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Our History

Founding Philosophy

When Katie Toghramadjian left her job as an engineer in July 2002 — a job she was passionate about — it was with the intuition that there was a better way to do business; a way to honor individuals, support effective decision-making, and avoid one-size-fits-all approaches. Unable to find it within the industry at the time, she set out to create it for herself and Isthmus Engineering was founded that October.

Original Isthmus Engineering logo with bright blue half circles icon and Isthmus Engineering - the bridge between technology and quality design in maroon and black text
Enduring Practices

As Isthmus organically and steadily grew, we operated with the belief that it is possible to thrive within a paradigm that:

  • treats employees as people first, not taking anyone for granted
  • views colleague firms as partners, not as competition
  • focuses on the quality of our deliverables, not on the quantity of our profits

Two decades later, what was once a theory has become a proven business model. We have attracted and retained employees of intelligence and integrity. We have expanded our partnerships one genuine relationship at a time. The name Isthmus has come to be synonymous with quality across the industry.

Isthmus is not settling into this apparent success — rather we are actively constructing our corporate infrastructure to position Isthmus as an enduring company; one which will continue to be guided by respect for individual perspectives, inspired by innovative solutions, and sustained by an approach to business that is anything but usual.

What’s in a name?
isth·mus [ˈisməs] – n: a narrow strip of land connecting two large land areas otherwise separated by a body of water

The inspiration for our unique name came from one of the Toghramadjian children. On a drive home from school, Katie engaged her children in brainstorming a name for the new company. Having just learned about landforms at school, one of them suggested “Isthmus Engineering.” As she thought about the definition of “isthmus” and her inspiration for founding a new company, to bridge the gap between technology and quality design, the name took hold. It may be a bit of a mouthful but not quite as challenging to pronounce as “Toghramadjian.”