OHM Advisors
OHM
CONTACT   |   FTP  |   E-MAIL    podcast facebook twitter linkedin vimeo
History
prev

1962

Flying screens

HOW IT ALL STARTED

John E. Hiltz, an engineer with more than 30 years of municipal engineering experience, joined forces with Melvin (Ernie) Orchard of Orchard Engineering and Frank Papke and Dick Toal of Salle Engineering to form John E. Hiltz & Associates, Inc. The company started in Detroit with 15 employees and served as the consulting engineer for the City of Livonia, the beginning of a relationship that continues today.

1963

Flying screens

WILLIAM C. MCCLIMENT JOINS THE COMPANY

William C. McCliment joined the firm as a design engineer from the Michigan State Highway Department. Six years later, he became a principal and was in charge of several intra-county drainage projects in southeast Michigan. Over the years, Bill worked on several firm-defining projects including the first 13-foot diameter, pre-cast sewer pipeline in Michigan, a major extension of Wayne County's regional sewer system, and a 10 million gallon-a-day water transmission main in Livonia. Many of his clients, including the cities of Ypsilanti and Livonia, have been with the firm for five decades.

1964

Flying screens

The Beatles come to the United States

John E. Hiltz & Associates, Inc. was two years old when the Beatles arrived in the United States for a taping of the Ed Sullivan Show. Their first U.S. television appearance attracted 74 million viewers, or more than a third of the U.S. population at the time.

1967

Flying screens

John J. Hiltz, Sr. Joins The Firm

The second Hiltz to join the firm, John J. Hiltz hailed from the Ford Motor Company and the Wayne County Road Commission. A registered professional engineer who graduated from the University of Detroit, John brought 19 years of experience with him when he joined the firm in 1967; 10 with Ford, seven with the County, and two doing field engineering layout for a general contractor. By 1969, John had become a principal with the firm and was responsible for municipal engineering projects in the metro Detroit area.

1969

Flying screens

APOLLO 11

"The Eagle has landed." John E. Hiltz & Associates, Inc. celebrated its 7th birthday the same year humankind took its first steps on the moon. A milestone for our country, millions of people breathlessly watched the event unfold on television, including those from our firm. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." And a nod to the engineers that made it all happen.

1972

Flying screens

A NEW PARTNERSHIP AND HEADQUARTERS BUILDING

This was a busy year for the firm. Just 10 years after our founding, we moved into a new headquarters, founding Partner John E. Hiltz retired, and the firm changed its name to Orchard, Papke, Hiltz and McCliment, Inc. (OPHM). Cofounder Ernie Orchard took on the role as President and continued to develop our culture of advising communities. Along with several private clients, OPHM served five major municipal clients which are still with us today: the cities of Livonia, Ypsilanti, and Farmington and the townships of Superior and Pontiac (now the City of Auburn Hills).

1976

Flying screens

United States Bicentennial

OPHM was just a teen when the United States became a double centurion. Our staff celebrated their "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" throughout the year, honoring events that led our nation to independence.

1979

Flying screens

THE WALKMAN

Sony revolutionized the music industry with a portable invention called the Walkman. We could walk, talk, chew gum, and listen to rock at the same time, and might have said it was "totally awesome." Of course, this was leisure time spent outside of our totally focused workday.

1982

Flying screens

NAME CHANGES TO ORCHARD, HILTZ & MCCLIMENT, INC.

Following the retirement of Vice President Frank Papke, OPHM changed its name to Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. (OHM). The firm, which had seen its client base grow steadily over the past 20 years, began a period of significant staff expansion to meet the advisory needs of our clients and communities.

1983

Flying screens

JOHN J. HILTZ, JR. JOINS OHM

Our current president, son of John J. Hiltz and great-nephew of John E Hiltz, joined the firm after graduating from the University of Michigan. John started as a staff engineer.

1984

Flying screens

PENCILS DOWN!

Never one to stand still, technology marched forward with advances in computer programming and hardware. Never one to be left behind, OHM was right in step with computer-aided design. OHM staff began to set their protractors and compasses aside, and started drafting with personal computers.

