Richelle A. Harbert, J.D.


Ricki Headshot.jpg


BA English Literature

BA Law Society Justice

University of Washington 2004

Juris Doctor

Seattle University 2008



206.436.9795 (direct)


Richelle is the Chief Executive Officer and the President of Varius Inc., a Women Owned Business Enterprise designed to bring the highest quality engineering and professional services to Northwest cities, towns, special purpose districts, and businesses. Richelle’s goal is to build a premier women-owned business in the Northwest, and in so doing, provide a model for others to follow for diversity and responsible employment practices.

Current, ceo and president, Varius Inc. 

Richelle has assembled a team of industry leaders and constructed a unique business to envelop and support those leaders in a way that revolutionizes value, sustainability, and integrity. Varius is built around the idea that large businesses have large overhead costs and burdensome administrative needs that often consume the most experienced and valued members of that business. Varius runs lean with little corporate overhead and virtually no need for daily management or administrative routine. The Varius professionals are free to work on client projects with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Richelle manages this unique structure and business model by using her broad background in law, engineering consulting, and business administration, where she is a sharp and efficient management professional. Richelle’s attention to detail and ability to multi-task and communicate enables the Varius professionals to provide superior professional services.

1998-2017, business manager, rh2 engineering

  • Past Business Manager of RH2 Engineering and an experienced contract negotiator, contract manager, and project manager.

  • Implemented contract and QA/QC procedures that drastically reduced claims and resulted in no adverse settlements against RH2 during her tenure as business manager.

  • Reviewed and negotiated contracts and specifications firm-wide. Experienced with many contract forms and requirements, including EJCDC, LAG, APWA/WSDOT, CSI, Washington Cities Insurance Authority, etc.

  • Experienced with the in-depth requirements for WSDOT ICR reviews and audits and FAR compliance.

  • Served as Human Resources and Risk Manager at RH2 Engineering where she honed her interpersonal skills and became the go-to manager for personnel to handle sensitive issues and questions of liability with compassion and effective solutions.

  • Performed construction contract administration services for a variety of projects, including specification drafting and review, contractor reference checks, developing intents and affidavits for LNI approval, change order review and negotiation, and dispute resolution.

Project examples include:

Nordstrom Warehouse Sewer Replacement and Manhole Work – Worked with the City of Tukwila and other stakeholders to devise effective specifications for a challenging project environment that included a failed main located in a narrow corridor between large commercial warehouses that also travelled beneath a spur of the Union Pacific Railroad. The main replacement was completed on-time to the satisfaction of and without additional risk to the City, the adjacent commercial customers including Nordstrom, and the Railroad.

American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) projects – Developed extensive project documents to comply with the multiple phases of changing federal requirements for projects funded by ARRA. Worked with the Department of Natural Resources on document approval for projects including the installation of 22 miles of irrigation pipeline in Grandview, Washington, and the installation of a pitless booster pump station and meters for over 500 properties in Shelton, Washington.

Water Reclamation Facility and North Well Field Treatment Facility – Negotiated with bidders during a unique pre-selection process for long-lead equipment on a short timetable. Resolved multiple issues during the bidding process in compliance with applicable regulations to the satisfaction of the client.