Colby Co. employees enjoyed a weekend retreat at the New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket as summer winds down.
This is our fourth annual trip to the beautiful Katahdin region. The area offers plenty of recreational activities, including white water rafting, hiking, biking, kayaking, walking, swimming, and having fun!
The weather this weekend (rain on and off, as it has been all summer!) didn’t stop employees from spending plenty of time outside, bonding with nature and each other.
We are so grateful for the work that our employees do year-round, and look forward to our pilgrimage up north every summer as a chance to relax and spend some quality time with each other outside of the office. We are already looking forward to next summer’s trip back to NEOC!
Summer is in full swing, and Colby Company has had some fun events to celebrate the season.
In June, Colby Co. invited staff and their families to the Portland Sea Dogs for a Friday night fireworks game! After enjoying some classics including hot dogs, beans, and of course, Sea Dog Biscuits, it was time to watch the game. The Sea Dogs were on fire, and won the game, and then everyone who stuck around got to see a great fireworks display. It was a wonderful way to visit with CCE families and enjoy early summer.
July brought lots of rain, but we lucked out and had a beautiful, clear night for our employee Sunset Cruise with Portland Schooner Co! CCE boarded the Wendameen, a 1912 schooner built in Maine, off the Portland Pier, and enjoyed a few hours out in Casco Bay. We were also lucky to have personal charcuterie boxes, arranged by local company Charcutemarie.
We feel lucky to live in Maine during the summer and appreciate so much of what our state has to offer!
We are excited that Heather Sustersic, a structural engineer here at Colby Co., will be representing Colby Co. at the upcoming Masonry Society’s 14th North American Masonry Conference in Omaha, Nebraska this June. Heather will be presenting twice during the conference – once on the new Appendix D to TMS 402 for GFRP bars, and again on the Existing Masonry Guidelines task group’s work to develop an existing masonry code.
This is Heather’s second time presenting at this international conference. Heather will be attending, leading the RC subcommittee and EMG task group meetings, and serving as an At-Large representative to the Board of Directors.
Heather has been a member of The Masonry Society since August 2016. We are proud of the accomplishments she is making through The Masonry Society, as well as the impact those changes make to this industry. Well done, Heather!
It’s been 15 years since Calen and Sarah Emily Colby decided to start their own engineering and design business – and in the time that they have grown to a team of 65, they have also maintained the founding company values, including that of service and giving back.
That’s why we are launching a new campaign – “15 years, 1500 hours.” From now through the rest of the year, Colby Co. is committed to spending 1500 working hours volunteering in our local community.
Colby Company already offers all employees two paid days of volunteer time – to encourage employees to find something they are passionate about and support it. However, in order to achieve our ambitious milestone, Colby Co. is offering an additional day and a half for volunteer time.
Since 2008, Colby Co. has donated more than 1700 hours worth of volunteering (including at The Opportunity Alliance, Maine Needs, South Portland Food Cupboard, Animal Welfare Society, and Sebago Lake State Park – to name a few), and hosted 2 food drives and 6 blood drives. In 2019, CCE began a relationship with The Opportunity Alliance, donating winter gear for ten of their clients through their Winter Warm Up Campaign. In 2020, TOA creatively pivoted to a different model for the WWU program, and between employee contributions and a dollar-for-dollar company match, Colby Co. has raised more than $40,000 for TOA’s Winter Warm Up Campaign.
As a way of celebrating our 15 years in business, we decided to create our “15 years, 1500 hours” campaign to help celebrate CCE’s value of community, supporting one another, and donating our time and efforts to help those in need. We are very excited (and intimated!) about this initiative.
In order to help us achieve our goal, CCE is teaming up with the United Way of Southern Maine to help connect us with many local nonprofits and opportunities to get in our volunteer hours. We are looking forward to building our budding relationship with them, and giving back to our community.
Have ideas or questions about our 1500 hour campaign, or have any interest in volunteering with us? Let us know!
The month of May marks a special milestone for Colby Company – we are celebrating 15 years in business this month.
Since its inception in 2008, Colby Co. has grown from a company of 4 people working in the Colby’s home in Lyman, Maine – to a 65+ person company with a bustling office in downtown Portland.
When asked why they decided to start their own business, the Colbys said the following:
“As I matured as an engineer and manager, I thought that I could run a design and construction management firm differently, building on the knowledge that I had gained,” Calen Colby said. “I thought that we could truly listen to our clients and give them what they needed, and that we could treat each other with kindness and respect as we worked together. One of the greatest joys of this career is when a highly functioning team gets together and brings all the best ideas forward for consideration on a project.”
