A passion for his company and a commitment to the Billings community stand out immediately upon meeting Tim Erickson, HDR’s Transportation Manager for Montana. HDR is a nationwide consulting engineering firm with a history of over a hundred years.
It is Erickson’s responsibility to oversee transportation and infrastructure projects throughout the state. Staff writer, Shaundel Krumheur had the opportunity to visit with him to talk about his company’s vision for Billings, the trails system, and why the local HDR office supports Billings TrailNet as a Corporate Member:
Upon first meeting Erickson, one thing is immediately clear: he takes great pride in his company. One of the company values he is most proud of? HDR’s corporate and local commitment to the communities they serve. And, with over 200 offices world-wide, there are many communities benefiting from this!
HDR’s support of Billings TrailNet is not only employees serving their community, at the heart of the services that HDR provides are solutions for infrastructure. The company’s internal vision is to “do things right to make great things possible.” This means a focus on solutions to find what is possible to solve infrastructure challenges. The trails system in Billings is a key infrastructure in our city. Many of the 160 local employees and their families enjoy the trails regularly, so supporting Billings TrailNet is a natural fit.
What makes HDR’s support of Billings TrailNet that much more meaningful is that it is a 100 percent employee-owned company; it is the employee-owners who are investing in the communities in which they live. “This is the community our kids go to school in,” said Erickson. “It’s the employees showing that interest and support for their community.”
Part of Erickson’s and HDR’s vision for Billings is to look at ways for “future-proofing” the city’s infrastructure. “As our technology and modes of transportation change, we want to make sure we are making it a better place for the movement of people in our community,” Erickson explained. Infrastructure draws people to Billings. Having a robust trail system helps increase transportation options as our city grows. “If you can get somewhere easier,” said Erickson, “you will use it.”
When asked why the Billings office became a Corporate Member of Billings TrailNet this year, Erickson explained that several employees have been Billings TrailNet members for years. Many have volunteered at events such as Ales for Trails, which is a very popular event among HDR employees. For the last several years, the Billings office has held a staff raffle for Ales for Trails tickets.
HDR has extensive experience with the trails in Billings. They helped with the preliminary engineering on the BBWA Canal Trail. This trail runs roughly three miles on the west end, mainly running along the Billings Bench Water Association canal. The company also served as the engineers on Zimmerman Trail Road and have conceptual designs for the Stagecoach Trail. This trail will provide walkers, runners, and bikers a safe path connecting them from Rimrock Road to Airport Road.
According to the HDR Inc website, “We take to heart our role in making the world a better, smarter, safer place. We think globally and act locally to improve the places where we live and work.”
Billings TrailNet is fortunate to have this employee-owned local company as a Corporate Member and champion of the Billings trails system.