Chad Raisland was just 9 years old when he became a Minnesota Twins fan. It happened in 1991, the year in which the Twins earned their second World Series title in five years. Kirby Puckett’s stunning game-winning home run in Game 6 still holds special memories for Raisland, who was growing up in Reed Point.
Some consider the 1991 series as the greatest ever, in part because five of its seven games were decided by a single run, and four games were decided in the final at-bat. That kind of drama can make a big impression on a young boy, and Raisland has stuck by his beloved Twins through thick and thin ever since. He has even attended a game at Target Field, the new outdoor stadium where the Twins moved in 2010.
Countless schoolboys have honed their math skills by calculating batting averages and pitching statistics of their favorite players. Raisland liked numbers, and math proved to be a strong suit throughout his school years.
“In high school, one morning I woke up and decided that I would like to become an engineer,” he said. “I’m not sure if I even knew what an engineer did at the time, but some of the older kids at my school had gone on to be engineers.”
For Raisland, studying math was the easy part of engineering. “One thing I didn’t know is that you have to do a lot of writing, and that’s something I have to work on every day.”
While attending college at Montana Tech in Butte, Raisland received an internship at Pioneer Technical Services, a full-service engineering, environmental services, and construction management firm.
Engineers of all kinds were in high demand when Raisland graduated in 1998. “I believe our placement rate was something like 98 percent,” he said.
Raisland went to work for Pioneer’s Billings field office, and likes Billings.
How did you get where you are in your business?
A little luck, dedication, and having great people help along the way. My family, teachers, co-workers, and even clients helped mold me into the person I am today. From them I learned that hard work, self-motivation, communication, learning from mistakes, building relationships, and serving and supporting the community were great attributes for building a successful and happy life. These same personal attributes lead to opportunities in my career. When an opportunity did present itself, no matter the level of difficulty, it was up to me to grab it with both hands and be successful. Sometimes I did not know all the answers and I did fail at times, but I kept my head up, learned from my mistakes, and moved forward. In my career I have learned that it is OK to make mistakes and fail once in a while, but the important thing is not to put myself in a position where the only way out is total collapse.
What’s the toughest challenge you face in your job?
Staying up to date and understanding the complex, ever-changing environmental issues we face in today’s world.
If you could make one positive change for Billings, what would it be?
With all the great organizations and groups within our community that work toward making a positive change every day, it is difficult to choose just one change. If I could make one change, it would be the complete elimination of child abuse.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job?
We measure success by the percentage of return business, steady but controlled growth, and allowing employees to maintain productivity.
Which living person do you most admire?
My wife, Breyon.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Passing the Professional Engineer Exam.
I’m happiest when...
I’m out of cellphone range and spending time with friends and family.