1985

Flying screens

OHM EXPANDS ITS SERVICES: TRANSPORTATION AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING

Up until the mid-80s, many municipalities and agencies primarily used their own professionals to design transportation-related projects. In response to a shift to consultants, OHM developed a devoted team of transportation and structural engineers to serve our clients' needs. We were able to accommodate the varied needs of smaller expanding cities and regional road agencies like the Road Commission for Oakland County, Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation. During this time, we designed the freeway bridges for the I-69 freeway that MDOT was building between Lansing and Flint. Today, this large, dedicated group provides transportation planning, road design, structural engineering, traffic services, construction phase services, and right-of-way assistance.

1986

Bird Houk

OHM ADVANCES COMMUNITIES BY JOINING FORCES WITH HAMPTON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, INC.

OHM joined forces with Hampton Engineering Associates, Inc. and began a relationship with two primary clients in Michigan: the City of Pontiac and the Road Commission for Oakland County. With an office in the City of Pontiac, Phil Hampton, PE helped elevate OHM's transportation services and honed our superior level of customer service. He was the leader in advising communities and doing what it takes to make a client's project successful.

1989

Bird Houk

Seinfeld hits the small screen

The first episode of Seinfeld aired on NBC on July 5, 1989, the beginning of a successful nine-season run. During Seinfeld's run, employees could be heard referencing its pop culture phrases such as "yadda, yadda, yadda" or "no soup for you!"

1992

Bird Houk

THE GIS TEAM AND LEADERSHIP CHANGE

OHM continued to demonstrate its leading edge by teaming with CDM to provide to geographic information system (GIS) services to Wayne County, Michigan's Rouge Program Demonstration Office. This was one of the first large-scale GIS projects in Michigan and encompassed the entire Rouge River Watershed. At the end of the year, Ernie Orchard stepped down as President after several years grooming a team to continue the growth of OHM's talent. Bill McCliment assumed the role of President.

1995

Bird Houk

TECH CENTER OPENS HOUSING FOR NEWLY-EXPANDED GIS AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES GROUPS

OHM's quality services increased our client base and required more space for new staff. We opened a second office in Livonia to house our expanding construction and geographic information system (GIS) groups.

1999

Bird Houk

ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER RESOURCES AND A NEW OHM PRESIDENT

Identifying an increasing need for specialized water quality related services, OHM committed to develop a core team dedicated to stormwater, waste water and water system planning, modeling and remediation projects. OHM's environmental and water resources group (EWRG) has since grown significantly and rapidly in its number of professionals and related service areas. Also, Russ Gronevelt stepped up as President of OHM and energized the company's acquisition of talented professionals, assembling solid teams customized for solving individual client issues.

2002

Bird Houk

40 Years of Advancing Commmunities

"Over the hill!" might be the common quip, but it was not the sentiment at OHM's 40th anniversary celebration at the Detroit Zoo. Incredibly thrilled by this milestone, we invited 1,400 employees, family members, clients, and friends to join us in celebrating four decades of doing what we love - advancing communities. This also marked the beginning of a period of unprecedented growth for the firm. More like, "Just getting started!"

2003

Bird Houk

A New Building

OHM was growing and needed room to stretch its legs. The year 2003 brought a shiny new building that could accommodate our lengthening limbs. OHM consolidated the Livonia and Farmington Hills offices and moved to a custom-remodeled building at 34000 Plymouth Road in Livonia. Today, the office serves as OHM's headquarters. The building provides an attractive and productive environment for both employees and clients.

2005

Bird Houk

OHM EXPANDS TO MICHIGAN'S UPPER PENINSULA, AND ADDS THE "A" IN A/E

OHM joined forces with Hitch, Inc., a firm based in Houghton, Michigan. Its 15 professionals brought new service offerings to our clients including architecture, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. The office also extended our client family to include K-12 schools, universities and the federal government.

