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OLATHE, Kan. – The Terracon Foundation is pleased to announce the award of $105,500 to grant recipients. The Foundation was established as the community investment arm of Terracon with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of company employees and the communities where they live and work. Employees complete applications which are then reviewed and decided upon by a volunteer board of professionals.
The Foundation bi-annually awards funds in the grant categories of universities and community organizations, and annually presents funds for scholarships supporting dependents of employees. To date, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.3 million in grant funds.
“Through the Terracon Foundation, we have been able to support the education of 55 young adults in the last three years,” said David Gaboury, P.E., president and CEO of Terracon. “The scholarships are one facet of our broader commitment to providing financial support for industry-focused higher education at universities across the country.”
Dependent Scholarship Grants
The Foundation distributed $24,000 in scholarship grants to 12 dependents of Terracon employees who are pursuing a four-year degree through a community college, college, or university.
As part of an ongoing effort to support higher education, the Foundation also presented university grants for graduate-level scholarships, fellowships, and programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This year, the Foundation presented $55,000 to nine universities: Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Texas A&M University – San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas; Texas Tech University – The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Lubbock, Texas; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.; University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.; University of Missouri – St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo.; University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.; University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas; and University of Utah – Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Terracon also awarded $26,500 in community grants to eight local, nonprofit programs in which employees are actively engaged with an emphasis on education and the built and natural environment. Recipients include: Boys and Girls Club of Cheyenne, Inc., Cheyenne, Wyo.; Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.; Celeste Henkel Elementary School, Statesville, N.C.; Community Help for Autism Spectrum Everywhere, Olathe, Kan.; Great River Greening, Saint Paul, Minn.; Junior League of Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Kiwanis Club of Bradenton Foundation, Inc., Bradenton, Fla.; and Sustainable Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.
For more information about the Terracon Foundation, visit terracon.com/about/terracon-foundation/.
Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 3,500 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 130 offices with services in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 32nd on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit www.terracon.com.
Terracon Foundation Supports Founding of Family Enrichment Center of Davenport
BETTENDORF, Iowa — Kathy Toft, who has lived in the Quad City area 38 years, and others in her community wanted to create a unique program focused on supporting the underserved Goose Creek Heights neighborhood of north Davenport, population approximately 1,600.
They desired to create a safe and self-funded setting with free programming that could serve every member of the household – children, young adults, and caregivers. From this dream came the development of the nonprofit Family Enrichment Center of Davenport (FEC).
“Our goal from the beginning was to create a continuous system of support,” said Kevin Kellums, FEC executive director. “By offering relevant programming for the whole family, including the Head Start program, afterschool tutoring and parenting classes, we hoped to produce a momentum shift that would change the neighborhood norms away from destructive patterns and toward constructive goals.”
To help make this dream a reality, Kathy Toft, a senior administrative professional in Terracon’s Bettendorf office, has provided volunteer hours, spearheaded fundraisers, and championed the FEC by applying for annual grants through the Terracon Foundation.
“It’s nice to work for a company like Terracon that shows support for its employees’ passions and enables us to help others in our local communities,” said Toft. “If we could raise enough funds to establish the FEC, we thought it could be a resource and support to families. We had a vision and followed it through. With more than 700 kids in the neighborhood, the opportunities are there to make a real difference.”
To date, the Terracon Foundation has donated $4,500 to the FEC.
Expanding Programs, Enduring Support
In 2013, construction began on the building that would house the nonprofit. Terracon engineering and technical staff volunteered and offered services by observing the construction site conditions, performing materials testing, and monitoring placement of support structures.
Once the facility was completed, enrollment for Head Start and Early Head Start programs began as well as afterschool programs throughout the year reaching as many as 40 children. Today, there are 18 Head Start students and eight Early Head Start students. While there is no charge for the programs, families are asked to “pay it forward” by volunteering in the community.
Along with providing engineering expertise, Terracon employees have participated in many fundraisers to support the FEC. Golf tournaments and toffee sales, along with personal donations, show continued support for the organization.
The $2,500 the FEC recently received via Toft’s Terracon Foundation request will be used to establish an after-school tutoring program expected to enroll up to 15 students. In addition, the organization has developed a partnership with Iowa State University’s Extension Center which provides the curriculum for two parenting sessions designed to equip caregivers with child-rearing skills and resources.
About the Terracon Foundation
The Terracon Foundation was established with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of employees and the communities where they live and work. Employees complete applications which are then reviewed and decided upon by a volunteer board of professionals.
Twice a year, the Terracon Foundation awards grants to community organizations and universities, and once a year presents funds for scholarships supporting dependents of employees and also awards a national partner grant. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $1 million to organizations nationwide. For more information about other organizations the Foundation has supported, visit www.terracon.com/foundation.
Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 3,500 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 130 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 32nd on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit www.terracon.com.
OLATHE, Kan. – The Terracon Foundation is pleased to announce the award of $127,700 to grant recipients. The Foundation was established as the community investment arm of Terracon with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of company employees and the communities where they live and work. Employees complete applications which are then reviewed and decided upon by a volunteer board of professionals.
