John Kosar

When John Kosar began working at Howard & Murphy as a co-op student, he had to walk four block to have blueprints done. And he remembers a time when the firm had to chase down a client for $150 in receivables so it could make payroll.

In 1957, Kosar joined the firm that would become Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates and became a partner in 1968. Since he began working there, the firm has grown from 10 employees to more than 350 in six offices in the United States. Burt Hill is a $42 million operation licensed to do business in 26 states and does numerous projects in foreign countries.

Nowadays, Kosar doesn’t have to chase down scofflaws or leave the office to make blueprints. He’s more likely to be serving on a board — he’s a trustee for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the YMCA and the Pennsylvania Economy League — or scooping up an award like the Entrepreneur of the Year from Inc. magazine.

Ray Marano