Living firm values: Don Manhard President and CEO of Manhard Consulting (Lincolnshire, IL), a civil engineering and surveying firm serving public and private clients nationwide.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
2 022 marks 50 years of business for Manhard Consulting, and Don Manhard has been there in one way or another since the beginning. His father started the business in 1972 and it was initially an “all hands-on deck” situation. “Anyone who could help, did,” Manhard says. “For example, at a young age, well before I graduated from the University of Illinois, my brother and I went up in planes to take photos, climbed into sewers to measure inverts, ran blueprints, and served as rodmen in the field – basically, whatever tasks were needed.” So, by the time he graduated with an engineering degree and started as a staff engineer, Don had been exposed to every part of the land development business. Early on, his father included him in decisions regarding business development, recruiting and hiring, reviewing expenses, negotiating, billing, utilization, and understanding financial statements. Over the years, he’s been fortunate to be connected to other
entrepreneurs and business owners who have given him advice and mentorship. And while he thinks it’s very important to understand the ins and outs of designing and managing a project by working as an engineer, he’s discovered that he really enjoys the challenges of managing and growing a business. “After 40 years, I’m still excited about going to work each day,” he says. COVID-19 AND CULTURE. The COVID-19 pandemic provided the perfect opportunity for Don and his team to start a new practice that’s called “30 @ 30.” The entire management team across the U.S. meets for 30 minutes on the half hour to reconnect, discuss matters of importance, and feel connected as one team. Sharing the updates with their offices following the meeting helps alleviate any isolation people might feel. And, to encourage employee engagement, each office has fun events that bring teams together.
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