C. Michael Smith Celebrates 40 years at MSG!
C. Michael Smith, PE, Chairman of the Board of The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) is celebrating 40 years with the firm this year. Born and raised in Wilmington, Ohio, Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Dayton. He moved to Toledo in 1976 and joined the firm of Mannik & Schneider, Inc. as their chief engineer. In 1980 he became a principal in the firm and in 1983 the firm was renamed Mannik & Smith, Inc., focusing primarily on highway and bridge design. In 1983, Mike and fellow shareholder Jaan Mannik formed the consulting firm of Midwest Environmental Consultants to specialize in the areas of environmental design and management. In 2000, Mike led the merger of Mannik & Smith, Inc. and Midwest Environmental Consultants to form The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. The firm now has eleven offices throughout Ohio and Michigan and employs more than 280 people.
In recognition and celebration of his 40 years of service, we asked Mike some questions about his career at MSG, his advice to others, and changes in the engineering profession. His answers are as follows:
What has it meant to you to have worked at MSG for such a long time? What have you enjoyed the most while working here?
MSG is not a job or employment, it has become a part of me just like a family. When you go home at night, or go on vacation, it is always on your mind. In a world that is constantly changing, MSG has always been a positive and stabilizing influence in my life. What I have enjoyed the most is watching the firm grow, and the development and growth of our employees and key managers.
What advice would you give to younger people just starting their career?
My advice would be to develop a plan as to what you want out of your career (and life) and never give up striving to achieve that plan. Do you want to learn as much technical knowledge that you can? Do you want to get into some level of management? Do you want to get into some interest outside of your engineering career and use your engineering career to support that interest? Decide as early as possible what your plan should be.
What are some of the positive changes you have seen in the engineering profession over the years?
The most important change has been in technology. The development in computer technology has resulted in significant advancement in many design aspects of engineering. The consideration of social conscience in engineering design has also been a positive advancement.
In addition to his career at MSG, Mike has also been active in many different organizations including the National, Ohio and Toledo Society of Professional Engineers; the American and Toledo Society of Civil Engineers; the American Society of Highway Engineers; the American Council of Engineering Companies; and the Ohio Contractor’s Association.
Mike is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Signature Bank. In the past, he has also served on the Zoning Board and Board of Zoning Appraisals for Sylvania Township; on various boards for ProMedica Health System; as President and Board Member for Stone Oak Country Club; and on the Board for the Transportation Advocacy Group of Northwest Ohio.
Mike is the proud father of two children, Jeff and Sarah, and grandfather to Whit. An avid golfer, he resides in Holland, Ohio, and enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.