This year BRECKON landdesign celebrates 10 years in business. To commemorate this milestone, I spoke with Jon Breckon about the firm’s evolution over the last decade.
BRECKON landdesign grew from Jon’s desire to focus heavily on quality and bring work into stronger accord with his own values. He also admitted to a touch of entrepreneurial spirit, and a rising conviction during the early years of his career that he’d like to “take on the challenge of building and leading a firm.”
So Breckon landdesign began, in Jon and wife Kristie’s Boise home on January 1, 2007. At that time, with two young children playing underfoot, it didn’t take long for Jon to decide that an outside workspace might be a good idea – if not a necessity.
Jon opened shop in Garden City in May of 2007. He hired his first employee a month later. By November, workload was robust enough to warrant the hiring of Chuck Edwards as project manager and Adam Johnston to provide production support. Around that same time, BLD also opened a Moscow office. This promising momentum continued through the first months of 2008.
Then the recession hit.
Though it took some time to feel the effects in Boise, by spring of 2009 it was clear the firm was experiencing more than the typical winter slowdown. Jon eventually had to cut loose all but one team member. The skeleton crew that remained-- Jon and Chuck – crowded into a single small office, scrambling to stay busy.
As with any character-building experience, it’s never much fun at the time, but often has a way of teaching us important lessons. Through persistence, hard work, and careful strategy, BRECKON landdesign survived the crash of 2008. The downturn experience, according to Jon, “galvanized a path for how we would do business in the future.”
That future included diversification. Whereas BRECKON landdesign had previously focused on education, land planning, and residential projects, the need to expand service offerings in a more challenging economy now steered us towards military, waterscapes, and private sector commercial work. For his part, Chuck reached beyond his primarily landscape architectural background to develop expertise in emerging technologies like3D presentation graphics.
Now, whatever the specific goals each year, the mandate to continually expand our scope of services still holds strong, as does our determination to build and lead effective teams. At BLD, our overriding goal is to serve clients well as an integral part of every project team, whether acting as lead consultant or a sub to other disciplines.
Having survived the rigors of a tough economy, BRECKON landdesign continues to grow and expand our geographic reach, with professional licenses in 14 states as of this posting. Ten years in, the BLD team is now 14 employees strong. (As an aside, it's gratifying to note that all team members laid off as a result of the downturn have since returned and are counted among our core staff.)
In 2016 we were proud to add a civil engineering division to the firm. This furthers our holistic approach to land planning and site development by allowing for true integration of landscape architectural and civil engineering design, and guarantees successful projects that meet functional objectives while holding to the highest aesthetic standards. It also dovetails with our company mission to deliver high-quality design that improves our community by providing beautiful outdoor spaces where our clients can live, work, and play.
A heartfelt thank you to our clients and colleagues who continue to challenge us with landscape architectural and civil engineering design projects. We look forward to serving you in the decade ahead.
Posted by Kim Warren