Author: Nichole Davis

Nichole is the Creative & Development Director based in our corporate office. She works with all levels of employees assisting with the firm’s marketing and branding strategy and initiatives. Her passion is making a difference and collaborating with people, so it is only fitting that Nichole leads the firm’s public engagement efforts, and public input process for some of our projects. As a self-described “doer,” each day you will find her working on something different, thinking outside the box and pushing the envelope. Sure, Nichole is busy with all of the projects she originates, but when she is not working, she spends most of her time with friends and family, baking, volunteering, and renovating her house.

Can We Predict Black Ice – Factors to Prepare Winter Roadway Treatments

Snow covered road

Winter is officially here, which means icy temperatures, snow days and longer nights. This time of year we all pay a little closer attention to the weather and in particular, how it could potentially affect driving conditions. The idea that pavement temperature directly corresponds to air temperature is a common misconception and is in fact only one of several factors that needs to be taken into consideration. Air and pavement temperatures can differ by several degrees. The difference is critical in predicting and preparing for black ice, which poses a serious threat to all motorists each year because of the difficulty it takes to identify.

Forecasting pavement temperatures and conditions is difficult but not impossible. When predicting conditions, four major factors are considered: air, sun, moisture, and the amount of heat beneath the pavement.


According to the Law of Thermodynamics, every object is in a constant state of temperature change. If you place a cold object in a warm room, the temperature of that object will steadily increase; if you place a warm object in a cold room, the temperature of the object will decrease. If you hold the temperature of the room constant, the object will adjust accordingly until it reaches room temperature. Roadways are no exception to this rule. However, the balance of heat is a gradual process and the speed by which it occurs is heavily dependent on several factors, such as surface area, density and material. For example, in the event of a temperature drop, a bridge (which is exposed to the air on all four sides and made of metal and concrete) will cool faster than the street, with only one surface area exposed to the air.

Below the Pavement:

It’s easy to forget what isn’t out there in the open for us to see. Half of the pavement surface area is affected by the ground beneath it, so subsurface temperatures play an equally important role when considering pavement temperature.

In the fall, the pavement is usually warmer than the air because the subsurface temperatures are still cooling down from the summer months.

In the spring the air is warmer than the pavement because a lot of the ground is still thawing from months of below freezing temperatures.

During a snowstorm the air is below freezing; snow may accumulate but if the ground underneath is warmer than the outside air, the snow will melt.

In addition, rain falling on pavement atop freezing subsurface temperatures may be enough to freeze over the roads.

While this general information is good to know as a guideline, accurate subsurface temperatures can only be measured with a Road Weather Information System (RWIS) installed by the department of transportation. Therefore, it is best to be cautious on the roads when seasons are changing, especially if you’re in a new area.


Even in the winter, the sun still has a huge influence on pavement temperatures. It is so powerful, in fact, that a cloudy day can cause a decrease in the pavement temperature by 10 degrees. Despite cold and miserable weather conditions the pavement is constantly being affected by solar radiation. When dealing with the effects of radiation, a meteorologist considers elevation as an additional factor. Higher elevation means closer proximity to the sun and increased exposure to radiation.


Rain, snow and water vapor are the three forms of moisture in the atmosphere. Just like cooler temperatures, rain and snow typically cool down the surface of the pavement. The harder the rain or snow falls the faster the pavement will cool down.

Out of the three forms, water vapor is the most difficult form of moisture in the atmosphere to measure, because you cannot visibly see it. The most commonly accepted form of measuring water vapor in the air is dew point; the temperature below which water condensation occurs. The greater the difference between dew point and the air temperature, the drier the air. We know from the water cycle that once rain falls, it will evaporate back into the air. Evaporation requires heat to occur and there is heat in the pavement. Therefore, the drier the air, the faster evaporation will occur and in conclusion the faster the pavement will cool.

