August/September 2017 QCI Stormwater Training Dates Announced

Thompson Engineering has announced its schedule of ADEM Qualified Credentialed Inspector (QCI) Initial Training classes for August-September 2017. Classes will be held in Mobile on August 17, 2017 (wait list only); in Birmingham on August 31, 2017; and in Montgomery on September 20, 2017. The classes will cover the regulatory requirements that are included in the ADEM General Permit ALR100000, which was re-issued last year. Click here or call us at 251-666-2443 for more information.

Posted on 08/17 • Permalink

Thompson establishes Baton Rouge Office

Thompson Engineering has announced an expansion of company services with the establishment of an office in Baton Rouge, La. Thompson also announced that Brant Richard, PE will lead operations in Baton Rouge.

“Thompson is excited to bring professional services to Baton Rouge, and we’re thrilled that a Baton Rouge native is taking the lead at managing operations,” said John Baker, President/CEO. Thompson’s Baton Rouge office will offer planning, design, environmental, construction management and inspection services.

Richard has 29 years of consulting experience in a wide array of engineering projects, including roadway design, pavement preservation, aviation, natural resources, hydraulics, sewer, wastewater and subsurface drainage. Richard has a degree in civil engineering from Louisiana State University, and currently serves on the board of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Louisiana section. He is a former President of the ASCE Baton Rouge branch.

Thompson Engineering has operated in Louisiana since 2002, contributing in many aspects to south Louisiana’s disaster recovery program, industrial development and infrastructure, and oil and gas explorations. The Baton Rouge office is Thompson’s second Louisiana location; the company also has an office in the Lake Charles area.

Posted on 07/25 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Names New CEO

Thompson Engineering has named John Baker its new President and CEO. Baker first joined Thompson Engineering in 1991, and has served as the company’s President since 2004 with a long track record of executive and operational management. “When I joined the firm in 1991, it was one of the most creative and innovative design firms around, and still is today,” said Baker. “I’m very proud to have been selected to lead this great organization forward.” 

In addition to his executive leadership, Baker has served as the company’s principal-in-charge of a variety of important projects in the Mobile area for clients such as Austal USA, ThyssenKrupp, Airbus, Mobile Aerospace Engineering (MAE), United Technologies Corporation (UTC), Mobile County Public School System, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama State Port Authority. Baker is a certified design-build professional (DBIA) and earned his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of South Alabama.

Baker succeeds Jimmy Shumock, who served Thompson as CEO for seven years. Shumock will continue his 34-year career with the company, and serve as the transportation market leader where he will remain involved in many projects, including Thompson’s work for the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Mobile River Bridge. “Jimmy has had an exemplary career with Thompson Engineering and he remains a valuable part of our leadership team,” said Baker.

Baker holds several community posts, including board positions for Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alabama, the Associated Building Contractors (ABC) of Alabama, Infirmary Health Systems and Thomas Hospital. He has also been active with the Mobile Chamber, having served on its Board.

Posted on 07/18 • Permalink

Thompson Foundation awards more than $55,000 in grants, scholarships

Thompson Engineering announced today that the Thompson Foundation in March 2017 awarded $55,800 to 26 charitable organizations and institutions of higher learning. This brings the Thompson Foundation’s cumulative giving to more than $682,000 since 2004. The Thompson Foundation is funded through company and employee contributions and two, employee-organized fundraisers. “The majority of the foundation’s funds support the missions of charities that our employees support through volunteer efforts,” said Jimmy Shumock, CEO. “We believe our grants are put to excellent use because they go to organizations and issues that our employees are passionate about.”

Recipients of the first grants awarded in 2017 are:

  • American Cancer Society 
  • Heritage Junior Women’s Club
  • American Heart Association  
  • Hospice of Chattanooga Foundation
  • American Lung Association 
  • Infirmary Health System
  • Bacot McCarty Foundation  
  • Junior League of Mobile
  • Bella Voce of Mobile  
  • Penelope House
  • Bishop State Community College
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Chattanooga Autism Society 
  • Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
  • Child Advocacy Center   
  • TechTown Foundation
  • Drug Education Council  
  • Thomas Hospital Foundation
  • Florida Engineering Society 
  • USA College of Engineering & USA Athletics
  • Girls on the Run South Alabama 
  • Weeks Bay Foundation

Thompson employees raise an impressive amount of money - more than $35,000 - for the foundation each year through direct donations and two company fundraisers. The most recent fundraiser, the 2017 Funky Monkey 5K, raised $15,500 for the foundation, and awarded a $1,000 grant to Girls on the Run South Alabama, winner of the Funky Monkey Charity Challenge. 

