History and Core Values



Chastain-Skillman (CS) started as Lakeland Engineering Associates, Inc. in 1950 with the purpose of providing reliable, local civil engineering services for Polk County.  Initially, most of their projects were related to the phosphate industry.  Roy Chastain and Joe Skillman took over the leadership of the firm in the mid-fifties and over the next decade began to expand its work to include land development and surveying as well as work with many local municipalities.  Roy’s son, Jim Chastain, joined the firm upon graduating from University of Florida in 1972 and began to perform more sophisticated work in the field of environmental engineering.  The firm changed its name to Chastain-Skillman in the mid-seventies to highlight the principal engineers of the firm – Roy Chastain and Joe Skillman – and the reputation that they had developed.  Jim Chastain assumed the role as president with Ken Campbell as vice president in 1981 due to the untimely deaths of Roy and Joe.  Under Jim’s and Ken’s leadership, the firm expanded in size and scope of services, adding environmental science, containment risk management, industrial hygiene and other public health services.  In 2015, CS announced the promotion of Jim’s son, Jay Chastain, to President of the firm.  Jay represents a third generation of professionals at CS throughout its 69 year history.  Jim continues to play an active role at the firm doing what he loves – engineering and mentoring young professionals.

CS’s innovative concepts and advanced design work have played a major role in the growth and development of Polk County’s infrastructure.  In fact, no other firm has completed as many engineering projects in the area.  Chastain-Skillman has been instrumental in several key developments from the 1950s until now, which include Oakbridge, Grasslands, Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeside Village and the City of Lakeland Main Street Realignment.  More recently, completed projects have included Florida Polytechnic University, the Amazon fulfillment center, Phillips Pet Food & Supplies and Lake Myrtle Park.  On the municipal side, we’ve designed water and wastewater plant improvements as well as hundreds of miles of water, stormwater, sanitary sewer and other infrastructure that have enhanced the quality of life in Central Florida.  These form the basis of the multidisciplinary approach that CS uses to help our communities protect the environment we all value.

“It is a rare thing for an engineering firm to be around as long as Chastain-Skillman. I believe that my father and Joe would be proud that their legacy has continued.  We are honored to be part of Polk County’s development for over 67 years and are excited to continue that service with more expansive engineering and public health projects into the future.”

– Dr. Jim Chastain

Core Values

Even as CS has expanded our services and technology, we retain the traditional values of integrity that the firm was founded on.

  • We value the resources of our client and ensure that our projects are completed on time and under budget.
  • We value the success of our clients.  Their success is our success.
  • We value a high level of quality in every project we undertake.  Our goal is to “get it right” the first time.
  • We value expertise.  Our staff is highly trained and educated, enabling us to provide a comprehensive knowledge base in house.
  • We value the needs of community, stakeholders and the environment and seek to achieve “win-win” solutions when designing a project.
  • We value honesty and integrity with clients, suppliers, and employees.
  • We value our community partners and continually look for ways to give back through sponsorships, pro-bono work and participation in community events.
  • We value a dynamic and collaborative working environment for our staff, encouraging communication and teamwork among our employees.