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Rochester Top 100: Diversification keeps its designs on growth

Rochester Business Journal
July 15, 2016

Bergmann Associates Inc., the architectural and engineering firm, is gearing up for a downtown move as it continues to grow through diversified offerings and keeping up on the latest technology.

The firm was founded in 1980 and has a dozen offices along the East Coast and in the Midwest, but Rochester remains its headquarters with 185 employees.

Bergmann ranked first (based on the number of engineers on staff) on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of engineering firms and third on its list of architects.

Thomas Mitchell, president and CEO, said a mix of local and out-of-state projects are contributing to the firm’s growth.

Locally Bergmann is working on projects such as Town Centre at Webster and Baytowne Plaza redevelopment in Penfield, as well as assisting with the conversion of Marketplace Mall into an outlet center.

The firm also is partnering with the city of Rochester and Corn Hill Neighborhood Association on the West River Wall Master Plan, which is aimed at improving access to the Genesee River.

The business has been growing in terms of staff and revenue. Bergmann logged sales of $62.4 million in 2015, up from sales of $60.4 million in 2014, and  projects sales of $62.5 million in 2016.

Employment has grown to 395 staff companywide, up from 387 in 2015 and 360 in 2014.

It is a tight labor market for architects, engineers, planners and other technical specialties, Mitchell said, adding Bergmann has hired college graduates as the majority of its new employees in recent years.

The company relies on summer intern programs to set the table for future hires, he said.

The firm’s growth has been in multiple business sectors, leaders said.

Highway and bridge work in Michigan has seen significant growth, Mitchell said.

Bergmann also has seen an increase in rail engineering work with railroads CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

The retail/commercial, energy demand, research and manufacturing sectors have been strong as well, he said. There also has been a recent uptick in the higher education sector.

Mitchell said he believes the market outlook is good, given Bergmann has a diverse business that provides services to the private and public sectors.

“We have seen several downturns in the economy over the last 36 years and believe we are well-positioned for any business cycle,” Mitchell said.

Bergmann’s headquarters has been downtown since its inception, and its leaders said it is committed to remaining there. The company this fall is to move from its East Main Street site to Tower280 at Midtown, where it plans to occupy the entire second floor—60,000 square feet.

The company stays in front of the competition with three-dimensional modeling technology, geographic information systems and, more recently, drones.

The firm has had three drones for several years now and has been testing their use and application and training staff.

Bergmann was one of the first New York-based architecture and engineering firms to receive a certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones commercially.

Mitchell said he believes the drones will be most used for site inspections, especially of railway lines.

Bergmann has worked on several projects with Wilmorite Construction LLC, notably upgrades at area malls.

Paul Wilmot, president of Wilmorite Construction, described the Bergmann staff as responsive and creative.

“We know they will be timely, budget-conscious and in line with our needs every time,” he said. “(And they) are a pleasure to work with; an invaluable trait in our business.”

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. The 2016 Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 3. For more information, go to

Bergmann Associates Inc.
Design firm providing engineering, architectural and planning services
Year founded: 1980
Top executive: Thomas Mitchell, president and CEO
Current employment: 395 (185 locally)
2015 ranking: 90
Headquarters: Rochester

7/15/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email


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