March 2012

We are pleased to announce that six new employees have joined us recently at Otak!

Andrew Midwood has joined Otak as Federal Business Development Director working out of Colorado. Andrew has over ten years of experience in strategic business development and complex selling strategies with an emphasis on business to government marketing, relationship development and lead generation. Throughout his career in business development, Andrew has demonstrated a knack for building and managing new markets and facilitating relations with various governmental organizations. He earned his MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver and his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Kurt Creager has joined Otak as Housing & Community Development Director working out of our Vancouver office. Kurt has over 30 years of experience working with policy, program and project implementation. In recent years, he has focused on place making and community building through mixed-income and mixed-use development projects in the Seattle, Portland/Vancouver, Phoenix, and Los Angeles areas. As a public official, Mr. Creager has worked in planning and management positions responsible for local and regional land use, housing, economic development, and environmental plans and policy. Mr. Creager served 15 years as CEO of the Vancouver Housing Authority where he produced over 3,500 dwellings in Southwest Washington State. Before joining Otak, Kurt served as the Executive Director of the Stardust Center at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and President of Urbanist Solutions. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Fannie Mae Fellow in the State and Local Public Executive Program; the University of Washington’s Cascade Management Institute, and Western Washington University, where he earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Planning and Architectural Graphics.

Chris Rayasam has joined Otak as Chief Financial Officer. Chris began his career at Balboa Capital Corporation where he worked as SQL DBA. He later joined AECOM/Boyle Engineering Corporation, where he held the positions of Senior Finance Manager/Assistant Controller, Senior Manager of Business Analysis/Finance, and Manager of Development. He led Boyle Engineering’s implementation of financial systems to Deltek Vision in addition to leading real estate transactions in the western region at AECOM. In each phase of his career, Mr. Rayasam has utilized his proficiency in IT and finance to run businesses more efficiently. Prior to joining Otak, Mr. Rayasam was the Corporate Controller and Director of IT for Hemmera Invirochem Inc. Mr. Rayasam earned both his MBA and Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences from the University of California.

Sara Mahoney has joined Otak as Intern Architect our Lake Oswego office. Prior to joining Otak, Sara served as Architectural Intern at MulvannyG2 Architecture in Portland. She has also provided green design and consulting services for Mahoney Homes, LLC, in Beaverton and participated in the AmeriCorps program as an Outreach/Marketing Coordinator. She was responsible for educating the community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about sustainable living. Sara received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Melanie McCandless has joined Otak’s Water Resources team in Lake Oswego as an Engineering Designer. Melanie began her career as an AmeriCorps Volunteer for the City of Gresham’s Natural Resources Program. Her responsibilities included developing geospatial models, groundwater hydrologic monitoring, creating relational databases and supervising the restoration of riparian vegetation along a degraded urban stream. She later worked for the City of Gresham on an on-call basis. Ms. McCandless received her Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering: Water Resources from Portland State University, and dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies: Policy & Economics from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Lloyd Fonger has joined Otak as an accountant in our Lake Oswego office. Lloyd has almost 15 years of experience working in accounting for such diverse firms as Command Management Systems; Things From Another World, Inc.; Dark Horse Comics; Mail-Well Envelope, Inc., and Photogroup, Inc. Lloyd studied computer information systems at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Phoenix, Arizona.

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