“This past year we celebrated our 50th year of business. We are especially thankful for the partnerships we have developed with clients that have allowed us to become a strong, prosperous company capable of giving back to our communities,” said David Gaboury, P.E., president and CEO of Terracon. “Through the Terracon Foundation and with guidance from our employees, we have been able to support a number of very deserving recipients.”
The Terracon Foundation also awards funds twice a year in the grant categories of community organizations and universities, a once-a-year grant to a national partner, and annually presents funds for scholarships supporting dependents of employees.
National Partner Grant
The Society of Women in Engineering (SWE) was the recipient of the 2015 national partner grant of $50,000. SWE is a not-for-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering. The grant funds will be used to support the Collegiate Leadership Program which prepares female engineering students to become leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Specifically, funds will be used to host webinars during the 2015-2016 academic year, provide for 75 students to attend the Collegiate Leadership Institute in October 2016, and support the Leadership Coaching Committee.
Terracon awarded $52,700 in community grants to 20 local, nonprofit programs in which employees are actively engaged with an emphasis on education and the built and natural environment. Recipients include: Bicycle Cooperative of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, Colo.; Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, Springfield, Mo.; Bonner Springs Elementary, Bonner Springs, Kan.; Bradley Central High School, Cleveland, Tenn.; Communities in Schools of San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas; Family Enrichment Center of Davenport, Davenport, Iowa; Foundation for the Edmonds School District, Lynnwood, Wash.; Great Parks Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenspaces, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Houston Habitat for Humanity, Houston, Texas; The Literacy Lab, Kansas City, Mo.; Manara Academy, Irving, Texas; Martha Turner Reilly Parents and Teachers Association, Dallas, Texas; Niles Home for Children, Kansas City, Mo.; Salvation Army, Birmingham, Ala.; Science Pioneers, Kansas City, Mo.; Southern Arizona Environmental Management Society, Tucson, Ariz.; Systematic Tutoring Resulting in the Development of Essential Skills, Greenville, S.C.; University of New Hampshire, Manchester, N.H.; and WFR Construction Technology Career Academy, Knightdale, N.C.
In an effort to support higher education, the Foundation also presented university grants to support graduate-level scholarships, fellowships, and programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Foundation presented $25,000 to two universities: University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill., and the Virginia Tech Foundation, Blacksburg, Va.
For more information about the recent grant recipients and to learn more about the Terracon Foundation, visit terracon.com/about/terracon-foundation/.
Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 3,500 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 130 offices in 42 states nationwide. Terracon currently ranks 35th on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, please visit www.terracon.com.
Promoting a love of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is a passion for many of our professionals. For Terracon’s women in leadership, outreach is often very personal as they encourage more girls and women to follow them into STEM careers. Whether it’s conducting hands on activities related to water sampling, participating in job shadowing, acting a Big Sister mentor, or speaking to a scout troop, our women in leadership are making an impact with the next generation. Thanks to Catherine Rocky, P.G., E.I.T, C.P.S.M., senior associate and national accounts manager, as she shares the STEM activities of Terracon women across the country.
Around the Country: Outreach Big and Small
Irvine: Melanie Seydel, staff environmental scientist, has been active with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) collegiate chapter at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, working with local schools, Girl Scouts, and perceptive students, engaging them in age appropriate activities, including hands-on activities such as constructing parachutes, paper airplanes, catapults, paper towers, and bridges. Another outreach highlight for Melanie was Fourth Grade Days during the National Society of Professional Engineer’s (NSPE) Engineering Week (E-Week), reaching out to a record number of 28 classrooms in four days.
Orlando: Leila Jammal Nodarse, P.E., senior principal, serves on the University of Central Florida (UCF), College of Engineering Foundation Board and serves as a mentor to a new female board member. Leila has spoken to many of the classes at UCF as well as the Leaders Up Close series where she told her story of starting her engineering career which then led to founding an engineering business, Nodarse & Associates, now a Terracon company. Leila found the women in the class were interested in the work-life balance and took comfort in hearing that she has found the engineering profession is one where women can have both. Leila also finds time to talk STEM with Girl Scouts, a group she feels especially connected to as she credits the organization with developing her entrepreneurial spirit at a young age through cookie sales.
Des Moines: Anna Smith, E.I., project geotechnical engineer, has volunteered for the ASCE booth at the Girls In Science, held at the Science Center of Iowa, and the Believe in Girls (B.I.G.) event hosted by the Girl Scouts.
Lenexa: Sara Somsky, P.E., senior geotechnical engineer, has been involved with STEM volunteering opportunities through ASCE, NSPE, and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), participating in MathCounts, Block Kids Building Program, and the annual Bridge Building Competition sponsored by Kansas Society of Professional Engineers. She has also volunteered with the First Lego League through the KCSTEM Alliance. Sara noted these types of opportunities allow engagement with the students to discuss what design features on the structure work well and what can be improved the next time.