Finally, it is important to understand how air temperature and moisture come together in the formation of black ice. A dangerous misconception is that it needs to be snowing or raining for black ice to occur. Black ice usually occurs when the dew point and air temperatures converge. At this point, the air can no longer hold the moisture, so it condenses onto the pavement. Black ice can also occur when the air temperature is below zero but is warmer than the pavement temperature — requiring only that the pavement temperature is below freezing.

As we have already stated, predicting pavement temperature is complicated. Predicting the air temperature for 5:00 pm tomorrow is already a difficult task. If they predict the air temperature incorrectly, it automatically throws off the accuracy of the pavement temperature prediction. In addition, there are a variety of other factors that change quickly and with less notice (air temperature, precipitation, clouds, thickness of the pavement, etc.). That’s why we rely so heavily on site specific RWIS technology for the most accurate prediction of pavement temperature. State DOTs rely heavily on these pavement forecasts to determine when to pretreat roads, when to schedule crews, and how much material will be required throughout the duration of the event in order to ensure your safety.

Despite predictions and precautions, dangerous winter storm conditions are not 100% preventable. Stay safe this winter and listen to winter weather advisories. Even if there is no snow, black ice is a real possibility.

5 Facts About Sustainable Stormwater Practices

In urban and densely populated suburban areas where the highest concentration of impervious surfaces are found, stormwater runoff can be a significant contributor to water pollution. As rain falls in outlying rural areas, the water is absorbed and filtered by the natural vegetation and soil. The impervious surfaces, including roofs, sidewalks, paved parking areas and wide city streets, do not allow the ground to absorb the water and instead is collected in closed drainage systems and often time discharged into nearby surface waters without filtration.

Here we review 5 Facts About Sustainable Stormwater Practices to help communities and agencies that may be planning to develop new “green” infrastructure.

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Stormwater is regulated at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA “establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.” Thus making it “unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained.” State Environmental Agencies often apply additional requirements beyond EPA minimum standards to further protect impaired state waters. On a local level, some communities have developed Stormwater Management Plans to assist managing discharge from both private and public properties. Local Ordinances are crafted by community officials as an integral part of subdivision and site plan development review and approval processes. New stormwater regulations often require implementation of sustainable stormwater management practices.
  2. Green Materials: “Green” or sustainable stormwater best management practices treat stormwater as a resource to be preserved and maintained, taking advantage of natural processes to clean and filter stormwater runoff.  Vegetation and soil filtration highlight the obvious green materials used, but some methods growing in popularity include permeable pavement, down spout disconnection, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, planter boxes, tree filters, green roofs, bioswales, as well as land conservation. With the incorporation of one or more of these design features, urban spaces are able to reduce the percentage of impervious surfaces thus reducing the volume of stormwater runoff.
  3. Public-Private Partnerships: State and local governments collaborating with developers on properties within different regions to incorporate Green Infrastructure into the design/redesign will in turn save money via stormwater diversion and treatment by the agencies. Offering tax credits or incentives to the developers is intended to accelerate the adoption of these improved stormwater management practices leading to more extensive implementation statewide.
  4. Funding Availability: Many funding options are available through federal and state agencies including EPA, Departments of Transportation, US Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Treasury. Grants available through these agencies will help offset the cost for municipal and private entities to invest in sustainable stormwater collection, filtration and treatment upgrades to existing or redeveloping sites.
  5. Benefits: Environmental – Improperly managing stormwater runoff into surface waters can contain pollutants from the surfaces it is diverted from, potentially causing damage to aquatic vegetation and wildlife. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can also cause physical damage such as erosion and flooding.  With the implementation of green infrastructure practices, contaminants can be reduced in the receiving water bodies and create healthier environments. Social – Incorporating sustainable stormwater management practices can improve water quality, quantity and aesthetics, thereby enhancing the livability of a community, creating multifunctional landscapes and green spaces, encouraging revitalization, and providing educational opportunities. Economic – The use of green infrastructure may provide incentives to attract investment; reinvigorate neighborhoods; inspire redevelopment; or provide new recreational opportunities.

To find out more about community stormwater management practices, the EPA has issued resources outlining practices to assist while achieving other environmental, social and economic benefits.

