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Published: Monday, 2/13/2006

Surveyor looks to bow out

BY HOMER BRICKEY
BLADE SENIOR BUSINESS WRITER
Jim Andrus, company president, is turning over his surveying business to his son, David, and daughter, Deborah Jardine. Jim Andrus, company president, is turning over his surveying business to his son, David, and daughter, Deborah Jardine.
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Jim Andrus recalls that when he started his surveying business in 1966, most people felt I would never make it, to be truthful.

The Korean War veteran was 32, had experience in surveying but had no college degree, and had two children and another on the way. Maybe even more importantly, I had no money.

But a prominent real estate agent, the late Louis Michael, befriended the young man, who was then working for the Lucas County engineer s office, and believed in him. Mr. Andrus remembers his words of advice: Jim, don t look back Go into business on your own, and you will be successful.

It wasn t always easy, but Mr. Andrus did make it. And now he wants to turn J.C. Andrus & Associates Inc. over to his son, David Andrus, and daughter. Deborah Jardine.

The firm moved late last year to its new offices on Secor Road after nearly 19 years in a building on 10th Street.

The industry has undergone change. Mr. Andrus, president, said there are no drafting tables, as all work is done by computer. He startedhis business before modern computers, electronic calculators, and global-positioning satelite systems. His son David, vice president, said the firm occasionally uses surveyors chains and other older equipment. Jim Andrus said his first big project was surveying much of the property that is the campus of the Medical University of Ohio.

Other surveying projects by the firm include work for developers of shopping

malls and manufacturing-plant sites, and right-of-way surveys, including 267 miles in the path of power-transmissions to and from FirstEnergy Corp. s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Oak Harbor.

Recent work includes surveying for the Toledo Area Metroparks.

They have done just outstanding work for us, said Tim Schetter, land acquisition agent for Metroparks. I ve been impressed with their work. They re always professional.

The firm employs 10 and said it had revenue last year of about $750,000.

Even though the founder shows up for work every day, he said he is trying to gradually turn over control. I m trying to phase out, he said.

He is spending a lot of time trying to dispose of what has become a veritable museum of surveying equipment in the 124-year-old downtown building. He said he got a lot of equipment and files by absorbing eight small surveying firms over the years.

The company moved 179 four-drawer file cabinets to the Secor Road location, including survey records dating to the 1880s.

Contact Homer Brickey at: homerbrickey@theblade.com or 419-724-6129.

Small Business Profile is a weekly feature on local companies. To be considered, send information about your company to Small Business Profiles, Business News, The Blade, P.O. Box 921, Toledo, Ohio 43697-0921.



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