Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Mannik & Smith Group, Inc.

January 10th, 2019

Member Spotlight by Randy L. VanTilburg PE, Senior Project Manager of Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. 

Provide us with a brief summary of your business’ services.
Technical skills, relationships and leadership are the foundation of the Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) and are not just a tradition, but a way of doing business for over 60 years.  Our knowledgeable and technically savvy staff allow us to enhance the value of any project we contribute to. We’re proud to be a premier multi-disciplined engineering and environmental consulting firm working with an exclusive collection of the most progressive private entities, municipalities and government agencies in the region, nation and around the globe.

MSG provides Civil Engineering, Surveying Services, Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Consulting, Construction Support/Administration and Funding Strategy Assistance.

Tell us about your company’s mission and values.
Mission:  The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. offers an innovative and solution-oriented approach to help clients complete successful projects by focusing on the unique challenges of every project and implementing a plan based on each clients’ specific needs.

Vision:  The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. is cultivating a proactive and dynamic culture on our way toward becoming the premier consulting firm in the Midwest. Our project team offers technical diversity and the ability to tackle the projects we take on from a variety of angles.

Core Values:

  • Outstanding service to meet the individual needs of our clients.
  • Encourage a culture that promotes opportunity, development and growth in all of our employees.
  • Honesty, integrity and professionalism in our way of conducting business.
  • Achievement of success through working smarter, constantly learning and thinking creatively.

What are the services you use the most (or are looking forward to using) from the Columbus Chamber?
We value the connections, support and education the Chamber provides for our business, community and individual growth.  We are most passionate about trends and issues affecting our Central Ohio community and look forward to contributing in the most positive way we can.

How do you stay engaged with trends that you see in your industry?
The MSG team focuses on staying on top of research and innovative practices to remain engaged within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) industry.  We encourage our team members to be active within professional organizations, and promote continuing education via industry trade shows and internal collaboration.

What is your company culture like?
People are the heart of our company. Our employees are our most appreciated asset. We prove this through dedication to continual training in current technology and encouraging our employees to be creative while remaining faithful to our core values. Every year employees from each MSG office choose a local organization to support as part of our Community Engagement Initiative program. The firm provides a monetary donation to each office to gift to their chosen organization and offers time during the work day for planning and educational programs related to each Community Engagement Initiative organization. We believe that by educating our employees about the needs of those around them and supporting their involvement, we are helping to positively shape the communities in which we work and live.

What does it take to be a successful employee at your company?
At MSG, we refer to the following as “The Mannik Way” which is how we cultivate our culture and soul:

  • Embrace a challenge—We are technical people, but are equally motivated to be entrepreneurial. Just as Jaan Mannik was an immigrant from Estonia that had to fight to establish himself, we are a business that embraces challenges.
  • Be passionate of your opinion, but be ready to compromise—Difference of opinion and debate is good. What makes us great is our ability to see through our individual ideas to find common ground, while being willing to compromise.
  • Do what is best for the Team—The needs of the Team must come before personal interests. Be proud, but keep your ego in check.
  • Be generous—Get involved with your profession, your community, your beliefs and your hobbies. Give your time, talents and treasures to others.
  • Compete—Competition in business and physical activity is great…Bring it on! Be fit in mind and body so you can perform at your best.  Practice and work hard.  Compete to win.
  • Establish and cherish relationships—Nurture true connections with others. Show grace and respect. Build trust. Live by the Golden Rule. Family, friends and business relationships are more important than any bottom line.
  • Be positive—Don’t waste energy on the negatives. Love life. Be happy.  Reflect and enjoy a drink.

What makes Columbus such a great place to do business?
There’s a creative spirit in Columbus that encourages growth, community and wellbeing, but still has the small-town values where families thrive and neighbors are friends.  The diversity of headquarters in Central Ohio makes it an ideal business and entrepreneur location which includes retail, insurance, airlines, restaurants, educational facilities, financial/banking institutions and healthcare leaders.

What pieces of advice have you found to be the most helpful since starting your career?
Take risks early and often in your career.  By taking a risk, you are putting yourself in a position to learn, whether you succeed or fail.  You’re showing management that you’re willing to put yourself out-there to make things happen. Put that entrepreneurial spirit on display!

How do you achieve a work/life balance?
When planning my week, I integrate family, personal, workout and community time into my work schedule and do my best to stick with it. A holistic lifestyle is key to the pursuit of happiness.

Where is your favorite place to have a meeting outside the office?
Smokehouse Brewing Company is a great place to have a meeting, grab good food and just decompress.

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