Living Our Founder Tom Conrad’s Culture of Trust and Giving

December 22, 2022

I enjoyed all of my years knowing Tom, and have benefitted greatly from his wisdom, guidance, and inspiration. We will continue to carry forward his legacy and his dreams for this firm, to be the best at what we do, and to have a good time while we are doing it. Michelle Leonard, Senior Vice President


We are deeply saddened by the passing of our founder Tom Conrad, but we celebrate his spirit by continuing the culture he established at SCS Engineers. Tom was energetic, creative, hard-working, and fun-loving! His accomplishments in preventing and mitigating environmental damage are just one of the reasons we respect him so much.

Another reason is that Tom believed in providing opportunities for everyone. He founded and ran SCS based on giving individuals the tools they need to thrive while providing for their families, the environment, and their communities. These tools are trust, mentorship, and open dialog. By building these philosophies into our culture, Tom sparked multiple innovations and environmental solutions by some of the finest people you’ll ever want to meet.

These SCSers continue our culture of caring and listening. Anyone at SCS can contribute their ideas for improving a process or technology. Our executives promote forums to keep the conversations and idea exchanges going and open to all. And just as Tom would insist, innovations are proven before they are implemented.

We’re proud of all SCSers, especially our young professionals, who consistently bring in fresh ideas and perspectives by asking “why and how” questions. Designing sustainable environmental solutions requires a deep understanding of systems, processes, and industry knowledge. Asking the right questions and seeking answers indicates a curious mind; Tom called these people “thinkers,” one of the best compliments we could get. Asking these questions indicates a self-actualized mind. And answering the questions takes a team. At SCS, we encourage both.

SCS’s mentorship and young professionals programs are thriving. They were established more formally in the last decade but have always been a part of SCS. President and CEO Jim Walsh called Tom “The best mentor anyone could ever have,” going on to say that Tom “taught me a lot, but more, he let me figure things out on my own… I’ve often said that my best four years of education were not high school or college; it was learning from Tom Conrad.”

SCS’s culture survives because of trust. So as Tom did, we continue to place trust and confidence in SCS’s employee-owners. Tom understood long ago that trust creates a culture of teamwork and respect, enabling effective problem-solving. In fact, Tom was so proud and confident in the firm’s environmental accomplishments in 1987 that he modified the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan to expand ownership of SCS to all employees. Today SCS remains 100% employee-owned and is a driving force for SCSers to deliver high-quality and ethical solutions to our clients.

Tom’s other major and no less important philosophy was to “have fun!” We take the time to engage and laugh with our colleagues, clients, and associates.

Our nationwide offices are busy year-round helping their communities, especially during the holidays. A special thanks to our young professionals, who think BIG, for organizing our annual Feed America campaign, always with a healthy, fun competition between our offices!

You can learn more about how SCS continues in Tom Conrad’s spirit today by watching this short video made by SCSers coast to coast.


All of us at SCS send you, our community, clients, and friends
best wishes for a happy holiday season!





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am