In 1979, Dave Coffman founded Coffman Engineers as a seven person structural engineering firm in Bellevue, Washington. From the beginning, Dave recognized many key principles necessary for running a successful company. He structured the business with a different point of view to be more than just an engineering firm. He focused on valuing creativity, outside the box thinking, technology, having respect for customers, and respect for employees. He credits these leadership insights to his background in sports, military service, and schooling at Central Washington University, the University of Washington, and UC Berkeley. He believed in hard work to stay at the forefront of engineering and being competitive while remaining humble. Those values remain ingrained in the company’s culture today.
As the Founder, Dave says his greatest success at Coffman was finding talented people and respecting the team to build a successful company. Dave is a remarkable leader and continues to advise leadership on lessons learned and on founding values, but he especially enjoys stepping back to watch new leadership guide the company forward. He frequently mentions that he was the “right guy to start the company and that the current leadership are the right ones to keep it going.”
Under Dave’s leadership and vision, Coffman Engineers experiences continuous expansion in geographic presence, number of staff, and engineering services offered. Today, while the firm is larger, more diverse, and in the hands of new leadership, the company remains true to our hometown roots and dedicated to the success of our employees and clients.