About Stephen A. Soltis, Jr., CPD, LEED AP
Stephen is a plumbing designer that has over 21 years of service in the engineering profession. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology and an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Stephen is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting (whitetail deer) and fishing and spending time at his camp. He’s also a huge Pittsburgh sports fan and tries to attend 1 or 2 games a year. Stephen also could watch, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, over and over again.
Tell us a little bit about your life at home.
I grew up in Port Matilda and have lived in State College with my wife Shelly of 21 years since 1998. We were married in July 2000 and have 3 girls, Logan (18), Kendall (16), and Colbie (13) and one dog named Parker (6). Logan graduated from State High this past June and now attends PSU Behrend College studying Chemical Engineering. Kendall is currently a junior at State High and is taking an interest in Architecture and Interior Design. She recently passed her drivers exam and is a licensed driver so LOOK OUT!!. Colbie likes to hang out with friends, plays hockey(she is the goalie for the local 14U Girls Team) and softball and is finishing her last year in middle school. Shelly teaches 9th and 10th grade Math at State High and enjoys reading, watching Ted Lasso and is always busy with schoolwork.
What is your hometown?
Port Matilda, PA History: Squire Clement Beckwith laid out the town in 1850 and named it to honor his daughter, Matilda. Why he chose to call it Port Matilda is not clear, but the name may have reflected his hope that the town would eventually be connected to the Bald Eagle and Spring Creek Branch of the Pennsylvania Canal.
What was your first job in engineering like?
Fresh out of school (1998) I started working at Gary Johnston and Associates, Inc. (GJAI) in State College. Mostly was just a draftsman in the early years and did a ton of survey work at Mount Nittany Medical Center (was Centre Community Hospital back then). I took a liking to plumbing and fire protection and tried to focus on learning those disciplines the most.
What was the first job you got paid to do?
Working for Worth Township in Port Matilda as a 16 year old.
Now that Barton is an ESOP what does being part of an ESOP mean to you?
Being part of an ESOP means that the time and knowledge that I put into Barton is a direct investment in myself.
What do you like most about the ESOP?
The employees, like myself, are motivated to make themselves better, to do their best, meet their deadlines/goals, going above and beyond to see the company advance and to see the rewards and benefits for all from that growth and success.
What do you love most about your job?
The people and the workplace environment. I’ve made many friends (I think) over the years here at Barton and enjoyed showing off my Star Wars collection before the pandemic.
If I wasn’t an engineer/designer, I’d be…
A carpenter, like my father before me.
My favorite pizza topping is…
Bacon, I mean, you can’t go wrong with bacon.
What’s on your “stranded on a desert island” playlist?
Any music or movie score by John Williams (nerd alert, Star Wars, ET, Superman, Jaws, Indiana Jones Trilogy, Harry Potter), Metallica (favorite song “King Nothing”), The Greatest Showman
What’s on your bucket list?
Space travel and traveling to Europe to visit some of the oldest castles on the planet.