This past June, I celebrated my 20-year anniversary with CLH. In this hectic line of work, it’s hard to take a break and reflect on what you have learned and where you are going in your career. When I was asked to share my thoughts on how things have changed since I started at CLH in 1997, I enjoyed thinking about these past 20 years.
When I joined CLH as the firm’s second Civil Engineer there were a total of six employees. Landline phones, faxes (ha!), and snail mail were how we communicated. We’d take turns running to the post office for stamps or to the recycle igloos to get rid of all that plotter paper and Ken’s pile of Diet Coke cans before it all engulfed us. The use of the internet and email was primitive enough that we only had one spare computer in the corner of the office with dial-up internet and the single office email account. Someone would check that computer at the end of each day for any email that may possibly have arrived. Email messages were rare enough that we would simply print the rare message out and place it in the intended recipient’s inbox on their desk. And by “inbox” I mean the actual metal shelf on the corner of your desktop that held your mail, message notes, and trade magazines. And by “desktop” I mean…oh never mind.
I’m often asked to confirm whether or not I have worked on a certain project from CLH’s long history of community and education projects. One of my first projects was a classroom addition onto Apex High School back in 1997. Twenty years later, I’ve had two sons make their way through that fine (but rode-hard) school and I’ve now seen the old buildings completely razed in the last several weeks to make way for its modern replacement. CLH was fortunate enough to be the site designers for the new school – so that’s one that has come complete circle during my career and holds a special place in my memory.
So while the technologies have changed and the projects have changed (or stayed the same like Apex High School) it’s the people that I’ve worked with at CLH who have made all the difference. Of course Chris and Ken have been here my whole time and I could not imagine this experience without them. I like to think we’ve been successful because we bring very different things to the table and the mix was just right. So, I’ll be forever grateful to Chris for the opportunity and guidance she’s given me and to Ken for the unending support in the trenches. I’m also so appreciative of all the talented people in our office that I get to work with every day. I sincerely hope they all stay here for the next 20 years.
It’s hard to believe that much time has passed when I continue to learn something new every day. As CLH continues to grow and evolve with this ever-changing industry, I’m looking forward to many more years of sharing experiences, ideas, insight, and knowledge with my CLH family.