Tag: Family

Employee Spotlight: Jeff DeGraff

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Jeff DeGraff, Bridge Engineer and Outdoor Enthusiast

  1. What has drawn you to and kept you at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • There are few structural engineering jobs in Vermont. It’s also one of the better firms in Vermont, as well. What’s keeping me here is the ability to pursue water resource engineering, which is what my master’s degree is in. And I just love the Vermont office in general, it has a good atmosphere. I also have a great view. We’re on the fourth floor, so I can see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.
  2. What is something invaluable you’ve learned here?
    • To never stop learning. That’s pretty much it.
  3. My favorite time of year to work at Hoyle, Tanner is _____ because…
    • The summer time because you’re able to go outside more often to visit the sites. And Burlington is pretty awesome in the summer time.
  4. If you were a character in a book, tv show or movie, who would you be?
    • Batman [laughs]. That’s not even a question. Definitely the movie one, the Christian Bale one.
  5. What’s one of your bucket list items before you die?
    • Camp, fish, and hunt in Alaska. I would go in the summer time. That’s when you can go fly fishing and stuff. It’s just one of the last untouched landscapes in the United States for the most part.
  6. What is your favorite quote?
    • “Live your life like you’re going to die tomorrow.” I don’t know who said it, but I heard it once and I just thought, wow that was really good.
  7. If people saw you from a distance, they might not suspect…
    • That I’m actually an engineer. Uh cause I may be serious at work but I’m not serious outside of work. [Laughs]
  8. If you were to skydive from an airplane, what would you think about most on your way down?
    • How fast am I falling right now? I’m not afraid of heights, but I just want to know how fast I’d be falling. That’s the engineering side of me.
  9. Favorite food?
    • Italian food in general. I’m not sure I’m Italian.
  10. When you’re not working, what could people most likely find you doing?
    • Yard work. [Laughs] It’s because it’s a necessity. Honestly, just being outdoors in general. Hiking, fishing, mostly those two things. Even in the winter, I go snowboarding. It doesn’t matter, just outdoor activities.

Employee Spotlight: Heidi Lemay

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  1. What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner originally?
    1. Originally, I met Todd Clark and other representatives at an ASCE event and they were sitting at a table conversing. I liked that they were so professional but still NICE! I started following the company when I realized that they do work in my field of interest and when I saw an opening I applied. I met with Mike Trainque at the interview and realized that people here are personable and want to teach you, which is great, because as a young engineers that is what we need!
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. I like the culture… people are awesome here and enjoy their jobs! Everyone has so much personality and is so friendly. I felt comfortable within the first few weeks of being here, and that is quick for me [chuckles].
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory or proudest moment here?
    1. During my first month of working here I was selected to go to my first interview to represent the company for a job that we were going for. It was then that I realized that I was part of a good team and was valuable member. I have only been here for 7 months, but that is my proudest moment so far!
  4. What is your favorite pastimes outside the office?
    1. They change a lot. I have really been into Pilates and yoga recently, as well as water skiing (now that I can stand up)! I also really enjoy being artistic and love to paint. When time allows, I also enjoy giving back and I do that through mentoring young women engineers. I hope to instill in younger folks that they can do anything they want to do: there is nothing holding them back.
  5. If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
    1. I would bring Gary, my husband, as well as food and chlorine tabs for the water because I am not sure what the water quality will be like on the island.
  6. People would be surprised if they knew?
    1. I was TERRIBLE at math growing up… I hated it. A couple years into college I realized I wanted to be an engineer and I would do whatever it took to be one, which meant forcing myself to actually learn and like math. I have absolutely NO regrets!
  7. Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
    1. One of my favorite quotes: “A ship in a harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.” – John Shedd.
  8. What did you want to be growing up?
    1. A doctor: I loved biology as well as human anatomy and physiology.
  9. If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?
    1. The lead character from the movie “Pay It Forward” to spend the whole day giving back to perfect strangers would be amazing.
  10. If you won the lottery today, what would be the first thing you would buy?
    1. I would buy my family anything that they wanted but couldn’t afford; I would buy a house for myself and my new husband; a Tessla Roadster for my in-laws; donate to the local animal shelters; donate to the College of Engineering at UNH; and lastly, I would invest the rest!