Unifying Beautification Efforts in the Millyard

In honor of Earth Day 2016, members of our team are hitting the streets and giving back to the Manchester community by participating in Intown Manchester’s #AdoptABlock neighborhood clean-up effort. Intown Manchester is the only Business Improvement District in the State of New Hampshire and is “working in cooperation with the City of Manchester to increase downtown’s competitiveness and to affirm Manchester’s position as an economic leader of the New England region.”

In addition to working in our corporate headquarters in the Millyard, many of our employees call the Queen City home and, therefore, the clean-up effort provides an opportunity for us to give back to them and the public. The Adopt-a-Block program is bringing together local business men and women to unify the beautification efforts and improve Manchester’s livability.

“We’re excited to participate in our first “Adopt-A-Block” and look forward to spending time with many of our Millyard neighbors making a positive impact to the community we work and live in,” states Jen Pelletier, Marketing Manager. “The fact that the event falls on Earth Day is extra special, we have the opportunity to take part in the largest secular civic event in the world.”

In New Hampshire, numerous Earth Day celebrations and volunteer activities are planned to inspire residents to get involved in conserving our planet for years to come. To find out more about Earth Day and to get involved… Take Action!

How Your Community Plays a Part in National Walk to Work Day

Spring has arrived just in time for National Walk to Work Day! Individuals across the country are lacing up their sneakers and hitting the pavement, while communities are taking a more holistic approach to ensuring safe pedestrian and bicycle travel. Many municipalities are introducing the concept of “complete streets”, introduced by the National Complete Streets Coalition, to their design efforts to balance safety and convenience for motorists, transit users, pedestrians and cyclists alike. Currently, there isn’t a single design for a complete street; it represents creating roads that are safe for all users, regardless of age, ability, or transportation method. Growing in popularity, some of the complete streets features are being implemented throughout the state, including:

Traffic Calming
With the growing demand for alternative modes of transportation, traffic calming measures are being introduced on various roadways to ensure safe travel for all users. The use of narrowed throughways, speed bumps/humps/tables,chicanes, and curb extensions (bulbouts) are some of the many features being used in the efforts to slow automobile travel, including the Union Street Reconstruction in Peterborough, New Hampshire. This project also incorporated tree plantings along the medians to beautify the area.

High Visibility Crosswalks
History shows pedestrian crossings existing more than 2000 years ago, where raised blocks on roadways provided a means for pedestrians to cross without having to step on the street itself. In current designs, high visibility crosswalks are incorporated to guide pedestrians and alert motorists to the crossing locations. Six foot wide crosswalks are installed using long lasting plastic/epoxy or paint embedded with reflective glass beads to assist in the crossing markings. In addition to local governments, universities, like the University of New Hampshire, are incorporating these crosswalks on their campuses.

Shared Use Paths
A multi-use path or trail that has been separated from motor vehicle travel and has been established for alternative transportation purposes is another option that is growing in popularity. Utilizing existing right-of-ways to create these travel corridors for pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other non-motorized users in some instances are also used to observe the natural environment in various communities. Recently, a shared use path was completed connecting Manchester’s and Goffstown’s trail system.

Multi-Modal Intersection
Intersections have the unique responsibility of accommodating and coordinating the nearly-constant occurrence of conflicts between all modes of transportation. Multi-modal intersections focus on intersections where numerous modes of travel come together and the coordination is required for the safety of all users. Utilizing different design features such as corner refuge islands, forward stop bars, and dedicated bike lanes, as used on Manchester Street in Concord, all intersection users can travel simultaneously, safely.

With many communities implementing these design features into roadway geometry, walking to work can be as simple as strapping on your shoes and heading out the door. By walking to work for this nationally recognized day, you will help reduce carbon emissions, get fit, and avoid the traffic jams.

