You know that curb you step off every morning walking your dog in Colorado Springs? Or that gushing rainwater that flows past your house along the Front Range? Or that road or bridge and smooth asphalt you zip over on the way to work?
You may want to give a shout out to Basis Partners for ensuring Front Range roadways, bridges, and drainage projects are efficiently designed and built to improve your safety and convenience.
Basis Partners is a Colorado Springs-based engineering firm that provides the design and construction management of projects primarily for the City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
Safety in Numbers
Basis Partners engineers are charged with overseeing and inspecting the City of Colorado Springs 2C infrastructure projects, which includes repairs and upgrades to sidewalks, curbs, gutters, storm sewers and pedestrian ramps. In November 2015, Colorado Springs voters approved the 2C ballot item to increase the city sales tax for five years to complete roadway improvements. In the 2019 November election, a five-year extension of 2C passed for resurfacing roads and associated infrastructure improvements.
Dino Bakkar is one of three founding partners who oversee a team of 27 engineering, construction management and inspection professionals at Basis Partners.
Dino is a seasoned civil engineer who cut his teeth on engineering principles as a young boy growing up in Syria. Born in the States while his father completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming, Dino has his dual American and Syrian citizenship and moved with his family to Syria when he was just a year old. Dino moved back to Wyoming in 1983, his senior year in high school, before attending his father’s alma mater to study civil engineering.
“I’ve always been kind of mathematical and attracted more to numbers. I’m good at deducing things through numbers, which lends itself naturally to engineering,” Dino explains. “When I was a kid, I’d get toys and I’d break them down and see how they worked and put them back together. I always wanted to know how vehicles or anything that moved worked. If anything that ticked, I wanted to explore.”
Today Dino’s numbers-oriented, detailed nature proves a solid fit for helping run the successful company alongside Alex Pellegrino and Derek Phipps. The trio left a larger engineering firm to open their doors with Basis Partners November 4, 2019. They worked previously with some of the Basis Partners team members, which promoted an instant foundation of established trust and professional cohesiveness.
Keeping Business Local
“It was a great decision to partner with Alex and Derek. They are young and the energy of the company. They are intense go-getters,” Dino says. “I bring senior experience and am able to see and mange through scalable decisions to guide the business and avoid pitfalls. I enjoy the diverse partnerships and I enjoy the decisions that we make quickly to stay flexible and nimble as a business. In engineering and construction management, we frequently find ourselves having to size up challenges and adapt.”
Adapting along the eastern slope of the Rockies, means anticipating and responding to roadway infrastructure and streetscapes affected by age, heavy use, and what Mother Nature may decide to unleash. Add in the ever-growing population, and it’s no wonder area roadways, bridges, sidewalks, and other transportation critical infrastructure take a beating.
Through it all, Dino and the Basis Partners team are committed to a people-first mentality and keeping all aspects of their business local. Basis Partners purposely selected their information technology, accounting, legal, real estate, marketing, and other support networks from the community. Doing business with other Colorado Springs companies is one of the chief reasons Dino, Alex, and Derek chose to work with First National Bank Colorado.
Benefits of Local Banking
“We like being able to call the bank and know the names of people we are familiar with.
When we started the company, we met with Quentin and Jeff and presented where we were and where we were headed and what our business may look like,” Dino recalls. “We were brand new and had no previous credit as a company, but they were present enough to understand our company. They understood we were eager to do business with them, they quickly understood our business model and that we bring sufficient credibility to be able to repay any requested funds as they are needed along our business venture and partnership.“
Now with an established cash flow and the company with a secure business and team foundation, Basis Partners is looking ahead to retaining their earnings and making long-term investments. “If we were working with a larger, national-type bank, we would not have been able to acquire a loan as quickly as we did. A loan delay would have put our company structure in jeopardy. But working with First National Bank Colorado kept us whole and focused on growing our client base and growing the business.”
Serving the Taxpayer
Because of their mission emphasis to take care of their people, Dino, Alex, and Derek are drawn to the relationship side of partnering with First National Bank. “There is more humanity to First National Bank Colorado than most…there are human roots to what they do.”
That’s a perceptive comment from the engineer who says he’s drawn to the mathematical and immersed in engineering terms from “asphalt” and “load” to “excavation” and “concrete”. Basis Partners delivers a number of services including design, construction management, and program management from Pueblo up to Boulder, with future plans to expand to the Western slope.
The engineers, construction managers, and inspectors continually shift around locations to make sure everything is finished correctly and on time and often under budget. Basis Partners inspects the work of contractors and ultimately serves taxpayers.
“Everything we do, the decisions we make impact public health and safety every day. We help improve people connections and how individuals go to work and come home safely,” Dino explains. “When we finish a project, we like to make sure it is whole and that it is safer and much better to use. And that is completed with good and efficient service. We’ve returned money to our clients because we didn’t spend it all. Good, efficient service to the client leads to good, efficient service to the public. The public is ultimately our client and we work persistently to make sure they are getting great service.”
So tomorrow morning when you’re out walking the dog or driving to work, take a minute and appreciate the streetscape around you. Hats off (and hard hats off too) to the Basis Partners team who are keeping you healthy and safe.