Building solid relationships since 1948: 150 of our clients have been with us for more than 20 years. Decades later, we’re still finding new ways to impress them.


A.H. Samborn & Associates.

1948 – 1977: Al Samborn serves as CEO.

Al Samborn returns from his service in WWII and signs his first contract with Spurgeon Conveyor for the design of a material handling system to convert the Kaiser-Frazer boiler plant in Willow Run, Michigan from oil to coal.


Jack Steketee Joins the firm.

Soon the firm was providing structural engineering to The Andersons, Ford, and Surface Combustion.


The Firm Grows to 30+ Employees.


Ford Motor Company recommends the firm to UCAR Carbon, resulting in a commission to design a warehouse and manufacturing facility in Tennessee.


The late fifties brought change to the make-up of the firm, Erwin J. (Burrie) Otis, Jr. and John H. V. Evans, both architects, entered the partnership. Debut of Samborn, Steketee and Associates, Otis and Evans (SSOE).


UCAR Carbon awards a $10 million graphitizing plant in Monterrey, Mexico.

This was a landmark project for the firm and one of many firsts.


Libbey-Owens-Ford Company awarded SSOE projects in five states and three countries, the highlight being a $20 million flat-glass production facility in Italy.

Established an employee profit-sharing plan.


The Number of Employees Rose to 125.


SSOE establishes its first of many scholarships in honor of our 20th anniversary.


The Firm Officially Becomes Incorporated.


SSOE changes the Toledo skyline, designing Toledo Edison’s 17-story headquarters.

SSOE enters the retail market by designing an anchor store of Toledo’s Franklin Park Mall.


SSOE Moves Into its Current HQ in Downtown Toledo. Read more here.


SSOE Celebrates its 30th Anniversary.

New Leadership

1978 – 1981: Jack Steketee is elected as the first new President in the firm’s history. Erwin “Burrie” Otis serves as CEO. Al remains active with the firm, but steps down as CEO.


SSOE ventures into CAD with an initial investment of $1 million in an Intergraph CAD system that included 4 workstations and 300 million bytes of information.


SSOE starts its longstanding relationship with Honda, with the design of their first U.S. manufacturing plant in Marysville, Ohio. SSOE has since completed 1,200 projects for Honda in 13 facilities across six states and four countries.


Leaders in Toledo and Around the World.

1981 – 1987: Byron West serves as CEO


SSOE Nashville.

SSOE acquires the firm Pickney & Associates and SSOE Nashville is established.

Today, our Nashville office is part of our thriving Southeast U.S. Operations.


1988 – 1989: Raymond Patel serves as CEO.


1989 – 1992: Frank McAuliffe serves as CEO.


SSOE establishes our Troy, Michigan office.

Today, we have 50+ associates working in our Troy office location— primarily supporting architecturally-led projects in the healthcare, commercial, and education sectors.


Significant projects include ongoing work at Pharmacia, an expansion to the Honda Anna Engine Plant, the University of Toledo Glass Bowl Stadium expansion, Maumee Bay State Park, Rock Island Arsenal, Huron Valley Sinai Hospital, and US Xpress Corporate Headquarters.

SSOE establishes a formal Total Quality Management Program.

1993 – 2001: Gary McCreery serves as CEO.


Ford Q1 Quality Achievement Recognition.


Nationally Ranked Auto Plant
Design Firm (ENR).

SSOE ranks 2nd nationally in the Top 15 in Auto Plants. This ranking is thanks in part to our homegrown Jeep.

SSOE selected as lead A/E for the design of the new assembly plant representing a $1.2 billion dollar investment by Chrysler—SSOE’s largest project to date at the time.


First ISO 9001 certification is awarded to our Automotive Branch.


The firm wraps up work on Toyota’s first factory in continental Europe. The plant, located in Valenciennes, France will produce a new small car, the Yaris.


2002 – 2014:
Tony Damon serves as CEO.


SSOE acquires AVCA.

A consulting engineering firm in Maumee, Ohio, adding more than 50 employees.


Awarded E Award for exporting by Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

Named a “Best AEC Firm to Work For” by BD+C Magazine, a “Cool Place to Work” by Crain’s Detroit and a “Hot Firm” by ZweigWhite as one of the 200 fastest growing AEC firms in the U.S.

Al Samborn honored by the City of Toledo as Toledoan of the

SSOE expands stock ownership to senior associates and names 53 new senior associates and 37 new associates.


SSOE begins the process of entering the construction management field.

SSOE pledges $629,000 in donations to The University of Toledo.

This extends a longstanding partnership with the university starting as far back as Al Samborn teaching classes there.

SSOE sponsors a guest lecture series for the College of Engineering, has endowed several scholarships, is one of the largest employers of the University of Toledo College of Engineering students, and is a trusted design partner.


Technical rotation program.

Hot Firm by ZweigWhite names SSOE as one of the 200 fastest growing architecture, engineering, and environmental firm in the U.S.

Awarded China design license.

