In Focus: Thomas Romney, Partner & Production Manager
In 2007, within a few months of the company’s inception, Thomas Romney joined FOCUS Engineering. At the time, he was a recent engineering graduate of the University of Utah, bringing experience from internships with Stantec and Ward Engineering.
Thomas describes the changes within the company during his career over the past 13 plus years. “We’ve grown significantly, and it’s great to be part of this growth,” says Thomas. “When I started with the firm, there were only about six employees, and our service was primarily civil engineering.” Today as a licensed PE, a firm Partner, and Production Manager, Thomas is responsible for overseeing some of the department managers and guiding a broad range of tasks. The firm’s departments now include civil engineering, structural engineering, CAD services, land planning, landscape architecture, surveying, construction staking, and transportation engineering; all of which encompass about 75 employees.
FOCUS Engineering clients benefit from Thomas’s ability to coordinate and navigate between clients, contractors, municipalities, and the firm – all in a seamless and efficient manner. He is known for his creative problem solving and negotiating skills, helping projects through tricky aspects to find a compromise that meets the needs of all parties. “I strive to create efficient systems within our firm to support each of our teams and departments, and ultimately allow our engineers and department heads to concentrate on fulfilling the needs of our clients.”
Thomas shares a great sense of pride in the company’s growth, its employees, and their accomplishments. “We primarily grow from within, having a strong commitment to company training and internship programs. We make strategic hires of experienced engineers and other professionals that possess strong emotional intelligence,” he describes. “Two of our main operating principles are being the best at customer service and being passionate about client success. These enable us to meet our goal of keeping clients happy.”
Thomas reflects on the training offered through the company-wide book reads. One of his favorite books, based on the direct application in attaining goals, is Extreme Ownership. He also identifies the books Good to Great and Built to Last as being vital to the company’s culture. “The messages within these books have become so ingrained in our culture that you see the positive outcomes daily,” he remarks. “We are different from other engineering firms due to our culture and the type of people we hire. FOCUS supports you in your career objectives. The opportunity to progress and move forward is in your control.”
When asked about what impacts the pandemic has had on the company, his career, and personal life, Thomas shares, “COVID is a reminder that it is necessary to stay positive through difficult times. As a company, we have to rely on our culture and the aspects that make us successful in keeping clients happy,” Thomas concludes, “From a personal perspective, I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. Through COVID we have had more time to spend with each other doing what we love. It is a bit of a relief not to be rushing from one obligation to the next, but instead to slow down and be together as a family. Of course, I am saddened by the pandemic. Yet, through difficulties, there are lessons to learn. I firmly believe these times are reminders about the importance of remaining positive.”