September 30, 2013

Otak's Portland office participated in this year's Bike Commute Challenge. The challenge is a competition to see who can bike to work more during the month of September. Our team logged over 1,450 miles in over 160 trips. The Bike Commute Challenge is a fun way to get some exercise and empower people to explore biking as a form of transportation. The Bike Commute Challenge is organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), which is a non-profit organization working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon.

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   September 30, 2013

On Friday, September 20, Otak's Portland office participated in PARK(ing) Day, an annual international event where groups and individuals transform metered parking spaces into temporary public places. We converted the spot in front of our corporate office on SW Third Avenue and Yamhill Street into an interactive rock garden where people could use paint pens to draw or write on the rocks about their favorite places or why they were drawn to Portland. PARK(ing) Day draws attention to how much of our cities are reserved for movement and parking of cars, and tries to reclaim little pockets of that space for people to meet, congregate, and express themselves.

We thank all of the enthusiastic participants who helped make our first PARK(ing) Day a success, and we look forward to next year's event!

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   September 26, 2013

Otak is pleased to welcome seven new hires!

Liz Gilliam has joined our office in Portland, Oregon, as a senior geomorphologist. She has been active in geomorphic studies, both on-the-ground measurements and decision-making, for many years. She brings more than a decade of practical experience in project development, management, implementation, and innovative technical analyses. She has been an adjunct professor in Portland State University’s Environmental Professional Program since 2009. Liz earned her Master of Science degree in Geomorphology from Colorado State University and she double majored in Geology and Geography/GIS from Western Michigan University.

Lorna Dominguez has joined our Denver, Colorado, office as a project assistant. She brings over 12 years of administrative and marketing experience, having led several successful proposal efforts on large projects in California and Colorado for private firms. Lorna earned her Master of Arts in Education, Pupil Personnel Services - Guidance Counseling from Azusa Pacific University and her Bachelor of Science in English Education from eastern Montana College.

Trista Kobluskie has joined our Vancouver, Washington, office as a stormwater planner. She is an experienced project manager and administrator in both government and the private sector, with strong knowledge of the Phase I Western Washington Municipal Stormwater Permit, as well as Clark County’s stormwater compliance program and MS4 infrastructure management. She wrote the 2010 Clark County Stormwater Management Plan, the first of its kind for a Phase I municipal stormwater permittee in Washington. Trista earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Drew University and received graduate instruction in GIS from Portland State University.

John Longbotham has joined our Kirkland, Washington, office as a civil engineering intern. He is a certified Engineer-in-Training currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Seattle University. His previous work experience includes an internship with the City of Woodinville Public Works Department.

Joni Lund has joined our Kirkland, Washington, office as a CAD technician. She has served as a CAD drafter, engineering technician, and CAD project manager for engineering firms in Washington and Texas and had been working at Otak as a temporary employee for the past few months. Joni earned her Associate of Arts in Technical Arts and Civil Engineering from Bates Technical College.

Melissa Johnson has joined our Portland, Oregon, office as a strategic planning manager. She brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, business development, strategic planning, and organizational development. She earned her Master of Arts in Organization Design and Renewal from Seattle University and her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Western Washington University. Melissa is a Certified Professional Services Marketer and has received her Living Systems Theory and Application Professional Development Certification. She is the past Oregon Chapter President of the Society for Marketing Professional Services and she is a member of the Organizational Development Network and Degrees of Transition, LLC, Advisory Board.

Tim Ervin has joined our Portland, Oregon, office as a project assistant. Prior to Otak, Tim served as a project administrator/project management assistant at an engineering firm, where he was responsible for document control, quality management and reporting, proofing construction documents and drawings, and office management. He also brings more than a decade of project management experience in publishing and is a LEED Green Associate. Tim earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communications Design from California State University, Chico, and his Associate of Applied Science in Construction Project Management from Portland Community College - Rock Creek.

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   September 10, 2013

A few of Otak’s water resources engineers joined the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation to lead a tour of our East Lents Floodplain Restoration project - now known as the Foster Floodplain Natural Area.

To learn more about the tour and view the tour brochure, please click here.

To learn more about this project, please click here.

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   September 10, 2013

Kurt Creager, Otak’s Director of Housing & Urban Development, has been invited to join the Istanbul Technical University’s Housing Research and Education Center (ITU HREC) Advisory Board by ITU HREC Director Dr. Meltem Baslo. Mr. Creager has a prior relationship with Dr. Yurdanur Dulgeroglu, Professor of Design at ITU and has collaborated as a peer reviewer on her housing policy and practice research. ITU is considered the world’s third oldest university dedicated to engineering, and it is one of the most prominent universities in Turkey.

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