It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of one of our long-time staff members, Dale Kopp. One of our foundational technical employees, Dale has been with ARRO Consulting, Inc. (ARRO) for the last 52 years, beginning first as a draftsperson and now retiring as a Senior Project Manager. His rich knowledge of the field, vast technical experience, and amiable nature made working with Dale a pleasure for all of us here at ARRO.
At the age of 19, Dale started his career with ARRO, then known as Huth Engineers, after studying mechanical drafting at the Pennsylvania Center in Johnstown. He was hired the same day as his interview, kicking off what would be a fruitful career at ARRO.
After being with ARRO for over half a century, Dale believes that the key to a rewarding career centers around enjoying your work. He says, “I never resented that I had to come to work, because it never felt like work to me, it was just neat stuff to do.” Working with ARRO’s clientele has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job. “I love working with clients directly,” he says. “About 20 years ago, Matt Brown gave me my first client, and I still work with them today.”
Reflecting back on some of his past projects, Dale says working on the Chambersburg Borough Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion project was one of his most rewarding career experiences. During the two-and-a-half-year project, Dale completed Resident Project Representative (RPR) work and managed the construction phase as a project manager. Throughout his tenure at ARRO, Dale has contributed to over 270 individual projects!
For younger engineers, Dale’s best advice is to be responsive and to rely on your management team. He encourages rookies to seek their client’s input, to be communicative, and to be proactive in order to get ahead of any potential problems. Dale truly embodied ARRO’s mission — to be out in front.
As for why Dale stayed with ARRO? Along with enjoying his work, the mutual respect and cooperation of his colleagues made him stick around. He credits appreciation from ARRO’s project teams and upper management for creating such a great work environment, which goes a long way!
Although we’re sad that we won’t have the pleasure of working with him in the future, ARRO wishes Dale heartfelt congratulations on a well-deserved retirement, with gratitude for his many years of hard work and numerous contributions. ARRO Executive Vice President and COO, Matt Warfel, P.E. says, “I’ve worked with Dale for 17 years and have probably learned more from him than from anyone else I have worked with at ARRO. Dale’s knowledge of design and construction goes back 52 years, and I have enjoyed our discussions of how things were done years ago and taken advantage of the incredible resource he is on clients, projects, design, etc. Dale has been a fantastic coworker, committed to the company, all of us who work here, and our clients. More importantly, I consider Dale a friend and have enjoyed time outside the office, stopping for breakfast or lunch, and hope to continue that friendship as Dale enjoys a well-deserved retirement.”
ARRO Vice President, Darrell Becker, P.E., shares, “Dale supported ARRO (then Huth Engineers) hiring me as a full-time engineer after working as an intern for two summers. I appreciated Dale’s confidence in me as a young college graduate so many years ago. I wish him the very best in retirement and hope he is able to visit his grandchildren often.”
ARRO Chairman G. Matthew Brown, P.E., DEE, adds, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Dale for over three decades. His professionalism and attention to detail have served his clients and the company extremely well. His experience is broad-based and whether it be a design task, a project management assignment, or a construction project, Dale has illustrated an exceptional way to list the questions, gather the facts and solve the problems. I wish him the best for this next phase. He will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of working with him.”
It would come as no surprise to anyone who knows Dale, that he would inspire others, and we were fortunate enough to have Dale’s son Doug join the ARRO team in 2018. When asked about his father’s career and retirement, Doug recalls, “My dad has had an amazing career at HUTH/PSC/ACER/Hyder/ARRO starting as a drafter at 19 years old, continuing to work and learn the water and wastewater industries, and gaining the experience needed to become a CAD manager and a very successful project manager. Along the way he’s tried to share his knowledge with coworkers and clients alike, treat everyone with care and respect, supported his wife and 3 sons unconditionally, convinced me to study engineering, and ultimately sparked my pursuit of a career in wastewater treatment.
“Dad, your retirement is so well-deserved, and I’m excited to see what this next chapter of life allows you to experience and accomplish.”
Dale says leaving ARRO will be “bittersweet.” Looking forward to his future outside of the working world, Dale and his wife are planning a trip to Washington state to visit his family and grandkids. His hobbies include gardening and model railroads, and he’s excited to volunteer at the Strasburg Railroad and the PA Railroad Museum.
As of April 1, Dale will begin his retirement. He will be sorely missed. We are grateful for the experience of working alongside him, and we wish him luck in all his future endeavors!