May 31, 2011

Kate Schwarzler and Chris Brandt from Otak’s Carbondale office attended the 31st Annual National Association Recreation Resource Planners Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. The theme of this year’s conference was “Innovations in Connecting Americans to our Great Outdoors” and sessions explored how to connect citizens to the outdoors to improve public health, reinvigorate local economies, and instill a new generation of land stewards prepared to address some of the key issues we face. The conference theme is also a central component of President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which was initiated to promote and support innovative community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and to reconnect Americans to their outdoor heritage. Outdoor recreation leaders participated in the conference where they explored and shared the latest innovations, efforts and successes in the area of connecting Americans to the great outdoors. Otak had a booth, as well as presented a poster paper on “The Use of Color and Camouflage to Mitigate Visual Impacts.”

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   May 27, 2011

The capital campaign for the new Muslim Educational Trust Community Center got a boost Saturday night with their annual fundraiser at the PSU Ballroom. Jennifer Nye, architect at Otak, presented the latest design for the community center. Otak architects began work on the latest phase of the project in February of this year. The current design is 35,000 square feet and includes a gym, indoor pool, library, art studio, science lab, lecture hall, lunchroom, commercial kitchen, and 14 classrooms. Groundbreaking for the community center is expected by the end of the year.

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   May 10, 2011

Last Friday, Nawzad Othman, Otak’s CEO/President, spoke at a US naturalization ceremony on Tom McCall Waterfront Park. About 50 people representing 24 countries from around the world took their oath to become naturalized citizens. Nawzad became a US citizen in 1968. He urged the new citizens to become politically active, and reminded them that citizenship comes with responsibilities. “It’s up to you to make it happen,” he told the new citizens.


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   May 4, 2011

A few Otakians participated in Pub Trivia at Players last night for a team building event...

With the opening pitch, Martin hit it out of the park for a "parfait" answer (French word for a type of ice cream that translates to perfect)! Rainman Kilby pulled a "tornado" out of thin air to whirl the team into second place at the half. Unfortunately, we crashed and burned with our lack of knowledge in NASCAR racing, and apparently need to ask for forgiveness for our lack of knowledge in religious studies. But, in true Vegas style, we went all in (gotta go big or stay home) and wagered the maximum points to correctly answer a five-part final bonus question with our resident lushes (DH, Leslie, and Kaitlin); who knew Dan Aykroyd's signature drink includes vodka, Dr. Dre's is congnac, and Danny DeVito's is a Limoncello?!?! With our trivia skills and beginners luck, we were able to pull it out in the clutch for the victory!

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