209 - TZL - John Wheaton

was a point in my life where I just really made a definite decision to follow Christ in my life, to put my faith in Jesus Christ. And so, PPG was closing their commercial construction group, and my wife and I actually, at that point, sold our house and resigned from our jobs and we're going to go into the mission field of all things and we had all of that lined up. Then through a series of events, my wife got pregnant and I had to find a job and we had to get another place to stay. I kind of jumped into the Building Department of the City of Akron, and at the City of Akron, I worked as a Plans Examiner. And when I was there, I actually kind of got a bug a little bit. There I met a lot of architects and a lot of builders, but I never really lost the desire to get into curtain wall. And so while I was struggling with this vocational decision, you know, do I get back trying to go to the mission field or do I stay in vocational work? I went to work for my old boss from PPG at MK Architectural Metal, which is a custom architectural metal fabricator in North Canton, Ohio. And I worked there for five years as a staff engineer. And there I met a ton of people like I met a bunch of really future clients. And so that is where I started to learn that my services were in demand. I learned a ton from Gary McKissick and from the staff there at MK, I just have to shout them out. Even though I really don't do any work for them, they're not a client of mine but I learned a ton. I worked with really a bunch of people who became future clients of mine as glazing subcontractors and while there, you know, there are ups and downs in the cycle. I got my PE license, and they were very supportive of that but I could tell I was tapped out. I was going to be a staff engineer. I wasn't going to move in a different direction there; that was going to be what I did. I wanted to do more. I wanted to expand. I used to drive by this building and tell my wife, someday I'm going to have an engineering company and we're going to be right there. And that became actually kind of prophetic, because a few years later, we had an engineering company, and it was right there. So I'm probably rambling a bit here, but I found people recommending me and asking, do you do any other work? I started to do some side work for non-competing clients and people liked what I did; the way I presented it. They recognized the value and I so I was doing side work and at one point, my now partner, Richard Sprague, we were at MK and I said I think we're going to need to leave here, I don't know that they're going to need me long term and I don’t know that I can stay here. So I moved out on my own and he said he would come with me. From day one we always had work. We always met our payroll, and we always move forward. I describe myself as a gap filler in some ways, and one of the things I recognized was there were gaps in the industry that weren't being adequately serviced, not just technically, but there wasn't the appropriate level of value and the right mindset being transmitted in our field. I felt that there was a gap that could be filled, and, you know, like Mark and I talked one person's pain is another person's value proposition. So that kind of just started to really, really, really burn in me and actually went to two other corporations, big corporations, I won't name and I pitched this idea because I thought I got two kids and a little infant, three kids, you know, a mortgage. I'm 34 years old, what am I going to do this for? And I pitched this idea and they were like, no, I don't think that's going to work for

Made with FlippingBook Annual report