Tag: History

A Tribute to Our Roots

Hoyle, Tanner founders gathering around a document signing

As we begin our 47th year in business, we pay tribute to our founders who exemplified courage, resilience, commitment and innovation while building the solid foundation from which the company operates today.

Doug Hoyle was a lot of different things — a graduate of Brown University, a Korean War veteran, a licensed pilot, an avid skier, motor sport enthusiast and co-founder of a company that still bears his name. Although his list of personal accomplishments is long, throughout his career, his key interest remained the same: to be recognized as Chief Engineer. In 1973, Doug Hoyle along with John Tanner and Bill Thomas founded the engineering firm Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. and opened an office in the Ammon Terminal building at Manchester Airport. This marked the beginning of what now has become a very successful 46-year history in the civil engineering business.

Together, the original team of three built Hoyle, Tanner from the ground up; their individual beliefs, experiences, talents and business strategies complemented each other nicely.

Doug would take the lead for the company in the field of environmental engineering. Doug understood that by utilizing the availability of funding from the federally-sponsored Clean Water Act of the1960s, water quality could be significantly improved, and this was to be especially relevant to the many municipalities in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. This work would become an important source of repeat business for the company, as well as establishing a reputation for high quality engineering in environmental services.

John Tanner also recognized the importance of a reliable source of funding for projects. His interest was in public transportation; he utilized the federally-funded Airport Development Aid Program which assisted airports by providing funds to finance capital improvements and maintenance projects. John led the way in this effort and was instrumental in building a national reputation for Hoyle, Tanner within the aviation industry. Unlike the other two founders, Bill Thomas was not an engineer but an experienced and insightful businessman who played a crucial role in business development, serving as the face of the company, and playing an instrumental role in important business decisions that affected Hoyle, Tanner’s future. Their personalities interwove together perfectly.

Doug Hoyle, a man of unwavering honesty and integrity, was a competent and traditional professional who made rational and calculated decisions. His pride was not in the name on the door but instead in his duty as Chief Engineer.

John Tanner was a gifted manager and a natural leader. John was always forward-thinking with big ideas and an ability to listen to a room full of people and distill a complex discussion to its core elements.

Bill Thomas was very personable; a natural conversationalist at ease in any social or business situation. Bill possessed the sound judgement and insights that would help to establish the firm’s culture and guide the company through future technological changes.

Together, the founders created a company culture of customer-driven quality and professionalism that is still very much in evidence at Hoyle, Tanner today. For 46 years, the company has been resilient and adaptive, embracing challenges and taking measured risks that are in the best interest of both our clients and our employees. Engineering is a continuously evolving industry. Hoyle, Tanner’s ability to adapt, anticipate these changes and persevere is something that has been with us since we first started in 1973 and that will continue to see us through our 100th year in business.

Founders black and white photo with names

This piece was written by Grace Mulleavey and Frank Wells.

A Look Back: Heliport System Planning

In the early 80’s an effort was made to focus a portion of the FAA’s Airport Improvement (AIP) grant program on the needs of heliport infrastructure through heliport system plans, master plans and design and construction. The FAA had been collecting taxes from helicopter owners and operators for some time without, in the opinion of the rotorcraft manufacturers and operators, investing in the industry. This enhanced attention on heliports came to the immediate attention of Hoyle, Tanner as we were already committed to aviation design and planning and were closely monitoring industry trends. Our Director of Aviation Business Development at that time, knew well that the greatest concentration of commercial helicopter activity was in the south, namely in New Orleans which was a hub for helicopter service to the offshore oil industry. Added to this as an impetus was the fact that the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission also wanted access to the downtown area via helicopter service. The convergence of these interests and the availability of funding came together in the form of a commission for a Downtown Heliport Study, which Hoyle, Tanner was awarded, due in large part to contacts and relationships in the industry. Our study, which was very well received by both City officials and the public, led to another more comprehensive undertaking for Hoyle, Tanner; the Louisiana Statewide Heliport System Study; the first in the nation!

We took this success and our newly found reputation as heliport consultants to the western gulf and Houston, Texas. It was there that we completed another heliport study for the City of Houston and soon after embarked upon a project that would lead us another first for Hoyle, Tanner and a 25-year client relationship 1,600 miles away that continues to this day.

Next stop was Dallas, Texas for another heliport location plan; followed by Hurst, Texas and then on to Phoenix, Arizona for yet another. Our reputation as experts was by this time unquestioned and we moved still further west.

In terms of prestige, you’d be hard pressed to surpass that of our next two clients. First, the Southern California Association of Governments, which is the largest metropolitan planning organization in the county, representing 6 counties and 191 cities in the Los Angeles area, and second, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey where we were retained to conduct a verti-port study for Manhattan. This was the big-time for Hoyle, Tanner, and we had a full-time staff of eight aviation planners supporting our heliport and airport clients.

The Hawaiian Islands are also an area that sees intense helicopter activity, driven by tourism and inter-island commercial interests. So when the Hawaiian Department of Transportation sought to plan and develop a facility dedicated solely to helicopter operations on the island of Kauai, Hoyle, Tanner drafted conceptual plans; another first for us.

The activities described so far took place over a period of almost seven years. Natural events and changing economic times brought an end to this unique body of work. On September 11, 1992, Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful storm ever to hit the Hawaiian chain, devastated the island of Kauai, putting an end to the need and incentive for that facility.  The downturn in the national economy at that time suppressed helicopter activity, lowering the priority of heliport development versus fixed wing airport development.  Our string of successes in the heliport sector of aviation had played out, but we made our mark!