KOA is now part of Lochner!
We are excited to announce that KOA Corporation has been acquired by Lochner, a leading provider of planning, environmental, design, construction engineering and inspection, and right-of-way services for surface transportation, rail, transit, and aviation clients across the United States.
We care deeply about our profession and found a partner who shares our vision, mission and values for connecting communities and making our roadways safer for all users. It’s business as usual, only now we have more resources and capabilities for delivering innovative solutions and enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve.
Together, we look forward to providing unparalleled engineering, mobility planning, construction management and safety consulting services – across all modes of transport – throughout California.
Founded in 1987, KOA Corporation (KOA) is a leading provider in professional services in transportation engineering, mobility planning, and construction management for public agencies and private sector clients. We offer our clients technical knowledge, innovative solutions, and responsive services. Our focus on safety for all roadway users is the foundation of our professional practice. KOA engineers, planners, construction field specialists, and project managers all take pride in our well-established reputation as transportation safety experts. The hallmark of our success is our dedication to each and every project and our desire to leave a legacy of extraordinary contribution to our communities. Our staff includes registered civil and traffic professional engineers, certified transportation planners, certified road safety professionals, project/construction managers, and construction inspectors. With five offices located in Southern California, KOA provides professional consulting services for some of the largest public works and planning projects for all modes of transportation throughout California.
In December 2022, KOA joined Lochner, a national transportation infrastructure firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, providing planning, environmental, design, construction engineering and inspection, and right-of-way services for surface transportation, rail, transit, and aviation clients. Together, we have more resources and capabilities for delivering innovative solutions and enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve.
LACDPW ON-CALL TRAFFIC DESIGN SERVICES PURSUIT
KOA is seeking qualified firms certified by the County in the Community Business Enterprise (CBE) Program for our team. We would like to invite you to submit your qualifications for consideration on the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, On-Call Traffic Design Services pursuit. The final submission is due to the County on 03/14/2023. If you are a CBE certified firm and would like to join our team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why I Do What I Do
I never really thought about the “why do i do what i do” question before, but looking back at the things that I have been interested in and have enjoyed doing at various stages of my life has made me realize why I do what I do. From simple pencil drawings to full 3D hand renderings and digital renderings, tinkering with various items to see how things work and are put together, thinking about how to improve products, designing products, and wanting to be an architect have led me to the planning and engineering field. Wanting to be an architect was the main channel that got me into planning as I saw planning as a larger-scale version of architecture, designing/planning for a larger group of people. Now, after being in the transportation planning and engineering field I have realized that all of those the things that I have been interested in and have enjoyed doing throughout the years have been about helping people in some way. Being part of the planning team and conducting multiple community outreach efforts in various types of communities has made me realize that there are many people, including some of my own family members, who rely on various modes of transportation or have needed better accessibility to move from place to place, especially when it comes to safety. Safety, especially in transportation, is one of my main areas of interests where I would like to do my part to provide a safer environment for all users of transportation facilities and within our own neighborhoods, especially to those who rely on non-motorized transportation. I want to be part of a group that helps improve the safety of our friends, families and future generations.
My dad is a very talented hobby-level artist. Growing up, my brother and I would watch him draw with absolute joy, whether it was back-of-the-napkin sketches or full-blown oil paintings. So naturally, we were always interested in art, and found ourselves taking up drawing too. For me, it also became an activity that spilled into my academics. Wherever I could I would inject as much artistic creativity as my school projects would allow. Over time, I grew to love the concept of being able to take an idea, nurture it, and put it on paper to create something that wasn’t there before. And there’s a balance to be had in creating an effective piece of art. It requires you to improve yourself and understand when to do more, and when to do less. Which I find to also be a cherished value in my present life—flexibility and balance—and knowing when and how to apply it. Fast forward to today, where my schooling took me from an interest in architecture, to civil engineering, to transportation, where a lot of my present work comprises a mixture of both planning and engineering disciplines. And this is where I find why I do what I do. “Transportation Engineering” is the loose term that I would use to encompass what KOA mainly does. Which, broadly speaking, is simply getting people from Point A and Point B in a way that best balances the multitude of competing interests that are inevitably wrapped up in that. We are constantly having to balance modes (cars, trucks, trains, pedestrians, bicyclists), priorities (safety, comfort, environment, aesthetics, efficiency, socioeconomics), available money, constant changes in technology, and physically limited spaces within which to build what we want. But ultimately, the process of balancing the needs and demands of the overall Project Development cycle (programming, planning, engineering, construction, maintenance) is what I find to be the most fulfilling and rewarding, and something that KOA has never failed to offer me. We are afforded the opportunity to get involved in the entire process of how our transportation system is improved. Taking a conceptual idea in someone’s head, to a plan that is developed and re-worked by lots of other smart and passionate people, getting the money to fund it, designing it to scientific and precise engineering standards, and ultimately constructing in real-life what was once just a dream. Just like my dad used to do with a pencil and paper, only on a much grander scale. And lots more people. Which amplifies the creative experience because the success of one person becomes the success of the many, and vice versa.
