2021 has been a remarkable year for Day & Zimmermann in many ways, especially as we mark a historic milestone by celebrating 120 years in business. Since year-end is approaching, I feel that there is no better time to share what this year means to us, and some thoughts on our Day & Zimmermann legacy.
The first noteworthy aspect of our anniversary is what a rare achievement it is. Day & Zimmermann (est. 1901), along with engineering and construction companies Bechtel (est. 1898) and Gilbane (est. 1870), and the more commonly known supermarket chain, Wegmans (est. 1916), are some of the very few examples of the largest privately-held, family-owned, American businesses with legacies dating back more than a century.
These are businesses, run by the same families over generations, that weathered the Great Depression and World War II – long before any of us reading this were even born. Businesses that faced their own challenges throughout the years, adapted to the evolution of technology, and, most recently, navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. The age of our company, along with its incredibly rich history, is something we should all be proud of.
But 120 isn’t D&Z’s only recent anniversary of significance. Not only did Yoh Company mark 80 years in business last year, but we just passed the 60th anniversary of the Yoh family signing their ownership agreement on November 6th, 1961. Additionally, Mason & Hanger (acquired by D&Z in 1999) is the oldest continually operating engineering firm in the country, dating back almost 200 years.
I believe that being a privately held, family-owned company, combined with our great legacy, is a huge competitive advantage in most of our markets. I’m proud to work here, and I hope our employees are proud as well. I have been associated with the Company for more than 40 years – ever since I was working at Deloitte, where Day & Zimmermann was my first client. I have stayed with D&Z for this long because of two things – our dynamic culture, and our unwavering values.
As we enter a new era, our focus is on strategic growth, and our vision for the future is to accelerate the next generation of innovation. And while it’s important to put our focus towards the future, it’s equally important to have knowledge of our past. In honor of our 120th birthday, I’d like to ask you to take a few minutes out of your day to reflect on who we are and how we got here. You can do this by checking out some of D&Z’s history, and I hope you’ll find the details as fascinating as I do. As we continually take on new challenges, new responsibilities and new roles, it’s even more rewarding to do so when you have a true understanding of where we started, compared to where we are today.
We know the reason for our success over the last 120 years. It’s our people, who are the best of the best in their field. It’s our four core values, which have been a constant in our corporate DNA. And it’s our long-standing promise that we have lived by, since our humble beginnings back in 1901: “We do what we say.” Thanks for being here to celebrate 120 years with us, and I look forward to what’s next.