It’s not a coincidence that Bill Dunning has brought his engineering skills to SCJ Alliance. The alignment of their heart-felt values of stewardship, freedom, compassion, trust and integrity is well matched. “We are so lucky to have Bill on our team,” says Jean Carr, SCJ president and CEO. SCJ specializes in civil engineering, construction management, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, landscape architecture and public outreach.
The company is a local, 100% employee-owned business that consciously contributes to the well-being of our community. Bill has spent his career in engineering and sharing his expertise and leadership on numerous visits to 20 countries around the world. He makes a difference wherever he goes and is happy to continue his work with the SCJ family.
“I really like people, and the strategy needed to help people to get from where they are to where they want to be,” says Bill. That attitude spills over into all parts of his life. One theme is engineering. He has been a civil engineer for over 30 years and previously owned an engineering and landscape design business. He grew the company with his partners, and eventually they sold the company to the employees. “It was rewarding to see them become owners of what they had helped to build,” recalls Bill.
Throughout his adult life, Bill has used his engineering, building and management skills around the world. One of the first such trips was in 1991, a trip to Ghana in west Africa to build a drinking water system for a school. He found different cultures to be stimulating. “I like service projects! I want to build community,” says Bill. The volunteer trips continued. Bill and his wife Kathi, a registered nurse, have also been raising a large family with six children including twins. Their entire family has benefitted from participating in some of these service projects.
Bill sets out to improve the quality of life which in turn supports the quality of the community. He’s helped with things like building schools and recreational facilities, tended to erosion and drainage, and constructed shelters, a dining hall and a kitchen. A sample of the places he has been and taken teams along include the following:
- Accra, Ghana: a potable drinking water system
- Lakota Sioux Reservation: children’s programs and counseling
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: medical clinics
- San Ignacio, Belize: home and dormitory construction, basketball camp and Vacation Bible School
- Matagalpa, Nicaragua: medical team and Vacation Bible School for children
- Kathmandu, Nepal – AshaNepal: a shelter for women and children, structural assessment and contracting repairs following the 2015 earthquake
For other projects he’s been to Nigeria, Fiji, Kenya, Tanzania, Romania, India, Jamaica, and has also been involved with some in Olympia.
Civil engineering continues to interest Bill. “I love design and seeing things well constructed,” he says. At SCJ he oversees all the civil engineering projects throughout the company, which includes 10 offices across three states. He is also the Lacey Office Principal.
People often think hiring a civil engineer is for large commercial or highway projects that involve complicated regulations and vast tracts of land. They are correct. However, for those embarking on even a small land development project, consider what Bill suggests, “You might not want one, but you’ll need one.” Civil engineers, planners, and landscape architects will help you discover and understand the existing planning and land-use requirements which will make development easier and more predictable. These include things like zoning, building codes, design, density, and use.
SCJ can assist you in getting the required permit approvals to build your project. They have the expertise to look at your property to address stormwater management, erosion, possible flooding concerns and the protection of sensitive land areas. Grading, paving, drainage, utilities, and landscaping need to be considered at the beginning of a project. Bill’s team gives you years of experience. That way you navigate around things before they become a problem. It’s expensive to overlook critical details. You might use your stormwater to water your landscape and design your outdoor spaces to maximize sun location. “It’s like putting together a puzzle,” notes Bill adding, “We enjoy that process and seek to do. it well, so that when construction is complete, the end user is thrilled.”
It’s a great fit for Bill to work in a place and with people who share a mutual vision to make our county a desirable place to live. “We have a fantastic leader and engineer who is great for clients, staff and community,” says Jean. For Bill, it is essential to focus on the people. “Every person is significant,” he says, “and community is formed when we work together to create something bigger than ourselves.”
You can get more information about the services provided by SCJ Alliance on the business website. It’s time to implement the dreams you have for your property, business, home and outdoor spaces. Bill would love to hear from you.