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July 19, 2019

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Emily Pierce, president of the Wisconsin Society of Land Survey and Senior Land Surveyor at Steigerwaldt, Tomahawk, presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to John Margitan of Minocqua, for his contributions to the Land Surveying Profession at the 67th Annual WSLS Conference in the Wisconsin Dells.
Submitted photo

Emily Pierce, president of the Wisconsin Society of Land Survey and Senior Land Surveyor at Steigerwaldt, Tomahawk, presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to John Margitan of Minocqua, for his contributions to the Land Surveying Profession at the 67th Annual WSLS Conference in the Wisconsin Dells.
3/7/2017 7:29:00 AM
Margitan awarded WSLS Lifetime Achievement Award

John Margitan of Minocqua was recently awarded the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS) Lifetime Achievement Award for the significant contributions he has made to the higher education of land surveying in the State of Wisconsin and other contributions to the profession. WSLS is a statewide organization of Professional Land Surveyors with over 900 members.

According to a press release announcing the award, Margitan was born March 25, 1940, in a house on Price County G (now known as Highway 182). He attended Park Falls School in kindergarten and first grade, and then attended the Arbor Vitae-Woodruff School for second grade through his junior year of high school. He was a member of the 1958 senior class, the first graduating class of the newly built Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua. He worked for Jim Griffin, Northwoods Surveying in Minocqua after graduation and during the summers while in college.

Margitan attended Michigan Technological College in Houghton, Michigan, graduating in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation, he served in the United States Marine Corp. from 1962 to 1965. While in the Marine Corp., he attended basic training in Quantico, Virginia, then was sent to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. During this time, he also attended engineering school at Camp LeJeune, Mountain Leadership School in California, and Atomic Demolitions Munitions at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Margitan was commissioned an officer and spent three years in the Marine Corps in charge of the surveying and design of and Engineering Battalion. He was also stationed in Viequres, near Puerto Rico, for eight months; he was released from active duty in July of 1965.

After the Marine Corp., Margitan worked for a short while at Bechtel Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, then worked with the Oneida County Highway Department. In 1966, he went to work for the Linde Division of Union Carbide in Gary, Ind., then in 1967, worked for the Granite Construction Company in Watsonville, Calif. John and his family returned to Wisconsin in 1968, where he went to work for Boldt Construction Company of Appleton. Much of his work experience involved construction and land surveying. Margitan received his Wisconsin license to practice Land Surveying in 1970. In 1971, he returned to the Minocqua area, where he opened his own surveying company, Voyageur Land Surveys.

Margitan began teaching a Land Surveying Technician program, a two-year associate degree, at Nicolet College in Rhinelander in 1975, the release states. Margitan remained at Nicolet until his retirement in 2002 and over the years built a state and national reputation for a quality land surveying program. "He made a difference in the lives of well over 200 graduates during that time," the release states. "John has unselfishly shared his knowledge, skills, and passion for the land surveying profession with his students and associates."

Margitan is a registered Land Surveyor and Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin. Through the years, he has served in many roles. He is a founding member of the WSLS Foundation. He is a past president and past director serving on the WSLS Board of Directors, as well as past president for both the Northern Lake Chapter of the WSLS and the Nicolet Area Technical College Faculty Association. Margitan was also appointed by the governor to serve on the Examining Board of the Wisconsin Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors.

"He has served the land surveying profession in so many different ways through education, support and leadership that will have a lasting effect on the profession and the people's lives he touched," the release states." John and his wife Bonnie raised two children, Steven and Kristen and is now enjoying retirement in the Minocqua area."

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