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Terracon CEO David Gaboury Delivers Tang Lecture

David R. Gaboury

On Thursday, October 30, David R. Gaboury, P.E. (B.S. '76 CEE) delivered the 15th annual Tang Lecture in the Amherst Room, 10th floor, Campus Center on the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus. The title of Mr. Gaboury’s Tang Lecture was “Prosperous Growth in Service of Employees, Clients, and Communities.” Gaboury is the president and CEO of Terracon, whose annual revenue has grown in the past 15 years from about $50 million to nearly $500 million, with more than 3,500 employees and 140 offices nationwide. Terracon’s ranking among Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms has risen from  number 89 to number 35. 

 “My talk will describe our case history of achieving prosperous growth,” said Gaboury before the event. “Further, I will explore the question of what is the purpose of this growth and, in that context, why do we exist as a company? As CEO, I will describe how the company and I have personally evolved our view and role regarding purpose well beyond shareholder value to include service to employees, clients, and the communities where we live and work.”

Gaboury also serves as Chairman of the Board at Terracon. He is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years of experience in environmental, geo-environmental, and water resources engineering. Gaboury is a graduate of UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He received an M.S. degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. Prior to joining Terracon, he served as COO and president of Woodward Clyde Consultants.

Currently Gaboury serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for the Olathe (Kansas) Medical Center, Inc., and is Chairman of the Board of Olathe Medical Services, Inc. He also is on the Board of Directors of Smith Seckman Reid, an MEP engineering firm headquartered in Nashville. His previous service includes past president of GBA/The Geoprofessional Business Association; member of ASCE’s Industry Leaders Council; and Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and Olathe Economic Development Council. He also participates in the CEO Conference Group, the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT), and the Incident and Injury-Free Executive Forum.

In 2013, Gaboury was selected as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® award winner for the Central Midwest and as a national finalist.

The Shirley and Ting-wei Tang Endowment Lecture Series brings leaders of engineering-based companies to campus to interact with students and faculty and present a major talk. Shirley Tang is a retired academic advisor for the United Asia Learning Resource Center. Emeritus Professor Ting-wei Tang had a remarkable and distinguished career of 38 years at UMass Amherst. An internationally recognized expert in numerical modeling of semiconductor devices, Professor Tang was elected as an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow in 1999. He received the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award from UMass Amherst. (October 2014)