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Crossing the Red River:
Texas Engineer's Move to Oklahoma Sparks Success at Kimley-Horn


As an Oklahoma transplant, James Bryan spends most weekends with his wife, Lisa, and two young sons, Briggs and Brooks, exploring everything their state has to offer. Even after five years, his family is constantly discovering new ways to enjoy their home base.


“Oklahoma feels like home now,” said Bryan. “We’re making a wonderful life here.”


Born and raised in Texas, Bryan received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and embarked on a career with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., spending 12 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area focused primarily on water-related projects in addition to roadway and drainage design.

In 2019, Bryan had the opportunity to relocate to Oklahoma City to help grow the firm’s water and wastewater practices in the state. It turned out to be a good move for Bryan and his family.

“We love living in Oklahoma. There’s a lot of crossover between Oklahoma and Texas where it counts most: family oriented, traditional values and nice people.”


Kimley-Horn’s presence in Oklahoma dates back to 2015 with an office in Oklahoma City, and just recently the firm opened a new branch in Tulsa. While Oklahoma employees work on a variety of cross-functional projects, problem solving is always a crucial part of the mix.


“No day is ever the same,” said Bryan. “You may start out with a to-do list and an idea of how the day’s going to go, and then things come up that you can’t anticipate. You’ve got to be able to adapt and work together to get things done.”


Collaborating on day-to-day challenges that arise is a high point of Bryan’s job. “Growing up in sports, being part of a team was always something I enjoyed. Applying that team mindset in my career and lending a hand to something bigger than myself is something that really resonates with me,” he said.


That synergy helps contribute to Kimley-Horn’s positive workforce culture. In fact, for 16 years in a row, the company has been named one of FORTUNE 100’s Best Companies to Work For. In addition, Kimley-Horn has been recognized with numerous awards including FORTUNE Best Workplaces for Women™, FORTUNE Best Workplaces in Consulting and Professional Services™, Best Workplaces for Millennials™, and PEOPLE Companies that Care®.


A primary interest of Kimley-Horn is to be a good steward of the communities it serves. Oklahoma employees are active in service projects and volunteering with nonprofits like Wings, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and City Rescue Mission. The firm’s endowment fund, The Kimley-Horn Foundation, recognizes employees for their outstanding community service by providing grant donations in employees’ names to the organizations they support.


“Oklahoma is community-centric, and our company recognized the culture and environment here strongly align with our core values,” Bryan said. “It’s why our company chose to invest here and we’ve been steadily growing ever since.”


An early supporter of Open For Business Oklahoma, Kimley-Horn is passionate about attracting the best talent to the state.


“We feel strongly about advocating for policies that bring the best of the best to Oklahoma, because we’re here to stay,” Bryan said. “On a personal level, the relationships and connections I’ve made through OFBO have been invaluable, especially as someone who’s new to the state.”


Oklahoma has proven to be a great fit, both for Kimley-Horn and Bryan and his family. “We’re fully vested. We’re part of the fabric of Oklahoma now,” he said. “It’s where we want to be.”

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