LACO History

When Ilmars Lagzdins first opened the doors to his Eureka office in 1954, serving the far reaches of Northern California was just a dream. A few years down the line, Lagzdins welcomed a new partner to the firm, Guy Conversano, and together, they incorporated the business in 1975, drawing upon their own last names for inspiration. Lagzdins contributed the “LA” and Conversano the “CO,” adding “Associates” to form a name that is now recognized throughout our communities.

Despite our growth at LACO, we have retained the responsiveness and personal touch of a small firm while demonstrating the management of comprehensive and sophisticated projects to meet our client’s needs. We rely on our experts, collaborators, and client vision to get the job done, while remaining steadfast to our mission to advance the quality of life for generations to come. In all we do, we model our core values: community, flexibility, and trust.

LACO History Timeline

LACO Associates Announces Native Ownership


Geospatial services added to the firm’s service offer


2022 Best Firm To Work For


Chico office grows with new team members


LACO expands to include team members working remotely from other states


LACO earns recognition as a Best Firm To Work For by Zweig Group for the third consecutive year.2020

The Shelter Cove Tank project, featuring several new water tanks for the rural coastal community, is completed. The Resort Improvement District No. 1, public officials, LACO engineers and professionals, and community members join in celebrating with a water tasting.

November 2019

LACO is recognized as a Best Firm To Work For by Zweig Group for a second year.September 2019

LACO is recognized by the business community and awarded Ukiah Chamber Member of the Year.May 2019

LACO heads inland to extend their services across the state and the doors open in the new Chico office location.April 2019

LACO is recognized by Zweig Group for Marketing Excellence in Social Media.September 2018

LACO is recognized in the Fast Growth category with Zweig Group.September 2018

LACO is recognized by Industry Leader, Zweig Group, as a Best Firm To Work For.September 2018

LACO and DobleThomas join forces, extending the reach and level of services in the Northern California region.July 2018

The Santa Rosa office expands services and opens a Materials Testing Lab.2017

Mike Nelson, AICP, becomes President and CEO.


LACO opens a new office in Santa Rosa, California.2011

LACO wins the ASCE Project of the Year for the complex Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria development project—the project involved geotechnical and civil engineering, survey, materials testing, special inspections, and engineering observations.2011

LACO puts another pin in the map and opens a second office in Ukiah.2008

To provide space to 30+ employees, LACO expands their Eureka office into the portion of the building previously occupied by Harley Davidson.2006

LACO is recognized by the City of Eureka with the Keep Eureka Beautiful Award of Merit. 2001

With 10 employees in tow, LACO Associates moves to the 21 W. 4th Street office location—today’s current LACO headquarters.1998

LACO celebrates their 40th anniversary to highlighting the expansion and remodel of the testing laboratory.1994

LACO Associates begins Fault Hazard Geotechnical Investigation at College of the Redwoods, providing a range of geologic services on projects, and facilitating a long working relationship and knowledge with the college, continuing to deliver services include those for trench projects currently in progress. The initial data gathered from trench fault mapping in 1989 was crucial in clearing the site for a Learning Resource Center.1989

Frank Bickner joins the firm. LACO extends their environmental services and begins work in UST removal, release characterization and remediation.1988

LACO opens an office in the Old Town Historic District of Eureka, at 216 J Street, overlooking Humboldt Bay.1987

Guy Conversano is Vice President of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Department. Conversano advocates and helps push forward support of a ballot measure that funded the new wastewater treatment system serving the City and ensuring compliance with a 1983 deadline with the Federal Clean Water Act.1980

LACO performs geotechnical investigation for the Silvercrest Eureka Housing Project, one of many housing development projects for which LACO provided extensive services.1979

Business becomes a Corporation.1975

Lagzdins designed a water sanitation project featuring a sludge tank, aerators, sediment pond, and oxidation and chlorinator settling ponds. The two large pumps had to travel all the way from Chicago.1971

Lagzdins holds the office of Vice President of the local Civil Engineers Society—receiving branch status with the American Society of Civil Engineers. 1966

LACO begins work alongside 3 other sub-contractors on the 30-million-dollar Pulp Mill project for Georgia Pacific—a project featuring 1200 persons of different crafts involved in the construction of the mill, completed in 1965.1964

Lagzdins works on a large Subdivision Project in McKinleyville. His experience in subdivision planning and engineering is substantial, and he contributes his knowledge to the development of several more subdivision projects across Humboldt County.1961

Ilmars Lagzdins opens an engineering office at 507 F Street specializing in building design, construction, subdivision engineering, and surveying.1954

LACO Founded

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