GD&F Employees Named To “2017 Foremost Under 40” List

Pennsylvania Business Central recently named two GD&F employees to their annual list of 39 young professionals who exemplify the “work ethic and determination needed to find success in business”.

Chris Eckenrode, PE and Travis Long were chosen from among a long list of nominations from the publication’s 23 county readership. The finalists were chosen by PA Business Central’s editorial selection committee. Those named to the list have made a positive impact on the Central PA business community and also give back to their communities through volunteering and mentoring.

Chris Eckenrode, Senior Project Engineer

Chris Eckenrode, PE,
Senior Project Engineer

Travis Long,Senior Project Manager/Senior Environmental Scientist

Travis Long,
Senior Project Manager/
Senior Environmental Scientist

Fort Loudoun Membrane Filtration WTF Marks Dedication Of Advanced 1.0 MGD Plant

The Bear Valley Franklin County, PA, Joint Authority held a dedication ceremony on September 22 to commemorate completion of one of the most technologically advanced water treatment plants in the region. GD&F designed the project, which includes fully integrated coagulation and flocculation processes for pretreatment of high – turbidity well sources. Jim Balliet, Chris Eckenrode, P.E., and Bob Lechner were GD&F’s key personnel on the $11.5 million project.

Altoona Reservoir System Designated National Landmark

On September 15, The American Water Works Association recognized the City of Altoona’s Reservoir System as an “American Water Landmark”. A formal presentation was made at the Horseshoe Curve’s Visitors Center.

Douglas Komandt, representing the Pennsylvania Section of the Association, presented Altoona Mayor Matthew Pacifico with a plaque designating Altoona’s system as an “American Water Landmark” and notes its “significance in the history of public water supply”.

The Altoona Reservoir System, an outstanding example of 19th century hydraulic engineering, is one of only three Pennsylvania systems to be given this prestigious award over the last fifty years. Gwin Dobson & Foreman Engineers, consulting firm to the Altoona Water Authority, submitted the necessary application, records and historic construction photographs to the American Water Works Association. Mark Glenn, president of GD&F, said, “I have always believed that Altoona’s outstanding reservoir system was worthy of a national landmark designation. This formal acknowledgement and recognition is a tribute to the engineers, builders, and Altoona’s city officials and citizens who all contributed in different ways to our abundance of safe water.”

GD&F Makes Corporate Donation In Support Of Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Gwin, Dobson & Foreman made a $5,000 donation to the Greater Houston Community Foundation for relief efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The Foundation will administer these funds at no cost so that donations go to immediate and long term relief efforts which include shelter and temporary housing needs, food and supplies, healthcare, transportation and childcare, among others.

GD&F Participates In Chamber’s NextGen Program

Courtney Sweet, drafting technician hired through NextGen, Andy Arnold, Design Operations Director and Bob Beck, CADD Manager

Courtney Sweet, drafting technician hired through NextGen, Andy Arnold, Design Operations Director and Bob Beck, CADD Manager

A recent edition of The Blair County Chamber’s newsletter featured an article about GD&F’s success in hiring a new employee through The Chamber’s NextGen program. The Next Generation Workforce initiative was initially created to help young people understand the “importance and integrity of work”, but now, the program is helping employers, too.

New Additions To The GD&F Team

Austin Adams is a summer 2017 engineering intern working on various GD&F electrical engineering assignments. He is a senior in the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Penn State Altoona. A resident of Cresson, Austin is scheduled to graduate with a BSEMET degree this December.




Jessica Sprouse has been hired as a marketing assistant on GD&F marketing projects and proposals. Jessica, who lives in Altoona, is a Penn State graduate in Business Administration and, she earned a Masters Degree in Health and Human Service Administration from Mt. Aloysius College.




Jennifer Zendek works with other office staff as an administrative assistant. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a BS degree in Health Services Administration. Originally from Beaver Falls, PA, Jennifer now lives in Hollidaysburg.




John Berkavich, E.I.T. joined our team in February as a Structural Engineer. John will be working on GD&F civil-works projects including buildings, foundations, bridges and related structures. A BSCET graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he is pursuing an MSCE degree from Ohio University. He possesses an NBIS bridge certificate and is a PA Engineer-in-Training. John lives in Windber.

City Of Cumberland, MD, Selects GD&F To Evaluate Systems

The City of Cumberland selected Gwin, Dobson & Foreman to perform a comprehensive evaluation of their water and wastewater treatment facilities. These wide-ranging studies will be performed under the direction of John DiFonzo, P.E., City Engineer and Rodney Marvin, Director of Facilities Operations. This is the latest of several projects GD&F has performed for the City over the last 15 years.

Altoona Reservoir System Receives American Landmark Designation

GD&F has been notified that the Altoona Reservoir System has been selected by American Water Works Association to receive the prestigious AWWA American/Canadian/Mexican Landmarks Award.

Working from vast archives housed at the GD&F offices, Mark Glenn, company president, submitted the application that included the Altoona system’s background information, and photographs, plans and drawings dating as far back as the late 19th Century.

Designed by C.W. Knight, Rome, NY, the Altoona system of multiple dams, reservoirs, bypasses, tunnels, and other hydraulic control features addressed the challenges of supplying potable water to a major railroad city that had no major streams or rivers. The system, located at the world famous Horseshoe Curve, has been in continuous operation for 130 years. Operated by the Altoona Water Authority, the only major modifications to the original design have been dam safety upgrades and water treatment facilities.

GD&F is proud of its long association with this historic facility, and its service as a steward for this important community resource.

GD&F Designs Waterline for Lead-Impacted Elementary School

To address an emergency water supply situation, Gwin, Dobson & Foreman designed a 3 mile main extension to the Summit Township Elementary School and 100 residential customers in Butler County. The elementary school was closed in January after reports of lead and E.coli contamination was caused by the school’s on-site well.

In April, Pennsylvania American Water (PAW) directed GD&F to immediately prepare surveys and designs for the $2 million project. The plans were completed in 3 weeks at the high standard of completeness and clarity that GD&F is known for.

Remarking on PAW’s responsiveness, State Representative Brian Ellis said, “…Ensuring the students and parents of Summit Township Elementary School will have safe and reliable drinking water is of utmost importance. Pennsylvania American Water stepped up to the plate to move quickly and the timeliness of this project will allow us to be ready for the new school year…”

Hats off to Garret Hargenrader, P.E., Project Engineer; Jerry Brunner, PLS, Chief-of-Surveys, Bob Beck, CADD Manager; Brandon Plummer, Sr. CADD Technician and Travis J. McElheny, Designer, for a job well done.

This design is the latest PAW project that GD&F has done in recent years which includes water treatment facility upgrades, water storage tanks, sewer and waterline replacements, control valve vaults, and chloramination stations, among others. We are proud of our association with Pennsylvania American and the positive impact these projects have on local communities.

GD&F Exhibits At AWWA Conference And Exposition

Andy Johnson, Jim Balliet and Mark Glenn represented GD&F at ACE17 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, June 11-14. The annual AWWA event is billed as the world’s premier water conference, and this year, 11,500 water professionals attended.