Mission: To lead as the professional consulting firm of choice for employee-owners, clients and business partners.
The history of KCI can be traced to a small firm operating out of the basement of the co-founder’s Baltimore County, Maryland, home in 1955. By its second year, Matz Childs and Associates took up residence in a proper facility, only to change locations several times over the next decade in a succession of moves that paralleled its growth. In 1977, the recently renamed MCA was purchased, along with three other architectural and engineering firms, by industrial products conglomerate Walter Kidde & Company. The Kidde acquisitions merged into an engineering subsidiary that came to be known as Kidde Consultants Inc., or KCI. During the 1980s, KCI expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic, opening new offices in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
In August 1987, Hanson Trust PLC of Great Britain, a manufacturing company with diversified holdings worldwide, purchased Kidde, the parent company. Soon thereafter, KCI initiated an employee buyout from Hanson, which was completed in December 1988. KCI became Maryland’s largest employee-owned company. In 1991, the official name was changed to KCI Technologies Inc. In 2008, the corporate headquarters moved to its present location in Sparks, Md.
In control of our own destiny since that time, KCI has been able to share its prosperity and success with all of our team. Over the years, our stock value has significantly outperformed both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ indices, turning some of our long-time staff members from entry-level employees into millionaires.
With revenues exceeding $205 million, Engineering News-Record has consistently placed KCI among the top consulting engineering firms in the country. Today, our roughly 1,400 employee owners operate out of more than 35 offices in dozens of states across the U.S. The timeline below highlights some of our amazing story since the 1988 buyout that redefined the firm.
Multiple geographies. Unique specialties and talents. One team. We are a single force that is far greater than the sum of our parts—an engineering, consulting and construction firm that connects people in a highly networked, fully integrated and uncommonly transparent way.
Together we are stronger and better equipped to address society’s most complex infrastructure challenges. Together we facilitate rapid action and enable exponential growth. Together we can take on the biggest projects and enjoy success after success. And that enjoyment is by design, too. Because when we genuinely like what we do and are surrounded by others who share the same values, our rewards – both professional and personal – are greater.
The components we need, the specializations required, may shift over time. After all, we didn’t get here by standing still. Our team is defined by perpetual forward motion, an evolutionary drive to push ahead.
What remains constant is the connective tissue that binds us. The unique blend of our different perspectives, varied experiences and multitude of personalities into one cohesive organization. The personal accountability each of us feels, which rolls up into a corporation that does what it says it will do. Because together we become an extension of our partners, knowing that no matter how technological or technical a challenge, our business is a business of humans – people working with people – one team lifting each other, our clients and the community up.
The values defined below are a part of our culture. They guide much of our decision-making and strategic planning.
|As an employee owned organization, transparency is ingrained into KCI and how we do business and how we work together as a team.|
|We provide our employee owners with the freedom to collaborate with our clients to deliver innovative and effective solutions. Our staff regularly uses their ingenuity and resourcefulness to drive our clients and our company forward.|
|We take our roles and responsibilities seriously—as employees, as managers and leaders, as co-workers and friends to each other, as stewards of the environment, and as professionals that our clients rely on for expert advice.|
|Our employees are passionate about what they do. Whether inspecting a bridge or installing a fiber-optic network, designing a geothermal system or restoring a stream, our team is motivated to make a difference in the world around us.|
|Our team admires, honors and is considerate of each other, our clients, and our partner. We recognize and appreciate each other’s differences—be they capabilities, histories, experiences, or beliefs.|
|We take responsibility for the quality of our work, the relationships we maintain and cultivate, and the performance of the company. Our team understands that what we do and how well we do it has a direct impact on the value of the firm, and therefore our ownership.|
|KCI strives to build a culture of no fear risk taking. Both through formal programs and informal challenges, our employees are encouraged to seize new opportunities, learn new skills and expand their professional and personal capabilities.|
KCI’s values also include four characteristics that we feel are intrinsic within the industry—Honesty, Integrity, Safety, and Quality. Without these, no engineering, construction or consulting company could prosper.
KCI benefits from a diverse employee workforce when each employee or staff member contributes ideas based on his/her experiences and background. Employees and management cannot help but learn from the experiences of others as everyone interacts during the workday. We come from many backgrounds and beliefs and this enhances the firm’s ability to compete in the community, thus improving our business performance.
KCI is committed to making diversity and inclusion a sustainable reality at all levels of the company. What we mean by diversity and inclusion goes beyond a traditional view of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability and age. It includes all the different aspects of our workforce’s backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and thought processes that can drive innovation, creativity and competitive advantage. No one of us is better than all of us.
The firm expects employees, managers and executives to live up to its standards of diversity and inclusion in their interactions with others, in their hiring and contracting decisions, and in their business plans. Through training and accountability programs, employee involvement, communications, and other tools, KCI is embedding this commitment to diversity and inclusion into the fabric of the company.
Employee ownership defines KCI’s corporate culture. KCI’s people are self-starters who enjoy mastering new technologies and solving project challenges. The company nurtures an open and challenging environment, where everyone can make a difference, be rewarded for their efforts, and enjoy coming to work each morning. As our company prospers, the chief benefactor is its employees. As participants in an ESOP, employees have a personal, vested interest in the success of their projects and the organization.
The atmosphere is open and relaxed, yet challenging and professional. Our employee-owners understand they have a vested interest in the decisions that shape the company’s strategic and business plans, financial system, retirement plans, benefit packages, training opportunities, stock valuations, and the distribution of wealth and profits.
With our team as such a singular, strong component of our management approach and success, leadership and technical training, industry involvement and community stewardship are critical elements of the firm’s professional development programs. Open communication is also a key component of the firm’s management style. The company shares financial, operational and strategic information with employees through a host of communications channels, including an informal open-door policy.
Video conference town hall meetings led by President Nathan Beil and CEO Terry Neimeyer are held each month. At the meetings, Financials are presented, project accolades and awards are announced, and news and upcoming events are discussed. Employees are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the exchange. In addition, at least six meetings include presentations from employees about particular discipline, service or innovation—offering a platform to share their skills, services and accomplishments.
Employees are involved at every level of management, beginning with a Companywide Employee Committee that meets monthly to provide a forum to develop, evaluate and recommend employee ideas to upper management. An elected employee representative serves a two-year term on both the corporate board of directors and as chair of the CEC. A second employee is elected for a two-year term on the ESOP board of trustees.
Being a part of a great company enables KCI employees to work on award-winning, high-visibility projects, making us a firm of choice for engineers, planners, scientists, construction managers, and administrative professionals. The company’s strong work ethic has enhanced our bottom line and, in turn, the value of employee stock. Since becoming employee-owned in 1988, our stock has grown more than 3000%.
KCI is committed to providing employees a competitive salary with quality benefits. We understand that individuals’ health and wellness needs may differ. For that reason, KCI is pleased to provide a benefits package that allows for flexibility. We are pleased to offer the following complement of core benefits:
I have been working at KCI Technologies full-time (Less than a year)
Firm doing things to find balance between serving clients and staff and growing the firm profitably. Stock ownership is real, good deal and $ adds up. Leadership seems to be changing for the better. Making investments to grow the firm. They try to do the right thing.
Sometimes slow in addressing issues.
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at KCI Technologies (Charlotte, NC) in June 2016.
Interview was a very causal conversation with three project managers. Really felt like they were real people, not corporate drones. I felt very excited for the direction of the company. The company is growing like crazy. They contract for a large power company in the area and have to charge according to that companies rates unfortunately.