In 2003, Toth and Associates Inc. was little more than an idea.
President Adam Toth says he was just about to graduate from college when his dad, Lou, called.
“I remember the phone call. I was considering applying for law school at the time – do I send in my law school application, or do we give this thing a shot?” the younger Toth recalls thinking.
The answer, obviously, was to see where the idea might lead.
By the end of that year, Toth and Associates had grown to five employees. Today, the company has 112 on the payroll, and has already added three employees this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Toth is hopeful that’s just a start. His goal since the beginning has been to eventually have 500 people on the payroll.
“Maybe that’s a career goal,” says Toth, who succeeded his father as president in 2019. “That would be a huge goal for a small town, if you could have a firm of 500 in a town this size.”
Toth attributes the company’s growth to the quality of people on board.
“We don’t sell a product. We sell people. We sell our employees,” Toth says. “We have to take care of our clients, and we have to take care of our employees. That’s all we have. We don’t have a patent on a product.
“If we don’t hire the best people, people aren’t going to hire us.”
Smart hires also have been directly responsible for the company’s diversification from being solely focused on electrical utility engineering, he says. Toth and Associates entered the structural engineering sector in 2009, after hiring a couple of experts in the field.
“We hired industry leaders, the best people that we could. We gave them free rein to do what they could and got out of their way,” he says.
In 2013, company leaders replicated that success in the civil engineering field.
“We empower them, give them the resources and ultimately the end reward has been a partnership in the company. I’m guessing we’ll start another group when the opportunity comes along,” Toth says.
He says the firm strives to take care of all of its employees, not just those who make partner. Toth and Associates reports that in 2019 the average hourly employee pay increased by $3.08 an hour to $43.29 an hour.
The company also tries to encourage a healthy work-life balance by allowing employees to work flexible hours.
“In general, we let people do what they need to do for their family, and we work with them on that,” he says. “We understand your family is your foundation. And if you don’t have a good family life, you don’t have a good work life.”
Toth says it’s true the pandemic slowed business by pushing projects back, but the slowdown allowed the company to catch up on what he describes as a big backlog.
And while he serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters and Discovery Center boards and supports various charities, Toth says doing right by employees is probably its greatest community contribution.
“That’s probably the biggest thing we can give back to the community – high-quality STEM jobs,” he says.
Springfield Business Journal’s 2023 Trusted Advisers event honors 20 businesspeople.