I always liked science and math and took advanced courses throughout junior high and high school. I had a chemistry teacher in high school that I looked up to as a scholar and mentor. She knew I was interested in pursuing science curriculum in college and recommended that I attend South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
I followed her advice, but decided to start with a basic engineering curriculum since I was not completely sold that a chemistry degree fit an outdoor lifestyle. After doing some research and discussing construction careers with a close family friend, I decided to explore land surveying and took a part-time job with a local civil engineering/surveying firm, which set my path towards obtaining a civil engineering degree.
After graduating, I wanted to live and work in the Rocky Mountains, so I accepted a civil engineering position for a surface coal mining company operating in Hanna, Wyoming. Even at its peak in the early 1980s, Hanna was a small mining town with only a couple thousand residents. As such, I spent a lot of my free time either in the mountains backcountry skiing and hiking or traveling the state competing in racquetball tournaments.
After working for the mining company for 10 years, I decided to move to the “big” city of Laramie to try my hand in the consulting world. I accepted a position with a local engineering firm, ultimately becoming a vice president and the branch manager. After 15 years with this company, I joined Trihydro and worked into my current position as Senior Vice President/Special Projects Coordinator. I work with a talented group of engineers, surveyors, and geologists on infrastructure and civil design, mine permitting and hydraulic structure design, transportation design and construction, and surveying and mapping projects.
I still play racquetball regularly as schedule allows. It provides me with both a good mental and physical stress release. Although I don’t compete in tournaments anymore, I am always up for the challenge of taking on new players in a friendly match.