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Celebrating 50 with 500

image Raba Kistner Inc.’s Dallas team. L-R: Rafael Menendez; Bob Johnson; Rodney Beecham; Reddy Vuske, PE; Ash Brown, PE; Brent Adams, Bruce Nipp, PE, Safety Manager; and Chis Tunner

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Carl and Bunny Raba had a vision and in 1968 they began laying the groundwork to become an industry leader among engineering consulting firms. Together with Ronald Tolson, Raba & Tolson Consulting Engineers was established as a geotechnical engineering practice in San Antonio. By 1974, Dick Kistner joined the firm leading it into the expansion and practice of construction materials engineering.

 

 

 

    Four short years later, the firm would change its name to Raba-Kistner Consultants Inc. to reflect the development into major non-engineering services including geosciences and environmental sciences.
    By 1980, the firm established an office in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico to help U.S. firms execute projects throughout Mexico. And Raba-Kistner didn’t stop there with offices in Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, Freeport, Houston, McAllen, New Braunfels, Nebraska and Utah. “We’re a small business, but we are spread across the U.S.,” says Gary Raba, chief executive officer and chairman of the board.
    From the humble beginnings of offering geotechnical engineering services to construction materials engineering, the firm incorporates a wide array of services to include project management, infrastructure, building envelope, forensics, archaeology, and more.
     “We would not be here right now if it weren’t for Bunny and Carl Raba and what they did in 1968.  It really laid a pretty interesting and unique foundation for our company and the people that work here. That has allowed us to do a lot more things on top of what the original service lines were back then,” says William Raba, president and vice chairman of the board.
    Since Gary and William haven’t been with the firm for 50 years, they can’t really talk about 50 years. But they can talk about the last 30 years or so, and what they’ve seen and all the different subs, people that have made their mark on the state, the different architects and contractors, people that had grown successfully, and people that are gone or have sold their businesses or merged. “It’s been pretty interesting, at least within our 30 years in our markets and seeing the success. We see a lot of opportunity based off what has been going on the last couple of years and the mindset of people that want to do something better and want to see the city better and change the perception that San Antonio, for example, cannot provide a workforce to Fortune 50 companies when they relocate here,” adds William.
    After a name change or two, Raba Kistner Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a very big way by giving back to the communities they serve. “We are looking to do, throughout our offices across the country, 500 community activities during our two-year celebratory period,” said Gary.
    How can they do that you wonder? Well, according to William, “When you think about it, we already do quite a bit of outreach but I just didn’t think about counting everything before now,”  meaning all the charitable events the firm is involved in throughout the firm’s different locations. “At seven months in, we’re on track to hit the 500 events mark. And, we are very much involved in social issues as much as we are in the engineering and consulting world,” adds William.
    You can follow the success of Raba Kistner’s 500 goal online.  “We are charting it on our website so you can see how we are doing,” says Nancy Parker, director of marketing and the mastermind behind the 500 community activities, 10 for each year in business.
    Raba Kistner Inc. is an engineering consulting and program management firm. -cmw


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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net