Employee Spotlight: Jake Sparkowich

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  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: Shawna Fournier

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  1. What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner originally?
    1. Well, I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years raising my children and had just completed my first degree. I applied at a temp agency and then received a call that they needed help for a couple of days… 11 years later and here I am [chuckles].
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. I love working for Hoyle, Tanner… we are a solid company. We have a good reputation and that is something that I am proud to be part of. Also coming from a non-engineering background, I have really grown to like the engineering industry especially our private clients – they are all great people.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory or proudest moment here?
    1. My proudest moment would probably be, when Bill Davidson became the profit center manager and our office was able to shift gears profitability wise after the recession – it finally felt like we had a strong team. I also have an ‘I Told You So’ moment… when Chris Mulleavey was appointed President because I knew years ago he was working to make a difference here.
  4. What is your favorite pastimes outside the office?
    1. Spending time up north and snowmobiling with my husband Chris, as well as spending time with my three children and my two amazing grandsons. I also love wood burning.
  5. If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
    1. My family, snow (because everything is better in snow) and my husband’s tools… tools you ask?! Yes my husband is a jack-of-all-trades and has a huge collection of tools from just about every skill there is. This way he could use them to build or make me ANYTHING that I may need.
  6. People would be surprised if they knew?
    1. My husband and I were high school sweethearts, we met at 15 and have been together for 30 years, and married for 24. I am also a 42 year old grandmother (Gigi) of 2!
  7. Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
    1. Yes, – Do it with passion or don’t do it at all.
  8. What did you want to be growing up?
    1. I wanted to own an orphanage to help children.
  9. If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?
    1. God is the only “who” I can think of. Being God would allow me to bring my brother back – I miss him terribly.
  10. If you won the lottery today, what would be the first thing you would buy?
    1. A one-way ticket to ALASKA!

Employee Spotlight: Delinda Robinson

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  1. What drew you to Hoyle, Tanner originally?
    1. Judy… she told me about the opening and the company and that she really liked the members of the marketing team.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    1. Working with you… [chuckles]…no, truthfully, being creative every day is what I enjoy most combined with my great co-workers.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    1. I haven’t been here that long (just over a year) to have a lot, but my favorite memory is going to Camp Spaulding. That was great! Meeting the kids and seeing our donations made a real impact on me.
  4. What is your favorite pastimes outside the office?
    1. Spending time with all of my family, friends and animals. I recently got involved with the Manchester Animal Shelter and am now fostering a mom cat and her five kittens (my mini muffins).
  5. If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
    1. [Laughs hysterically then pauses to respond]…I guess I would bring my husband?! After that I would bring sunscreen because I burn and “Rum” just like Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean!
  6. People would be surprised if they knew?
    1. I have six tattoos!
  7. Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
    1. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  8. What did you want to be growing up?
    1. Veterinarian, I really like anything that is cute, little and fuzzy.
  9. If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?
    1. My Papa! I would love to know what goes on in his head and what it is like to be him.
  10. If you won the lottery today, what would be the first thing you would buy?
    1. A house and then I would pay off my close family members’ houses too!

Employee Spotlight: Kimberly Peace

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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!

Employee Spotlight: Dave Wheeler

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  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • I studied at the University of Vermont, and the concept for my senior design project was actually provided by Hoyle, Tanner, working on the Brattleboro Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade. I invited Gene and Mike to our presentation at the end of the year, which was slightly intimidating when they sat down in the front row. Then on my last day of classes, the Burlington office posted a position online, and I applied immediately. I ended up getting the job and working on the Brattleboro project for real.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • In addition to great coworkers and the type of work that we do, I really like that our office is located in Burlington. I currently bike to work daily, rain, shine or snow. I also have an awesome view of Lake Champlain.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    • There are a lot of things that stand out. It was obviously very rewarding to go from an internship to a fulltime position. Overall my time here has been a positive experience. I really enjoy being a part of the community that we serve.
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    • As I said before, I love to bike. In the winter, I go skiing almost every weekend and watch the Patriots. The summer is great for spending time out on the lake swimming and barbequing. There is great music to see year round, Burlington has a lot to offer.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
    • I couldn’t live without other people, especially my wife.
  6. Tell me a random fact most people don’t know about you.
    • My wife and I just purchased our first house. We haven’t moved in yet, but we are very excited!
  7. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    • The road to success is always under construction.
  8. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • I worked in a factory making fenders for Corvettes after high school.
  9. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    • I don’t think I would want to be a famous civil engineer. It seems like you only get famous in this field when something bad happens.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • Flying, so that I wouldn’t have to take the chairlift at the mountain anymore.

