KOP Insiders delves into the stories of the people who make King of Prussia one of Pennsylvania’s most dynamic live-work-play-stay destinations.
In depth interviews provide insight into the companies that make up our diverse business community and put a face to the individuals behind the business. In this edition, we are joined by Jim Rodgers, Chief Strategic Officer for Dawood Engineering, Inc.
Can you give us a little background into Dawood Engineering and your role as Chief Strategic Officer?
Dawood Engineering was founded 30 years ago. We’re a civil engineering firm, primarily, with a lot of other associated disciplines. Dawood employs about 150 people, making us a medium-size firm in our industry. We’re active in several specific areas from a market perspective, which is a good way to explain what we do in our King of Prussia office. Our focus is on land development and municipal engineering, transportation engineering, real estate development, and energy and utilities. We also have a very large surveying and mapping group—a big component of what we do nationally and internationally and uncommon among firms our size.
I started with Dawood 10 years ago as the Marketing Director, and my role has evolved since then as part of the Senior Management team. As Chief Strategic Officer, I focus on business development and client relationship management. My job is to forecast market trends and position the firm to diversify our client base.
What motivated Dawood to establish an office in King of Prussia? How has operating in KOP contributed to the company’s success?
King of Prussia is one of our larger offices—we’ve been in the region for 12 years. A big reason why is because of the work that we do with PennDOT District 6. For example, Dawood specializes in supporting pedestrian walkway designs throughout Southeastern PA compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In fact, there are few places you could walk in the Philadelphia region where we haven’t examined, designed, or worked on implementing a pedestrian ramp during the last decade. Since we’re growing at such rapid pace, Dawood moved from Wayne to KOP a few years back. We now have staff closer to PennDOT’s KOP office to stay better connected with transportation infrastructure initiatives.
Overall, we realize the KOP region is booming. For us, opening an office with all these amenities close by has been great for recruitment—If people are going to spend any time in an office, they want to do it at this location! We also have employees who live in the KOP Town Center and the Village at Valley Forge, which are great spots to meet with clients.
What makes KOP a good fit for your employees and company culture?
By virtue of everything there is to do in KOP operationally and socially with after-hours events, it’s a real plus to be here. As KOP Rail continues to evolve—something we’re particularly attuned with since we may work on it at some point—there’s another open door for greater community connectivity and business growth.
In our industry, talent is the name of the game. We’re selling the expertise of our professionals, which is only going to become more pronounced here over the next few years. As an economic development and infrastructure solutions provider, Dawood is well-positioned in KOP for investment opportunities.
What are some of your favorite things to do in KOP?
I enjoy spending time with clients and staff in the King of Prussia Town Center because it’s so close to our office. KOP is such a wonderful community with so much to offer that it’s easy to convince clients to come here.
What do you anticipate King of Prussia Rail doing for the region?
King of Prussia Rail will provide fertile ground for further commercial and residential development. We’re all still trying to figure out what the world looks like post-pandemic as it relates to the workplace. If you’re going to be in the office even a few days a week, the ability to live in a place where you can easily commute into a major center creates a lot more opportunity for growth across all sectors. It’s not just about the basic infrastructure—it’s what comes next.
Pennsylvania is absolutely red hot for residential development in a way that we haven’t seen in over 10 years. A big part of that is because it’s less expensive than other metropolitan areas—even in the Philadelphia region. There’s tremendous interest from large national builders to invest in all kinds of single and multi-family development. And KOP Rail continues to open that investment door—creating more opportunities for everyone.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about moving their company to KOP?
I feel like every time I travel to our local office, there’s something new to see and do. Simply put, if you’re looking to open an office, you need to be in a place like this. If you’re going to attract top talent, you need to offer an experience that affords the lifestyle beyond work that makes it worth their while. For Dawood, KOP is that place.
The floor is yours. Tell us anything else you’d like to share about Dawood.
Dawood is an exciting company, and we’re continually looking to attract that top talent. As I mentioned, infrastructure is the theme of the day. As we continue to expand, we want to hire at scale and offer the best experience. Our office here in KOP helps us tremendously in that respect. If you live in the region and want to work for an innovative and progressive company, then we want to hear from you.
About Dawood Engineering
Celebrating 30 years of excellence, Dawood Engineering transforms global infrastructure. The firm has planned and designed sustainable environments throughout King of Prussia, statewide, and nationally. Dawood’s family of companies features dedicated Government Finance Solutions, surveying and geographic information systems development, and technology extensions in Eurasia through ArchiTube, its 3D building information modeling arm in Poland. Dawood delivers award-winning visual design and predictive analytics to planning, economic and land development, energy, environmental, municipal, real estate, retail, transportation, and utility clients. The company’s workforce development, mentor-protégé, and community programs advance STEM, diversity, and inclusion.
610 Freedom Business Center Dr Suite 108, King of Prussia, PA 19406 | www.dawood.net