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Featured business person: Michael Ehss

  • Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at 3:26 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 6:41 a.m.

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Michael Ehss

Terracon office manager, Wichita

Ehss’ career has definitely had its ups and downs.

A native of Austria, he graduated from the Technical University of Graz with a degree specializing in geotechnical engineering, which focuses on foundation soils, rocks and other earth materials.

He was also twice captain of Austria’s national skydiving team, with 4,200 jumps to his credit. He was teaching skydiving in California when his wife-to-be, Cindy, a Wichita native, showed up for a lesson.

“I was the guy in back that made it a safe landing,” Ehss, 54, said. “We fell in love.”

Ehss has worked for Terracon for 22 years as a field engineer and project manager. He was the geotechnical engineer on such projects as the Hyatt Regency, Exploration Place and the Keeper of the Plains renovation.

“It's prestigious,” he said of working on such well-known structures. “I love Wichita. It’s different from Austria and southern California, but the people are nice.”

As office manager, Ehss supervises the geotechnical, environmental and construction materials departments. About 50 people work in the Wichita office of Terracon, which is based in Olathe and has about 3,000 employees.

He and his wife have two daughters: Danielle, 19, a student at the University of Kansas, and Gabrielle, a middle school student. Ehss enjoys spending time with his family, reading and working on home remodeling projects.

As for his former high-flying life, he said, “When you get married, you settle down and get back to serious life. But I wouldn’t have traded it.”

Joe Stumpe

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