Draper Aden Associates (DAA), a civil engineering firm recently relocated to the Oyster Point area, has its proverbial fingers in a lot of proverbial pies. Their services involve participating in many parts of the land development process, such as civil, geotechnical, structural and utilities engineering as well as surveying, mapping and materials testing.
Draper Aden Associates began in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 1972. The company has grown to include offices across Virginia and in North Carolina. Two of those Virginia offices are the ones in Virginia Beach and the Oyster Point location. The local offices originally focused solely on utilities engineering, but have since grown to include surveying, aerial mapping via drone and other parts of the land development process.
When asked what kinds of clientele stand to benefit from the services of DAA, regional growth leader Tim Dean says, “We have a very diverse portfolio of clients including state and local governments, private developers, colleges and universities, K–12 schools, contractors, architects, other engineering firms, solid waste companies, public utility companies, energy companies, federal agencies and many others.”
Many of those clients are located right here in Hampton Roads, but that is not necessarily always the case. DAA is capable of working with clients in other areas as well. “We have been as far south as Georgia and as far west as Tennessee,” says Robert Mann, who serves as survey division manager for the company.
Both Mann and Dean credit DAA’s divisional structure with the ability to work effectively with this variety of clients across such a wide area, giving its employees the ability to coordinate their efforts remotely.
“We all have a responsibility to each other. Anytime we have an opportunity for a project, we identify other areas of expertise that might be needed and we reach out to each other. We cultivate business in that way,” Mann says.
“We’ve had staff locally working on projects in North Carolina and vice versa. Our divisional structure has really allowed us to workshare across offices,” Dean says, adding that this structure helps DAA to effectively serve not only its clients, but also its personnel. According to Dean, the ability to coordinate efforts and share the load by extending expertise from office to office has helped the company to avoid what he calls the “cycles of ups and downs” which, in lean times of the Covid-19 pandemic, may have otherwise resulted in staff reductions.
In addition to helping DAA to keep its staff employed, DAA’s ability to accomplish such a varied workload through cooperation is significant in drawing new talent to the company. Adrianna Dimperio has been with DAA for a year as utilities division manager. “The opportunities that were presented to me before I came on board were challenges that I wanted to take on,” she says. “I enjoy the collaboration that is very much a big part of this firm.”
Dimperio, by her own admission, loves to work. That desire helps her manage not only her career, but also her two children, who keep her busy with sports. “Work and sports,” she says humorously, “I feel like that’s pretty much all I do.”
Dean concurs, as father of four kids at home.
Mann says with a grin that he is thankful to have two adult children who no longer need to be driven to and from school and practices.
Regardless of what may sometimes seem like endless obligations, all three DAA executives still manage some time for recreation. Dimperio and Mann both express a passion for the water and sailing, and Dean fills his free time with hiking, biking and golf.
TO THE POINT:
Draper Aden Associates
Address: 2 Bayport Way, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Tim Dean, regional growth leader, Newport News