Employee Spotlight: Matt O’Brien

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  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • To be perfectly honest, it was kind of by chance. The 2008 economic crash played a big role in bringing me here. I was exploring new opportunities, and Hoyle, Tanner was the only firm hiring at the time. The fact that I would be working with aviation was also a huge plus, because it has really become my passion. I studied civil engineering in school and originally thought I’d end up doing heavy highway. This is much better, though, because the projects are bigger, more complex and require heavy machinery. I guess I share Tim Taylor’s motto fromHome Improvement: “More power!”
  2. What do you like most about working at here?
    • I love how laidback my department is. Everyone puts in the time and gets their work done, but people don’t try to keep tabs on one another. It’s a really good atmosphere.
  3. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    • On the average night, you can find me and my wife vegging out on the couch. There’s always debate about what we want to watch (She chooses Oscar-winners, while I usually just want to see action-adventure movies likeSherlock Holmes), but since we’re getting ready for a new baby, we’re both very happy for the relaxation time. Other than that, one of my favorite things we do each year is a Labor Day camping trip with my sister-in-law and her husband. That’s always really fun.
  4. What is one thing you couldn’t live without and why?
    • I’ve never really had a good answer to this type of question. Other than basic necessities, I feel like I could pretty much give up anything if I needed to. However, I would definitely be sad to never eat freshly-baked cookies out of the oven again. That would make me upset.
  5. Tell me a random fact most people don’t know about you.
    • I’m kind of obsessed with compost. Part of my senior design project in college dealt with creating energy from compost, and ever since, I’ve been fascinated by it. I compost everything: yard clippings, leaves, food waste – you name it! I guess if someone didn’t know me, they may be surprised by that. Talk to me for a little while, though, and you’ll probably know more about me than you wanted to.
  6. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    • I enjoy fortune cookies. I’m amazed how sometimes they are so accurate. There was one that said, “He who laughs, lasts.” It pretty much says, “Be happy and you’ll live a long life,” but it plays on the saying about the last one to laugh at a joke… Pretty deep for a fortune cookie.
  7. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • I worked at Hannaford as a bagger/cart collector. It really wasn’t a terrible job, but it certainly showed me that I wanted to get an education so I would never have to do it again.
    • I worked as a meter reader for a power company for a while, too, and that job was pretty unique. I once had to read a meter for this massive house on Lake Sebago. It was one of those summer homes where the owners were never there. Naturally, I took the opportunity to eat lunch and go swimming on their beach [laughs]. The next house on my list was on this island that you could only reach by boat, so the company hadn’t read its meter for something like ten years. I ended up rolling up my pants and walking out to it on a sandbar, and I got a reading that really surprised my bosses… Still not sure whether they were happy or angry with me for that! Anyway, that was an unusual job.
  8. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    • I think I’d like to be famous to a certain extent. I would never want to be movie star famous, having people follow me around or having to do interviews. I’d more like to be known for an accomplishment, you know? I would be happy with Matt O’Brien as a household name like Bill Gates… or even being on a product like Heinz. As long as the product wasn’t something really weird, I think that would be pretty cool.
  9. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • This is one I talked about a lot as a kid. Flying is obviously the best answer. It would also be really interesting to read minds, but flying would come first.

Employee Spotlight: Jill Semprini

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  1. What brought you to work at Hoyle, Tanner?
    • First, I really wanted to work in New Hampshire. I had worked in Boston for four years prior, and that was not a fun commute while living in Portsmouth. When a former colleague recommended Hoyle, Tanner and said it was the top firm to work for in the state, applying here just made sense.
  2. What do you like most about working at Hoyle, Tanner? (If he/she has been here for a number of years, add: What has kept you here so long?
    • I love the people! And the diversity of the work is great. You get to see smaller projects through from beginning to end, but you also have the larger, more complex projects to balance that out. Overall, it’s a good mix.
  3. Can you talk about a favorite memory here? Proudest moment?
    • I’ve only been here for a short time, so I’d like to think I’m still making memories! Check back with me in a few years, and I’ll let you know J
  4. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Any favorite pastimes or family activities?
    • I spend a lot of time during the week relaxing with my husband and my dog, Rambo. On the weekends, I read a lot (I love to read!) and will do yoga from time to time. My friends and I catch up over dinner often, too.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without (& why)?
    • My sister gave me a ring for my birthday several years ago, and it happened to be her birthstone. I’ve always adored her birthstone, and I now cherish the ring.
  6. Tell me a random fact most people don’t know about you.
    • In general, I’m an open book. However, I do love Mandy Moore movies, which most people probably wouldn’t expect [laughs]. I don’t think she’s particularly a great actress, but there’s something about her movies that sucks me right in. My favorite isTangled – Even though it’s an animated move, I absolutely love it.
  7. Do you have a favorite quote or any words you live by?
    • Take deep breaths.” Sometimes I can get so frustrated, and I just have to remember to take deep breaths. It helps me calm down and put things into perspective.
  8. Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
    • I babysat a 3-year-old in college. He was too cute and super smart. He could tell you anything about animals, dinosaurs – you name it. Anything you told him, he would remember. It was really cool.
  9. Would you ever want to be famous? If so, for what?
    1. Yeah! Doesn’t everyone? I think it would be cool to discover something new. Something useful.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    1. Being able to fly intrigues me a lot.

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!