Celebrating 20 Years
GTS is celebrating it’s 20-year anniversary this quarter. Excuse the cliché, but it’s hard to believe the years have flown by so fast! We will be celebrating with clients, employees, friends, past and present, in Chico, CA where it all began in the fall of 1998.
Of course, getting ready for the event required putting the guest list together, going through old photos and recalling good times and past projects. I must admit I got melancholy in the process. I remember Scott working out of the house for the first year while I worked part time handling contracts, insurance etc. and juggling home schooling for 3 of our four children. Our first major project was designing a 7-mile supply line to serve the Cache Creek Indian casino. Many thanks to Tom Horgan and John Mikacich for having faith in our little company to get that project designed and constructed. Jim Markland put the CM team together and ARB installed the line. Rod Lindeman set the reg station in operation and John Hunter ran the team that converted the entire casino to NG from propane in one night.
After that, we landed a job as “Owner’s Engineer” to route and oversee the design of a new 24-inch pipeline to the Rancho Seco power plant site. Joe Pennington was the SMUD Engineering director. We worked with Joe through many twists and turns to assist in getting the project designed permitted and constructed.
Another notable project from the early years was hydro-testing Line 400 for PG&E near Fall River, CA. The 36-inch pipeline was the single feed for PG&E into CA and had experienced a class location change. Under the direction of George Karkazis, GTS designed and managed the test to minimize the system outage. We also designed several tests for George in Folsom, CA on pipelines with unknown age and properties. Those jobs ultimately proved to be invaluable experiences that prepared us to support PG&E following the San Bruno incident.
Ben Campbell, Engineering officer for the San Bruno response, took a risk on our small company and hired us to perform the test designs for PG&E following the incident. Under the direction and mentorship of Ben, Roy Surges, Todd Hogenson and Kirk Johnson (and many others) We were able to complete 165 miles of tests on in situ pipelines in 9 months.
That work propelled us on to the national scene. Since then, we have had the privilege of working with many more talented clients. Rick Phillips of So-Cal Gas and Brad Beckman from Southern Company Gas just to name a few. The list goes on and on. We appreciate every opportunity and blessing we have received along the way.
As a result, 571 employees have worked at GTS over the past 20 years. We have been blessed to get to know everyone and hope in some way we have been a blessing to them as well. We are certain that the future of our industry has been improved by the bright minds that have chosen this career and been mentored by our talented leadership team. Many thanks to Mark Cabral, Bob Gross, Bob Lipscomb, Bill Blastic, Susan Chwistek, Joyce Stiengass, Roger Warr, Donovan Fink and so many others. We could not have done this without you.
Written by Katie & Scott Clapp