Our History

From a one-woman operation founded in 1999, the JWI team has now grown to over a hundred members.

The secret to our success has always been the talent, dedication, and hard work of JWI employees, who have built trust and created positive relationships with our clients and partners.

The Beginning

Having previously worked for Southwest Airlines, Julie Watts was inspired to build a woman-owned business after working at a woman-owned consulting firm. She founded J.A. Watts in May of 1999.

Julie won JWI’s first project, an owner's representation role at Southwest, which continued until 2004.

JWI Expands to ORD

Mark Schoonveld joined JWI and diversified our portfolio by bringing extensive experience from Chicago O'Hare International Airport, where he managed the JOC program.

Shortly after coming onboard, through work on the capital improvement projects with United, our longstanding relationship with the airlines was solidified.

JWI Adds Expertise

Marc Klein joined JWI in May of 2005 out of the need for an engineer and completed work on a number of projects that led to the later formation of the JWI construction division.

Engineering Division Begins

Ed Schoonveld, JWI's first licensed Professional Engineer (PE) was brought on in 2008 to establish the firm's Engineering branch.

Initially emphasizing on consulting engineering and construction management within surface transportation, the division has since diversified to include civil planning & design, ITS and communications, rail, electrical, and more.

Aviation Grows Beyond Chicago

Amy Weaver started at JWI in 2013, originally working as an airline technical representative and transitioned into leading our aviation division into new markets.

Since then, her team's understanding of airline operations has paved the way for work on airport programs across the country.

JWI Heads West

JWI hired 25-year field veteran Lorie Moghaddam in June of 2016 and began pursuing work in Denver, starting with the Denver International Airport's multi-billion-dollar Capital Improvement Program and the Project Management Support Services contracts.

WINGS is created

Julie and Amy established WINGS in 2018 when they sat down at a bar on Madison Street with a glass of wine and wrote on a napkin the plans for an organization created to empower women within our industry. WINGS officially kicked off in 2019.

DIAC is launched

Following the nation's reckoning with institutional racism in May of 2020, the executive team released a statement condemning racism and intolerance, from which came the Diversity & Inclusion Action Council (DIAC). DIAC has grown and evolved to manage difficult, necessary work in a way that can be sustained long-term.

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