William Bracken, founder of Bracken Engineering, recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, has been entrepreneurial as far back as he can remember. In high school, he grew his lawn business so large he had to sub out work to his peers. In college he built lofts for student dorm rooms and later launched three different businesses that he consolidated into the current iteration of Bracken Engineering, a 75 person diversified engineering and forensic consulting firm.
"Our differentiator is at the base of our culture," Bracken said. "We have an expression we live by - 'It is what it is.' By that we're reminded to respect our licenses and our obligation to the public. As a service business we recognize that our clients are best served by helping them understand exactly what they have and how to deal with it. In addition, and based on our experience with GrowFL, we intentionally mix the Baby Boomer generation with Generation X and Millennials into a practice group or mentoring model. We find that they each have much to teach the other. We also find that it fosters mentoring both up and down."
Bracken Engineering, Inc. is organized into three divisions. "I took the three strongest businesses that I started and pulled them together to be divisions," Bracken said. "We have a consulting and engineering division focusing on the built environment. We have Information and Resources for Professionals, a division that provides support, resources and CEUs to various licensed professions. Lastly we have Public Safety Specialists, a division made up of a collection of individuals who work in the first response or public service space, serving to train fire, emergency management, etc. and to provide staffing to municipalities during times of disaster."
Bracken is humbled that his firm has been named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016 and states the honor is not really his. "The organization deserves it," he said. "For the people here regarding what we've accomplished and our plans moving forward, it is both a feather in their cap and pat on their back to tell them they are on the right track. To be recognized is confirmation that it is working."
Bracken's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to be careful what you wish for. "It's truly not for everyone," he said. "There are lots of sacrifices so if you are not fully committed you need to think long and hard about doing it. Then if you are committed, don’t let anyone stop you."