CRANSTON forms strategic growth partnership with The HFW Companies

CRANSTON, an engineering, landscape architecture, planning, and surveying firm that has been serving Southeast communities for more than half a century, has formed a strategic growth partnership with The HFW Companies (HFW), a fast-growing professional services firm with a national focus on the architecture and engineering (AE) industry.

The new partnership will allow CRANSTON, which has an office in Mt. Pleasant, to accelerate its strategic vision for growth and expand even more aggressively throughout “the heart of the Southeast” with additional services, locations, and people, according to Scott Williams, PE, president of CRANSTON.

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“CRANSTON, with record growth over the past few years, recently had set its long-term sights on expanding its reach and empowering every community across the heart of the Southeast to thrive,” said Williams. “This new partnership with HFW gives us a platform on which to achieve that vision much faster and with much greater opportunity for both our hard-working team and the communities we serve, while allowing us to forge ahead in growing the CRANSTON brand. We’re excited to align ourselves with HFW and its network of AE brands.”

CRANSTON grew out of a merger in 1967 between Baldwin Engineering Company and Cranston Associates. The combined firm, headed by CRANSTON founder Craig Cranston, became Baldwin & Cranston Associates and, eventually, CRANSTON. Today, the firm employs 75 people and serves its project partners and communities from offices in Augusta, Ga., Charleston, S.C., and Hilton Head, S.C.

CRANSTON, in partnering with HFW, joins a growing network of growth-oriented AE firms whose teams will be able to share best practices, economies of scale, and unique areas of expertise, according to Michael Hein, AIA, chief executive officer of St. Louis-based HFW.
HFW’s business model, he said, is designed to retain and leverage each partnering firm’s own brand identity, loyal employee base, and the allegiance of its project partners to build what he describes as a nationwide “house of brands” network of member firms.

“CRANSTON’s brand legacy has such great long-term growth potential,” said Hein. “It aligns nicely with our own growth strategy of investing in architecture and engineering firms that serve metropolitan and infrastructure markets and are open to aligning with a partner for growth.

Williams said he is looking forward to growing together with HFW and its expanding network of AE firms.

“This partnership will give CRANSTON additional resources to strengthen our presence in the communities we serve and across both Georgia and South Carolina,” he said. “This will allow us to expand the services and collaborative expertise that enable us to solve the complex infrastructure challenges of the communities we serve. We look forward to the new opportunities we’ll have ahead.”

For more information about CRANSTON or the new partnership, contact Scott Williams at 706.288.3007, or go to For more information about HFW Companies, contact Michael Hein at 618.560.4756 or go to

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