Dennis Washington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dennis Washington
DennisWashington (cropped).jpg
Born (1934-07-27) July 27, 1934 (age 88)
OccupationOwner, Washington Group Intl. and Seaspan Marine Corporation
SpousePhyllis Washington
Children2 sons

Dennis R. Washington (born 1934) is an American billionaire industrialist who owns, or co-owns controlling interests in, a large consortium of privately held companies collectively known as the Washington Companies and, in Canada, another collection of companies known as the Seaspan Marine Corporation.

Early life[edit]

Born in Spokane, Dennis Washington grew up in Spokane, Bremerton, Washington, and Missoula, Montana.[1] His parents separated when he was very young, and Washington lived with his mother. He rarely saw his father, who worked in construction overseas. Washington did not grow up in a wealthy family. Additionally, he states his parents' divorce as his motivation to provide his own wife and children with a stable family environment.[2]


Following graduation from high school, Dennis Washington worked in construction in Alaska and Montana. He began his business career at age 30 in 1964, with a $30,000 loan and a single bulldozer[citation needed]. He created Washington Construction, which worked primarily on highway contracts, and by 1969 was the largest contractor in Montana.[citation needed]

In the 1970s he moved into mining and dam construction. In 1986 he acquired a copper and molybdenum mine at Butte, Montana. He reopened the mine and it became a profitable operation. This success helped him diversify into railroads, marine services, coastal shipping, aviation and real estate. In 1996 Washington Construction acquired global construction and engineering company Morrison-Knudsen Corporation[3] of Boise, Idaho, creating Washington Group International.

Washington Companies[edit]

The Washington Companies are a group of individual privately held companies headquartered throughout the United States and western Canada and conducting business internationally.

Included in the Washington Companies'[4] holdings are:

  • Seaspan ULC is an association of Canadian companies involved in coastal marine transportation, shipdocking and ship escort, ship repair and shipbuilding services in western North America.
  • Montana Rail Link is a Class II regional railroad that operates over 900 route miles of track in Montana and Idaho.
  • Aviation Partners Inc. develops and markets the Blended Winglet Performance Enhancement System for business jet aircraft. .
  • Envirocon Inc.’s core services include environmental remediation, ecological restoration, and decommissioning and demolition for government and commercial clients.
  • Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY) is a major transporter of freight in British Columbia.
  • Modern Machinery Co. Inc. sells and rents heavy equipment, and supplies parts and service to support the construction, mining, aggregate, and logging industries.
  • Montana Resources LLP operates an openpit copper and molybdenum mine in Butte, Montana, near the Continental Divide.
  • Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) is one of the world’s leading independent containership owners, owning and managing ships which are chartered long-term.

Personal life[edit]

Attessa IV in North Vancouver, Canada

Washington is married to Phyllis and lives in Missoula, Montana. His son, Kyle Washington, is co-chairman of Seaspan Marine Corporation.[5]

Washington also owns a private estate on Stuart Island, British Columbia, including a fishing lodge and golf course. The Washington–Grizzly Stadium for football at the University of Montana is named for him.[6]

His private yacht Attessa IV has been featured in Forbes magazine.[7] He has a Boeing Business Jet, 737-700 registration N162WC.[8]

Awards and honors[edit]

Year Association Category Notes Ref(s)
1990 American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award [9]
1993 Host; ceremony held in Glacier National Park, Montana [10]
1995 Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Horatio Alger Award [11]
1996 Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) Ellis Island Medal of Honor [12]
2007 Mining Foundation of the Southwest American Mining Hall of Fame Inductee [13]
2012 Maritime Museum of British Columbia (MMBC) SS Beaver Award for Maritime Excellence

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Dennis Washington". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  2. ^ Kroll, Luisa. "Billionaire Highway Man: Life Lessons Dennis Washington Learned When He Was 25". Forbes. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Washington Construction Group Agrees to Buy Morrison Knudsen - WSJ". Wall Street Journal. May 17, 1996.
  4. ^ "Companies – the Washington Companies".
  5. ^ "Forbes profile: Dennis Washington". Forbes. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  6. ^ "Washington-Grizzly Stadium - Facilities - University of Montana Athletics". Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Attessa IV". Forbes.
  8. ^ "BBJ N162WC Flying With Advanced Technology Winglet -".
  9. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  10. ^ "1993 Salute to Excellence: Stars of Today and Tomorrow Meet in Glacier" (PDF). Great Falls Tribune. June 27, 1993.
  11. ^ "1995 Horatio Alger Award Winner". Horatio Alger Association.
  12. ^ "1996 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients". Congressional Record Online.
  13. ^ "2007 Inductee into American Mining Hall of Fame". Mining Foundation of the Southwest.

External links[edit]