Wichita: Heather Rogers, E.I.T., environmental engineer, is a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ STEM program, and also serves as a judge for design events, and volunteers in many STEM outreach activities with the organization including a CAD workshop, the Wichita SWE Engineering Expo planning committee, and continuing the Rocks and Dirt demonstration booth started by Terracon 12 years ago. Heather has also helped fellow SWE members coach a competitive Lego robot team of Girl Scouts. The office also hosts events supported by SWE.
St. Paul: Cami Van Abel, P.E., senior engineer, actively serves the Minnesota chapter of the SWE and specifically the E-Week celebration at the Minnesota Science Museum. Outreach events include the Wow! That’s Engineering program aimed at educating young girls in the Twin Cities.
Manchester: Muriel Robinette, P.G., senior principal and senior environmental hydrogeologist, has been a guest lecturer at her daughters’ science classes in middle school, dressing the kids in Tyvek, and doing hands on activities related to water sampling (using bailers and taking water quality readings). Muriel has also been job-shadowed several times in the past 10 years and judged design events. She is on the Board of New England Women in Energy and the Environment, which promotes networking and job shadowing for young women interested in STEM careers.
Cincinnati: Nancy Dendramis, P.E., A.M. ASCE, senior staff geotechnical engineer, served as an adjunct professor in the engineering department at University of Cincinnati. Nancy is a past president of her local ASCE section and part of a STEM team assigned to high school classroom presentation responsibilities. Her role has included presenting a geotechnical engineering solution for the Billy Mountain landslide event in Utah. She also serves on the National Board of Trustees for the American Heritage Girls, helping with the development of the Engineering badge.
San Antonio: Laura Campa, P.E., principal and materials department manager, is regional vice president of the Bexar Chapter Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), local chapter of the NSPE. She’s is the founder of the Nerds 5K, one of the largest E-Week fundraisers, and participated in the Engineer for a Day program. Laura also volunteers at various state and local Mathcounts events. Laura also finds time to serve on the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering Advisory Council, attending various student group activities including luncheons which provide opportunities for professionals and engineering students to interact.
Cheyenne: Ayna Kekilova, project environmental engineer, shared her Russian native language and everything she could about engineering with a 12-year-old girl interested in environmental studies engineering.
Author: Catherine Rocky, P.G., E.I.T, C.P.S.M., senior associate and national accounts manager has more than 30 years of experience in consulting and government in environmental engineering. She is a member of SWE, SMPS, and past president of the Wichita Council of Engineering Societies.
The Oklahoma City office environmental group suited-up 25 students as part of Biology and Engineering for a Sustainable Tomorrow Summer Camp held in the area this past summer. The camp was designed to introduce students to the vast world of biology and engineering as applied in everyday life. Campers visited the Terracon office, and learned more about STEM careers, including math, technology, science, and engineering, and were encouraged look into careers in these fields. Terracon partnered with Oklahoma State University for this camp.
The Atlanta North office participated in the 5th Annual Miles4Major 5k race this summer. The Miles4Major charity helps families purchase hearing aids for children because insurance often does not cover the cost, which can be more than $3,000 for each ear. Terracon was one of the sponsors for this year’s event. The company had three winners on its team!! Claire Bacon won 1st place in her age division and 3rd overall! Great work Team Terracon!! Find out more about this charity here.
The New Orleans office participated in the K10 Day of Service this summer, a citywide initiative. The August date marked Hurricane Katrina’s 10-year anniversary. Teamed with a local architect firm, the Terracon group volunteered at Our School of Blair Grocery, an independent alternative school and sustainability education center based in the Lower Ninth Ward. Fifty volunteers toured the facility, planted, weeded, composted, relocated the goats to a new pin, reorganized items in the main building, and more.
Employees in the Lodi office volunteered recently for International Coastal Cleanup day. They targeted a specific area around Lodi Lake, picking up trash. In 2014 astounding 561,895 volunteers walked through 13,360 miles of lakes and coasts in various countries to pick up 16,186,759 pounds of trash. This year, there was again a great response! The annual coastal cleanup day is sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, a 40-year-old organization that works to educate and empower citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean.
Cincinnati office staff and several family members gathered to help build walls for CrossRoads Missions and Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity. CrossRoads Mission is a recent recipient of $3,500 in funds from the Terracon Foundation. Despite the heat, team Terracon had fun working together to build four wall sections. Overall, wall sections for two houses were built in less than 4 hours! CrossRoads Missions serves as a doorway for community and church groups to serve others in meaningful enduring ways that provide life change for those serving and those served. Habitat for Humanity is an international organization with more than 1,400 local affiliates in the United States and more than 70 national organizations around the world. With volunteer support, Habitat has helped more than 1 million families — representing 5 million people — improve their living conditions since its founding in 1976.
Employees in the Austin office participated in the the 2015 CASA Superhero 5K Run recently. The team helped to raise more than $55,000 for abused and neglected children throughout the Greater Austin area. The Terracon team had some custom t-shirts made to help us represent our great company. Case Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) speaks up for children who’ve been abused or neglected by empowering community volunteers to be advocates for them in the court system. The organization has grown to 933 CASA and guardian programs in 49 states.