Our History

 

The Kahuna Story...

A Brief History of Kahuna Ventures

Following a successful 19-year career at Western Gas, Gary Davis (aka ‘The Big Kahuna’) was approached with the opportunity to build and operate the Bazor Ridge Sour Gas Processing Plant near Jackson, Mississippi. Upon accepting the offer in 1999, Gary created Kahuna Gas and reached out to the “star players” from his days at Western to help him with the project. At this time, Kahuna employee number two, Scott Schamp, P.E., joined Gary to build and operate a state-of-the-art sulfur removal facility (which is still in operation today). After the successful start-up of Bazor Ridge, Gary and Scott began performing engineering consulting for additional clients in the western U.S. John Rheinheimer (employee number 3) joined the team in 2002 to expand upon their operating experience and further grow their engineering consulting in the midstream industry. As a result of their no-nonsense and non-risk averse engineering approach, a unique project execution consulting firm (Kahuna Ventures) was created. In 2005, Gregg Kostelecky joined Kahuna to round out the all-star team and complete the engineering suite with electrical and instrumentation expertise.

Gary, Scott, John and Gregg are the four original Founding Members of Kahuna Ventures. Their vision, experience and values have formed Kahuna Ventures to the over 70 employee project execution firm it is today and ultimately created a culture that has garnered two top ten finishes for the Denver Business Journal's Best Places to Work Award in Denver. 

A Brief History of Kahuna Design

Kahuna Design was founded in 2011 when the Kahuna Ventures Founders approached engineering CAD expert Mark Bross to form a drafting and design firm within Kahuna. Mark has over 46 years of experience in the process and power business and is a pioneer in CAD design. He began his design career in 1971 in the refineries around southeast Kansas. In 1985, Mark created his first computer-aided design business in addition to spearheading an engineering CAD business. He has worked for and with many major oil and gas companies establishing in-house design groups.

Shortly after the creation of Kahuna Design, Mark enlisted the talents of Kahuna Design Vice President Mike Phillips. A Veteran of the United States Marine Corps with a degree in mechanical engineering, Mike added instant value and expertise to Kahuna and has helped build Kahuna Design to its current status of approximately 70 employees.

A Brief History of Kahuna Operations Management

Kahuna Operations Management was formed in 2005 to meet several of our customer’s operational needs. As Kahuna Ventures works to meet dynamic client needs in the design, construction and overall project execution of pipelines, processing plants and treating facilities, Kahuna Operations Management emerged as a natural fit to provide cost-effective operational support for many of these facilities.

The Kahuna Growth Story

In 19 years, Kahuna (Kahuna Ventures and Kahuna Design) has grown from a one employee company to approximately 140 employees as of 2018. Expanding from primarily a midstream project execution consulting firm serving a variety of clients ranging from midstream limited partnerships and private equity backed companies to major oil and gas producers, Kahuna has grown to include a civil project execution team. The civil project execution team was built upon the success and foundation of the midstream civil/ structural engineering team and now offers civil project execution services and expertise to land development projects outside of the oil and gas market.

While Kahuna Ventures and Kahuna Design are legally two separate companies, the two operate as one united project execution team and are referred to simply as ‘Kahuna’. Kahuna’s focus today is the same as it was in the beginning: partnering with our clients to add value to their operations through dedication, professionalism and quality project execution.