Since 2004, the Thompson Foundation has approved grants to more than 200 organizations in the areas of education, environmental and cultural resources preservation, health and social welfare, civic and community development and arts and recreation. In 2016, Thompson received the Beacon Award from the Community Foundation for South Alabama for its philanthropic efforts.


Posted on 03/29 • Permalink

Funky Monkey 5K & Fun Run to Raise Money for Local Non-Profits

Thompson Engineering has announced plans for the 6th Annual Funky Monkey 5K & Fun Run scheduled for Saturday, March 11, 2017. The event will be held at the University of South Alabama Intramural fields as a fundraiser for the Thompson Foundation.

The Funky Monkey is a family-friendly event that encourages fitness, philanthropy and fun. Participants can choose to take part in a 3.1-mile run, jog or walk through the campus or a ¾-mile fun run. All participants are invited to enjoy the event’s favorite feature, Mobile’s Biggest Banana Split by Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe.

During an awards ceremony following the race, the recipient of the Funky Monkey Charity Challenge will be awarded a $1,000 grant from the Thompson Foundation. The Charity Challenge encourages non-profits to recruit supporters to participate in the charity’s name. It is just one way the event raises funds for charitable causes. All funds raised at the 2017 Funky Monkey will be returned to non-profits in the communities where Thompson employees live and work to support organizations, programs, and activities that strengthen our social framework, education, and sense of community. The Thompson Foundation recently surpassed the $600,000 mark in giving.

Winners of the 5K and Fun Run will also be recognized during the awards ceremony.

Funky Monkey Highlights

  • Funky Monkey 5K start time – 8am
  • Funky Monkey Fun Run start time – 8:45am
  • Funky Monkey Charity Challenge – Any 501(c)3 charity is invited to recruit supporters to register. The charity with the largest support receives $1,000 from the Thompson Foundation. (Deadline to register is March 9.)
  • Mobile’s Biggest Banana Split by Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe. Watch as it’s created and then enjoy a bite of a huge banana split at the Funky Monkey Finish Party! Other finish party perks include PB&J sandwiches, hot dogs & door prizes.

Online registration is available through March 9 at this link.

Pick up a registration form at McCoy’s Outdoor, Run-N-Tri or Fleet Feet in Mobile or Running Wild in Fairhope. Day of registration begins at 6:30am at the University of South Alabama Intramural Fields.

Posted on 01/24 • Permalink

Thompson Named 2016 Beacon Award Recipient

The Community Foundation of South Alabama has awarded the 2016 Beacon Award to Thompson Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Thompson Engineering, Watermark Design Group and Thompson Consulting Services.

Designed to be given to a business or corporation that embodies the spirit of philanthropy, the Beacon Award recognizes organizations that are a source of light and inspiration for the growth and progress of the community while also creating a culture of giving with its employees.

“We are always excited to honor businesses who make it their mission to do good and Thompson Holdings, Inc. has made it their mission to make an impact in the communities they serve,” said Rebecca Byrne, President and CEO of The Community Foundation of South Alabama. “In the 12 years since its creation, the Thompson Holdings Foundation Fund at The Community Foundation of South Alabama has given more than $600,000 to over 200 organizations through employee involvement grants, matching grants and corporate grant requests. We are honored to name them our Beacon Award winner for 2016.”

“We had the idea to form the foundation in connection with our 50th anniversary in 2003,” said Chad Brown, Chief Legal Officer for Thompson Holdings, Inc. “We announced that we were going to form a foundation in honor of Vester Thompson, the founder, who always had a charitable giving spirit.”

Tom Davis, The Community Foundation of South Alabama’s former CEO, saw that announcement and reached out to Brown to offer assistance. “The initial reaction to the emails was ‘this is a solicitor,’ but I soon found out that it was a great opportunity to partner with The Community Foundation,” said Brown. “By setting up a fund, we would avoid having to set up a separate 501c3, taxing filings and the administrative burden that having our own foundation would carry – and it would also add to the investment piece the Community Foundation offers.”