I rode my bike everywhere in Los Angeles during the early 2000s, hundreds of miles every month. As a safe streets advocate, wrenching in bike shops during the day, and attending public meetings and events at night, I was frustrated that change wouldn’t come to my city’s streets. On the day I met my future wife, she told me “You’re a planner, you just don’t know it yet,”; I had no idea what she was talking about. But once my wife enlightened me, opening my eyes to the planning process, I started grad school at night, got myself a planning degree, and decided to get inside the process to effect the change I wanted to see. As I worked with more public agencies, private firms, and community organizations, I slowly started to see my contributions and recommendations becoming a reality! I also engaged broadly with international developments in transportation, learning more about protected intersections and cycle tracks to dynamic pricing, transit development, goods movement and funding policy. It’s a real motivator to see these changes happen and the (mostly) positive effects they have in cities and neighborhoods. At the end of the day, nothing beats riding your bike on the cycle track that you helped develop and bring into being! Planning also lets me engage the problem-solving, analytical side of my brain in such a compelling way. I enjoy solving technical challenges and partnering to create practical applications of technology and design. There are an unlimited number of issues and needs that planning interacts with, with the continuous challenge to re-engage, learn more and develop new partnerships again and again keeps me coming back. While it can still be frustrating and difficult, planning never gets stale, and there is always something interesting to learn about, in every place and every day.
For some reason unbeknown to me, whether you want to call it fate or luck, I fell into a career that fits me perfectly. Growing up I was always good at math and I was a very meticulous, cautious, and perfectionist kid. I loved to solve problems. I had all the traits of a good engineer! I stumbled on engineering as I was applying to college. It isn’t until now, as I reflect on why I do what I do, that I realize how much of a fit this career is for me. I do what I do because it is what I was meant to do, and it is what I am good at. Engineering comes naturally to me.
Growing up in New York City exposed me to many different types of transportation and urban forms. I grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, and lived across the street from the mainline of the Long Island Railroad, where hundreds of commuter trains a day passed. We were about two blocks away from the subway and a major bus transit line. We did not have a car for the better part of that stage of my life, so everywhere I went to was either on the subway, a bus, and when old enough a bicycle. Exploring the City by these means exposed me to many different types of urban form and neighborhoods. Whether by myself or with my friends we traveled all over the city and even to NJ on school holidays and during the dogdays of summer either by bike or transit. My fascination with transportation and cities led me to studying geography, planning and finally transportation engineering which led me to my career in transportation. I have spent most of my career in southern California, with additional opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. I have also had an opportunity to work on a proposal in the Netherlands. While I have worked on nearly every type of transportation project one could dream of, I look forward to continuing to help Los Angeles with more advances in the development of a world class transportation system.
I am a people person. I value the connections I make in the work environment and consider those interactions as important to generating a positive organizational culture. A company’s biggest asset is the employees and I am gratified to be assisting the employees in our organization with their day-to-day questions, concerns, and considerations related to benefits, policies and programs. The Human Resource function, though sometimes overlooked, is critical to a successful organization and I am committed to making the function a valued and integral part of the organizational structure. Happy employees make a better company, and I feel I am part of the employee satisfaction team. My duties allow me to visit all offices and to get to know most of the staff, while implementing new programs and serving as liaison with employee-related consultants/vendors. I am learning, growing, and positively impacting the organization through the use of my skills as a communicator, listener and resource. And I happen to be good at accounting! That is why I do what I do.
In a word: people. I do the work, ultimately, because adequate and accessible Transportation and Mobility are critical elements to a functioning society. That brings great responsibility and value to the endeavor. The work affects the built environment that we all get to move around in; I think being a small part of making that environment safer and more efficient (among other things) is pretty cool. I was drawn to the field as a civil engineering student at UMass Amherst because I loved how “public” it was relative to other Civil disciplines. As an undergraduate, when the options were to hang out in the soils lab, play with pipes and pumps, or go spend half the day counting cars at the intersection down by the Howard Johnson’s on Route 9 – I thought the choice was obvious. The connection to people was tangible, and I thought that Transportation was a terrific avenue for doing work that could affect people’s lives. I’ve stuck with the field for the past 21 years, also, because of the people. The people I work with. I have and have had the pleasure of working with people who constantly teach and inspire me. I love the teamwork, the engaging discussions, and the problem solving. And I’m now in a phase of my career when I get to mentor and share a few tricks of the trade with the next generation, which is fulfilling. I feel like I have found a home in Transportation. I’ve found my people. That is why I do the work I do.
In my 20 years as a planner, I am excited to make places safer and more accessible for people of all ages and abilities. In turn, my work makes people healthier and society more equitable. Even on my most stressful days, the opportunity to improve quality of life for others makes going to work rewarding and worthwhile.
Create a safe, accessible, sustainable transportation environment that embodies diversity, equity and inclusion for future generations
What our clients have to say...
“I really enjoy working with KOA, they have always been conscious of the schedule and budget and are very responsive to any questions”
“I’m thankful to have partnerships that I can trust”
“KOA Corporation was along for the entire 10 year ride it took for the project to become a reality”
“I was quite impressed with how your firm did on this project. Your staff was professional, met deadlines, and always kept us in the loop as the plan developed. Thanks very much for providing such a high degree of professionalism. I could not ask for better service than what your firm delivered”