April 2019’s Arrowhead Park Association Member of the Month is The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc.
The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc.
The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) offers a full array of consulting services to both the public and private sectors, including civil and structural design and permitting, construction engineering, inspection and testing, cultural resources, environmental sciences, geotechnical engineering, landscape architecture, site planning, funding strategies and grant writing, program management and surveying. Civil engineering today is a much more complex profession than when MSG completed their first project in 1955. The need to understand zoning, permitting and environmental laws/regulations has become equally as important as the engineering itself.
Originating in 1955 as the T.C. Biebesheimer Engineering Company, the firm later evolved into Mannik & Smith, Inc., focusing mainly on highway and bridge design. In the 1980’s, the company added environmental services to complement its civil engineering capabilities and created Midwest Environmental Consultants. The two companies, Mannik & Smith, Inc., and Midwest Environmental Consultants merged in 2000, and now operate solely as The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. Around the same time, the company purchased their current building in Arrowhead Park. The bright white building at the corner of Ford and Indian Wood Circle serves as the company’s headquarters and is one of 12 locations throughout Ohio and Michigan.
Richard Bertz, PE, PS joined the company in 1993, when it had 55 employees and took the role of President and CEO in 2012. “We have more than doubled our size since then,” reported Mr. Bertz, “The company has gone through some big changes. I try to keep them on a happy trajectory.” Current employee counts are well over 300 across all locations and MSG is close to opening its first office in West Virginia, followed by other nearby states. The current business model aims to open offices within 2-3 hours of existing offices so there are advantages to sharing resources.
SECTORS & PROJECTS
They try to develop a balance between the public and private sector work they do, with a 50-50 mix being ideal. “There is an offset of 18 months in the reaction to economic changes between the public and private sectors. The private sector is immediately reactive to economic changes. A steady flow of tax dollars slows the effect on the public sector. A balance of public and private work allows for the maximization of business potential for MSG through economic cycles and has allowed the company to stay strong through economic ups and downs.” offered Mr. Bertz. Offering grant work in the public sector helps communities find a way to fund their projects.
MSG is involved in performing their services in a variety of market sectors, including commercial, retail, education, energy, government, healthcare, industrial, transportation, urban revitalization and waste management.
Some well-known local projects include:
- ProMedica Downtown Headquarters
- The Shops at Fallen Timbers
- McCord Road Underpass
- ProMedica Generations Tower at Toledo Hospital
- Springfield Commons (Airport at Holland Sylvania)
- US Route 24 Fort to Port (Toledo to Napoleon section)
- Toledo Commons (Across form UT Medical Center Campus)
- Mercy Heart Pavilion
- Oregon Clean Energy Center
- OI World Headquarters
- Mud Hens Stadium and Hensville Toledo
- Penta Career Center
- Central Avenue Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) – Love it or hate it! Rotaries and new interchanges, such as this one are saving lives, helping the environment and easing congestion.
- Overland Industrial Park (Former Jeep plant – includes Dana & DMS)
- Waterville Bridge (currently under construction)
- La-Z-Boy World Headquarters
- Hundreds of projects for McDonalds and Burger King
- Confidential industrial projects for Ford, Toyota, General Motors, etc.
MSG has also been working on several development projects in Downtown Detroit, acting as the lead engineering firm for Bedrock Company led by Dan Gilbert. Run-down urban buildings are being turned into hotels, offices and retail locations. Upgrading these buildings to modern standards has led to thousands of millennials buying and renting condos to take advantage of sports, restaurants, and entertainment downtown. This is a great recruiting tool for MSG’s downtown Detroit office.
MSG has also designed the two bridges over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks near the Anthony Wayne Trail, between the zoo and downtown. This new construction is using glass fiber reinforced polymer instead of steel for the reinforcing bars. This exciting product was developed by Owens Corning many years ago, and recently found its place in bridge design. This exciting new bridge technology is a great option. Mr. Bertz stated, “It is cost competitive, builds faster (1/4 the weight of steel) and will last approximately 100 years. Amazing product! We’ve designed four more bridges using the material, including a new crossing over the Maumee River in Henry County.”
In any particular month, MSG is working on over 600 projects. In order to do this effectively, they have developed very sophisticated financial and project management systems.
Much of the work is done on computers now, but the creative side is what sets MSG apart. Their tagline and focus is Technical Skill; Creative Spirit. Employees are valued at MSG and encouraged to Communicate, Collaborate, Cooperate and Commit. Not just strong in Engineering, MSG’s internal marketing department won a national SMPS award for best direct mail campaign. “We want to excel in every aspect,” reports Mr. Bertz. MSG promotes employee success with Catalytic Coaching. This program provides a mentor/coach to help each employee develop his/herself to be the best they can be. MSG also offers a Leadership Development program.
MSG runs an employee-led Community Engagement Program where we can give back to the communities where we live, work and play. Every office picks a charity that they wish to get involved with during that particular year. Over the years, the Maumee office has worked with The Daughter Project, Cherry Street Mission, Toledo Area Humane Society, Autism Society of NW Ohio, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo. “We see the opportunity to give back; the younger people are inspired to do that, and we make the option available to them,” said Mr. Bertz. Previous community engagement projects have also included ones with the Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, American Heart Association and a recurring project with inner-city youth mentoring in Michigan. “A couple hundred kids come into testing labs in Canton and try survey equipment, watch engineers, and break concrete. It’s fun and interesting, and a number of them every year get inspired to get into STEM for their career path,” reported Mr. Bertz.
Contact Sheri Bokros, Vice President of Business Development, if you would like more information about MSG.