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The President's Series - Frank Maticic

May 2014

Scott Brown, Director of Business Development for the W-T Family of Companies, dives into the professional experience and lives of our company presidents. This month: Frank Maticic PLS, President of W-T Land Surveying, Inc.

You served in the Army. Can you tell us more about your experience?

I served three years as a field artillery surveyor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I spent my entire enlistment assigned at the Field Artillery Board testing new surveying and artillery weapon systems for the US Army. The role of a field artillery surveyor is to give the location and orientation of the firing unit so they could fire accurately. I learned a tremendous amount which translated well into my role today.

Why get a land survey? What are the benefits?

There are several reasons to get a Survey. For instance, if you have disagreements with your neighbors and need an unbiased professional opinion as to where the actual property lines are. When purchasing property, you and the bank will want to know what you are legally buying and later it proves handy when adding a shed and the municipality asks for your survey. In our case, we serve design professionals which use our Surveys as a base for their designs.

There are several types of surveys, I’ll explain:

Boundary Surveys are for public and private properties. As the name explains, they are meant to show the established property lines. Usually a plat is issued with improvements and property corners set.

Topographic Surveys provide vertical as well as horizontal information and are usually for engineers and designers. At W-T Land Surveying, we call them "Topographic Survey for engineering design" to distinguish its purpose and to make sure we are comparing apples to apples from other cheaper products. This survey helps in regards to everything you will need to build a site from utilities connections, water runoff and matching to existing improvements.

ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys are for the sale of commercial properties. They are one of the more scrutinized products we provide as the buyer’s attorneys as well as the title company will review our Survey to the title report to assure no discrepancies.

One type of Survey which is no longer accepted is a mortgage inspection. Reason being, it is roughly referenced improvements to property lines that have not been established by the surveyor. The reason why it existed is because the bank wanted a 3rd party that doesn’t have a dog in the race to show there is a house on the property.

Is there a specific project that sticks out in your career?

The biggest project I was involved in from start to finish was not with W-T but rather with my first firm out of the military, which is no longer in business. It was a massive warehouse and four story office building for Panasonic. I believe the year was 1989. The warehouse itself was over 1,000 feet long. The construction lasted almost two years.

I hear you are a big fan on fine cognac. What is your favorite brand?

Martell is my favorite; its V.S. (Very Special) is as smooth as some other brands V.S.O.P. (Very Special Old Pail) versions. It’s the brand I was introduced to by my uncle and my best man served it as well. Overall I just think it is a better quality cognac.

How has land surveying changed since you first started in the business?

There are always changes in the industry with new types of equipment coming out every five years or so and surveyors today are asked to provide more detail than ever before. Clients can ask for minute details, which means we need to be on our "A" game for each project. One extreme example is a project with puddles in pavement of ¼ to ½ inches deep, impossible to pick up in dry conditions, but because the client expected us to identify it, we went back to the site and got additional shots. With the internet today, there is more information available. We can now provide research for a site before going out to the field. I remember going to a site with just an address or at what corner of an intersection and hoping to run into a Bench Mark. Now, we need to be aware of everything and make sure we pick up the ¼ inch pavement dips.

What separates W-T Land Surveying from other firms that offer similar services?

What separates us is our attention to detail and our experience. Our team is very knowledgeable and we have added quality folks as we grow. I think we get along with every company within the W-T Family of Companies and we are a service oriented group. This makes life easy for our clients and backs up our "One Source. Infinite Solutions." tagline. Mike and Kevin are easy to work with and their type of knowledge would reflect someone who would be a PLS several years ago.

Your family is from Croatia. Tell me more about that.

My family moved here in 1973 via DC10 (airplane no longer in service for you youngsters). I had an aunt that did not want to go back to a Communist Yugoslavia and came over after the Second World War. Back in the 1970s, if you were not a doctor/lawyer/scientist, you had to have immediate family to help bring you over. In the old country, my mother was a homemaker, my father looked after the farm and worked at a local factory making wooden heels for shoes. Life then (in the old country) was that of a third world country; things are different now. In hindsight, I consider myself very lucky; there was a civil war which we missed (Croatia and Bosnia split from Communism). Had we stayed over there, I do not know what would have happened. I have worked hard and was able to make something out of my life here in the United States, which I am very proud of....

Frank Maticic, PLS

Frank joined W-T Land Surveying, Inc. in 1993 and has been in charge of the field coordination for 5 years before stepping into the president role ten years ago. His experience includes over 31 years in Land Surveying and Construction Layout, performing ALTA/ACSM Surveys, Topographic Surveys for Engineering Design and a variety of Boundary Surveys. For the last 15 of those years Mr. Maticic has been involved in a variety of Land Acquisition projects for the Illinois Department of Transportation. He also surveyed for the United States Army Field Artillery Board, testing new weapon and surveying systems.