He had a plan. He was still young. He was married, but no children yet. It was the right time, and he knew it. Risks, return, responsibility – all three were going to be part of the process. David Moody, president and CEO of Moody Engineering, was well-aware of the entrepreneurial roller coaster he was about to board when he founded Moody Engineering nearly six years ago, and he was ready to take those risks, capitalize on those early returns and commit to the expected responsibility.
After completing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and working for a large company, David decided that if he was going to start his own engineering firm, the best time was before he had a family or any major financial obligations. In 2014, David started Moody Engineering, and when his father’s company, Moody Nolan, decided to phase out their engineering department, David was fortunate to be able to recruit several individuals from the dissolving team. In particular, he brought on Mark Larrimer, PE, as director of engineering operations.
With staffing set, David stated, “It was more about how do I provide the best service for clients possible, focusing primarily on architecturally related projects like new construction, and then diversifying out to all the things that civil engineers do.” This was his game plan, with a guiding quote by graphic designer, Joe Sparano, “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” David then added, “We like to think of ourselves as doing things that are very transparent, not invisible, because we don’t want people to not be aware of what we do. We just want to do our jobs so well that you don’t even notice that we were there.”
Most professionals would be disappointed by this, but David explained that most of the projects for civil engineers revolve around segments of the construction process that are not often visible or relatable to the average person. Site utilities, storm water management, roadway and parking lot design, and underground infrastructure are just a few of the many services provided by these experienced engineers whose work is rarely part of the spotlight. “These are the things that people don’t really think about, but as long as we have done our job well, they don’t even notice that we were there. It just works. And people say, ‘Wow, that is a nice building,’ versus, ‘That is a well-designed parking lot.’”
David’s young business needed more to survive though than the reputation he was quickly building. “I needed capital to expand and grow,” David admitted. “It was really hard initially getting a loan.” Even as the bigger banks’ expectations were anticipated, they were difficult, and the parameters were extreme. David switched his focus to finding a community bank, and his exposure to Heartland Bank through a recent project brought him to explore the options available at this local financial institution.
“I looked at a number of different banks that were local, community-type banks, and Heartland kind-of rose to the top. I really enjoyed working with Heartland because it is very personable. I know the people there, and the terms of the agreement were very beneficial. I didn’t need to worry about my future, and they gave me the opportunity to have a line of credit to do the things I need to do – hiring needed individuals, meeting payroll every two weeks, providing an ease of mind for me, but at the same time allowing me to do my business and grow my business over time.”
With ODOT, OSU and City of COlumbus projects on the schedule for 2020, Moody Engineering is confident in its financial position. Their strategic planning has allowed them to move to a larger office space with updated workstations and conference rooms, increase their staffing and have the ability to bid on projects with confidence. If you would like to feel this type of financial confidence, stop in to any one of our 16 Heartland Bank branch locations and speak with any of our associates about making the switch to a community bank.