Board of Directors – Outside Director

Raymond F. Messer, P.E. ACEC DBIA

18 Years at KJ
54 Years in Industry

Ray served as CEO of Walter P Moore, a structural and civil engineering consulting firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, for 22 years and chairman of the board for 17 years. He was with the firm for 36 years before retirement in June 2017, and as CEO he led the growth from a regional firm to a national and international company. Walter P. Moore employs approximately 600 professionals located in 13 offices across the United States and two international offices.

He has 48 years of experience in engineering design, project management and construction with a special interest in the interface between design and construction. He currently services on the board of directors as an outside director for Kennedy Jenks.

What does Service, Trust, and Purpose mean to you?

Service in business, similar to service in personal life, is helping a client achieve its objectives in a safe and effective way. It is only natural that this extends to the communities in which we live, work and play, as well as to the employees in our company.

Trust is having a relationship among clients, staff and other professionals upon which each of us can rely. It is about doing what we say we are going to do in a truthful and thoughtful way.

Purpose is what we are about and why we exist. As a company, purpose is focused on what we want to accomplish and for whom. As individuals, purpose is focused on what we want to accomplish with our lives and what we want to accomplish in serving others.

Clearly, service, trust and purpose are linked.

Keys to your success?

The foundation to my success was established by my parents on the ranch I grew up on in eastern Montana. It was there that I learned that success comes from hard and smart work. My mother was a part-time, rural school teacher, and she instilled in me a passion for learning. My father was a traditional cowboy and rancher, and he taught me the value of working hard and doing the job right the first time.

Once I graduated from college (Carroll College in Helena, Montana and Columbia University in New York City), I met my wonderful wife, Elaine, in New Jersey. She has been incredibly supportive and helped me transition from the rural to the urban environment. Without her, I would have struggled mightily. And, of course, I had a series of great mentors and supervisors throughout my career who gave me guidance and insight.

What are you passionate about?

Elaine and I are blessed with two children, both of whom have advanced degrees and have great careers and families. We have five grandchildren, and I am passionate about helping them as they advance their education and make their own choices about interests. Similarly, I love to help young professionals find their way in their careers.

Finally, I love to help companies become successful, in whatever way I can, and watch the leadership develop confidence and become successful mentors in their own right. I get great satisfaction in seeing others that I have encountered become successful beyond expectations.


Ray was active in ACEC for over 30 years until he retired from Walter P Moore in June 2017.

He also served on the ACEC Life/Health Insurance Trust board for 15 years.

He remains active in the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).