Our History

Building a legacy against the grain

In 1974, Carl Harris, David Newton, and a few colleagues left a national design firm to start their own venture, disheartened by typical corporate bureaucracy.

Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, they envisioned a culture where employees were truly empowered, where opportunities to grow were plentiful, where enthusiasm and expertise converged.

That's how the Harris & Associates ethos was born.

Over the next several decades, the firm grew steadily into a leading western-based construction management and engineering firm. Harris & Associates recruited a world-class team of civil engineers, construction managers, public finance professionals, environmental professionals, and strategic advisors to serve a diverse roster of public-sector and institutional clients.

Designed to Last

In 2010, as the entire industry sought to rebound from the economic downturn, Harris & Associates' board opted to shift course under the direction of new CEO Lisa Larrabee.

The company transitioned its ownership entirely to employees, becoming a 100% employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), S corporation.

Larrabee then reorganized the firm's leadership structure to enhance collaboration and, along with her executive team, mapped a strategic plan focused on four markets and core services.

The most recent chapters in the Harris story tell of a firm adding capabilities in environmental, planning, strategic advisory, and resiliency services. 


Carl Harris

Carl Harris