Month: May 2014

Employee Spotlight: Travis Gelinas

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Travis Gelinas, CADD Technician & Car Nut

  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner
    • It was a “right place, right time” kind of situation. I used to work for the company that filled the vending machines here, and one day, Donna told me there was a job opening. I’m really glad it worked out the way it did.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • The environment, the people, the work…It’s all good. One of my favorite things is that even though this is a pretty big company, when you get on the elevator with anyone – even the higher-ups like the president – you can have a casual, fun conversation. That goes for everyone here, and I think it makes us different.
  3. What is one thing you want everyone to know about you?
    • I’m a very laidback person, and I hate stress. I just think that stress never helps the process! The work has to get done, it will get done, and stressing out won’t change anything. That’s an idea that’s really important to me.
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    • I’m a car nut. I love to work on cars and motorcycles, and I like to build new things. That’s how I spend most of my free time. I also used to do martial arts, but I’ve recently taken a break from it.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without and why?
    • Am I allowed to say “air”? [laughs] I guess if I had to choose something real to take to a desert island, I would say an old school hot rod. Like I said, I’m a car-lover.
  6. Tell me a random fact most people don’t know about you.
    • People usually think it’s funny when they find out I was 4’10” until I was a sophomore in high school…I’m now 6’0”.
  7. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    • Just the classic, “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”
  8. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • Most of my previous jobs were pretty standard. I worked for Carvel’s, the ice cream place, and that showed me that it’s never fun to work with customers who really want their ice cream.
  9. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    • Probably not…though I would like to make enough money to ease the financial burden on family and friends.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • I would want the power to heal people.

Employee Spotlight: Dan Marks

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Dan Marks, Environmental Engineer & All Around Good Guy

  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. When I started looking for a job in the industry, I was interested in working in Boston. Then I met Dave Edson in the MA office, and he pointed me toward Burlington. I’m glad it all worked out!
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. There are a couple of things. First, I’ve really grown to be interested in work that I never thought I could find interesting [laughs]. It turns out that wastewater treatment is a very important part of our social fabric. I also appreciate the flexibility that I’ve been afforded by my supervisors, and it’s been cool to have the unique experience of going from preliminary design right through construction. It’s a “soup to nuts” kind of job.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    1. I was lucky to work on the Brattleboro Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade Project. The design took two years full of many late nights and strict deadlines. Then we went to construction and I got to see the new headworks building when it was completed. A whole new building standing on foundations – The lines that we drew on paper turned into that! It was one of those big ego moments.
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    1. My wife and I recently decided to start a farm on her folks’ land, so I split my time during the week between work and that project. Most of my time this spring is dedicated to building a greenhouse.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without and why?
    1. There are a lot of things [laughs]. I would say friends and family first. A social support system is very important to me, which is part of the reason I recently moved back to Maine. And when I say friends and family, that includes my dog, Avena.
  6. Tell me a random fact most people don’t know about you.
    1. I’m pretty open, but it’s worth noting that I’m on the Board of Directors for the Rich Earth Institute based in Brattleboro. It’s an organization that aims to close the food nutrient loop through composting. If you get the chance, you should check it out! There’s some really interesting work going on there.
  7. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    1. I can’t say that I necessarily do. My father used to always say, “Measure twice. Cut once.” I’ve never been very good at that [laughs].
  8. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    1. Working for Hoyle, Tanner has been my first “real” job, but I did teach English in Ecuador for a spell and spent some time volunteering in Haiti. My experience in Haiti was particularly enlightening. At one point, we were talking with a small community about building composting toilets there, and one of the men asked, “Do you use these kinds of toilets in the US?” That statement said a lot to me. First, it showed that these people wanted their lives to be like those in the US, which speaks to how much of an impact our culture has on others. More importantly, though, this man wanted to know if the toilets were good enough for people in the US – and if they weren’t, he wanted to know why they should be used in his community. This highlighted a disconnect for me between what we as Americans were encouraging there and how we actually lived at home. Essentially, it’s as if the US uses these 3rdworld countries as a venue for experimentation. Once I realized that, it completely changed my thinking. So, after a very long answer, I’d say that was the most interesting job I’ve had.
  9. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    1. No, I’ve seen what happens to people who are famous. They go crazy! I would like to be known in my community just for being a good guy, though.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    1. I’d want to be “equitable man” [laughs]. I wish I could blink my eyes and have everyone in the world be happy and healthy.

To Blog or Not to Blog… This is Your Answer

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Recently, we have found ourselves asking the questions of whether or not to blog; who would be interested in what we have to say; and would we have “followers”? An idea was posed to incorporate a more personal touch to our social media stream on Facebook allowing our fans to see the more compassionate, community-engaged side of our company. The first step in this process has been to incorporate an employee spotlight that has little to do with what the employee actually works on and more about WHO they are.

