“I never believed we would be standing here.” That was the sentiment expressed by Susan Park Rani upon receiving the 2013 Firm of the Year Award from ACEC/MN (American Council of  Engineering Companies of Minnesota) on May 16.

Given annually, the award is presented to the ACEC/MN member firm(s) that, through their activities, have made a significant contribution to the advancement of ACEC/MN and the consulting engineering profession. The selection is based on activities by employees of the firm who have benefited the association and the profession and includes not only activities by the staff, but also general company policy.

“What we’ve done collectively at Rani Engineering is to put our heads down and work real hard, and hope that would translate into (potential clients) trying us out, winning contracts, and getting repeat clients,” Rani said in her remarks. “It did.”

Rani noted that there had been disbelievers over the years. “I know there were skeptics about our firm in its early days,” she said. “ ‘A woman- and minority-owned engineering firm–what was she thinking?’ Well, that was then and this is now.”

Of special importance was “a strong base of talented Minnesota firms that gave us opportunities” to learn from them, continue to grow, enhance areas of expertise and nurture staff, she said.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota is the leading business practice and policy advocate for consulting engineering firms in Minnesota. Formed in 1949, ACEC/MN´s 150 member firms, representing more than 6,000 employees, provide services to all segments of society, including federal, state and local governments, private industry and the general public.