Pi vs. Chocolate Cream

Pi… I did not forget the “e”, I am referring to the mathematical constant, π, for the value 3.141592…, a ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. For some it was junior high and others it was high school, but almost everyone is taught the concept of Pi in geometry class in America. The staggering question asked by so many students over the years is “how do we use this in ‘real’ life?” Well we have answered that question for all of you as it relates to engineering:

When designing bridges many of the structures utilize reinforced concrete to provide the strength necessary to support its daily use by vehicles. For many of our bridge projects, the circle is most often representing the area of reinforcing steel used in the reinforced concrete beam.  We determine the total amount of the (steel) reinforcing to determine the capacity of a structural member such as a beam, deck or slab.

In associated roadway design, Pi is used in a slightly different manner, to calculate curvature. A maximum curvature (minimum radius) is used to ensure adequate sight distance at differing speed limits. This promotes safe vehicular travel by providing a level of comfort and expectation to the driver.

Another application for the mathematical constant is in airfield markings. Their purpose is simple – to safely guide pilots during aircraft take-offs and landings, and while taxiing around the airfield. To create these markings, Pi is utilized when calculating the amount of airfield paint required for runway designation markers, taxiway centerlines and edge lines.

Pi is also used extensively in the calculation of areas of gravity sewers, wastewater force mains, water main pipes, storm drains, drainage culverts and other types of utility pipes. These calculations are used to establish the area of the pipe for the purpose of determining flow velocities and flow volumes as well as other types of hydraulics calculations.

Now that we have proved your mathematics teacher correct, and that someday you may need to know the value of Pi, the obvious question remaining is “what does pi and pie have in common?” My answer is Pi is focused on circles, radius and diameters… and so does pie! If you want a great Chocolate Cream Pie recipe check this out!

Asset Management – Optimization of O&M & CIP, & Funding Strategy

Recently, John Jackman, P.E. and Carl Quiram, P.E. finished our series discussion on Asset Management highlighting the Optimizing O&M and CIP, as well as Funding Strategy tasks. The concepts presented in this video reflect the utilization of collected data collected to more accurately develop a Capital Improvement Plan and the necessary steps to fund those projects. Presented are examples used by various municipalities as wells as the information necessary to capitalize on the Asset Management Program data.  – Click Here to review the other presentations given as part of the Asset Management Series.

Asset Management – Maintenance & Lifecycle Costing

Today, John Jackman, P.E. and David Wheeler, E.I.T. continued our series discussion on Asset Management highlighting Maintenance and Lifecycle Costing tasks. Covered in this presentation are the basic principles of maintaining assets as well as how to determine the lifecycle cost of those assets. Presented are project examples of maintenance programs used by various municipalities as wells as the information necessary to start adding lifecycle costs to the Asset Management Program.

Asset Management – Condition Assessment

Today, John Jackman, P.E. and Ben Horner, P.L.S. continued our Asset Management Series with a discussion on Condition Assessment. This presentation covers the differences between inspection and assessment; the benefits of knowing the condition; basics to developing a standard condition assessment; and estimating the existing useful life of various assets. Presented are examples of standard condition forms as well as our use of these forms to complete condition assessment for our clients.

Asset Management – Inventory

As part of our Asset Management Series, today we discussed – Inventory. To share their knowledge on the subject, John Jackman, P.E. and Heidi Lemay present the process; associated questions; available data; organization, data management and collection tips; and project examples of how inventory has been collected on our various asset management projects.

Click here to view the Introduction to Asset Management presentation completed last week.

Introduction to Asset Management

Recently, John Jackman, P.E. and Carl Quiram, P.E. administered the Introduction to Asset Management presentation discussing the basic principles presented in our Continuum of Asset Management post, as it relates to public works. This presentation will assist viewers in understanding the basic steps of a successful Asset Management program to help develop the process. A basic understanding of the asset management principles can assist decision makers in creating a successful and supported program.

This presentation is the first in our asset management series discussing each of the principles in depth.

Social Media for Everyone

Recently, I had the opportunity to share my understanding of various social media platforms and the benefits that municipalities can derive through their use at the New Hampshire Public Works Association‘s March Technical Meeting. Various public works directors were in attendance and joining the conversation about the different platforms available and how they could potentially implement social media platforms in their municipalities to further their community engagement and outreach efforts.

