June 30, 2017

On Wednesday, June 21st, engineers from Oregon and Washington enjoyed an afternoon away from the office hitting the links and enjoying the beautiful weather. Sunny skies, 70-degree temperatures and a light breeze made for perfect conditions for both golfing and eating ice cream, which Otak handed out to over 90 golfers. Otak’s station, led by Vice President & Director of Business Development Brian Burby and Marketing Coordinator David Kildal, also had a wine giveaway and an Otak-branded BAGGO cornhole game. Great times and only minimal sunburns were had by all!

Otak is proud to have been a major sponsor of the ACEC Networking Day Golf Tournament and we’re already looking forward to next year.

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   June 27, 2017

Teresa Huntsinger, Alex Morton, Melanie Klym, and Ashley Cantlon volunteering at a Depave event.

On Saturday, June 24th, while many Portlanders were finding ways to beat the 100-degree heat, a few Otakians laced up their work boots and took to the pavement. As part of a Depave community project, several of Otak’s WNR team members joined with volunteers to remove approximately 2,800 square feet of asphalt from the parking lot of Faithful Savior Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland. The “depaving” was an initial step in the construction of a rain garden, which will help to capture and treat stormwater originating from the church’s parking lot.

Depave is a Portland-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the transformation of over-paved places to overcome the social and environmental acts of pavement. They host volunteer “work parties” as well as provide education and training about the benefits of pavement removal. Since 2008, Depave has seen the removal of over 151,000 square feet of asphalt and the creation of over 50 community greenspaces in Portland. With the help of motivated individuals, Depave has already begun expanding to other cities across the US.

To learn more about Depave or to RSVP for future Depave events, visit 

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   June 22, 2017

Otak’s trail planners enjoyed a beautiful summer afternoon talking about current regional trail initiatives at Metro’s 7th Annual Barbara Walker Trails Fair event held at the Convention Center Plaza. 

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   June 19, 2017

On May 19, 2017, the ForWARD committee of the American Institute of Architects Portland chapter hosted Future Vision, a symposium dedicated to discussing equity, specifically, “The Value Proposition of Equity.” Otak was one of the sponsors of the event.

Among the attendees of the symposium was a diverse group of Otakians, consisting of employees from three Otak offices and five different disciplines (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Water & Natural Resources, and Human Resources).

According to attendee and Otak Portland architect Amy Scheckla-Cox, “We all learned from some great speakers taking back statistics regarding pay equity, challenges due to work/life flexibility, value of licensure, becoming a parent and more.” Other topics discussed included the differences between Equality and Equity, and recommendations for firms who wanted to move forward toward a more equitable environment. Such recommendations included considering inclusive bias training, pay transparency, and re-entry programs for employees who have been out of their field of work for an extended period of time.

Otak's attendees are planning to hold a lunchtime presentation to share their experiences and key takeaways with the offices.

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