Member profile: Moore Engineering, Inc.
Member profile: Moore Engineering, Inc.
For the past 60 years, Moore Engineering, Inc. has been living out its mission of improving lives by building strong communities. Originally founded by brothers Kip and Marshall Moore as a civil engineering and surveying business with strong Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo roots, everything the company does today still supports those core services, even with great growth in subspecialties, offices, employees and impact.
Moore Engineering served as the city engineer for the City of West Fargo for decades, and is proud to have played a key role in residential, commercial and water resource development throughout the entire region. Their story of growth includes completing more than 21,000 civil and environmental engineering projects throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, working with 130 different communities. Moore recently opened a new office in West Fargo’s Sheyenne Plaza, a critical project in the revitalization of the city’s downtown.
“The fact that we have good competition helps drive us every day,” Kurt Lysne, West Fargo Office Manager, said, also acknowledging that their competitors in this market are a testament to the overall strength of the FMWF economy. “It’s a good, healthy market.” The difference lies in how Moore thinks about consulting.
Moore focuses on helping clients make decisions on the front end, looking at solutions differently and considering options they might not think of on their own. They also have a long history of helping clients find and understand funding opportunities.
Staying abreast of technology is important for any business, and Moore Engineering has found a way to incorporate two major advancements in their work. The use of drones and aerial photography in their day-to-day business has made site inspections safer, designs more efficient, and saved both time and money. Online GIS mapping platforms are also a hit for their clients, integrating property boundaries and information, infrastructure location and past project information into the application, among many other things. “We work in big municipalities, but we also work in a lot of smaller ones, and to take a big-city service like an online GIS map and scale it to a small community, we take a lot of pride in that, and a lot of communities have embraced that technology for their residents,” Lysne said.
Moore Engineering is proud of its history as an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) company. In 1998, the company became 50% employee-owned, and 100% in 2004; in 2010, Moore formed an ESOP communications committee to remind employees about the benefits they enjoy as an owner and how their job relates to company success.
“This went from being a strong engineering business to a growth-focused engineering business for the benefit of the owners, who are the employees,” Lysne said. “The focus is now on everybody’s benefit, and that was the catalyst for growing the company. It’s a point of pride knowing that your role can directly impact the value of your ownership stake.”
This change has resulted in even better culture, too. Moore Engineering has low turnover and high consistency in its staffing. Lysne acknowledges there are many ways a company can set up an ESOP, but they choose to offer it to everybody who meets the criteria. “I think the goal of every business is to have employees that think like owners, that know how their daily interactions with clients impact the bottom line. We’re not just employees showing up to do a job; we’re in charge of our financial security.”
In fact, being an ESOP company means so much that Moore celebrates every year during ESOP month in October with fun challenges, like chili cookoffs. During the rest of the year, they work to integrate ESOP knowledge into other events, such as trivia at their employee golf tournament.
A family-like culture & focus on kindness
Lysne maintains that working at Moore Engineering is like working with family, and the company’s values are more than words on a wall. Respect, integrity, accountability and loyalty have been core values for years, but one relative newcomer value is kindness – “because it’s all about how you treat people.” Kindness is key because nothing is ever perfect, and they want employees to be able to respectfully disagree.
The team at Moore is continually working to bring these values to life in the workplace and build expectations for how to integrate them in their work and culture. Lysne says creating and protecting positive culture is a priority, along with identifying blind spots. Mentioning an employee survey going out soon, he says, “I appreciate that we have a president and leadership team that are willing to take the temperature on our culture, reaching out and inviting feedback, and then is ready to make adjustments based on what they learn.”
Cultural fit is important in hiring, too, and the expectation for new Moore employees is to be able to think on your feet and learn by doing. “We put people to work right away, and provide mentors to those just starting out,” he said. “Our experience is that when you trust people and set some pretty high expectations, then support them with good mentors, they deliver.”
With “community” right in their mission statement, it was important to define what community means at Moore. Lysne says that a community can span from a team of engineers working together in an office to a city they’re working in. And with the work they do in rural settings, it’s always important to improve lives. When they work outside urban areas, “agronomic” benefits happen when they mitigate flood damages or improve land productivity.
Outside the workplace, Moore Engineering also values giving back. Even their company Christmas party turns into a fundraiser, as they offer opportunities for charitable donations with a 100% company match. For many years, they enjoyed building a float for the Holiday Lights Parade (and have earned several first-place awards!).
Not only do they provide financial support for many events and programs in the communities they serve, but they also give time. Many employees sit on boards of directors and in community leadership roles. They walk in parades in the small towns where they work, and get involved in school programs. Delivering Meals on Wheels and bell ringing for the Salvation Army are just two examples of Moore’s volunteerism in the FMWF metro area.
Moore Engineering offers engineering scholarships to NDSU students, and sees helping students as benefitting not just them, but their entire industry. STEM outreach to many stakeholder groups is a big priority at Moore; for example, a group of women engineers is very active in reaching out to girls in STEM to grow the next generation of engineers and leaders.
We would be remiss to not mention Moore’s involvement in The Chamber! A Community Builder, Corporate Cup participant, program sponsor and regular event attendee are just a few ways Moore Engineering shows up for our community and membership. Lysne and several other employees have participated in the Leadership program, and he and Moore’s CEO Jeffry Volk – who is also on The Chamber’s board – have participated in legislative efforts and traveled with us to Bismarck. We thank them for all their support for the community!
Moore Engineering is beaming with pride for their work, their employees, and their history in the community. Celebrations for their 60-year anniversary are planned for this summer.
Mission: Improving lives by building strong communities.
Vision: Outperform expectations through empowered employees who build trusting relationships and create solutions
Values: Respect · Integrity · Accountability · Loyalty · Kindness
- Land & Site Development
- Water & Wastewater
- Water Resource