SEH takes immense pride in its Act of Excellence (AOE) program, fostering a culture of recognition and celebration among all employees who make the company an outstanding workplace. Each quarter, a dedicated employee-led committee diligently reviews the nominations submitted by colleagues and selects deserving winners in three categories: Accomplishment/Innovation, Character, and Teamwork.
It is with great pleasure that we extend congratulations to the individuals and team who earned the spring 2023 AOE award: Alix Aase, Melissa Blommel, Jessica Andersen, Cole Arvidson, Josh Breid, Derek Carlson, Cory Flor, John Gray, Brian Hare, Emily Jennings, K Lee Juelfs, Jon Kruse, Noah Odalen, Josh Palmateer, and Bryce Schmidgall. Below, we highlight each recipient and the reasons they are being celebrated.
Talent Attraction Lead
The Act: SEH rolled out the SEH Pathway to STEM Scholarship Program in 2022. The scholarship aims to provide access for underrepresented populations to STEM careers through tuition assistance, job readiness through an internship, and job opportunities upon graduation. Alix took on a key role from the beginning, helping to develop the Scholarship Program purpose and charter, the Governance Committee charter, identifying an external scholarship administrator, and executing the “inaugural” year program. Now in the second year, Alix has taken the leadership role for the SEH Pathway to STEM Scholarship Program, forming a School Selection Committee to develop criteria for selecting and identifying schools that meet those standards. The scholarship program expanded from 12 schools in the first year to 25 in the second year and improved the application process, making it more user-friendly and improving the applicant experience. She organized a Scholarship Engagement Committee to engage recipients through mentorship, internship, and career opportunities upon graduation. Alix created an annual calendar to guide the scholarship committees’ efforts and a scholarship Teams site to manage/coordinate all the documents and communications. Her hard work and dedication are helping further SEH’s purpose of Building a Better World for All of Us®.
The Act: During a check-in with a client regarding a necessary mailing, it was discovered that the mailing had not been sent out as planned, and it was crucial it be completed. This was the Saturday of Easter weekend. While battling a bad cold, Melissa coordinated the mailing with the client, preventing a regrettable delay or jeopardizing the assessment process. The City Clerk, City Administrator, and Mayor acknowledged her efforts, noting how SEH saved the day again. Numerous times per week, she will selflessly say, "I will log on and take care of that for you," helping her colleagues whenever they need support. Melissa keeps things running smoothly in the St. Cloud, Minnesota, office, and with her assistance, we provide the high level of client service we continuously strive for.
Top (r-l): Jessica Andersen, Project Design Leader, Cole Arvidson, Graduate Engineer, Josh Breid, PE (MN), and Derek Carlson, Technician
Middle (r-l): Cory Flor, Lead Technician, John Gray, Sr. PE (IA, MN, SD), Brian Hare, PE (MN), Emily Jennings, Sr. PE (MN), and K Lee Juelfs, Graduate Engineer
Bottom (r-l): Jon Kruse, Project Design Leader, Noah Odalen, Graduate Engineer, Josh Palmateer, Sr. PE (IA, IN, MN, ND, SD), and Bryce Schmidgall, EIT (MN)
The Act: SEH is a sub-consultant leading a design squad to complete designs for seven of 34 new bus rapid transit (BRT) line stations, which includes civil design, traffic signals, signing/marking, maintenance of traffic, lighting, stormwater, and construction support. In addition to station designs, the team was tasked with handling County improvements. Although the schedule remained the same, this entailed designing two more intersection quadrants for six out of the seven stations, and several design questions arose due to the absence of preliminary design work for the County's proposed enhancements.
Despite the challenges, the SEH team remained dedicated and determined. They patiently awaited design resolutions and actively participated in solving issues through numerous iterations of concept drawings, meetings, and discussions with agency stakeholders. Despite these hurdles, the team submitted the 30% and 60% plan deliverables on time.
The project is on track to meet its scheduled timeline and budget. For most SEH team members, this project marks their first experience in BRT station design, making it an even more impressive feat. Moreover, this BRT project is the largest SEH has undertaken, underscoring the team's capability to perform exceptionally well under highly constrained schedules.