I was joined during the questions and answers portion of the presentation by Public Works Directors Scott Kinmond (of the Town of Moultonborough) and Kürt Blomquist  (of the City of Keene). Each shared their experience with various social media platforms through a public works perspective and offered the benefits their departments have seen through social media implementation.

The presentation is available for download below and additional contact information can be found at the end of the presentation video.

Continuum of Asset Management

This graphic illustrates the Asset Management continuum with a focus on system-wide assets. Understanding the basic steps of a successful Asset Management program will help in developing a process and not a project. By describing the steps of a program it will assist decision makers in understanding the cohesive benefit for everyone to be successful and supported.

Inventory: An inventory, cataloging and mapping of the existing assets and their associated data, creates the program foundation. This includes both vertical and horizontal assets, the various information collection methods, and the accuracy standards that have to be met. Different sources of information, including paper records, spreadsheets and databases can be used to develop the list of assets. Importance is stressed on the uniformity of format for each of the assets cataloged with an eye towards its long term value to the higher end evaluation needs of the asset management program. In varying circumstances environmental, energy, financial and political information is collected with the asset logged.

Condition Assessment: An industry standard form of measure is established using asset management software to manage the following variables: age, location, risk, and current condition. The development of these standards is subjective to the organizations minimum quality level and ensures consistency throughout the program. Without these established standards asset condition becomes opinion-based and non-comparable.

Maintenance: Establishing a maintenance plan and tracking all planned and reactive efforts enables the program to validate the repairs approved, and the associated costs. Utilizing the manufacturers’ operation and maintenance manuals (where appropriate) to develop your program will ensure all asset characteristics are accounted and planned for. Work flows will be developed to define how users will capture pertinent information and keep it up to date. Standard operating procedures will be developed for preventive maintenance and energy responses to reduce the risk of failure as well as frustration. When work orders are issued, the associated tasks will be completed in the program for future planning efforts.

Lifecycle Costs: Improving asset utilization can extend asset life and performance while reducing capital costs and asset-related operating costs. Cradle to grave asset costs should be established which would include the acquisition cost, maintenance and operation costs as well as end of life costs. For many assets this would be difficult to establish, however, the more realistic the input the more reliable the output. Once this system is established, new assets would be input accurately improving the data’s usefulness over time.

Level of Service: Understanding the current level of service being delivered by the asset to its consumers, and identifying the gap between the current and proposed standards will identify the desired goals moving forward.

By formally defining a Level of Service, the goals of the program will be communicated, a link between cost and service identified, customer expectation met, and measurable results developed. Standardizing the assessment process will allow for all users to identify the remaining life of an asset and the factors impacting that useful life.

Criticality/Consequence of Failure: Identifying the impacts failure would have on the associated assets, consumers, and system is known as criticality. By developing an understanding of the consequence of failure, the organization is able to manage the associated risk. Risk is simply calculated on the probability and consequence of failure as defined by the equation:

Probability of Failure x Consequence of Failure = Risk

With an understanding of how we can reduce the system’s risk and focusing on assets where risk cannot be reduced, we are able to identify the priority of asset repairs or replacements. Failure has many factors including impacts to social, financial and environmental environments and therefore each need to be evaluated for each asset. By monitoring high risk assets impacts to those factors can be reduced, or eliminated in certain circumstances.

Optimizing Operations & Maintenance and Capital Improvement Plan: Understanding the assets condition, life cycle costs, criticality and the desired level of service allows for the analysis of an asset’s true useful life thus reducing premature replacement. By embracing asset management technology data will be gathered and analyzed in standardized and regular ways to ease the management process. By completing an analysis in a sound asset management system, a rational and defendable Capital Improvement Plan can be generated for various funding strategies and the results on Levels of Service can be clearly communicated.

Funding Strategy: Developing a long-term funding strategy based on the highest failure risk assets will assist in preventing sizeable cost increases to the system owner as well as its users. Using long-term budgeting for system assets will determine the priority based on the environmental impacts. This information will affect any grants or loans and therefore need to be discussed. By developing a long-term plan for the future the organization can assess the different impacts changes to their assets plays on their future Capital Improvement Plan.

