Tom Schmaltz has been working at Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Wightman for more than 50 years.
He started in the survey department on July 16, 1973, and has worked his way up to a construction services specialist in the engineering department.
The construction services firm that serves southwestern Michigan and North Central Indiana has experienced significant growth since Schmaltz started five decades ago. When he started, the company had a dozen employees in one office to 170 professionals throughout the Michiana area.
“Tom is one of the hardest working people that I’ve ever met,” said Bryan Styburski, Wightman’s construction manager, in a press release. “He’s always looking out for our clients’ best interests and is always willing to go the extra mile.”
Schmaltz's work today focuses on concrete quality control and other control testing and analysis.
Schmaltz, who is known as “Grandpa,” has mentored many work colleagues over the years.
“Tom was my crew chief when I started my first ‘real job’ at Wightman, so he taught me a lot about surveying, such as how to set up and operate transits and EDMs, take field notes, sharpen a machete, use a plumb bob and chain, repair a broken chain using a piece of old chain and small rivets, ‘throw a chain’, run a level loop and take level loop notes, put on and walk in snow shoes, and address upset property owners and clients,” said Gary Hahn, Wightman’s regional survey manager in the Kalamazoo office and a 40-year veteran of the firm.
Wightman offers architecture, civil engineering and surveying at offices in Allegan, Benton Harbor, Hastings, Kalamazoo, Royal Oak, and Southgate, Michigan, as well as Plymouth and South Bend, Indiana.