BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — This year marks a 25-year milestone for Design Engineers & Consulting Associates (DECA).
With a variety of completed projects, the engineering firm has established itself as a business that is schedule-driven with a competitive fee structure. Over the past two decades, the firm has worked on a multitude of projects, including the Maumee Police Division and Maumee fire station buildings, Signature Harley Davidson in Perrysburg and numerous churches and schools.
Clients are located both in the local area, as well as nationwide, said Bob Brannan, the founder and president of the company.
“In this business, the work that you do is different every day – each building, project and client is unique. That is what makes this job so interesting,” he said.
Brannan is a registered mechanical engineer who received an architectural engineering degree from Penn State University. He is a registered professional engineer in approximately 25 states.
After beginning his career in Washington, D.C., and Tampa, Fla., he eventually moved to Maumee when he accepted a job in 1989 with a small, local consulting engineering firm. Five years later, he took another position with a larger consulting engineering firm in Sylvania, one that is no longer in business. Throughout his time with the Sylvania firm, Brannan also began taking on projects with personal clients, a practice that kept him very busy and eventually led him to the decision to open his own firm.
In April 1994, Brannan launched DECA out of his home. At the time, the company’s business offerings were limited to HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and temperature control consulting services.
With the addition of more employees, the company moved to the 100 block of East Wayne Street during the last quarter of 1995.
Shortly thereafter, the company added an electrical professional engineer, Martin Braun, who became a partner in the company. They maintained a thriving mechanical and electrical consulting engineering firm. While the firm continues to offer these services, Braun passed away in April 2017.
In 1999, DECA purchased the former post office on Conant Street, converting the 5,000-square-foot ground floor into its current office. Over the years, the garden level or lower level spaces have been utilized for various tenants.
“We were able to increase the number of employees, which, in turn, increased revenues,” said Brannan. “We were also able to add equipment in order to add amenities, such as in-house printing for clients, as well as a lounge area for our staff.”
With a staff of 13, much of the work provided by the firm involves supplying electrical and mechanical design systems related to construction. A majority of clients are architects, business owners and contractors.
“We do jobs from $500 to $500,000,” Brannan said. “Maumee is good town to grow business.”