Blog
   April 17, 2014

Last Sunday, Otakians Jennifer Snider, Sarah McCloskey, Sami Auclair, Ae-young Lee, and Jason Karam donned sneakers and running gear to participate in Albertina Kerr’s Race for the Roses. The proceeds for this event benefit Albertina Kerr, a local nonprofit that helps children, adults, and families living with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. It was a great way to enjoy a beautiful, sunny day in Portland while contributing to a wonderful organization.

To learn more about Albertina Kerr, please click here.

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   April 17, 2014

Otak is committed to both sustainable business practices and sustainable project designs. Several Otakians in our Vancouver office recently received Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) certification, and 12 of our 16 technical staff members in Vancouver are now certified in Envision or LEED. These certified professionals help our clients and project teams achieve higher levels of sustainable design. Our certified staff in Vancouver include:

Ryan Billen, PE, ENV SP
Nick Brown, ENV SP
Derek Chisholm, AICP, LEED Green Associate, ENV SP
Rich Darland, PE, ENV SP
Grant Evenhus, PE, ENV SP
David Haynes, PLA, LEED Green Associate
Tim Kraft PE, ENV SP
Cory Kratovil, PE, ENV SP
Theo Malone, ENV SP
Hannah Marré, ENV SP
Greg Mines PE, ENV SP
Kelly Youngberg, ENV SP

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   March 26, 2014

Last week, Nico Vanderhorst, Otak's project manager, attended the dedication ceremony for the recently finished University of Washington Bothell Discovery Hall building. Governor Jay Inslee was also in attendance. As a subconsultant to THA Architecture, Otak provided civil engineering and planning services for this new $68 million, 75,000 square foot science and academic building.

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   March 25, 2014

Over the past two weekends, Otakians Kelly Youngberg, Katie Kersten, Tim Ervin, Joe Primeau, Matt Klym, Melanie McCandless, and Hannah Marre have joined other volunteers in helping Green Lents enhance two bioswales in Portland’s East Lents neighborhood.

Over the years, weeds had invaded the bioswales, and in 2010 Green Lents canvassed over 300 homes in the area to assess knowledge of the swales and their purpose and to gauge interest in enhancing the swales with native plants. Three enthusiastic homeowners agreed to take part in the pilot project, and Green Lents worked with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services’ Sustainable Stormwater Group to develop a planting plan for the bioswales with plants that could thrive in the fast-draining environment while offering a wide range of bloom times to offer year-round support to pollinators. The swales will be monitored for two years with results contributing to a revised planting plan for other homeowners interested in enhancing their swales.

Green Lents is an all-volunteer nonprofit with a mission to provide education, volunteering, and leadership opportunities in and around the Lents neighborhood to provide a thriving, sustainable community. Melanie McCandless is the Watershed Team Leader and a founding Board member, and she is currently serving as Records Keeper.

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   March 13, 2014

Otak joined the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit organization that helps connect local small businesses with a myriad of development opportunities, ranging from access to capital to networking events that help foster relationships with prime consultants. We are proud of our long teaming history with MWESB subconsultants, and we look forward to further developing our current relationships while exploring new mentorship opportunities.

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   March 11, 2014

Otak is pleased to announce two new hires!

Darwin Allen is a senior CAD technician working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington. He brings 16 years of computer-aided design and technical support experience, primarily consisting of civil and electrical for airports and commercial projects. He possesses expertise in drafting, technical support, and CAD coordination. Darwin earned his Associate of Science degree from Lake Washington College and has been a member of the American Design Drafting Association since 1995.

Mike Morrow is a survey technician and administrative assistant working out of our office in Gearhart, Oregon. Prior to joining Otak, he worked as an experimental biology aide for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and has also served as a fisheries technician for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Mike earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Entomology and his Graduate Certificate in GIS from Oregon State University. He has volunteered with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and the North Coast Land Conservancy.

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   March 6, 2014

Otakians Rose Horton and Melanie McCandless participated in the Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s 16th Annual Watershed-Wide event on Saturday, March 1. Their efforts, combined with almost 300 other volunteers, had a tremendous positive impact on the watershed’s health. Over the course of three hours at ten sites, volunteers planted 7,760 native plants, removed six cubic yards of invasive plants, and cleaned up three bags of garbage. Volunteers celebrated their successes afterward at a pizza luncheon.

The Watershed-Wide event occurs annually on the first Saturday in March. Melanie hosted the Foster Place site as the representative Board Member and Rose participated at the Freeway Lands site just downstream of the Foster Floodplain Natural Area (formerly East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project).

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   March 3, 2014

Otak’s Kevin Janik, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, passed his Green Globes Professional (GGP) exam, becoming the eighth GGP in the state of Oregon. Green Globes is a web-based environmental assessment and certification program for commercial buildings, and GGPs, such as Kevin, may serve as consultants on Green Globes projects by facilitating the building certification process and providing project management. Otak’s design professionals boast accreditations and certifications in a number of sustainable design programs, including LEED, Envision, Estidama, and Low Impact Development, and Kevin’s GGP certification adds yet another tool to help our clients build sustainable projects. Green Globes is a product of the Green Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting sustainable building practices.

Kevin has been an architect with Otak for 23 years, and he focuses on design, construction document development, specification writing, and construction contract administration and quality control for residential, transit, and governmental projects.

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   February 4, 2014

Otak’s Grant Evenhus, PE, recently earned an Excellence in Design Award from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for his outstanding design contributions on the Salmon Creek Interchange Project. This large, complex project with a construction cost of more than $133 million is a joint effort between WSDOT and Clark County involving a combination of bridges, ramps, interstate widening, and arterial street reconfigurations at the junction of I-5 and I-205. Grant spent a significant amount of time co-located at WSDOT’s Southwest Region office in Vancouver, and he coordinated the majority of the stormwater design work and assisted with the design of the roadway corridor, bridge abutment fills, construction staging methodology, and utility coordination.

Congratulations, Grant!

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   January 31, 2014

Our office in Kirkland, Washington, is ready to watch their Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday! Several die-hard fans came to work on Friday decked out in Seahawks gear to show their support.

Go Seahawks!

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