Celebrating 40: The Early Days | May 12, 2023
In the fall of 1983, Frank was discussing with his family if it was the right time to leave his present employer and begin working full time for the firm that he and his brothers had incorporated in July. Two very close friends, Al Rubeling and Ron Morgan, had already started working full time for their new architectural firms and Frank saw this as an opportunity. He pulled the plug, and Morabito Consultants (MC), a full-service structural engineering firm, opened its doors in October of 1983. Their sister Maria, being 7.5 months pregnant, had just quit her job and helped Frank with organizing the office – master specifications, invoices, time sheets, checking accounts, and all the other things necessary to run a successful corporation. MC’s first workspace was set up in 2 bedrooms in Frank’s single-family row home. Their dad built drafting tables from new solid core doors supported by wood frames of 2×4 lumber. MC was up and running – it was an exciting time!
Work came in slowly at first, with house renovations and small commercial projects comprising the bulk of the work. Rubeling & Associates, Becker Morgan Group, and Robert T. Hofmann & Associates started sending design projects, and it was not long before there was enough work to hire MC’s first full-time employee, Andy Fajkowski, to draft the designs; Tony and Fred began working one night a week and Saturdays to help the firm get the design and drawings done on time. Back then, MC did not have the luxury of email, fax, and extensive delivery services. To better service Becker Morgan Group in Salisbury, MC would deliver drawings, specifications and other items using Trailways Bus service – dropping the drawings off at the terminal in Baltimore at noon, Trailways would deliver the drawings to Salisbury by 3:00 p.m. This allowed MC to meet our client’s needs and produce quality contract documents in a timely manner.
In May 1984, MC opened its first office at 2125 Maryland Avenue. Fred began working full time for MC in June and Tony followed in October. Soon after, Maryland Industrial Enterprises (now St. John Properties), Cochran Stephenson & Donkervoet, Brown Worrall & Johnson, and Meyers & D’Aleo started feeding us new design office buildings, distribution centers, tilt-up warehouses, schools – and we had a full workload.