Who would have thought that a blind man and a one-handed surveyor could build a business that not only lasts 50 years, but that is thriving and ready to grow some more! In 1970, Bill Feller, Sr., (the one-handed land surveyor) bought 50% ownership of McSteen – starting into motion a family-owned business that would span three generations.
The Early Years
In the early 1970s, Bill Sr. took over full ownership of McSteen and operated the business out of an office on Chagrin Boulevard, as it primarily served the East Side of Cleveland at the time. Unfortunately, in 1976 Bill Sr. suffered a major heart attack when he was just 42 years old, causing his wife Terri Feller to join the business to help during his health issues. At the time, McSteen focused primarily on construction staking layout and work with builders.
The 2nd Generation Joins McSteen
It didn’t take long for the 2nd generation to enter the picture, with Tim Feller, the middle of three boys, joining the business in 1977. After becoming a licensed surveyor, Tim was the survey expert of the business and helped to guide the business during the 1980s with steady growth in the mortgage industry.
In 1992, Terry Feller (the oldest of the previously mentioned three boys) and his wife, Debbie, joined McSteen, bringing with them a focus on growth and systems that would allow them to expand the territory that McSteen served. Terry spearheaded the sales while Debbie focused on the systems and operations side of the business.
The last of the Feller boys, Bill Feller, Jr., joined McSteen in the late 1990s in a sales role and to help with drafting and overall volume of work.
The Expansion Years
With their systems and operations poised for growth, the late 1990s through 2006 saw an expansion of McSteen south to Columbus and the balance of the state. From switching to digital orders from carbon, and utilizing AutoCAD, McSteen has always been on the forefront of technology, allowing them to streamline their services and drafting, and expand throughout the state. Not knowing what was to come, 2006 saw a spike in real estate and Mortgage Location Survey orders with McSteen as a major player in the survey market.
The Great Recession and Beyond
And then 2008 happened – The Great Recession. McSteen creatively, yet aggressively cut costs to stay agile during a challenging economic downturn. But always forward looking, the leadership furthered their investment into the business and technologies that helped drive efficiencies.
While 2008 to 2015 was a slow rebuild, McSteen thrived during this time due to the reinvestment in the business. The company maintained a strong presence in a somewhat shaky market, and continued to push forward on new technology, including GPS and robotics, making them an industry leader.
Handing Over the Reigns to the 3rd Generation
The 3rd generation joined McSteen in 2015 when Molly (Feller) Woeste, the middle of three Feller daughters and her husband, Kevin Woeste, took over day-to-day leadership of the business. The youngest Feller daughter, Maureen, joined the team in 2017, as COO. Since that time, McSteen has continued to grow by continuing to focus on the things that led to success in the past, while always pointing an eye to the future and expanding McSteen.
Focus on Technology
- Survey Advances: Utilizing GPS, robotics, drones, automated drafting, and handheld measurement devices
- Workflow management: Rewrite of order processing system, app development, equip surveyors with iPads for real time information transfer
Reinvestment in McSteen
- Aggressive hiring to have the best talent to support our clients
- New team building activities to foster support for our growing team
Involvement in the Communities
- Participating in industry related groups throughout the state in order to know and understand McSteen’s clients and how to best serve them.
Among the many leadership roles held by McSteen team members in industry groups are:
Terry Feller, PE, PS
- Cleveland Area Board of Realtors – Former Affiliate of the Year
- Mortgage Society of Ohio – Past President
- Greater Cleveland Mortgage Bankers – Past President
Debbie Feller, CPA (inactive)
- Commercial Real Estate Women – Past President
Tim Feller, PS
- Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio – Board Member
- Mortgage Society of Ohio – Current President
Molly Woeste, CPA
- Commercial Real Estate Women – Current Board Member
Kevin Woeste, PS
- Greater Cleveland Mortgage Bankers – Current Board Member
In addition, McSteen is affiliated with Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors, Lake Geauga Association of Realtors, Dayton Mortgage Bankers, Ohio Land Title Association, and North East Ohio Land Title Association.
At McSteen Land Surveyors, we are proud to be a 3rd-generation family-owned business, providing services throughout all 88 counties of Ohio. As we reflect on our shared history, we can’t help but to be excited about what we see in our future.