Professional Design Associates
It was work that brought Tom Foster to the Las Vegas area but love of the historic Henderson downtown area that made him stay.
The president of Professional Design Associates, an award-winning electrical and mechanical engineering firm, Foster came to Southern Nevada in 1995 to work on Clark County School District school bond construction projects after managing his own engineering company and working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He soon discovered the Water Street District area and fell in love with it.
“I wanted to live and work in the same area and was attracted to the look and small town feel of the Water Street District,” Foster said. “I also liked that Water Street was part of a redevelopment area and wanted to be a part of that.” After finding the perfect office, Professional Design Associates relocated to 108 Market Street in 2000.
Foster recalls a story that forever reinforced his Water Street decision. “Shortly after moving in, Andy Hafen, a former Henderson councilman who’s now mayor, and Bob Cooper, City of Henderson economic development/redevelopment manager, came to the office and asked me, ‘What can the City of Henderson do for you?’ It’s been a great relationship.” He added his company was one of the first beneficiaries of the city’s Façade Improvement Program.
Foster is an active member of the Henderson business community. He’s an original founder of the Downtown Henderson Business Association – now called the Water Street District Business Association – and is still the organization’s treasurer.
Foster and coworker Frank Beardsley, an electrical designer, also participate in the monthly ArtsWalk on Third Thursdays in the Water Street District. The pair’s photography, permanently on display at their office, is available for viewing and purchase during the public open house. Foster’s work focuses on natural parks, and Beardsley features nature-related photography. Visit www.pdaartists.com to view some of their work.
Professional Design Associates is a full service consulting electrical and mechanical engineering firm specializing in educational, military, commercial, industrial, institutional, recreational and residential projects. The close-knit company, which also includes Foster’s son and wife, has been an innovator in classroom design, introducing “tubular daylighting” for commercial use in Southern Nevada for the Clark County School District. The concept marries skylights and light level controls to maximize lighting, conserve energy and take advantage of natural daylight, which has been shown to improve student test scores.
“We’ve developed a nice engineering and architecture corridor on Water Street,” said Foster, noting there are several architects, engineering firms and residential designers in the area. “It’s a close community yielding some great complementary working relationships.”