Founder of The Washington Companies
Montana industrialist Dennis R. Washington founded The Washington Companies, a dynamic group of privately held individual companies in the United States, Canada, China and Russia. Dennis, a self-made industry leader, built a worldwide heavy construction business that he sold in 2007. Today he owns companies in mining, railroads, marine transportation, shipbuilding, heavy equipment sales and environmental remediation. These operations include the largest privately held railroad in the U.S., heavy equipment dealerships in the U.S. and Russia, and one of Canada's largest marine service companies. In addition, Dennis owns major interests in aviation services and one of the world's leading containership owner/managers. His inspiring journey has been described as having achieved the American Dream.
Dennis has been recognized and honored by both peers and business and service organizations for his success and philanthropy. His notable awards include:
- » 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award, University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business - Read Times Colonist Article
- » Norman Vincent Peale Award, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
- » Inducted into the Mining Hall of Fame
- » Honorary Doctorates, The University of Montana and The University of South Carolina
- » Moles Award for Outstanding Achievement in Construction, American Society of Civil Engineers
- » Lewis and Clark Pioneer Award, Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs
- » Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement
- » Ellis Island Medal of Honor, National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations s
In 1988, Dennis and his wife Phyllis created the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation. Dedicated to making an investment in people to improve the quality of their lives, the Foundation has donated over $244 million to charitable causes.
With particular emphasis on education, Dennis created the Horatio Alger Montana Undergraduate Scholarship program to help young people, who have faced adversity in their lives, to attend college. Moreover, the Dennis R. Washington Achievement Scholarship, through a $25 million endowment, provides aid to outstanding students pursuing Masters degrees.
The 65,000-acre Washington Family Ranch in Oregon was donated to the Young Life organization as a site for summer camps for young people. The Washingtons have provided continued support for expansion projects since the camp opened in 1999, including the completion of a new $33.4 million middle-school camp and visitor's center. The camp now hosts over 1,000 adolescents and teens each week.
The Washington's have long been supporters of the University of Montana. Notable projects they supported include the Washington Grizzly Stadium and the Phyllis J. Washington Education Center at the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences.
To learn more about Dennis R. Washington, download his full biography.