Five Otak Leaders Nominated for DJC’s Women of Vision Award
This year five women from Otak have been nominated for the 2020 Daily Journal of Commerce Women of Vision award that recognizes women who are shaping the A/E/C industry through their leadership, mentoring efforts, community support, and promotion of industry diversity. To date, DJC has honored close to 250 women from the Pacific Northwest. Awardees will be honored at a celebratory dinner on October 21, pending any COVID-19 changes.
Otak’s nominees have all worked to shape the success of Otak and its employees, while also fostering change in their communities and within the A/E/C industry at large.
Angela Khosa-Marangwanda, AIA, NOMA, is an architectural designer and project coordinator at DAY CPM who has played a significant role in our work with the education sector building on her solid relationship with the Oregon City School District. Internally, Angela is a member of Otak’s Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group. As a woman of color, Angela also puts her time and effort into projects and programs to encourage and celebrate diversity. She helped charter the Pacific Northwest chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects and participates in recruiting events at local university career fairs. She also serves as a minority volunteer panelist for the City of Portland’s Minority Evaluator Program reviewing and awarding city contracts. Knowing that tomorrow’s leaders in the building world have to have a solid foundation, she is a member of Jack & Jill of America whose members nurture future African American leaders through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving, and civic duty.
Reflecting her many titles, Rachel Laura, Senior Project Accounting Manager, and Deltek administrator, plays an integral role in Otak’s everyday financial functions and activities of the project accounting group. In addition to her day to day work, Rachel is the project management chair for Otak’s project management and quality committee where she supports teams, ensures consistency, and improves performance. To help Otak continue its charitable efforts, Rachel is instrumental in our Parking Day and Canstruction events which raise money and donations for Oregon food banks. Rachel takes her charitable giving to activities outside of work volunteering for Tolovana Arts Colony, and frequently donating her landscape paintings to charitable fundraisers.
Serah Breakstone, AICP, is a senior planner and project manager who’s planning work makes Otak more successful and ensures the communities we work in continue to thrive as well. She was instrumental in the passage of House Bill 2001 Middle Housing Rulemaking Project for Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development, drafting a technical framework for infrastructure-based time extensions (IBTER) designed to introduce more flexibility in providing higher-density housing. The DLCD code update helps jurisdictions that need more time to upgrade infrastructure to allow them to adopt middle housing legislation. Serah served on the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association conference committee and was elected to its board of directors in 2019, where she currently serves as treasurer. In her spare time, Serah helps prepare meals at the New Avenues for Youth day center that serves as a resource center for homeless youth.
Tanya Boyer is the marketing manager at Otak’s Oregon & SW Washington Region, Otak’s largest in terms of geography, staff, and revenue. Through her role, Tanya has led the transformation of Otak’s BD and Marketing program to be more proactive and strategic in building client relationships and creating a more predictable business model for growth. Tanya’s talents were also brought into play as she worked with a graphic designer to update the Otak brand. She is a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services that works to move the A/E/C industry forward and currently serves as the leader of its Mentorship Roundtable for the Portland chapter. In this capacity, she helps partner newcomers to the A/E/C marketing industry with seasoned professionals. To further reach the next generation of A/E/C professionals, Tanya participates in informational interviews of college students and recent graduates and attends college career fairs throughout Oregon and Washington.
Administrative Services Manager Tina Keller’s passion for people and creating effective workplace dynamics has cemented her reputation as a connector among her colleagues. Her most critical role of late is to serve as the active liaison with Otak’s IT department, ensuring that employees are able to work effectively from remote locations–a new foundation for successful business management during the pandemic. Tina’s commitment to green operations has also played a large role in the greening of the company, helping the Vancouver office achieve Clark County’s Green Business Certification, organizing the Greenbag lunch sessions, and co-leading the company’s Carbon Neutral Initiative implementation. Tina has taken her passion for sustainability to her community where she helps with cleanup and beautification efforts and has served as liaison to the city of Vancouver on its downtown beautification task force. Her green passion extends to the wilderness of Oregon as Tina is a Trail Ambassador for Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, educating visitors on the Leave No Trace program.
Congratulations to all of Otak’s nominees, who work hard to make our company, our communities, and our citizens thrive.