2007

Bird Houk

NEW BRAND, VISION AND LOGO

Be great project managers, but think like advisors. Words to live by. After years of being thoroughly engaged with all aspects of the communities we serve, our team developed a unique ability to think outside the box and anticipate client needs. Our proactive culture became a recognized strength and a defining OHM characteristic. With our niche defined and our vision clear, we created a new logo and tagline Advancing Communities.

2008

Bird Houk

OHM EXPANDS INTO TENNESSEE

As OHM became more nationally-recognized for our superior AE services, new client opportunities called for the opening of a southern office. New clients included the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and several local municipalities in the Nashville area.

2009

Bird Houk

A NEW OHM PRESIDENT

As the great nephew of co-founder John E. Hiltz and former Vice President of Operations, John J. Hiltz, Jr was the ideal candidate to take over the presidential reins from Russell Gronevelt when he retired. John stepped into his role at a time when the U.S. faced its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. John kept OHM focused on "advising communities" and that kept our staff engaged in projects through that difficult period.

2010

Bird Houk

OHM EXPANDS INTO OHIO, AND ADDS THE "P" IN A/E/P

The opportunity to provide our clients with more diversified solutions presented itself again one year after putting down roots into central Ohio. After opening a small office in the Columbus area in 2009, OHM added planning services and further developed its architectural studio through a merger with Ohio-based Bird Houk Collaborative. The merger integrated our public-sector focused services to municipalities and agencies with Bird Houk's architecture, planning, and urban design for both private and public sectors. Bird Houk retained its name and operated as "Bird Houk, a Division of OHM" until late 2012.

2011

Bird Houk

OHM EXPANDS INTO MID-MICHIGAN AND NORTHWEST OHIO

With new services in the OHM toolbox, OHM had more to share. Attracted by numerous opportunities from local communities, school districts, universities, and road agencies, we opened offices in Mt. Pleasant, home to Central Michigan University (CMU), and Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo.

2012

Bird Houk

50 YEARS YOUNG - THE FIRM CELEBRATES A MILESTONE

2012 was about remembering the past and celebrating the future. Fifty years ago, we were a staff of 15, providing engineering consulting services to a handful of community clients. Fifty years later, we became a multidisciplinary firm 10 times that size with numerous regional offices serving the Army Corps of Engineers, school districts, municipalities, Fortune 20 Corporations, and more. On a journey filled with hills and valleys, forks and turns, our commitment to each other and the advancement of communities has been our guiding light. As we celebrated our 50th anniversary, that commitment grew stronger than ever.

2013

Bird Houk

Doing Business as OHM Advisors

We began 2013 with a subtle but meaningful change. OHM began doing business as OHM Advisors. Just shy of a decade ago, clients relied on us as Engineering Advisors. Over the years, we became Community Advisors as we developed into a multidisciplinary firm driven by our long-standing mission of Advancing Communities. Thus, to best reflect our reputation and character as a firm today, we are OHM Advisors. It's a small change, but packed with significance.

2014

OHM Advisors

New Year, Unlimited Opportunities

2013 proved to be a growth year. Not only did we open an office in Saginaw, MI, but we added significant talent across disciplines - increasing our size by more than 30%. We believe this is a testament to our strength and potential as an A/E/P firm. 2014 will surely bring its challenges, but the opportunities to provide comprehensive, forward-thinking solutions to our clients are unlimited.

next


Our History


In 1962, OHM Advisors (Orchard Hiltz & McCliment, Inc.) began with a simple premise: to create extraordinary relationships with our clients. John E. Hiltz joined forces with Melvin (Ernie) Orchard to form John E. Hiltz & Associates, starting with 15 employees. In 2012, we celebrated 50 years of Advancing Communities. Along the way we've delivered solutions, service and insights that provide value to our clients – many of whom have been with us since day one.

 

In recent years, we’ve continued to stretch ourselves; expanding our capabilities and our footprint by joining forces with architecture and engineering firm Hitch, Inc. in 2005 and opening several regional offices. In 2010, our merger with Ohio-based Bird Houk Collaborative joined their private sector market savvy with our public sector expertise. Since 2011, we 've opened offices in Mount Pleasant and Saginaw, Michigan.