By 2004 the Thompson Holdings Foundation Fund had been formed at The Community Foundation of South Alabama and leaders within the company had begun to take steps to what would eventually be a giant impact in the community. An employee committee administers the fund and makes advice for giving grants.

Three grants are considered: corporate grants, employee involvement grants and matching grants. The committee has a mission, framework and guidelines that guide the grant awards. Employee-involvement requests are more liberally granted, said Brown.

“It’s a special element of the whole program,” said Renie Baya Kennemer, Marketing Coordinator for Thompson Engineering. “What we really encourage is for employees to follow their hearts, find their passion, find the group that really speaks to them in the community that they want to support through their volunteer time. What the foundation is able to offer those employees is ‘tell us how you’re helping a group, tell us what you need and what the foundation can do to accomplish a goal’ and that’s what we do with those employee grant requests. We basically help our employees help a group that they love through grants.”

With 12 years, two annual fundraisers and more than $600,000 of employee-led giving under their belts, the benefit to the company is clear. “There’s certainly a sense of pride for an employee to be able to go back to organizations and say, ‘My company appreciates what I do for you, so they want to do for you,’” said Kennemer. “To really just give a double whammy of impact when it comes to our employees’ time and to be able to follow it up with a donation from our foundation is wonderful.”

The value to employees is also a point of pride for Brown.

“The big value is the value the employees see out of it and the value to support their causes,” said Brown. “The communities that we serve also recognize the significance of a company being committed to the community and wanting to give back.”

Reprinted with permission from the Community Foundation of South Alabama

Posted on 11/15 • Permalink

Thompson Project Makes ENR National Best of Best List

A Thompson Engineering project that provides a long-term extension to the life of a Gulf Coast gaming vessel, as well as protection from major storm events, has been named the country’s 2015 “Best of the Best” engineering project for Specialty Construction by Engineering News Record (ENR), the leading engineering industry publication. The IP Casino Dry Dock project in Biloxi, Miss. was selected from a field of 750 project entries, and is one of 20 “Best of the Best” projects profiled in the March 14 issue of the magazine.

Boyd Gaming Corporation, owner of the IP Casino, approached Thompson with the idea of land-basing the casino vessel following the revision of the state law that had required all casinos to float on coastal waters.  “When Boyd’s VP of Construction and Design, Ron Frye, came to us with the concept of dry docking the 20-year-old barge hull in a shipyard type graving dock, we knew we had a unique and exciting engineering design challenge on our hands,” said Henry Seawell, Principal Engineer for Thompson Engineering. “Ultimately, we successfully designed and implemented construction and hydrology elements into the project that had never been done before, and created a stable foundation and graving dock for the 32-million pound IP Casino vessel.” 

Thompson Engineering began work in 2011 to design the IP dry dock, which essentially turned the floating building into a land-based structure without moving it. The project team faced difficult conditions during construction, including tropical events, zero-visibility underwater construction and huge underwater concrete pours. “The collaboration between Thompson, Yates, the construction firm, and our company was nonstop,” said Frye. “We lived and breathed this project 24/7 for three years with the best results we could have achieved.” The IP Casino was never closed to customers during construction.

In addition to being profiled in ENR, the project team will be recognized at an awards ceremony in New York City in April. “This is a huge honor for Thompson Engineering employees,” said Seawell. “To be recognized with some of the largest engineering firms in the country as the best in what we do is a testament to the level of engineering expertise found on the Gulf Coast.” To see photos and read more about this project, click here.

Key Project Partners

  • Owner Boyd Gaming Corporation
  • Lead Design Firm/Structural/Civil Thompson Engineering
  • General Contractor W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co.
  • MEP Engineer Balfour Design LLC
  • Geology/Hydrology Expert James Conner, PhD, University of South Alabama
  • Concrete Materials Consultant Mr. Herb Gelhardt
Posted on 03/15 • Permalink

IP Casino Dry Dock Project is ENR Project of the Year

A project led by Thompson Engineering to dry dock the IP Casino has been named an Engineering News Record (ENR) Project of the Year. The project received the top award out of more than 100 entries in the Texas / Louisiana / Mississippi region. “This is one of those projects that excites engineers because there were no limits except our imaginations,” said Henry Seawell, Principal Engineer with Thompson Engineering. “We had to think big and bold to find the right solution.”

