How We Started – Part 1

By Lee Consavage

I began my engineering career in 1984 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS). After working for PNS for 12 years, I took advantage of monetary incentive being offered to any federal employee agreeing to leave the federal government during the downsizing that occurred in March 1996. I then worked for 3 different consulting engineering firms in Boston from 1996 until October 2001, when I returned to PNS. During that time I commuted daily to Boston while still residing in my southern Maine home. As it turns out, several of my future partners also took the same path, working for private companies for several years before returning to the shipyard in 2001 and 2002. The economy at that time was hit with the double whammy of the 9-11 World Trade Tower attacks and a recession. Private companies were now downsizing. But PNS was hiring. In fact PNS was actively contacting engineers who had left to now return to PNS, with all benefits reinstated (just like we never left). So I returned.

In early 2005, however, rumors were rampant of the impeding closure of PNS as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) act. The purpose of this action was to close or realign 25% of all military bases located in the United States. Not wishing to relocate or to start commuting to Boston again, I decide to start a new consulting engineering business here in Kittery. But I wasn’t about to undertake this endeavor on my own, especially since I had no experience with starting and owning a business. So I asked 6 highly intelligent, hard-working, and very personable fellow PNS engineers (whom I very much enjoyed working with) if they would care to become partners with me and establish a new consulting engineering company in southern Maine. All enthusiastically said “YES!”


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