Houston’s new Manager of Engineering appreciates Houston and sees great potential.
An outdoor enthusiast, fly fisherman and photographer, Don Housell says the job was only part of what drew him to Houston.
“I’m a fisherman. I love to fly fish,” he said.
“You guys are close to some of the best fishing in the country.”
Hounsell says he appreciates the outdoor accessibility, the great weather and the friendliness of the community.
He also sees great potential in Houston.
“We are well situated with the future of LNG in the province, as far as construction of pipelines and that,” he said.
“I see a lot of potential for Houston.”
With 21 years of experience in engineering and consulting, Hounsell moved to Houston in May to become the new Manager of Engineering and Operations.
Hounsell was born in Dawson Creek but lived in Hudson’s Hope until he was eight years old.
Then he moved to Prince George.
After high school, he earned his diploma as a civil technologist through a two-year program at the College of New Caledonia.
He launched into his career with seven years working at various engineering and consulting firms in Prince George.
In 2001, he was hired as an engineering technologist for the city of Fort St. John.
He worked there for two years managing and inspecting projects and designs and ensuring projects complied with municipal standards.
In 2004, he moved to Grande Prairie, Alberta, to be the civil development technologist for the city.
He issued over 1,800 development permits per year in Grande Prairie, ensuring each project met city regulations.
After two years, he moved back to Prince George to work for McElhanney Consulting.
Working for McElhanney since 2006, Hounsell says he travelled all over the province doing construction management, surveys and project reviews.
“I worked everywhere from Fort Nelson to Invermere to Klemtu to Vancouver,” he said.
In 2012, Hounsell won the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Construction Management for the Klemtu Ferry Terminal Project.
Then, in May 2015, he became the District of Houston Manager of Engineering and Operations.
Hounsell says his goal is to give the residents of Houston the best service possible with the resources and budget they have.
He sees a lot of great things about Houston.
Researching the community before he came here, Hounsell says he found Houston has the best weather in the area – warmer temperatures than Prince George and Burns Lake, and less rain than Smithers or Terrace.
He appreciates the friendly and tight-knit community that makes people feel safe.
He says Steelhead Park is “a jewel. It’s probably one of the nicest parks on Highway 16.”
“The leisure services building is equal to none for a community this size,” he said.
With these things in mind, Hounsell says he wants to inspire Houston residents to be proud of what is here.
“I want to instil civic pride in our public works employees… then we can get the residents to take some civic pride,” he said.
“I want to show that we are proud of our town.”