We will be hosting a series of Lunch and Learns in our Manchester office explaining each of these tasks in more depth. To find out the dates or to join us for this series contact Nichole Davis.

7 Factors in Snow Load Evaluations

The weight of one foot of fresh snow ranges from 3 pounds per square foot (psf) for light, dry snow to 21 psf for wet, heavy snow. When evaluating an existing roof for snow loads, an engineer will want to know the year it was built, the materials involved and the load the roof was designed to support, to start. But there are many other variables that need to be considered when evaluating existing roof loads under snow conditions. Outlined here are some of the many factors that impact the snow load carrying capacity a structure:

  1. Materials & Design:Engineers use the building code formulas to determine the appropriate snow load for their new design.  A detailed study, prepared in 2002, set the ground snow loads throughout New Hampshire and is the basis for all new construction projects.  Structural engineers use various design standards for steel, wood and concrete that include factors of safety and account for serviceability issues such as deflection. Older structures, governed by earlier building codes, may not meet current standards.
  2. Detailing and Construction:The type and condition of the bracing and roofing materials can contribute to (or undermine) its strength. Some older steel framed buildings used a cantilever beam layout to minimize the beam sizes by using the load of one beam to reduce the stress in the adjacent beam. Because snow buildup occurs in an unbalanced manner, roof failures have been attributed to this type of construction. Minor renovations to an existing structure can reduce the carrying capacity when, for example, bracing is removed to add new ducts.  A recent study, published in STRUCTURE magazine, found that the bulk of New England roof failures were related to construction or detailing deficiencies and were not a result of excess snow loads.
  3. Pitch & Thermal Conditions:The slope and type of roof surface determines how much snow is retained on the roof. Flat and low-pitch roofs are more commonly prone to overloading because they hold onto snow more easily than steeper ones. Flat roofs without adequate drainage are at increased risk of failure due to ponding that occurs as a result of excessive deflection. Adding insulation to the structure reduces the heat loss causing less melting, and results in larger loads. Similarly, the absence of any heat will increase the snow retained even more.
  4. Roof Layout Geometry:The location of hips, valleys, high roofs and low roofs, and raised elements – like skylights and dormers – create snowdrifts and therefore factor into determining additional loading. Similarly, the addition of snow guards on a sloped roof change the dynamics of the snow behavior on the roof. Parapets and large roof top equipment can cause snow drifts on flat roofs. The addition of a new structure adjacent to existing structures often create drift conditions that are not accounted for adequately during renovation projects.
  5. Depth and Snow Density:Determining the weight of snow based on depth is not possible unless you know the density of the snow on a particular roof. The density is the weight of the water in a set volume of snow. Snow on a roof will compact over time as temperatures fluctuate and as new snow layers are added to the roof. Rain-on-snow increases the density of the snow thus increasing the weight. Measuring this density is not terribly scientific and is not as important as how the roof is actually performing.
  6. Sun and Wind Exposure:Natural elements such as sun and wind impact how much snowfall is retained on a roof. From a code perspective, 70% of a single snowfall event is expected to remain on a roof under normal wind conditions. Wind and sun can create unbalanced snow load conditions on a gable roof when more snow is retained on one side of the ridge than the other.
  7. Maintenance:Proper, or improper, maintenance plays a role in how well a building will perform under load. Some older roofs suffer from steel beam and connector corrosion, or rotting wood, which reduces the building’s ability to withstand heavy snow loads. Proper maintenance, including repairs to any damage or leaks, is important to ensure the structural integrity of the entire structure.

For more information, please contact our Building Structural Department .

