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RBF Consulting History

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William Frost
RBF Consulting (RBF), A Company of Michael Baker Corporation, is one of the most respected firms in the nation for civil engineering, planning, surveying and related services.

RBF began as "Jack S. Raub & Associates" in 1944. Working with a handful of employees in a small office behind an auto garage in Costa Mesa, RBF was responsible for numerous landmark projects in Orange County, throughout the 1940's and 1950's, including the engineering and site layout for Disneyland, Linda Isle, South Coast Plaza, Newport Shores and Fashion Island (site of the Boy Scout Jamboree).

In 1952, William Frost joined the firm as a surveyor and ten years later, in 1962, Robert W. Bein joined the firm. The following year in 1963, the company became "Raub, Bein, Frost & Associates." During the growth years of the early 70's, RBF outgrew its Costa Mesa offices moving to Newport Beach and became "Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates." Bob Kallenbaugh and Jim McDonald, current co-presidents, joined the firm as project engineers.

Over the next two decades, RBF grew dramatically, as did the business climate in the Southern California region. Bill Frost retired in 1982 after 30 years of service to the company. In 1985, RBF established an office in Temecula to better serve its clients in Riverside County and acquired Charles Haver & Associates, an engineering firm located in the Coachella Valley. At the same time, RBF's client base expanded to include additional public sector areas, such as transportation, water resources, and mechanical-electrical fields.

In 1987, the company once again outgrew its' facilities in Newport Beach and relocated to its present location in the Irvine Spectrum. RBF established a San Diego Office in the Community of Chula Vista in 1989 and in 1992 joined with Sholders & Sanford, Inc., a planning, civil engineering and surveying firm established in 1969. RBF's ever-expanding client base now included public agencies throughout the region, and major public works projects.

In 1991, the company underwent a management restructuring, with Bob Kallenbaugh and Jim McDonald named co-presidents. RBF opened its Ventura County office in Camarillo, which allowed it to expand its services throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. In 1996, RBF acquired its San Jose Office and expanded its Northern California operations with an office in Walnut Creek, broadening its services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley. In 1997, RBF established an office in Las Vegas, Nevada and acquired American Engineering Company (AEC), a prominent civil engineering and surveying firm in the Phoenix area. RBF was now fully equipped to serve the Western United States, with nine offices located in three states.

In June 2000, Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates became "RBF Consulting" and continued to serve as the "community consultant," providing planning, civil engineering and survey services for numerous high profile projects Internationally and across the West Coast including: the Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor, Orange County, CA; Lake Las Vegas Resort, Henderson, NV; Prado Dam, Corona, CA; Hamilton Army Airfield Base ReUse Project, Novato, CA; Cabo del Sol Development, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Mission Bay Redevelopment Project, San Francisco, CA; Indian Well Tennis Garden, Indian Wells, CA; I-5 / I-405 Interchange, Orange County, CA; Augusta Ranch Master Planned Community, Mesa, AZ; Anaheim Theme Park / Resort Expansion, Anaheim, CA; Palmilla Development Area, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Hansen Dam Recreational Facility, Los Angeles, CA; Jimbaran Bay Master Plan Resort, Bali, Indonesia; Pechanga Entertainment Center, Temecula, CA; Taft Redevelopment Plan, Lincoln City, OR; Downtown Kennewick Streetscape Master Plan, Kennewick, WA, and the Naval Training Center (Liberty Station) Redevelopment, San Diego, CA.

In 2001, RBF acquired O'Rourke Engineering, a traffic engineering and transportation planning firm located in Carlsbad, California, and moved up to the rank of 86th in the Top 500 Engineering Design Firms in the United States as reported by Engineering News Record (ENR) Magazine. In 2002, RBF opened it's 11th office in Sacramento, California to meet the needs of an expanding client base in the Sacramento area and in April of 2002, opened it's 12th office and third office in the Inland Empire, in Ontario, California.

From the start, RBF has been known as a firm that is constantly expanding its range of client services and always taking a leadership role in new technologies and innovations. In the 1970's, RBF was the first civil engineering firm in Orange County to offer computer-aided design (CAD) services. In the 1980's, RBF was one of the first survey firms in the country to offer Global Positioning Satellite System (GPS) capabilities. In the 1990's, RBF aggressively expanded its capabilities in mechanical and electrical engineering, GIS Systems, construction management and urban design. By the late 1990's, RBF had evolved far beyond the traditional, project-oriented company, offering a remarkably diverse range of professional services and disciplines. The small engineering company that opened for business in Costa Mesa in 1944 has grown to become one of the most highly regarded professional services firms in the country.

In 2003, RBF received a ranking of #76 in Engineering News Record's "Top 500 Engineering Design Firms in the U.S." annual survey, and 18th in CE News Magazine's "Top Fifty Best Firms to Work For." With over a half century of experience and over 750 professionals dedicated to professional excellence, RBF is respected and recognized as one of the top consulting firms throughout the Western United States.

RBF's leadership team, while celebrating tradition, is focused on the next 60 years. Committed to the core values firmly established by its' original founders, RBF looks to the next generation of leadership to continue to provide excellence in service, teamwork and individuality. Led by an Executive Committee composed of Co-Presidents, Robert S. Kallenbaugh and James E. McDonald, and Executive Vice Presidents, Michael Burke, Paul Klein, Richard Rubin and Michael Rudinica, RBF is vested in the evolution of the firm's leadership. The firm's Chairman of the Board, Robert Bein, serves as CEO Emeritus.


On October 3, 2011, RBF Consulting (RBF) merged capabilities with Michael Baker Corporation (Baker), with Baker's acquisition of RBF. This exciting day in the history of RBF dramatically expands RBF's geographical reach and increases potential market share for its services, while being supported by a larger organizational structure. The combined Baker and RBF places emphasis on and strongly supports both firm's internal and external sustainability initiatives. Baker and RBF share aligned core values, business philosophies, mission statements and vision for the future. The combination of the firms provides an effective West Coast platform for Baker's nationally recognized services and creates a truly national engineering consulting and professional services firm. www.mbakercorp.com.


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