In 1996, someone decided that it would be fun to see how many retired persons would like to have a get-together for the purpose of re-establishing friendships and sharing what's-going-on stories. A significant number of people, mostly from the CVO and RDD offices, agreed with the idea and attended, meeting at Ashland, Oregon (midway between CVO and RDD). And lo, the idea quickly morphed into the CH2M HILL Alumni Retreat!
Two years later, Tom Gibbs figured that Seattle would be a great place for a retreat in 1998. Not to be outdone, Les Wierson and Gene Suhr spearheaded the 2000 retreat in Portland. Joe Worth took on the task for the next meeting, held in Baker City, Oregon, in 2002. The RDD office sponsored the next get-together in Redding in 2004. By then, corporate became interested; and, largely through the efforts of Ralph Peterson, the next meeting took place in Denver. This one featured an attempt to reach out to the whole family of retirees from all of the companies that by then had become part of CH2M HILL. It was held in 2005 and featured a cash incentive of $200 per attendee, contributed by corporate. Each attendee was also given an advance copy of what will become (in 2011) a history of the success story that is CH2M HILL.
Corporate-sponsored events followed at Orlando (2007), Sun Valley (2009), San Diego (2011), and Denver in 2013. By then, the Alumni Retreat had become an eagerly awaited event with planning for each new meeting begun on the final breakfast meeting of the preceding retreat. But, with time comes changes. In 2014, a group of retirees and alumni working with corporate recognized that the retreats should become self-funded and regional reunion events rather than national; although, it was readily agreed that any alumni may attend. The first PNW reunion was held as a trial run in October 2015 in Tri-Cities, WA, under the leadership of Rick Luebbers and his committee. It was a great success and led to an “official” PNW Reunion planned for September 2016. Discussions with the reunion organizers for the SW region, Jerry Boyle and Don Marske, led to the group joining the PNW group in 2016 for the now-entitled "Western ReUnion," again open to all alumni. Other regional reunions in the U.S. and globally are encouraged and will be included as they evolve in the coming years.
Be sure to check out the many photos under this portion of the History listed by location! If you have information or pictures from previous retreats and would like to share them, please let Gordon Koblitz know. If you are interested in organizing reunions in your area or helping with reunions currently in the planning stages, please also contact Gordon.