About LACO

Who is LACO?

We are LACO Associates; “LAY-KO”, a  multidisciplinary engineering consulting team with offices in Eureka, Ukiah, Santa Rosa, and Chico. Our team utilizes decades of local experience and the complementary strengths of our experts to deliver professional consulting services. Setting the stage for seamless development, infrastructure, and environmental projects, we specialize in surveying, engineering, planning and geology. For over 65 years we have been building a personal connection to our clients, becoming trusted advisors in the areas we serve, advancing the quality of life for generations to come. 

LACO Associates offers a range of services that draw upon skilled experts to address your projects, small or large, simple or complex. Together, we’re your personal project manager.

LACO is a C Corporation and is a certified California Small Business.

LACO History

When Ilmars Lagzdins first opened the doors to his Eureka office in 1954, serving the far reaches of Northern California was just a dream. A few years down the line, Lagzdins welcomed a new partner to the firm, Guy Conversano, and together, they incorporated the business in 1975, drawing upon their own last names for inspiration. Lagzdins contributed the “LA” and Conversano the “CO,” adding “Associates” to form a name that is now recognized throughout our communities.

Despite our growth at LACO, we have retained the responsiveness and personal touch of a small firm while demonstrating the management of comprehensive and sophisticated projects to meet our client’s needs. We rely on our experts, collaborators, and client vision to get the job done, while remaining steadfast to our mission to advance the quality of life for generations to come. In all we do, we model our core values: community, flexibility, and trust.

1985-Guy-Conversano
Guy Conversano
Ilmars-Lagzdins
Ilmars Lagzdins

LACO History Timeline


Ilmars Lagzdins opens an engineering office at 507 F Street specializing in building design, construction, subdivision engineering, and surveying.

1954

Lagzdins works on a large Subdivision Project in McKinleyville. His experience in subdivision planning and engineering is substantial, and he contributes his knowledge to the development of several more subdivision projects across Humboldt County.

1961


LACO begins work alongside 3 other sub-contractors on the 30-million-dollar Pulp Mill project for Georgia Pacific—a project featuring 1200 persons of different crafts involved in the construction of the mill, completed in 1965.

1964

Lagzdins holds the office of Vice President of the local Civil Engineers Society—receiving branch status with the American Society of Civil Engineers.

1966

Lagzdins designed a water sanitation project featuring a sludge tank, aerators, sediment pond, and oxidation and chlorinator settling ponds. The two large pumps had to travel all the way from Chicago.

1971

Business becomes a Corporation.

1975

LACO performs geotechnical investigation for the Silvercrest Eureka Housing Project, one of many housing development projects for which LACO provided extensive services.

1979


Guy Conversano is Vice President of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Department. Conversano advocates and helps push forward support of a ballot measure that funded the new wastewater treatment system serving the City and ensuring compliance with a 1983 deadline with the Federal Clean Water Act.

1980

LACO opens an office in the Old Town Historic District of Eureka, at 216 J Street, overlooking Humboldt Bay.

1987

Frank Bickner joins the firm. LACO extends their environmental services and begins work in UST removal, release characterization and remediation.

1988


LACO Associates begins Fault Hazard Geotechnical Investigation at College of the Redwoods, providing a range of geologic services on projects, and facilitating a long working relationship and knowledge with the college, continuing to deliver services include those for trench projects currently in progress. The initial data gathered from trench fault mapping in 1989 was crucial in clearing the site for a Learning Resource Center.

1989


LACO celebrates their 40th anniversary to highlighting the expansion and remodel of the testing laboratory.

1994


With 10 employees in tow, LACO Associates moves to the 21 W. 4th Street office location—today’s current LACO headquarters.

1998

LACO is recognized by the City of Eureka with the Keep Eureka Beautiful Award of Merit.

2001


To provide space to 30+ employees, LACO expands their Eureka office into the portion of the building previously occupied by Harley Davidson.

2006


LACO puts another pin in the map and opens a second office in Ukiah.

2008


LACO wins the ASCE Project of the Year for the complex Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria development project—the project involved geotechnical and civil engineering, survey, materials testing, special inspections, and engineering observations.

2011



LACO opens a new office in Santa Rosa, California.

2011


Mike Nelson, AICP, becomes President and CEO.

2016


The Santa Rosa office expands services and opens a Materials Testing Lab.

2017


LACO and DobleThomas join forces, extending the reach and level of services in the Northern California region.

July 2018


LACO is recognized by Industry Leader, Zweig Group, as a Best Firm To Work For.

September 2018

LACO is recognized in the Fast Growth category with Zweig Group.

September 2018


LACO is recognized by Zweig Group for Marketing Excellence in Social Media.

September 2018


LACO heads inland to extend their services across the state and the doors open in the new Chico office location.

April 2019

LACO is recognized by the business community and awarded Ukiah Chamber Member of the Year.

May 2019


LACO is recognized as a Best Firm To Work For by Zweig Group for a second year.

September 2019


The Shelter Cove Tank project, featuring several new water tanks for the rural coastal community, is completed. The Resort Improvement District No. 1, public officials, LACO engineers and professionals, and community members join in celebrating with a water tasting.

November 2019


LACO earns recognition as a Best Firm To Work For by Zweig Group for the third consecutive year.

2020