Every year, we spend time recognizing employees by celebrating years of service awards in 5-year increments.  At this year’s annual firm meeting, we had several memorable “long-term” years of service milestones (i.e. Schlotterer, Ada, and Autumn to name a few).  For just one post, try not to confuse my typical ranting with celebrations, I promise not to make a habit of it, but some of these callouts are too good to go unsaid.  Particularly in this age of employee-driven attrition, it’s even more impressive we have so many tenured employees to celebrate.

Allow me also to be clear that celebrating my own 15-year service award is far less impressive than many of the others.  However, I am really proud of the cast of characters that came in at various times throughout the year 2007.  Obviously, that includes the appearance of yours truly, but several other far more admirable stories should be recognized.

Few people stick with one place that long anymore unless they know there’s an opportunity to turn their job into a career.  What exactly is my career, you ask?  Good question.  Connecting people to people?  Relationships?  Sounds pretty generic.  Customer service?  There are days when I do remind myself, we’re essentially public servants.  Certainly nothing wrong with that.  Fortunately, I still have time to figure it out!

Class of 2007, all of you are my buddies; we’ll always be connected, kinda like freshmen off at school in the same dorm room.  So here we go…

Matt Stamp – Matt and I started on the same day in 2007, considered by most to be the birth of GBQ SALT.  Goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway, the prolonged success of the SALT department is more Matt’s doing than mine. 2010 recipient of the Morris Groner Entrepreneurial Award

Steve Boston – This guy has taken more ribbing from me over the years without ever cracking even the slightest of smiles.  His look is somewhere in between, “Are you done yet?” and “Don’t you have work to do?”  My guy though, and his intelligence, vastly underrated! 2014 recipient of the Ron Quillin Learning Award

Mary Stucke – Who took control of their own career with more passion than Mary?  And with a smile on her face, always.  Stalwart.  Mary’s accomplishments in the last 15 years are worthy of a separate blog, and many of her clients would vouch for that. 2011 recipient of the Ron Quillin Learning Award and 2016 recipient of the Jack Boyle Outstanding Leadership Award

Sara Goldhardt – The great heist of the SALT department, stolen from the fed tax department.  Minus the ugly-looking “terrible towel” in her office, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having a front-row seat watching her climb to the partner ranks.  So well-deserved, even for a Pittsburgh fan! 2013 and 2020 recipient of the Ron Quillin Learning Award and 2021 recipient of the Morris Groner Entrepreneurial Award

Mark Fall – Finally, saving the best for last.  The behind-the-scenes guy.  Literally the face of our IT department.  For several years now, I’ve campaigned for the creation of the Mark Fall Internal Client Service Award.  I’ve lost track of how many consecutive years Mark has won the existing internal client service award, nominated and voted on by the entire firm.  Obviously, this is an enormous nod to the role he has served within these walls for the last 15 years.  (For the record, I also think there should be a Wade Kozich Energy Award.)

Pretty solid class of 2007 for sure.  But the most impressive years of service celebration at this year’s firm meeting…Bob Biehl, 35 years.  Wow, that’s a long time.  And everyone likes recounting the cost of gas, a gallon of milk, who was President…yada yada yada.  I’d just like to point out that 35 years ago, I was in the first grading period of 2nd grade.

Bob loves telling the story about starting at GBQ’s original location on East Broad St., supervising Koz while he planted flowers or spread the mulch…which one was it? No one can even remember at this point. He was employee No. 14, apparently also unverified. Koz referred to him as “young and dumb.”

Bob, I know you’re reading this, you’re a dinosaur, just admit it.  But you’re also a legend, and one of my favorites.  Where would we be without you?  Where would our construction practice be without you?

Cheers to all of this year’s award recipients!


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