After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1985, Chuck McClain began learning how to perform facility assessments in the field as an apprentice at the consulting firm of Building System Evaluation of Sierra Madre, CA during the early days of the building diagnostics field in 1985. His first building evaluation was performed with industry pioneers Frank Goss and Mario Cano on behalf of the City of Pasadena at the then-vacant and dilapidated Armory Building (Now the Armory Center for the Arts).
The 8th employee hired by the company, he had the good fortune to assist in and learn from the company’s rapid growth – primarily due to asbestos consulting – during the late 1980s. He received experience in many aspects of facility assessments from asbestos surveys and microscopy to curtain wall assessments and infrared roof inspections.
In 1991, Chuck received his architectural license from the State of California and authored Building Systems Evaluation Handbook, one the first books dedicated to building evaluations and condition assessments. Published by Government Institutes Inc. as a handbook for executives, managers and real estate professionals, the book was designed to assist building professionals, real estate investors and property owners to establish engineering due diligence and evaluation programs in order to make informed investment decisions and/or determine the financial and operational viability of a property or portfolio of properties. The book detailed the organization and management of baseline property condition assessments as well as detailed evaluations of specific facility systems, handicap accessibility compliance and seismic assessments.
Also during the mid-1990s, Chuck had the privilege of working as the Executive Director of the Church and Temple Housing Corporation, a unique collaboration between All Saints Episcopal Church and Leo Baeck Temple that provided property management and social services at several Single-Room Occupancy hotels on Skid Row in Los Angeles. During that time he became friends with several homeless and low-income residents of Skid Row and together they founded a non-profit creative business incubator called Skid Row Access to provide job and training opportunities to hundreds of low-income and homeless residents of Los Angeles.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Chuck worked with numerous national due diligence consulting companies and developed his specialties of staff training, reporting development and portfolio delivery systems.
In the spring of 2005, Chuck founded McClain Consulting Services with his wife Katie and son Matthew.
In 2013, Chuck revamped his 1991 book, and republished it as the 20th Anniversary Edition Property Condition Assessment Handbook, which presented ways to design, perform and manage facility assessment services.
Co-Founder of McClain Consulting Services, Katie McClain serves as Vice President while providing business coaching and strategic advice. Katie is a wife, mom, coach, tech geek, designer and she is a featured author on The Wayfinder Post in addition to writing her own blog.
A California native, Katie graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and spent her early career as a designer of women’s sleepwear and lingerie that included numerous trips to the orient. She became an expert in various computer software applications while providing personalized computer consulting and also worked for the Development office of Oakwood School in North Hollywood (Matthew’s current middle school).
After studying independently for several years, Katie entered a rigorous coaching certification program and became a professional coach. In her coaching business she works with parents and children to help them overcome obstacles and improve their lives.
Matthew McClain was six years old when he chose the name of our company. We wrote numerous possible company names on our office dry-erase whiteboard and asked him to come in and pick a name. He walked in, glanced at the names on the whiteboard and within a few seconds circled “McClain Consulting Services, Inc.”. We believed it would be good luck for a kindergartner to choose our name and it has been!
Matthew is now a teenager, and continues to be a valuable entrepreneurial consultant, business coach and sounding board for McClain Consulting Services. He is a gifted inventor and his creativity, humor and intelligence are a joy to be around.
Chuck has always thought of McClain Consulting Services as his way of continuing his family’s accomplishments and contributions. He is honored and humbled to be associated with the McClain/Peet/West/Kennedy ancestors.
As in every family, there are many notable personalities and dignitaries of which to be proud, and below are a few from the McClain Family.
Marvin and Patty McClain
One of the factors at work in our company is the example set by Chuck’s father, Marvin McClain. He has always been an example of integrity, responsibility, kindness, hard work and quality. He’s accomplished quite a lot in his life from serving in the Pacific during World War II, and raising four children who love spending time together, to being an integral part of the engineering staff – in charge of procurement – at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) during the Surveyor and Apollo missions to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Marv McClain’s signature is on the McClain Consulting Services company logo as a reminder for our focus to be grounded in integrity, treating people with respect and producing high quality work.
Chuck’s parents Marvin and Patty met while attending the University of Colorado. Chuck’s mom has a degree in business administration which she utilized back when few women were in the workplace. When Chuck was growing up Patty was always involved in community activities and volunteering in addition to her full-time job of raising four children.
Chuck’s siblings are remarkably talented and are well known to contribute greatly to those around them. His sister Queenie has accomplished all sorts of things from being an integral part of Bill Graham Presents in San Francisco back in the heyday of the late 1960s and 1970s, running huge special events, starting a successful record company, and being a remarkable mother. Chuck’s sister Joan has founded an acclaimed seminar program for women, traveled the world, and is the most amazing aunt any kid could have. His brother Bob is a talented musician, expert sound engineer, scoutmaster extraordinaire and telecommunications expert, on top of being an amazing father.
Chuck’s uncle Malcolm “Mac” McClain fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, became an innovative artist, teacher and poet, as well as Dean of the Art Department at Cal State Los Angeles. Participating with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner and others in the late 1950s ceramics program at the Otis Art Institute, they revolutionized the medium of clay in art and led the early adaptation of Abstract Expressionism to ceramic art. The ever-growing collection of his work is maintained by Chuck and his family and can be seen (and purchased) at www.macmcclainart.com. (Link opens in a new window/tab.)
Chuck’s Great Aunt Edith was a groundbreaking and innovative educator in Los Angeles during the middle of the 20thCentury and accomplished all sorts of remarkable achievements during her life.
This is one example: A letter from Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1919 notifying Edith that her innovative tree surgery experiment was to be published and for which she was being paid $4.
Rev. Dr. Stephen D. Peet
Rev. Dr. Stephen D. Peet, Chuck’s great-great grandfather, was a notable clergyman, author and editor. He founded American Antiquarian in 1878 which was the first journal of its kind, and he continued as its editor and publisher for 32 years. Dr. Peet was the author of a series of books about the archeology, architecture and prehistoric origins of America.
Rev. Stephen Peet
Chuck’s great-great-great grandfather was Rev. Stephen Peet. Stephen Peet was a pioneer missionary to the Midwest United States and was instrumental in the founding of Beloit College in
Wisconsin in 1846, the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1855 and several churches in Wisconsin during the mid to late 1800s. He first visited the future site of the Beloit College campus while making a missionary journey on horseback throughout Wisconsin.
John Howland and Elizabeth Tiley
Chuck’s ancestors, John Howland and Elizabeth Tiley were Pilgrims that came over from England in 1620 on the Mayflower. During the stormy voyage John fell overboard but managed to grab the topsail halyard (rope) that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard safely.
John Howland signed the Mayflower Compact – considered to be the seed of American democracy and what some call the world’s first written constitution – and helped found the Plymouth Colony.
In 1626, John Howland was one of eight settlers who agreed to assume the colony’s debt to its investors in England in exchange for a monopoly of the fur trade.