A conversation with: Harry Pratt, president of Allen and Hoshall

From Memphis Business Journal

With strong roots in Memphis, Harry Pratt has dedicated his career to Allen & Hoshall and now serves as president of the company, which has 95 employees across seven offices in Tennessee, Mississippi and Colorado. He has served on the Dean of Engineering Advisory Board at Christian Brothers University and the Civil Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Memphis and as an adjunct engineering professor at the U of M. Pratt has been with Allen & Hoshall since 1975, and his most recent assignment was as technical project manager for the City of Memphis’ Main to Main Intermodal Connector Project.

First job: I delivered papers for The Commercial Appeal.

Education: B.S. in engineering, CBU; M.S. in engineering and an MBA, U of M

Residence: South Main

Business philosophy: Treat everyone you encounter in work with respect and courtesy; today’s casual acquaintance may be tomorrow’s client or employer.

Best way to keep competitive edge: Lose a project you really want. It’ll force you to look inward and find ways to improve.

Guiding principle: There are very few new problems to be solved. Learn from your predecessors.

Yardstick of success: The respect your friends and your foes give you.

Goal yet to be achieved: A long and comfortable retirement


Judgment calls

Best business decision: Going to work for Allen & Hoshall

Worst business decision: Accepting a project with the U.S. Navy to develop an alternate system for constructing infrastructure in a forward theater environment

Toughest business decision: Deciding how to reduce staff when the market receded

Biggest missed opportunity: Securing a project with the Haitian government to help rebuild after the earthquake

Mentor: Adair Hardy, Matt Bonner and Bob Kelly

Word that best describes you: Patient


True confessions

Like best about job: Watching an idea in a client’s mind move through the design process and become a reality

Like least about job: The money aspects of the job — sending bills, collecting receivables

Pet peeve: Sloppy work

Most important lesson learned: Don’t let early setbacks keep you from persuing your goals and dreams.

Person most interested in meeting: Thomas Jefferson

Most respected competitor: Garver Engineering

Three greatest passions: Family, traveling and Memphis Grizzlies basketball.

First choice for a new career: Musician



Favorite quote:“Everything happens for a reason.”

Most influential book:“The Hunt for Red October” by Tom Clancy

Favorite cause: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Favorite movie:“The Firm”

Favorite restaurant: Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar

Favorite vacation spot: Chicago

What’s on your iPod: R&B and blues

Favorite ways to spend free time: Cooking and reading

Automobile: Lexus RX


View All »