Forty Years of Leadership Brought Growth and Success to Engineering Firm
Middlesboro, KY – When Robert W. Vaughn organized and co-founded Vaughn & Melton Engineering in 1967, he sought to offer superior engineering services not previously available in the Middlesboro, KY area. Almost 40 years later, the company has grown into a major Southeastern engineering firm, with six offices in four states and a staff 175 professional, technical, administrative and clerical individuals.
When asked about the growth and reputation of the firm, Vaughn commented, “We are proud of our record of continuing growth and the quality of service we provide to our clients. Our success throughout the years is a direct result of the efforts of our employees and our ability to work as a team to create positive results.”
Vaughn’s professional career has included work in both the public and private sectors. He has an extensive background in a variety of types of civil engineering projects and has been active in the field of civil engineering since 1963. Early in his career, Vaughn gained much experience in comprehensive water and sewer planning, traffic engineering and airport master planning. Vaughn has served as a project manager responsible for the planning and design of several highways, streets, site developments and utility route locations.
Participation in both professional and community activities has always been an important priority throughout Vaughn’s career. He is a past president of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers as well as the American Council of Engineering Companies in Kentucky. On the community front, Vaughn has served on the Council On Higher Education in Kentucky from 1987 to 1992 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Centre For Rural Development in Somerset, KY.
As a result of Vaughn’s leadership, Vaughn & Melton and its employees hold memberships in several professional organizations on both the state and national levels including the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Institute of Architects, Kiwanis International, Rotary International and varied Chambers of Commerce.
“The growth and reputation of our firm is a direct result of our employees and in large part due to the Robert Vaughn’s leadership throughout the years,” said Randolph J. Scott, president and chief executive officer. “While Mr. Vaughn’s day-to-day presence and stellar leadership will be missed, our clients can continue to expect only the highest quality in our work and service.”
After receiving a highway scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky, Vaughn began his career with the Kentucky Department of Highways in 1958. Upon graduating, he worked with the Highway Department in the areas of construction, design and traffic. In 1966, he joined Crowder and Associates in Indiana doing urban street design and preparing long-range plans for water and sewer facilities. Then in 1967, Vaughn partnered with Lewis N. Melton to lay the groundwork for Vaughn & Melton Incorporated, as it is known today.
As co-founder and a principal shareholder of Vaughn & Melton, Vaughn held the position of Corporate President and Director. His primary areas of responsibility included administration and finance and direct oversight of the design offices in Middlesboro, KY, Greeneville, TN, and Asheville, NC. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the firm and was responsible for the management of the home office as well as two permanent branch offices. Vaughn participated in the planning, scheduling and budgeting of all major civil engineering projects within the company.
Although officially announcing his retirement from “active day-to-day duty,” Vaughn will remain primarily near his home in Middlesboro, KY. He will also maintain his office at the same location that he has occupied for more than the last 30 years at 109 South 24th Street. Retirement offers Vaughn the opportunity to enjoy travel and golf, two of his and wife Sharon’s favorite hobbies. Now that the pressure to make the bi-weekly payroll has passed, Vaughn hopes to use his time fulfilling a life-long dream of defeating his wife in the game of golf.
“Mr. Vaughn helped build this company using honesty and integrity to provide superior service,” said Scott. “We are committed to carrying on this tradition for many years to come.”