Al passes away
A talented engineer, successful businessman, and esteemed educator, a dominant theme of Al’s leadership was his foresight and willingness to move the firm in new directions.


SSOE acquires Evergreen EDC.

Significantly expanding the firm’s West Coast presence and bringing expertise in high-tech manufacturing.

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant is awarded a Platinum certification, the highest designation possible from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED® green building certification program.

SSOE provided full EPCM services on this $1 billion project.

SSOE acquires NKS Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

(Also known as d-Tech) in Mumbai, India, our first international acquisition.

SSOE acquires CRS Engineering & Design Consultants.

And adds two locations in Alabama.


SSOE wins ACEC National Engineering Excellence Grand Award.

For World’s First LEED® Platinum Automotive Manufacturing Plant—Volkswagen’s Chattanooga Assembly Plant.

Tom Thompson retires as SSOE’s first and only 50-year employee.

SSOE formalizes its commitment to Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) by dedicating staff.


SSOE establishes operations in Mexico with an office in León.


Bob Howell is appointed as the President and CEO.


SSOE named a Great Workplace.

By Great Place to Work®, a third-party certification company.

SSOE and Autodesk jointly host the first annual reality capture summit at SSOE’s headquarters, bringing together vendors and clients interested in sharing best practices in laser scanning.

SSOE demonstrates its leadership in Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) by delivering numerous successful projects and presenting at conferences including: the Spring BIMForum (Laser Scanning), SPAR (Demystifying Large Point Cloud Data Sets), and Lean Construction Congress (The Role of Culture in promoting VDC).


SSOE celebrates 3 million hours worked with no recordable safety incidents!

SSOE expands Southeast U.S. operations.

With acquisition of Birmingham-based architectural firm, The Burell Group.

SSOE was actively engaged in the two largest manufacturing plants being built in the world—supporting major investments in the semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries.


SSOE celebrates 70 years in business.

On August 8th, 2018, SSOE commemorated their 70-year legacy with celebratory events across the organization.

SSOE Group named one of the Best Places to Work in Toledo.

SSOE was named one of the “Most Diverse Companies in Toledo” and one of the “Best Paying Companies in Toledo” in addition to one of the “Best Places to Work in Toledo” by Zippia.

Zippia is a website that helps visitors discover new jobs and career paths and relies on unbiased data, instead of opinions, to understand companies. They use real data from real sources, like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and consider the factors that employees really care about.


Vince DiPofi Named as the Next President and CEO of SSOE Group.

SSOE Ranked #1 Semiconductor Design Firm in 2019 ENR Sourcebook.

Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500 Design Firms SourcebookENR serves as one of the leading engineering and construction news publications. This list provides market analysis and rankings of the largest U.S.-based AEC firms according to revenue for design services performed in 2018.

SSOE Named Top 10 Largest Engineering Firm in Birmingham and Nashville.

SSOE Marks $1 Billion In Savings Documented for Clients.


SSOE named one of Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2020 MEP Giants.

While initially worried about the long-term impact COVID-19 would have on SSOE, we planned ahead and ultimately ended up have a very solid performance year, emerging a more trusting, resilient, and advanced company—a stronger SSOE.

SSOE puts a strong focus on growing battery manufacturing and workforce development market expertise.

SSOE acquires Stevens & Wilkinson, a 100-year-old design firm.

The firm expands geographic presence, design expertise, and market capability with the strategic acquisition of Southeast U.S. design firm and their sister interior design studio IDEA | SPAN. With offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina, the SSOE | S&W alliance doubled the architectural and engineering resources and enhances the portfolio both firms were offering clients in healthcare, education, and other commercial building markets.


SSOE names Catherine Myers as first woman President and first woman to chair its Board of Directors.

SSOE adopts new mission statement.

As SSOE approached its 73rd anniversary in 2021, the firm announced it would be updating their mission statement to reflect the goals of the firm’s more than 1,100 employees across offices in the U.S., Mexico, and India. The new mission statement, “to deliver unparalleled client value that advances the AEC industry,” positions SSOE at the forefront of change, driven by SSOE’s digital transformation strategy.


SSOE’s office in Mumbai, India celebrates 10-year anniversary.

SSOE is re-certified as a Great Place to Work® as firm creates an enhanced focus on people and culture with a newly created HR structure.

SSOE celebrates Earth Day with the signing of the Architecture 2030 Challenge and Science Based Target Initiative commitment letters, acknowledging the importance of reducing emissions.


SSOE celebrates 75 years in business.

SSOE celebrates their 75-year legacy with events across the organization all year long.

SSOE acquires Integrated Engineering Services (IES), a full service MEP Engineering firm with highly specialized expertise in MEP, Chemical, and Process Engineering, Hazardous Materials, Code Compliance, and Commissioning and Qualification services. As we join forces, our horizons are broadening, and so are the possibilities of our staff and clients in key markets.


SSOE celebrates reaching 1,500 employees while also being named a Great Place To Work® for the seventh time.