Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. was originally formed by the partnership of two Danish brothers after they immigrated to the United States. Their journey began when they left their home county, first landing in Australia where they worked for several months in order to gain passage to the United States. Once they achieved their goal of earning enough money to travel across the ocean, the two boarded a boat which took them to the port of San Francisco. At that point, they began working their way along the West Coast to Yosemite National Park, and then ended their journey in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. As surveyors, the two worked for several great firms in Fresno, such as the land survey firm of W.O. Gentry. After ending their tenure there, they entered into a partnership with Mr. Segel to establish their own firm in the Central Valley.
With the creation of this business, Lars Andersen’s wife, Ruth, was able to open up a Bed & Breakfast in Santa Cruz, where Lars spent his weekends. The Bed & Breakfast was known as the Santa Cruz Tavern and still exists today as a beautiful home near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk . By clicking here you will see an original letter from a United States Coast Guard seaman, speaking of the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Andersen.
Through the successive passing of Segel and then Andy Andersen, Lars took over the business and gave it his name, Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc., incorporating it in 1941. With survey services as its foundation, the firm proceeded to expand into a civil engineering and design firm. Lars kept the company in the family with the inclusion of his daughter Mary Mommer and grandson Scott Mommer on the every day activities of his business. Lars worked at the firm well into his 90’s, taking pride in the great and bustling company that he and his brother had worked to establish.
In his work, Mr. Andersen was fond of two adages which he quoted often, now fondly remembered by his grandson:
“A good contractor will make a bad engineer look good
and a bad contractor will make a good engineer look bad.”
“Every project should always be completed to the highest level of engineering, regardless of cost.
Quality should not be compromised so we can save the firm a buck”
Scott Mommer, the grandson of the firm’s founder, has always been passionate about continuing the legacy his grandfather established. With the mission of someday leading the business he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in civil engineering at California State University, Fresno. Upon graduation, after taking time to develop his skills outside of Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. as the Public Works Inspector for the City of Reedley, Scott returned and began working his way up through the ranks under the attentive eye of his grandfather to become the company’s President. In this position, Scott grew the firm to its greatest size in the mid 2000’s, catering to Fortune 500 companies all over the Western United States.
Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. served as a springboard for some of the most prominent civil engineers in Fresno today, giving them the opportunity to get their start in the building and design industry. Dedicated employees such as these have been and continue to be essential to the success and longevity of the firm. Our firm maintains a great ongoing relationship with many of these distinguished engineers as they continue to contribute to the industry. One former staff member who made a great impression on the firm was Manuel Furtado. After he was Honorably Discharged from the Navy in World War II, Manuel, known throughout the civil engineering industry as "Bucky," came to work at Lars Andersen, where he stayed for 46 years He continued with the firm until a short time before his death on October 13th, 1991. Our firm continues to owe the men and women like “Bucky” a great debt of gratitude for their contribution to Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc., one of oldest civil engineering and design firms in the valley.
75 years after Andy and Lars began pursuing the American Dream, Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. continues to thrive as one of the oldest civil engineering firms in the State of California. Mr. Mommer still leads the Lars Andersen team on innovative and exciting projects throughout the Western United States serving municipal, residential, commercial and educational entities in all areas of development.
Today, the firm’s current day-to-day operations are run by Daniel Zoldak, P.E., LEED AP, CASp, the firm’s Vice President and Chief Operating Office (COO). In Mr. Zoldak’s many years of serving the firm, he has successfully provided the leadership, guidance and progressive attitude necessary to diversify the firm’s client base and keep the firm thriving even in the most trying economic times.