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Meet John Cruikshank of JMC2 Civil Engineering + Surveying in San Pedro

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Cruikshank.

John, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I got started as a civil engineer working for Caltrans in Los Angeles and only worked for them for a little more than one year. After working for a couple of mid-sized engineering firms doing primarily freeway design projects I started my own design firm in 1996. Twenty two years later, I’m still running the original firm, JMC2 Civil Engineering + Surveying in San Pedro.

Last year, I acquired a structural engineering firm, Ken Okamoto & Associates, with a business partner. The company was founded in 1979 and is located in Costa Mesa.

Also, last year, I won a City Council seat in Rancho Palos Verdes after spending four years on the Planning Commission. I always want to give back to my community and I love being a problem solver so it’s the best of both worlds.

Most importantly I am celebrating my 25th anniversary with the love of my life, Jennifer and I have a terrific son, Sean, who is currently a Junior in high school.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Heck no! I started my civil engineering firm when I was 29 years old and I went four months without anyone believing in me. My first job was a three-story steel structure house in Redondo Beach, and I only got paid $800 for the full design. I knew that I was underpaid but I didn’t care because I got my first job and this architect believed in me. I have had many clients who have refused to pay and have taken months, if not years, to settle our bills with them. Finally, I have made my share of mistakes and bad hires and eventually have paid the price for those decisions. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Please tell us about JMC2 Civil Engineering + Surveying.
My company is a professional service company providing land surveying (mapping) and civil engineering design. We work primarily with architects, developers, and public agencies providing them reports and construction documents used for planning and/or building. We are known for our work with large homes, local agencies, commercial projects, airports and ports, parks, and schools. I am most proud of my employees and their abilities to work and to adapt to rigors of so many client and project types. I feel we are the best, multi-faceted company that can compete with any surveying or civil engineering firm in Southern California Plus, we have done projects that are unheard of our industry including the Heaven Sent project leading the design and management of Luke Aikin’s world record jump from 25,000 feet without a parachute.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
This is a tough question since I believe all first-time business owners need to struggle through all types of adversity to become great leaders. Every mistake I made was a learning experience and every rotten person that I ran across helped me understand what not to be like. I could have had partners and grown faster then been able to have financial independence earlier, but everything happens for a reason. In fact, I love achieving a major goal than looking back to how that opportunity presented itself (like several decisions back to the root reason).

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Rios Clemente Hale Studios, Steinberg Architects

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