209 - TZL - John Wheaton

Environmental Group which became an Environmental Design Group in Stowe, Ohio. They are still around. They couldn't go in the direction I wanted so at 24, I answered a three-line ad in the newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal, which wanted structural engineers, curtain wall fabrication, CAMS, which was Custom Architectural Metal Systems, PPG Incorporated. I answered that one ad for those who are my age, they'll remember young folks won't, you actually used to look in the classifieds for a job in the newspaper. Went down, a guy named Yogi Chef who still is in the industry. He ripped the end of a box of extrusions that's a Malian. I had no idea what he was talking about and they hired me. I could chew gum, walk and breathe all at the same time, I had a degree. So that's where I started. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I absolutely fell in love with the creativity, newness, and innovation in an emerging field known as curtain wall and cladding, and design engineering. It just stuck with me ever since so that's a little bit of my background. Randy Wilburn [07:13] It's so funny, because in my time at Zweig I did a lot of recruiting structural engineers, a very different animal. And I remember I cut my teeth recruiting from companies like LeMessurier, and some other really high levels of structural engineering firms. That was like a whole different world. It was a whole different ballgame in terms of skill set and discipline and these individuals were different. I learned a lot. There were different schools of thought about structural engineering. You had your MIT folks. You had your Cornell Folks. You had different people that came out of different programs, different camps in terms of different mindsets. I remember going into one firm where they were like, we only were looking for people with this pedigree and this background and that's it. And I was thinking to myself at the time, I couldn't push back because I was new in the industry. Mark told me when I first joined Zweig Group back in ‘97, he was like, it’s going to take you a couple of years to learn the industry but once you do, it's the industry that you can always work in and do things. But at the time, I was just young so I couldn't push back. And of course, then, we weren't thinking about hiring people the way that companies now think about hiring people where you look at things through a different lens. And so I just, I said, okay, well, that's what you want. It was probably one of the toughest executive searches that I ever had to do was for a structural engineer with that type of pedigree and background. And it was really difficult, not because those individuals didn't exist, but because they didn't move around that much, they all knew each other, and, it was very difficult but it also taught me a lot about executive search, especially in the AEC space, the time and effort that you have to put into it. And the other thing is that people that are really good at what they do they know other people that are like them so I picked up a lot from that. It was a real education for me, a real eye-opener. It took me forever to fill that position but we did fill it and I don't know that I ever actively went out to seek out another high-level structural search like that, because it was really difficult. And I have a different level of appreciation for

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