March 2020 – Meet NEBC member Kendra Skellenger…
In one word, describe yourself. Dependable.
What’s one interest fact about you that most people don’t know? I played Division I college softball at Florida International University (FIU). I was ‘team captain’ during my junior and senior years. It was super challenging juggling softball and my engineering course work, but it was immensely rewarding. Softball is basically how I found my husband. We met at FIU. He was on the baseball team and was also from Portland. While we grew-up only a few miles apart, we had to travel across the country to meet, which probably wouldn’t have had happened without the softball/baseball connection.
How do you balance your career and family? I don’t (typically) work on the weekends. That is family time. And if I must work in the evenings, it’s after my kids have gone to bed. We also plan mini-vacations several times a year, where I unplug from work. I love to travel!
KENDRA ON BUSINESS
What is your educational background? I have a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Florida International University (FIU) and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Portland State University. I’m also a LEED-AP, California QISP, and CESCL.
What drew you to working in the environmental sector? Originally, I thought I wanted to build (design) bridges, and I really liked the structural engineering class at FIU, but then I took a water and wastewater treatment course and really fell in love. I also interned at a civil/environmental consulting firm between my junior and senior years of undergrad, which helped pave my path into the environmental sector.
What initially drew you to Anchor QEA? I had been mainly doing civil engineering/site development for seven years and was tired of designing parking lots and doing grading plans. I had been wanting to break into environmental engineering work and had been considering a switch, but hadn’t really been pursuing anything. I met some Anchor QEA staff at the River Restoration Northwest Conference. I was interested in advancing my stream restoration and modeling skill set, which is what initially drew me to Anchor QEA. That and their business model.
What are three words that describe Anchor QEA? Innovative. Quality. Culture
What is your favorite part about working at Anchor QEA? The diversity of interesting and challenging work. I get to work on contaminated sediment, upland cleanups, NPDES, and compliance projects. And I really like my coworkers and clients too.
What has been your favorite project at Anchor QEA? That’s a tough one. I’ve worked on a variety of interesting projects over the years, and each one has components that I’ve really enjoyed and components that have challenged me. Currently, I’m excited to start diving into work on Terminal 4 with the Port of Portland.
How has Anchor QEA helped you in your career development? The type of projects I’m exposed to, and the roles I’ve served on those projects plus the number of experts that are at Anchor QEA have all been significant contributors to my career development.
ON THE INDUSTRY
What has your involvement been with NEBC? I’ve served on the Oregon Stormwater Conference planning committee for the last four years, including moderating or speaking at the conference. I attend a luncheon here and there and the WA Stormwater and Business & Environment Conferences too.
What’s on your wish list for the next five years for your industry? Quicker agency reviews and approvals on all types of projects.
As a part of the industry, what sort of trends do you see? An increased need for flood management, flood resiliency, and water supply services.