Ayres Associates Inc
Posted: September 17, 2008
Ayres Associates has been a part of the Chippewa Valley for nearly 50 years. The company has grown from humble beginnings to a staff of more than 400 people working out of 17 offices in eight states, but there's never been any discussion of moving the company's corporate headquarters out of Eau Claire.
Ayres Associates traces its beginnings to 1959, when the five-person engineering firm of Garnock, Ayres, and Loken Engineering and Surveying was officially established in Eau Claire. The company worked out of the Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Eau Claire. In 1962 the company was renamed Owen Ayres & Associates, Inc. The corporation's legal name changed to Ayres Associates Inc in 2004.
The company grew as the City of Eau Claire grew, expanding services and capabilities to meet the needs of the region. At first, services included architecture, surveying, and municipal services. Work for the transportation and water resources markets began in 1964 and the environmental market in 1965. In 1978 photogrammetry was added to the list of services, and in 1987, waste management services began.
As Ayres Associates has enjoyed the benefits of the Chippewa Valley, the firm has contributed to the quality of life in the region. The company was involved in the design of the Eau Claire County Airport runways, improvements to L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, the city's wastewater treatment plant, Seven Mile Landfill, Eau Claire County Courthouse and jail, and many more projects. Ayres Associates has been a part of many of the region's commercial developments, including the Oakwood Mall.
Although retired, founder Owen Ayres maintains an office at corporate headquarters and dedicates his time and talents to community projects. The company has remained in Eau Claire, he says, because "It's the best place in the country." He cites the quality of health care, excellent educational opportunities, and the friendliness of area residents as reasons any business would want to settle and remain in the Chippewa Valley.