Local business celebrates 50th anniversary

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Eastern Engineering started from humble beginnings. Fifty years ago, Mark Langdon’s parents started a company to help manage projects for architects and engineers, be it providing prints or helping with software.

Langdon’s parents worked alone out of a small Muncie company for three years before hiring their first employee, who is still with the company. Langdon, president of Eastern Engineering, and his wife, Dawn, who is the CEO, took the company over from his mother, Mary, last year.

Mark Landgon grew up around the business and knew from a young age he wanted to work with his family and help with the business, working for the company during the summer when he was in high school and returning during breaks when he was in college.

Dawn also started working with the Langdons in college and over breaks after she married Mark in 1995. But in 2004, when a situation with their bookkeeper left them without anyone managing their money, Dawn quit her teaching job teaching to look over finances for Eastern Engineering. Today, she is its CEO.

Since launching in a building in Muncie, Eastern Engineering has expanded to five other locations in the Midwest: Fishers, Fort Wayne, Perrysburg, Ohio, Champaign, Ill. and Novi, Mich.

Most of the company’s 55 employees have been with it for more than 20 years, Langdon said.

Part of the secret to keeping a business running for 50 years, Mark said, is taking care of employees.

“Everybody always says customers come first,” said Langdon, borrowing a quote from Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson. “But employees come first because without employees, you don’t have customers.”

Dawn said the employees are like family.

“Our employees have grown into our family members. They’ve stuck with us through the hard parts and the good parts just like family members do,” she said. “You don’t get to the good parts without the hard parts. Throughout the (Great) Recession, throughout the pandemic, those employees stuck with us and they mean the world to us, and Eastern Engineering wouldn’t have made it to 50 years without them.”

The Langdons are hoping to keep the business in the family as their two adult children, 26 and 23, now work for the company.

“They grew up knowing Eastern Engineering, and so for them to get to see us do what we love to do, they got to see what their grandparents started and see it trickle down,” Dawn said. “And I love the fact that they get to see how good their dad is at his job and to learn from him because he is so good at what he does.”

The Langdons are proud to of the business’ success and longevitiy.

“We’re not arrogant. We don’t brag. We just kind of let you know, we let our customer service do its own talking,” Mark said. “It’s the team that does everything. Without the employees, we’re nothing at this point.”

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