Employee Spotlight: Vice President Gary Hartong, PE, looks back on 18 years with The Wooten Company

“18 and Life”
Not only a famous song by the rock band Skid Row but hopefully a prophecy about my career with The Wooten Company. Looking back 18 years to 1998, I was downright lucky to put my left foot through the front door of The Wooten Company. After seeing an advertisement hanging in the student lounge at NC State’s Mann Hall, it took two phone calls plus an interview where my academic transcript, and more particularly my CE 382 Hydraulics grade, was closely scrutinized before I was offered a part-time student position with the firm…6,570 days have since passed.

Fast forward 18 years. So why am I sitting in an office 77 miles east of my originally-beloved Raleigh employed by the same EAP firm where I work with many of the same employees and deal with a vast number of the same clients? Why haven’t I jumped ship when the talking heads say “you need to jump companies every 4-5 years to advance your career”? Well, it is these same employees and clients that have nurtured, educated, encouraged, and developed me into a better co-worker, engineer, husband, and father. And yes, they still continue to do it every day.

In the last 18 years, I have been given incredible opportunities for internal and external training, graduate level college education assistance and steady career advancement. Sure, I have made some personal sacrifices along the way and experienced temporary dissatisfaction at times, but when I step back and breathe it all in I quickly realize that this firm cares about its clients, its employees and their families. These are a few of the intangibles that make The Wooten Company a unique and rewarding place to develop and spend a career.

If you ask me to look into my crystal ball and project the next 18 years, then I would have to tell you that our horizon is bright. I am confident that The Wooten Company has made a great decision to promote Derrick Smith to fill my position in Greenville. I am confident that this firm’s leadership will continue to strategize to expand our technical services in both breadth (geographically) and depth (service lines) so that we can be a valuable resource and partner for our clients. And most of all, I am confident that The Wooten Company will continue to have dedicated, motivated and good-natured employees who will continue to step up to the challenge when called upon to move this firm ahead in the coming years. Cheers to the next 18!