TZL 1460 (web)



Shaping the world: Stewart Osgood President and CEO of DOWL, LLC, a firm that offers a wide range of engineering services to public and private clients, from the Arctic Ocean to the Rio Grande.


A s president and CEO, Osgood has led DOWL, LLC (Redmond, WA) through record growth while simultaneously managing key transportation projects. His affinity for project management and client interaction remains a top passion. “I feel grateful and blessed to serve a wonderful group of owners and employees who are all about people and projects and clients,” Osgood says. “Our charter says it all – ‘Positively shaping the world with exemplary professional service.’” A CONVERSATION WITH STEWART OSGOOD. The Zweig Letter: Your online bio says you’ve led the company through unprecedented growth during your tenure. To what do you most attribute this? What were some key tactics? Stewart Osgood: Perhaps DOWL measures growth differently than is common in the industry. We have grown in top line gross revenue, and more importantly in bottom line performance. But when we say growth, we also mean

organizational maturity, wisdom, and sustainability. As an example, our client mix, regional stability, and practice area diversification improves year-over-year. And all the while we focus on three main things: people and culture, quality and efficiency, and profitable growth. For example, several years ago we committed to become ISO 9001 certified for quality. In the short-term, this was a drag on top- and bottom-line financial performance, but the long play was for a more mature and disciplined organization. That is real growth to me while also keeping a conservative position on the balance sheet and play with our own money (e.g., retained earnings). TZL: What’s your growth plan look like for the next five years? Plans for organic or inorganic growth? Why or why not? SO: We’re continuing to prepare for our version of growth, with time and treasure aimed at organizational maturity, wisdom, and being more sustainable in all senses of the word. That will likely mean attracting partners that want to be part of our little firm, whether they be 300-person firms or individuals who are attracted to our cultural lightening.


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