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Wisconsin Chapter Featured Member

MSA Professional Services, Inc. (MSA)

MSA began as a rural two-man surveying and engineering partnership in the 1930s and has grown into a multi¬disciplinary network of over 330 engineers, architects, surveyors, funding experts, planners and environmental professionals, working collaboratively to strengthen communities across the nation. With headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin—MSA continues to grow—currently offering services from sixteen offices within six states: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia and Texas.
MSA voted to become 100% employee owned in 2017 and was selected Wisconsin Company of the Year for 2018 by The ESOP Association.

MSA-Wiscosnin Feature Member

The ESOP Influence
A successful ESOP culture is built on trust, and trust is precisely what sustained MSA through the pursuit of becoming 100% vested as an ESOP S-Corp. After prior ownership transfers between successive partners, our Board of Directors recognized the opportunity to change things for the better, for the long term. After being a partial ESOP C-Corp for 26 years, CEO Gil Hantzsch announced in late 2016 that MSA planned to attain 100% employee-ownership S-Corp status by the end of June 2017. Doing so would necessitate all 95 shareholders outside the ESOP voluntarily selling their shares back to the company. With a purposeful education plan about the ESOP model and its long-term benefits, trust once tested became trust earned. In July of 2017, MSA employee-owners raised a glass to celebrate the beginning of a new era at MSA, an era determined to being stronger, together.

It is no coincidence that the year in which we became 100% employee owned was our most successful since the Great Recession. We have since been named one of the “Best Firms to Work For” by the Zweig Group, the third largest engineering firm in Wisconsin for 2018—as identified by the Milwaukee Business Journal—and have climbed to No. 310 on the Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms list for 2018.

Uniquely MSA
MSA specializes in the sustainable development of communities. Partnering with us means receiving more than just an end-product. It means a commitment to building honest, open relationships that go beyond the project, providing a trusted source of expertise and support for immediate challenges and long-term goals. Our team has broad-spectrum expertise as well as niche market insights that are uniquely applicable to projects big or small, traditional or specialized. We build project teams based on the specific needs of our clients, collaborating as needed across state lines and with local, state and federal agencies and organizations to ensure projects are smart, efficient and cost effective.

Our broader mission is to help people live, work and play better by improving the built environment that surrounds them. It is easy to be passionate about the work you do when you see the impact it makes, and as citizens, we all benefit from safer streets, cleaner water and attractive, well-built spaces. MSA is proud to be a part of the solution.

MSA is also committed to enriching the lives of our employee-owners by encouraging community involvement and a healthy work-life balance. Indeed, we are more than just engineers, architects, consultants, water and transportation experts, GIS specialists, environmental scientists, roundabout authorities, surveyors, landscape architects, funding experts, planners and developers...

...we are also innovators, educators, owners—friends. We support each other, know each other’s families, honor our diverse lifestyles and values, have each other’s backs. It’s the MSA way.

MSA Purpose Statement: Enabling people to positively impact the lives of others.

Founded: In the early 1930s in Baraboo Wisconsin as a surveying and engineering partnership between H.E. French and H.C. Amundson. Incorporated in 1962 as Mid-State Associates, and changed to MSA Professional Services in 1997.

Number of employee-owners: 330+ 

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