Each day we whittle away a little more. Sketching, writing, noting, signing our name to projects that will change our communities. Putting pencil to paper. Drawing upon our experience. Writing our future.

Before we had computers or smartphones, before acronyms like BIM or CADD had meaning, we had our own two hands and a sharpened No. 2. Our ideas were on-point, and so were our utensils. So much so that company founder H.H. Henningson was known for always having his pencils sharpened to a finger-pricking point.

Then entered Willard Richardson, the “R” in HDR. As vice president and secretary-treasurer, Richardson encouraged resourcefulness, perseverance and maximum efficiency. When new hires started, they were handed two fresh pencils. When those ran short, they went back to Willard for more. But rather than opening up a box of fresh utensils, he had another solution – a pencil extender.

This was about more than saving a few pennies. It was about utilizing all of our resources. About finding new solutions to age-old problems. Sound familiar?

Today, pencil sharpeners are hard to come by. An extender is even rarer. We do our writing through keyboards, touchscreens and digital recordings. But one thing still holds true: we use every resource to help our clients. That philosophy helped write our history, and it will certainly help write our future.