Well the response we got on our first post about Jeff Collins spoke volumes to us, showing us that our clients/contacts/fans/followers (whatever you want to label them as) wants to get to know the more personal side. Reaching more than 651 people (and counting) with that post made us realize that there is more to each and every one of our employees, more than just bridges or treatment facilities, etc. and that all of you want to really know us, which is what makes us different. Hoyle, Tanner is the company it is because of our clients, employees, and communities! Welcome to our blog, we can’t wait for you to get to know us better and for us to get to know you all.

Employee Spotlight: Marisa DiBiaso

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Marisa DiBiaso, Civil Engineer & Seeker of Eternal Youth

  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • It was really slow at previous job, so I wanted to find a position that challenged me. Once I decided I needed change, Hoyle, Tanner was my first choice. It has a great reputation in New Hampshire, and I would be able to keep working in Portsmouth. Win-win!
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • The work here constantly challenges me. We get interesting, local projects that I’m really proud to say I designed. The people are also smart and hardworking in our office, and of course, our boss, Bill, is great (And that’s not just me trying to get a raise!).
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    • Definitely the groundbreaking for the Somersworth Downtown project. I was a part of designing the infrastructure, and it was so rewarding to see it completed. The project was important to the community and very high profile – to the point that even my friends outside of work were talking about it. It was nice to be a part of something so visibly significant.
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office?
    • I’m a very active person, so that’s how I spend most of my free time. I do CrossFit 5 days a week and love to snowboard or hike, depending on the weather.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
    • Probably either my iPhone or the outdoors.
  6. Tell me a random fact that most people don’t know about you.
    • I own a multifamily in Portsmouth and have been a landlord for 9 years.
  7. Do you have a favorite quote or words you live by?
    • “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean
  8. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • I used to grade standardized tests part-time. We would only have to grade the essay parts, so it was funny to see what students would write. Some just drew pictures, and some would just ask, “What kind of losers read these things?!” I guess I was that loser.
  9. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    • Ever since I started watching Friends, I’ve wanted to be on a sitcom. It just seems like a lot of fun. If not that, though, I’d want to be a gymnast.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • I’d either want eternal youth or immortality.

Employee Spotlight: Jeff Collins

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Jeff Collins, Transportation Engineer & Proud Father & Husband

  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • I started working here straight out of college, so really I was happy for a job offer. I thought it was a cool opportunity for me, too, because highway was something I really wanted to work on. I knew structural wasn’t for me and felt lucky to be focusing on something different.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner? What has kept you here so long?
    • The people are really what have kept me here for the past 14 years. I’ve always had good people to work with and for. The size of the company is also nice, because you get to see a lot of different stuff. There’s diversity in the projects when it comes to scale and what you’re doing.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    • It’s hard to pick a single thing that stands out. My involvement in large projects has been cool. Almost from day 1, I was involved in a huge airport project. Then I got to work on I-93, and I could definitely tell a few stories about the all-nighters I pulled for that job [laughs]. It’s exciting to see those big jobs get built. You know that you did something real, and it’s not just lines on a piece of paper.
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    • At this point, I spend all my time outside the office with my children. I have three little girls – twins that turned 4 in May and my youngest daughter who just turned 2. I’m happy to say we’ve all survived this far! Family activities are still pretty hard to organize, though. At their ages, the girls can’t concentrate on doing anything for more than 15 minutes. Sunday breakfast is always pretty fun, though, and we love the weekends when we actually get to spend time together.
    • I do love watching sports, too. I don’t play them much anymore. I’m hoping I can convince at least one of my kids to do a sport when they’re old enough [laughs].
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without (& why)?
    • It sounds cliché, but I have to say my wife. We work really well together, and I couldn’t live without her. We’re not the types to celebrate silly holidays like Valentine’s Day, either. We support each other all year long, so we don’t need one day of giving Hallmark money to show it.
  6. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    • I try to live every day as best I can and take things as they come.
  7. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • I didn’t have too many jobs before this, just because I started right out of college. In terms of an interesting job, though, I was a mason laborer for a little while. I got to see what hard labor was all about. Lifting concrete blocks and bricks all day, slugging concrete in wheelbarrows…that was tough work. We would complain that our hands hurt, and then you look at the guys that had been doing it for years and years, and it was like nothing to them. Interesting experience.
  8. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    • Probably not. I’m not a limelight kind of person, and I know there’s a lot of bad stuff that goes along with fame.
  9. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • I don’t know about that one. I was never into superheroes when I was a kid, and now my nephews talk about ones that I’ve never even heard of!