In 2011, Thompson Engineering began work to design a first-of-its-kind solution to create a stable foundation and graving dock for the 32-million-pound IP Casino vessel, essentially turning the floating building into a land-based structure without moving it. Thompson and several key partners worked in extreme conditions to complete the job. “Much of our work was done in a zero-visibility, underwater environment,” said Seawell. “There were so many unknowns. We relied on our many years of experience in construction projects in difficult, coastal environments to get the job done safely.” The IP Casino, which is owned by Boyd Gaming Corp., was never closed to customers during construction.

Thompson Engineering and the IP Casino Dry Dock project were honored at an awards ceremony in Houston Tuesday. The project is featured in the ENR Texas/Louisiana Dec. 7 issue.

Key Project Partners
Owner Boyd Gaming Corp.
Lead Design Firm/Structural/Civil Thompson Engineering
General Contractor W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co.
MEP Engineer Balfour Design LLC
Geology/Hydrology Expert James Conner, PhD, University of South Alabama
Concrete Materials Consultant Mr. Herb Gelhardt

Posted on 12/08 • Permalink

First-in-Alabama Project Wins Gulf Guardian Award

A Thompson Engineering project that manages storm water runoff with an environmentally-progressive approach is the recipient of a prestigious environmental award, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf Guardian award. Representatives from Thompson and project partner Mobile Bay National Estuary Program accepted the award for the Joe’s Branch Step Pool Storm Conveyance system at a ceremony in Corpus Christi, Texas Thursday night. 

“The project is important for several reasons, including that it solved major erosion problems in Spanish Fort and improved water quality downstream,” said Senior Vice President Emery Baya. “It also required commitment and partnership from a large number of agencies and that is an equally remarkable aspect.” The project was awarded a 1st place Partnership award. Other organizations involved in the project are: Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA), City of Daphne, City of Spanish Fort and Westminster Village Retirement Community.

Thompson’s Step Pool Storm Conveyance system manages storm water, solved erosion problems and restored a stream in Spanish Fort, Alabama. The project site, a stream in Joe’s Branch, flows into D’Olive Bay and eventually Mobile Bay. Before the step pool system was designed and implemented, erosion was threatening to impact drivers on adjacent Highway 31 and residential structures of nearby Westminster Village.

Thompson led the design and construction of the system, which is the first-of-its-kind in Alabama. “Engineers are always learning and looking for new ways to create solutions that benefit our environment, so it was a special honor to be recognized by the EPA for protecting the Gulf of Mexico.” To read more about the project, click here. To watch a video produced for the Gulf Guardian awards, click here.

Posted on 08/03 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Team to Lead Mobile River Bridge Design

A team led by Thompson Engineering has been selected by the Alabama Department of Transportation as the design firm for the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening project. “Our team’s experts know the issues relating to the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway corridor because we live here,” said Thompson Engineering CEO Jimmy Shumock. “We’ve also created some of the world’s most iconic bridges and gateways, and we’ve worked on projects up and down the Mobile River and on both sides of Mobile Bay.”

The I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening project will increase the capacity of I-10 by constructing a new bridge across the Mobile River and widening the existing I-10 bridges across Mobile Bay. Design work will include decisions on a multitude of details, from the visual appeal of the cable stay bridge, to pedestrian access points and lighting that complements that of downtown Mobile’s skyline. “This project is about more than building a bridge. It’s about connecting communities, improving neighborhoods and creating a safer environment for the drivers of Mobile and those who drive through our city,” said Shumock. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re privileged to be a part of it.” 

The team begins working with ALDOT immediately.

The team’s primary partners are:
• Thompson Engineering
• HDR Engineering
• Hatch Mott McDonald

Others include:
• Neel-Schaffer
• Corven Engineering
• Dan Brown & Associates
• Armeni Consulting Services
• Hand Arendall
• Engineering & Planning Resources
• Touchstone Architecture
• Illumination Arts
• RWDI Consulting Engineers
• Hinman Consulting Engineers

Posted on 07/23 • Permalink
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