2021 WTS-LA Employer of the Year Award Winner: HNTB

The Business of HNTB Is Business…and More


A renowned economist posited that “the sole purpose of a business is to generate profits.” While true for some firms, other firms see an additional, yet equally important goal, to provide an equitable, safe, and inclusive work environment. HNTB not only generates profits it also provides a shining example of how a corporation can create both revenue and an equitable, fair, and inclusive environment for their workers, clients, and the communities they serve.

Founded in 1914, HNTB is an infrastructure design firm with offices throughout the United States. HNTB’s more than 5,000 professionals improve the lives of millions through their design of iconic sports facilities, airports, bridges, tunnels, roadways, rail and transit systems, and other infrastructure. Handling some of the world’s most complex and challenging infrastructure projects, HNTB’s sophistication and achievement is matched only by its inclusive, diverse, equitable culture. These values have guided the firm for more than 100 years, dating back to its origins working on Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco Bridge in 1914. And that legacy continues today through projects like the Metro Sepulveda Transit Corridor, Metro Eastside Gold Line Extension, and the City of Los Angeles Sixth Street Viaduct, to name a few. But their work is not just about industry-leading projects.

HNTB actively engages in the communities they serve, communities where their employees also live and work. On the national level, HNTB contributes generously through people and funding to several meaningful organizations. On the local level in Los Angeles, HNTB professionals drive community engagement through volunteering, leadership, and participation, including partnerships with Shoes for the Homeless, Heal the Bay, Coastal Cleanup Day, and sponsorship of the Getty House Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Series. And their work has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. In addition to WTS-LA’s acknowledgement, the Los Angeles Business Journal named HNTB as one of the “Best Places to Work in Los Angeles” in 2020 and honored HNTB’s Lilly Acuña as a finalist for its 2021 Community Impact Award. Also in 2020, the Los Angeles chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies honored HNTB as its “Member Firm of the Year.”

HNTB has an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which naturally helps the firm fulfill WTS-LA’s mission to advance women in transportation. On an international level, HNTB is WTS International’s only Strategic Partner, the highest level of support. Locally, HNTB is an enduring WTS-LA Platinum Partner, also the most advanced level of support. But their sponsorship goes well beyond the financial. In fact, the firm boasts more than 350 WTS members, including 15 women senior executives and 30 employees who are current or former national and chapter-level leaders, including Vice President Susan Martinovich, Vice President Yvonne Lopez-Diaz, Executive Vice President Mike Sweeney, Project Manager Heather Anderson, and Transportation Engineer Andie Tempelis. HNTB actively encourages and supports employee engagement in professional organizations. And WTS is an overwhelming favorite in that regard. Without HNTB’s support and participation, WTS and WTS-LA would most certainly be a lesser organization.

But perhaps the best way to illustrate HNTB’s selfless devotion to equality, justice, and the betterment of the transportation industry is through one of its own, an HNTB professional who is also vital to WTS-LA. Chapter First Vice President Heather Anderson believes her role in the chapter is to “strive to positively impact our evolving industry. My goal is to unite and lead people on the importance of transportation, and most importantly, to educate the next generation of transportation leaders.” Again, HNTB not only fully supports these goals, but shares them as well.

Because of HNTB’s longstanding commitment to justice, its demonstrated belief in equity, and its selfless dedication to action in that regard, and many, many other reasons WTS-LA proudly names HNTB as the 2021 WTS-LA Employer of the Year.