Learning Continued

Like many other companies, Hoyle, Tanner remains committed to the ongoing education of its employees. One of the great benefits offered to full-time employees is the Education Cost Reimbursement, which encourages the employee, through financial assistance, to further their education. The dedication to this program started at its conception in 1999, and continues to offer many of our employees the advantage of personal and professional development.Everyone furthers their education for different reasons, and here is what the assistance has meant to some of its participants:

“I joined Hoyle, Tanner after earning a broad Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Degree, and this programinspired me to earn my Master’s Degree. Taking specialized classes in my field has helped me tremendously in my professional and technical development. Hoyle, Tanner is a company that understands the benefits of having a well-educated staff.”            Joe Ripley

“Hoyle, Tanner’s education reimbursement program allowed me to complete a Masters of Business Administration degree at a reasonable pace while still working full time.  The classes have been invaluable in better understanding the business side of the engineering services we provide.”           – Sean James

“Hoyle, Tanner’s tuition reimbursement program allowed me to pursue my BSCE degree at night while still working full time.  As a Resident Engineer, this allows me to better serve our clients in the field by giving me a better fundamental understanding of the engineering process.”          – Shawn Reynolds

“I have been working towards the completion of my Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management over the past two years. It has been exciting to learn new skills that we are not taught in an engineering program. The greatest value has been gaining an appreciation of what our other departments necessary to run the business. As we all know, education isn’t free so [financially] offsetting any part of the costs is a huge benefit while raising a family, and one of the reasons that coming back to Hoyle, Tanner was very appealing. I am grateful and excited to be part of a company that supports professional development and encourages employees to better themselves.“         – Jason Ayotte

“When I joined Hoyle, Tanner I was working full-time while going to school full-time. I only had a few classes left to complete my Bachelor’s Degree, and this program allowed me to complete those classes without applying for additional student loans. The improved skills and capabilities I developed during those final classes have been implemented throughout my work throughout the company.”           – Nichole Davis

As our vision statement affirms, “We continue to build a corporate culture that honors and values the individuality and strengths of our team members and our clients.” To find out more about our benefits or to apply to an open position visit our Careers Page!

Employee Spotlight: Jake Sparkowich

  1. What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner originally?
    1. Well, I was working for a much smaller company before joining the team and knew that I wanted to work for a larger company. I have a growing professional network here (in NH) after attending UNH and had heard great things about Hoyle, Tanner and the opportunities for growth that they offer. I figured it would be a great place to work (and it is)!
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. How friendly and open everyone is. I think it is great that when I am working on a project that we all work collectively as a team and I am able to speak freely with anyone I need to complete the assignment.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory or proudest moment here?
    1. We recently did some reconfiguring in the office and a bunch of us moved our spaces. The Transportation Group spent a few nights painting and moving things around while eating pizza – it allowed us to bond more as a team.
  4. What is your favorite pastimes outside the office?
    1. I love to hike and play ultimate Frisbee (here and back home in Maine). I also like to snowmobile in the winter and stay active with my friends.
  5. If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
    1. A deck of cards, 6-pack and bicycle… hopefully the island is big.
  6. People would be surprised if they knew?
    1. I have completed two Tough Mudder competitions with my fraternity brothers; my first at Gunstock and the second most recently in Westbrook, Maine. They are fun, typically 10 miles of obstacle course to work together to complete.
  7. Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
    1. Work hard, play harder!
  8. What did you want to be growing up?
    1. [chuckles]A forest ranger. I wanted to spend all of my time in the woods growing up.
  9. If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?
    1. Mario Andretti – what I would give to drive really fast and not get in any trouble.
  10. If you won the lottery today, what would be the first thing you would buy?
    1. Well, I recently got a new car, so I would probably buy a house.

