Archway chairman recognized for inspiration to young professionals
PHILADELPHIA (May 15, 2012) – Bentley Systems, Incorporated, a company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, presented Tom Lazear, chairman of California-based Archway Systems, the longest-serving Bentley Channel Partner, with the inaugural Bentley Institute Lifetime Achievement Award at this gathering of infrastructure professionals from around the world. He was recognized on behalf of Bentley’s California users, in particular, for his steadfast commitment to inspiring students, architects, and engineers to explore and innovatively apply computer technology in the service of design and engineering. Lazear’s passion for guiding and motivating young people in their pursuit of the software knowledge and skills they need for success as architects, engineers, and construction professionals has led to his tireless advocacy of Bentley Institute’s Be Careers Network.
Commenting on Lazear’s active involvement in California’s Bentley user groups, Michael Kolster, from Port of Long Beach, said, “I have worked with Tom for almost 20 years, and he has taught me a great deal. All of us in the Southern California Bentley User Group wouldn’t be where we are today in our application of information modeling for infrastructure without Tom’s leadership and dedication to sustaining the infrastructure professions. His drive, knowledge, and enthusiasm are infectious, and on behalf of the entire membership of the Southern California Bentley User Group, I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”
In presenting the award, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said, “Tom’s length of service to the CAD and information modeling community of users far exceeds mine – for instance, we recently found a picture of Tom in a 1961 issue of Consulting Engineer demonstrating one of the first applications of computing in engineering. When he was the first graduate student at UCLA to submit a master’s thesis combining computers and engineering, the faculty debated its relevance. Undaunted, he went on to more or less create the CAD business through co-development of VersaCAD software – with his wife, Sandy, and son, Mike. Today, the ongoing success and stellar reputation of his Archway Systems family business – comprising three generations of Lazears (and perhaps soon a fourth) – speak for themselves.
“Ostensibly Tom’s role is as a valued channel partner, but his contributions to Bentley, and Bentley Institute in particular, have been unbounded. Tom’s work with college faculty and students goes far beyond California. He is a born teacher, and I am among his grateful students. With Bentley Institute’s new focus on continuous lifelong learning we look forward to the lifetime ahead with Tom, including at our annual conferences for many years to come.”
Tom Lazear said, “It’s quite humbling to receive such a prestigious award from an organization and user community that I so deeply respect. The exciting new initiatives at Bentley Institute, being developed with input from educators and infrastructure professionals, will provide continuous, just-in-time learning from the student experience, through professional practice, by way of innovative learning ‘apps.’ I am really looking forward to contributing ideas and to serving as a sounding board. I want to thank the Institute for so effectively encouraging my own continuous learning and teaching.”
Tom Lazear, chairman of Archway Systems, based in Huntington, California, programmed his first CAD project in 1959 at Fluor Corporation. In 1980 he and his family started the company that eventually became the VersaCAD Corporation. The VersaCAD Corporation developed the first widely marketed CAD software programs to the PC and Apple business and educational markets in the early 1980s, including T-Square, CADapple, OmniDraft, MarsCAD, and VersaCAD. Lazear has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, an MS in electrical engineering from UCLA, and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Business. For additional information about Archway Systems, visit
Bentley is dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. Bentley’s mission is to empower its users to leverage information modeling through integrated projects for high-performing intelligent infrastructure. Its solutions encompass the MicroStation platform for infrastructure design and modeling, the ProjectWise platform for infrastructure project team collaboration and work sharing, and the AssetWise platform for infrastructure asset operations – all supporting a broad portfolio of interoperable applications and complemented by worldwide professional services. Founded in 1984, Bentley has grown to nearly 3,000 colleagues in more than 45 countries and over $500 million in annual revenues. Since 2003, the company has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions.