1-3
League of Oregon Cities Annual Conference
Booth 29

October 3-6
League of Kansas Municipalities Annual Conference

October 7-9
International Facilities Management Association World Workplace 2009
Orlando, Fla.
Booth 1031

October 10-14
Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference
Orlando, Fla.

October 11-14
National Association of Water Companies Annual Conference and Drinking Water Symposium
Orlando, Fla.

October 19-21
Georgia Conference of Black Mayors Annual Conference

October 21-23
Texas Municipal League Annual Conference
Fort Worth
Booth 402

October 21-25
National Conference of Black Mayors
Las Vegas, Nev.

October 25-28
Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies Annual Meeting
Naples, Fla.

November 10-14
National League of Cities Annual Congress of Cities
San Antonio, Texas
Booth 101


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