Employee Spotlight: Kimberly Peace

Kimberly Peace, Environmental Coordinator & Beach Enthusiast

  1. What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner originally?
    1. I was looking for a change and the opportunity to work in a different environment. I knew I wanted to work for a company that I could grow with.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. It’s a great bunch of people! I really enjoy that my projects are all very different; it is challenging and I learn something every day from this job.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    1. I recently received a compliment out in public from a staff member at NH Fish and Game about how all of our work (permits and permitting applications) are of such high quality. It really made me proud.
  4. What is your favorite pastimes outside the office?
    1. Playing with my kids and husband, hiking, reading and naps. Naps are essential at my house on Sunday afternoons [chuckles], they are like religion.
  5. If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
    1. Sunblock especially, then a book and some water!
  6. People would be surprised if they knew?
    1. I worked for the Ripley Aquarium for 9 months and I was responsible for feeding the sharks. Through this experience I can now take sharks’ blood pressure. I also had the opportunity to go to the pier where a lot of people catch hammerhead sharks and collect them for the tanks at the aquarium.
  7. Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
    1. Does “stop that” count?! [laughs, then responds with] of the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Oh and if you are my children then it is “If you are going to act annoying don’t be surprised when people get annoyed!”
  8. What did you want to be growing up?
    1. A veterinarian, oh and a jockey but I quickly out grew that when I was like 10 and was ginormously tall!
  9. If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?
    1. Princess Kate… I am fascinated by the travel, possibly the clothes, the beautiful places and everything she gets to experience.
  10. If you won the lottery today, what would be the first thing you would buy?
    1. A house on the beach. We have lived several places so we would need to have one in multiple places – the Maine, Florida and South Carolina coasts. That would be perfect to wake up and look out the window and see the ocean!

Every Little Bit Counts

During the recession in 2009, Hoyle, Tanner’s employees joined together to help the local community in New Hampshire and started a non-perishable collection to benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank (#NHFoodBank). Each month Hoyle, Tanner employees use the food bank theme for the month’s collections and although we don’t always stick to the theme our employees remain committed to helping families in need.


Coming up on the fifth anniversary of starting this program, we have come to realize that every bit counts – both large and small. Collecting various non-perishables throughout this program, in one month our smallest donation was 11 pounds and our largest donation was 149 pounds. Now totaling over 1,900 pounds, we have helped provide nearly 2,500 meals to hungry families in New Hampshire. Statistics (summarized above) regarding the individuals  served by the NH Food Bank were collected off of their website at

Employee Spotlight: Nichole Davis

Nichole Davis, Marketing Specialist, Aspiring to be like Captain Planet

  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • I was working toward my bachelor’s at SNHU in Marketing, and Hoyle, Tanner offered me a position that would help me reach my career goals.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • I really like that Hoyle, Tanner runs different charitable campaigns to help public and non-profit organizations. We participate in Operation Santa Claus, support Camp Spaulding, and make monthly donations to the NH Food Bank, among other things. The community outreach aspect is by far my favorite thing about this company.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory or proudest moment here?
    • I worked with the Public Works Director of Goffstown to complete his nomination for the American Public Works Association’s “Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year” Award. After tough competition, he was selected as 1 of 10 winners from across the nation! I put a lot of work into the nomination package and had a chance to get to know him better and was very excited when he won.
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    • Well, on top of working here, I have a small bakery business that I run out of my home, I am Pampered Chef consultant and landlord, and I work and volunteer part-time at the Manchester Animal Shelter. When I’m not doing any of those things, I love to cook and spend time with my family, friends, and pets.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without and why?
    • Definitely my Kitchenaid Mixer. Baking helps me decompress… so for me it is only fitting to have my mixer.
  6. Tell me a random fact most people don’t know about you.
    • If you add my mom and dad’s children together, I am one of nine kids.
  7. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    • Hmm…”Carpe diem!”[laughs] Either that or “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”
  8. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • For a while, I worked on concert setups and breakdowns, so most people think that’s kind of bizarre [laughs]. I would do staging, lighting, electrical, etc., for concerts at different venues around the state. The last one was right after I started working here, when Bob Dylan played at the Fisher Cats Stadium.
  9. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    • Sure, I would like to be famous. I want to be known for my cakes. Nothing like those people with dramatic reality shows about baking on Bravo, but famous in the way that Mike’s Pastry in Boston is famous. I want a shop people come to because they know it’s the best.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • I would want to be Captain Planet! Nevermind having one single super power, I want to be able to call upon my compadres to solve all the world’s problems!

Employee Spotlight: Travis Gelinas

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.

To Blog or Not to Blog… This is Your Answer

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

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

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!