Renton, WA - After more than 42 years, Al Gonzales hung up his hard hat on June 30, 2017. For many years, Al was Atkinson's premiere Project Manager - having completed 23 projects for a total value of $2.92 billion. He was a recognized industry leader as evidenced by winning the 2013 AGC of Washington Project Manager of the Year for his work on the I-405/NE 8th St to SR 520 Braided Ramps Design-Build project in Bellevue, WA. Furthermore, Engineering News Record recognized Al as one of their “Top 25 Newsmakers of 1994" for his work on the Macagua II Hydroelectric Project in Venezuela. The following tells you a bit more about Al:
When did you begin working at Atkinson?
I began working for Atkinson on January 20, 1975.
What sorts of positions have you held at Atkinson during your tenure, and what is your current role?
I have worked in various engineering and management positions on more than two dozen projects, ranging from dams and nuclear plants to bridges, highways, and light rail. Recently, I managed our large design-build highway projects in the Seattle area. I am currently the Vice President and Project Manager on the $115 million design-build I-405/SR 167 HOV Direct Connector project in Renton, WA.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
My wife Tamara and I have been married for 42 years, and we have three grown children. Raymond is a Border Patrol Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, Meghan is a nurse at a hospital in New Mexico, and Jacob is a teacher and wrestling coach in Prineville, Oregon. My wife and I also have three grandsons.
What is your fondest Atkinson memory?
There are many, though I would say my fondest memories are the relationships – both professional and personal – that I’ve developed with my colleagues throughout my career. When we traveled around the world building projects, such as dams in Venezuela, the only family we had was each other. Those bonds and friendships will last forever.
What was your favorite project and why?
The hydroelectric dams we built for the Venezuelan government are my favorite projects. It was very rewarding to help a developing country with their infrastructure needs. They were very appreciative of the work ethic and can-do spirit of the Atkinson team.
What is your best piece of advice for the next Clark and Atkinson generation?
I have always said this is a tough business and it is not for everyone, but you will find nothing more rewarding. Our country’s infrastructure is in great disrepair, and the next generation must be ready to fulfill the many needs and demands to fix it while working in densely populated environments.
What are your plans for retirement?
First, Tam and I will build a home in Santa Fe. Then, we plan on traveling throughout this great country of ours. Also, I have many hobbies, including cars, motorcycles, airplanes, skiing, hiking, golf, and shooting. But most of all… I enjoy helping family and friends.
Best wishes, Al, for a long and happy retirement!