Sarah Emily Colby said that while the timing of launching their business was scary, it created a unique opportunity for them as well. “Starting a business during a strong economy and then watching the economy fall into a deep recession four months later is a feeling of unease that I will never forget. Our industry was hit very hard during this time period but the silver lining is that it allowed us to hire some very talented people when we were a young company.”
Colby Company has registrations in 35 states, six Canadian Provinces, and world-wide project experience. We have provided designs for new projects and renovations with estimated construction costs ranging from $100,000 to $100,000,000. Colby Co. has served as the prime Architecture and Engineering firm for the design of building projects totaling a combined $500M+ in construction costs.
In 2020, Ben Townsend and Brian Beaulieu were added to the ownership team. Brian was the first employee at Colby Co., and Ben has been with the company since 2010. They have both grown with the company in the years that followed, and served as both engineers and project managers, before becoming part owners in 2020.
“As engineers and architects, we have one of the best jobs,” Townsend said when asked why he decided to join the leadership team. “There are no two projects that are the same and there is something to learn on every project. There is so much joy in seeing the facilities that take months and years for planning and design come to life and to be a part of that team. There is also nothing more enjoyable than seeing team members grow and to help foster an environment of continuing growth and knowledge. Being able to support the many exciting and challenging projects with our clients and working with the tremendous, creative, and bright team members at Colby Co. is a dream opportunity and job.”
So, what does the future look like for CCE? “I hope each and every one of us continues to put family first and treat each other with respect and kindness,” Beaulieu said. “That, followed by continuing to provide amazing customer service to our clients. If we focus on that, everything else will fall into place. I also hope that we continue to land exciting, challenging and creative projects that stretch all of our potential and make us enjoy coming to work each day.”
15 years later, Colby Co. remains committed to the principles it was founded on (and many phrases that any employee or friend of CCE know well): Our first priority is to keep people safe, and our second priority is to create fun, interesting designs; family comes first, always; remember to ask, “How can I help?”; always say the second thing that comes to your mind, and make sure it is kind.
CCE celebrates design, collaboration, successes of coworkers, volunteering and giving back to the community, and is a proud Maine-owned business who loves to celebrate and support other local Maine businesses. We are looking forward to seeing how our story continues in the next 15 years and beyond.
Colby Company employees have been enjoying all that Maine has to offer this winter with some fun outdoor activities.
In February, employees and their families hit the trails at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. Employees participated in activities that included cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. Our crew was also able to enjoy lunch together at Pineland’s new Outdoor Center.
This was our second time holding the winter event at Pineland, and we are already looking forward to next year!
Our second adventure happened in March, when we headed back to the slopes of Sunday River. Our second annual trip to Newry was the perfect way to kickoff to St. Patrick’s Day weekend. We were able to spend the day making turns and carving tracks, before gathering together in the afternoon for an Après Ski!
We are grateful to live in a place that offers a variety of activities year round.
Colby Co. was proud to team up with the Opportunity Alliance once again this year for their annual Winter Warm-Up drive.
CCE offers a $1 to $1 match as a way to challenge employees to raise money. The drive is held throughout the month of November to kick off the holiday season.
Together as a company, we were able to raise $12,000 for The Opportunity Alliance.
During our first Winter Warm-Up fundraiser in 2019, CCE staff donated warm clothing for families in need, including coats, boots, snowpants, hats, and mittens. In the three years since then, Colby Co. has raised nearly $50,000 in monetary donations for The Opportunity Alliance.
We are proud to support a local organization that works to support all of our neighbors.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Colby Co. employees spent last Friday volunteering at several nonprofits throughout the state, in our company’s first Day of Service.
During a year of continued uncertainty and need in our community, we were eager to give back in a small way.
CCE teamed up with several organizations, including Good Shepherd Food Bank, South Portland Food Cupboard, Preble Street, Maine Needs, Animal Welfare Society, and The Opportunity Alliance, for a variety of activities.
Some of our tasks included sorting and packaging food, organizing clothing and other items for families, cleaning and painting, creating and donating kits for families, and signing greeting cards.
It was a wonderful opportunity for departments to spend time together, as well as give back to the community.
CCE ended the night with a holiday gathering at Liquid Riot.
It was a wonderful day of giving, and CCE is looking forward to making this an annual tradition!
Colby Co. is honored to be recognized once again as one of the “Best Places to Work in Maine”. CCE was selected as the 2nd place winner in the Medium (50-249 employees) company category.
This is the fifth year in a row that CCE was selected with the distinct honor.
To qualify for the honor, the Best Companies Group sends out an anonymous survey for employees to fill out. The survey looks at the overall workplace – seeking responses in several categories, including on company practices, programs, and benefits, and allowing for anonymous feedback that the company can learn from.
Colby Co. is grateful for all of our employees, who make our work easy and rewarding every day. Congratulations to all of the other businesses on the list as well!