A Legacy of Engineering Excellence
A partnership between two Danish brothers led to the birth of Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. after they immigrated to the United States. Their journey began when they left their home county and landed in Australia, where they worked for several months before they could gain passage to the United States.
Working at Yosemite National Park
Once they earned enough to travel across the ocean, the two boarded a boat that took them to the port of San Francisco. At that point, they began working their way along the West Coast to Yosemite National Park. Then, they ended their journey in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley.
As surveyors, the duo worked for several significant 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 firm in the Central Valley.
Bed & Breakfast Business
With the creation of Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc., Lars Andersen’s wife, Ruth, was able to open up a Bed & Breakfast business in Santa Cruz, where Lars spent his weekends.
A Beautiful Home
The Bed & Breakfast was known as the Santa Cruz Tavern and still exists today as a beautiful home near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. You will see an original letter from a United States Coast Guard seaman, speaking of the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Andersen.
Incorporated in 1941
Through the successive passing of Segel and then Andy Andersen, Lars took over the business and gave it his name, Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. It was incorporated in 1941. With survey services as its foundation, the firm proceeded to expand into a civil engineering and design firm.
Growing With the Family
Lars kept the company in the family with the inclusion of his daughter Mary Mommer and grandson Scott Mommer on the everyday activities of his business. Lars worked at the firm well into his 90’s, taking pride in the large and bustling company that he and his brother established.
In his work, Andersen was fond of two adages, which he often quoted, 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.” And
“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.”
Taking the Legacy Forward
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 and taking the 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.
Building Trust and Business
Trained under the attentive eye of his grandfather to become the company’s president, Scott expanded the firm to its greatest size in the mid-2000s. It began catering to Fortune 500 companies all over the Western United States.
Creating Civil Engineers
Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. served as a springboard for some of the most prominent civil engineers in Fresno today. The company has allowed many to get started in the building and design industry. Several dedicated employees have continued to be a part of our success story.
Our firm maintains a great ongoing relationship with several distinguished engineers as they continue to contribute to the industry. One former team 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.
Manuel Furtado stayed with Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc. 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” deep gratitude for their contribution to Lars Andersen & Associates, Inc., one of the oldest civil engineering and design firms in the valley.
One of the Oldest, Family-Run Civil Engineering Firm
Seventy-five 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 Nation 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 Officer (COO). In 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.