History

KenAndMaryJo-resized

True and responsive expertise – these qualities are the foundation on which ISG was built when Gene Isakson and Ken Surprenant started I&S Engineers in Surprenant’s basement in 1973 with a mission to provide civil engineering expertise to southern Minnesota. Today, more than 40 years later, ISG is employee owned, serve clients across the U.S., and continues to help clients succeed while developing young professionals into strong leaders along the way.

Shortly after the company’s inception, Ken Surprenant and his wife Mary Jo took over sole ownership when Isakson left for another venture. At that time, the firm began to expand its business by adding other engineering services including structural, mechanical, and electrical. In 1993, Ken and Mary Jo’s son, Chad Surprenant, graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and joined the firm. Over the years that followed, Chad began assuming significant management responsibilities, adding architecture to the firm’s service offerings and later being named company President in 2001. Under his leadership, the firm developed and grew significantly, adding the disciplines of land surveying, landscape architecture, environmental, and planning to its services.

Over the next several years, ISG’s reach continued to expand, opening additional office locations, while the firm’s expertise broadened. In January 2012, ISG merged with a long-standing civil engineering firm based out of northern Iowa, strengthening the firm’s overall team and expanding its geographic presence. In 2013, ISG acquired a reputable local design firm strengthening the firm’s architectural expertise. Two short years later, a project partner and respected industry peer from Green Bay was acquired, bringing with them a stronghold in the Wisconsin area and extensive expertise in industrial and healthcare design.

With different iterations of the firm name that naturally occurred through the evolution of ISG, our full service firm has been branded with the formal name ISG since 2014, providing high-level architecture, engineering, environmental, and planning strategies, services, and guidance to a wide range of markets nationwide.

On January 12, 2017, ISG formally announced its transition of firm ownership to a 100% employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). As a multi-disciplinary firm that started nearly a half century ago, ISG has since grown 250+ employees, is consistently recognized as a Top 500 Design Firm by Engineering News-Record (ENR), a Zweig Group Hot Firm, and PSMJ Circle of Excellence recipient, illustrating the progressive increase in talent, expertise, and market share.