The plan took shape early in 2007. In 2011 Browne Johnson Surveyors would be 50 years old, and the partners wanted to commemorate this milestone by somehow sharing the results of their success. Bob Browne, retired, Greg Browne, Joe Johnson and Brian Sansom believe they have a duty and responsibility to give back to the community that has sustained them since 1961, so they decided to create an endowment fund with Shuswap Community Foundation.
It all began in March of 1961, when M.D. (Bob) Browne, having obtained a contract from the Ministry of Highways to survey the boundaries of the TransCanada from Tappen to Balmoral, moved his family to Salmon Arm and opened up a land surveying business. As the business grew, several moves were undertaken to accommodate more employees and equipment, and the office is now located on Alexander Street in Salmon Arm, where they ‘feel part of the downtown community’ says Joe Johnson.
Bob’s son, Greg, joined his father in the surveying business in 1976, and the following year Joe Johnson was hired by the firm. All three men are past presidents of the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors. As well, Bob was instrumental in the development and building of the ‘new’ Shuswap Lake General Hospital, overlooking Maguire Lake, in the early 1960s while Greg is a past president of the Chamber of Commerce. Joe is active with the Shuswap Hospital Foundation and Shuswap Construction Industry Professionals and was a volunteer fireman in the community for 12 years.
In 1988, Bob Browne retired. Greg and Joe joined forces, purchasing the business, together with land and buildings, and renamed it Browne Johnson Land Surveyors. The company has worked all over the Shuswap and various areas of BC, as well as in national parks and aboriginal lands across BC. It credits its success to all those dedicated individuals who have made up the team at Browne Johnson, past and present.
The firm, a strong supporter of women entering non-traditional occupations, is currently articling its first female land surveying intern, Nicole Warman. They are proud to be involved in opening up the field to women. As well, long time firm member Brian Sansom, born and raised in Salmon Arm, has become a partner. Brian is involved with the Salmar Community Association. The legacy continues.
Now the plan has reached fruition. The first grant from the Browne Johnson Legacy Fund established in 2007 will be disbursed at the discretion of the directors of the Foundation in September 2011. A grant will continue to be given in the firm’s name in perpetuity, each year extending a thank you to the Shuswap community for its support of the business.