DAWSON: Delivering Operationally Efficient Defense Contracts

Eddie Aikau, a legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer and lifeguard, gave his life in the pursuit to save his fellow crew members when he was riding Hōkūle‘a, the traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe. Many years have gone by since then, and Aikau is still considered the true icon and spirit of Ohana—the Hawaiian word for family. That very spirit that fuels DAWSON in their journey towards success! As a contractor for the Department of Defense (DoD), DAWSON’s core competencies span environmental, construction, logistics, and IT/Cyber arenas. The team at DAWSON is proficient in delivering integrated and innovative solutions for the defense industry in environmental, facilities, infrastructure, and emergency response areas. Through these integrated capabilities, DAWSON offers customers an operationally efficient and cost effective solution. The firm places a deep emphasis on a collaborative approach and partners with various organizations to fill a specific niche and deliver the best combination of services for the DoD.

DAWSON began in 1994 as a very small business in Hawaii providing mainland-based technology to the service station industry for the remediation of oil spills and subsurface contamination. Over the years, the firm has extended their capabilities to provide similar services to the DoD on a global basis with offices strategically situated to support their clients’ emerging missions. With collaboration at its core, DAWSON believes that the complex defense landscape can be better served by a variety of partnerships which includes anything from joint ventures to prime-sub relationships. “Our partnerships have been very important to our success and growth over the years. We believe that it is now our responsibility to pay it forward as we are engaged in mentoring and fostering the growth of other Hawaiian and minority small businesses,” says Billy Cress, P.E., President of DAWSON.

Through their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to their Hawaiian-based core values, DAWSON delivers cost effective and valued solutions to their customers most challenging problems at locations across the globe.
“We are a small business with a global footprint,” says Cress. Additionally, being a Native Hawaiian Owned (NHO) 8(a) enterprise, the firm leverages the legislative benefits to assist their DoD customers in times of budgetary stress by assisting them in executing their defense budgets.

In one instance, a client had a contract for work to be carried out worldwide. They were unable to find the right contracting mechanism due to the inherent complexities of cross-service and cross-boundary money that had to be taken into consideration. Adding to the complexities was the fact that the funding was from one service and the execution by another. “We performed the work around the world including Afghanistan and based on that success we were awarded additional contracts,” extols Cress. In the last year, DAWSON has executed work across most of the U.S, and five continents that covered 26 countries.

Their team of professionals is their greatest asset and place particular emphasis to bring collaboration and respect in their work culture. DAWSON’s strongest asset is the diversified team of talented employees situated around the globe from Guam to New Jersey that they call their “Ohana.”

The DAWSON mission is focused on providing positive impact to their employees, their families, and the communities they live and work in around the globe. Through this mission, the company provides its employees a place they can achieve their life goals and provide social impact to those in need. They have already surpassed their “impact” goals for the year which included such things as mentoring local Hawaiian small businesses, preserving the native Hawaiian lands, mentoring elementary school students, providing food for over 100 families affected by Hurricane Harvey, and supporting our Wounded Warriors in collaboration with the Fisher House.

With Hawaiian culture deeply embedded into their business, the firm plans to continue to celebrate the spirit of Ohana and invest in their employees. The defense industry has been predicted to remain sturdy for the foreseeable future, and DAWSON aims to grow geographically to get closer to their client base and assist them in making the world a better place to live.


Honolulu, HI

Billy Cress, President

DAWSON delivers integrated and innovative solutions to federal clients in the environmental, facilities, infrastructure, and emergency response areas