2013 marks H2M’s 80th anniversary. We were founded in the midst of the Great Depression by Henry “Gus” Holzmacher, who courageously started a modest civil engineering and land surveying practice out of his Bethpage, Long Island home in 1933. The nascent Grumman Aviation was his primary client.
Robert “Bob” Holzmacher came to work for his father in 1953, and together they grew the staff to five. By 1955, business was picking up; with a little convincing, Bob’s college classmate, Norman Murrell, joined the firm. A year later, Bob’s former boss at Long Island Water Corp., Samuel McLendon, came on board, bringing along his background in sanitary engineering and water analysis. Within months, Sam set up a modest water analysis laboratory in the kitchen of H2M’s first “formal” office on West Marie Street in Hicksville. Thus H2M’s laboratory division was born.
In December 1960, H2M celebrated the opening of its first official office building on Route 110 in Melville, just months before Gus’s sudden passing in early 1961. “This was the culmination of a long-time dream for my father. He and my mother were very proud that day,” said Bob. “His great satisfaction, seeing his engineering firm well-established and in a prestigious office building, was short-lived. But the firm continued to prosper through the years. I know that my father, in his wildest dreams, could not ever imagine the firm growing to its present size and importance.”
H2M grew to the 50-employee level in the 1970s and to the 100-employee level in the 1980s and ‘90s, establishing its architecture group and adding its New Jersey office along the way. In the years to follow, the firm continued to diversify its professional services and market sectors, responding to Long Island’s rapidly-growing communities and related environmental concerns. And it still does today.
Bob ran H2M until retiring in 1991, along with Senior Vice Presidents Norm Murrell and Sam McLendon. Harold Dombeck then took over the helm as President and CEO. Starting in 1965 as a sanitary engineer, Harold graduated into an executive position, overseeing H2M’s fiscal health and growth. After Harold retired in 1995, the Board of Directors elected John Molloy, who served as H2M’s President and CEO for the next 17 years.
“I started at H2M in 1974 driving in from Brooklyn and dropping coins into the toll on the Southern State,” said John. “The firm has meant everything to me and my family and is integral to our lives. I have been honored to lead this outstanding organization for the past 17 years”
In the last few years, H2M has opened additional offices in Albany, New City, and White Plains, NY, to better service its upstate clients. Today, President and CEO Rich Humann, who joined H2M as a college intern in 1987, is leading the firm towards continued success.
“I’m very optimistic about our future,” said Rich. “We have an exceptional group of clients and a very experienced and dedicated staff—it’s the perfect blueprint for success for our clients and for H2M.”