Here’s to the Next Chapter
Last week, Anthony McCants, PLS returned to Kier & Wright’s headquarters in Livermore to join the firm’s ownership for one last stakeholder meeting before officially beginning his retirement. After the meeting, the outgoing president left to celebrate the start of his next chapter over lunch with his former business partners.
The end of 2018 has been full of celebrations of Tony’s Kier & Wright career. On December 1st, Kier & Wright hosted its largest company-wide holiday party in history. Two-hundred and eighty guests gathered in Pleasanton to celebrate the successes of the year. Former Kier & Wright owners, including Dick Kier and Jim Wright, joined Kier & Wright staff from all five locations to look back on a fantastic year at Kier & Wright and to congratulate Tony McCants on his retirement.
During a speech delivered at the event, Tony said that he was not at the holiday party to be honored. He then reiterated a sentiment that he has shared with Kier & Wright staff during many past meetings and events: Kier & Wright is not about him—or about any of its owners—rather, it’s about the staff who work so hard to make each Kier & Wright project a success.
The firm’s emphasis on valuing and recognizing the individual contributions of staff—an emphasis that drove Tony throughout his time at Kier & Wright—is a legacy that Kier & Wright’s leadership is committed to upholding. During his own address to the company, Kier & Wright president Chuck McCallum stressed the significance of the work provided by all Kier & Wright staff.
“Whether you’re working in project coordination, . . . drafting a plan, working in engineering, or you’re in the finance department, . . . you’re making a difference,” said Chuck. “You’re helping the Bay Area move forward.”
As another great year draws to a close, we look back at Tony’s career at Kier & Wright with gratitude. We’re excited to keep moving forward, continuing to expand and evolve, while honoring the commitment to client service and quality work that has driven Kier & Wright since 1972.
More About Tony
Anthony McCants began his Kier & Wright career in 1979 as a chainman based at the company’s Santa Clara location. At the time, he was one of just six field survey personnel. In 1989, Dick Kier & Jim Wright expanded Kier & Wright’s operations to a second location in Pleasanton and selected Tony to help manage the new office. In 1997, after the retirement of the firm’s founders, Tony McCants was selected to serve as the firm’s new president. He managed the firm’s business operations until the summer of 2018 when he began his transition into retirement.
Under Tony’s decades of leadership, Kier & Wright upheld Dick Kier and Jim Wright’s commitment to providing civil engineering and land surveying services of the highest quality. Through a continued emphasis on client service, Tony helped the firm maintain client relationships that date back to its earliest years. Kier & Wright expanded its operations to support a constantly growing commercial land development project load. Tony managed on-call surveying and consulting contracts that served municipalities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, establishing Kier & Wright’s reputation as an on-call extension of public agency staff, thereby diversifying the firm’s client base. In 2007, the California & Nevada Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors Association began issuing an annual Survey Hours Champion award to the member firm with the most field survey hours logged in a year. Kier & Wright won the award in 2007 and has received the honor seven times since.
During Tony’s tenure as CEO, Kier & Wright’s staff count nearly tripled. The growing firm moved staff from its Pleasanton headquarters to a larger location in Livermore and opened three additional offices.
Tony’s guidance helped Kier & Wright surveyors grow as professionals, inspiring many to pursue professional land surveying licensure. Tony mentored many of the firm’s future leaders, instilling within them the same commitment to quality service and professional excellence that has governed the firm since the beginning.
Tony’s professional leadership experience extends beyond his contributions at Kier & Wright. He served on the California & Nevada Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors Association’s board of directors for over 20 years and in 2001, was elected president of the organization. For 12 years, Tony co-chaired the Technical Engineers Apprenticeship Committee, providing guidance that influenced the Surveyors Apprentice program. His approach stressed the importance of programming that provides hands-on training, education and career resources that prepare and encourage apprentices to pursue a professional land surveying career.