The people of CH2M HILL help our clients imagine, design, and build a better world while living that vision in our offices and on our project sites. CH2M HILL's people are the firm. They demonstrate a personal commitment to sustainability every day and are dedicated to solving environmental, social, and economic challenges at work, in service to our clients, and outside the office. A few examples follow.
CH2M HILL Chairman and CEO Lee McIntire did not take the typical route to management. While fighting oil fires in Saudi Arabia after earning his civil engineering degree, he never imagined he would someday lead one of the largest global employee-owned companies with over 25,000 employees and annual revenue of US$7 billion. Lee grew up working construction in Nebraska with his father. His passion for travel took him all over the world, working construction and odd jobs. He spent time building business at Bechtel, becoming partner and board director. He retired, founded a sustainable bank in San Francisco, taught college, and joined CH2M HILL.
Throughout his career, he has designed and managed major projects worldwide, such as chemical and nuclear weapon facility closures, the Channel Tunnel rail link, and United Arab Emirates nuclear program. Lee looks for projects that improve quality of life and bring sustainable benefits, such as improving a blighted area in London for the 2012 Olympics or expanding the Panama Canal. He is energized by CH2M HILL’s ability to bring new ideas to the environmental challenges facing the world.
Lee’s passion for corporate citizenship is visible in his words and actions. In 2011, he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, recognizing his work to improve the quality of life of those around him. He lends his leadership to the Business Roundtable; World Economic Forum; World Business Council on Sustainable Development; National Petroleum Council; Council on Competitiveness; Aspen Institute’s Commission on the Arctic; National Academy of Construction; and, U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright traveled to the Arctic with Lee on a trip to assess the damage of global warming. She commends Lee for being one of the group’s major intellectual contributors because of his “real determination to run a company that is built on sustainability.”
All over the world, people are taking notice that water scarcity is a universal issue affecting all societies, at all levels. Elisa Speranza is no stranger to global water challenges. As CH2M HILL’s Executive Sponsor for Sustainability, President of the OMBG, and former board chair for Water For People, Elisa has been on the frontline of developing solutions for clean and safe water and sanitation access for communities everywhere from North America to Africa. For more than 25 years, Elisa has helped clients address issues affecting water and wastewater utilities challenged with aging infrastructure and on the road to sustainable asset management. While serving on the Water For People board, she traveled to some of the 11 developing countries that the global nongovernmental organization assists with creating sustainable water and sanitation solutions. Elisa is also the president of the CH2M HILL Foundation, allowing her to apply her guiding principles of respect, integrity, and service into action to help build a better and more sustainable world.
When asked where the line is between her professional work and her community service efforts, Elisa says there is no line, citing her passion for service and the core values shared between CH2M HILL and organizations like Water For People and the CH2M HILL Foundation. As a resident of New Orleans, and having grown up on the Massachusetts coast, she takes issues like climate change, coastal erosion, and the health of our oceans personally.
“The shifting demands of economies in crisis, poverty, climate change, and water scarcity create a dynamic push and pull between business-as-usual and trying something new. Creating a sustainable future doesn’t mean going back, or viewing the world in terms of diminished capacity for health, economic opportunity, or an impoverished environment. Realists at heart, we strive to make sustainable solutions practical. We’re committed to figuring out how to weave sustainability into the fabric of our lives and allow humanity to flourish within our ecosystem, capitalizing on our interconnectedness in new and fundamentally better ways.”
Brandy Wilson truly embraces environmental stewardship and knows there’s an art to sustainability. Since joining the firm 17 years ago, Brandy has witnessed the evolution of sustainable engineering at CH2M HILL and has led adoption of sustainability practices in daily operations. Today, Brandy serves as our Enterprise Sustainability Program Manager, responsible for helping the firm and our clients to improve sustainability performance. For several years she served in the role of EMS Program Manager, monitoring the firm’s progress against sustainable business criteria. This role grew out of Brandy’s natural interest in sustainability and environmental preservation, along with support from colleagues who share her passion. She was instrumental in piloting the company’s EMS program and helping to make CH2M HILL the first in our industry to establish such a program. She helped start one of the firm’s first green teams in 1995, raising awareness of sustainability issues and encouraging environmental stewardship in our offices.
Brandy manages the complex production of CH2M HILL’s Sustainability Report, which won two communications awards. She also provides sustainability framework consulting and environmental communication services for clients and publishes sustainability articles on behalf of the firm, such as Embracing Environmental Stewardship in livebetter magazine. She is a LEED® O+M Accredited Professional, and finds that LEED® O+M aligns strongly with much of the sustainability work she does, because it concerns ongoing environmental operations such as waste reduction, communications, teleworking, commuting, and energy and water conservation.
Like many of her cohorts, Brandy considers sustainability more than a professional responsibility; it’s a personal commitment. “I am truly passionate about growing opportunities that let our people shine for the environment, every day in the office,” Brandy notes. “My job, more broadly, is to make the complicated, interconnected, often highly scientific concepts around sustainability clear so that we, as a society, can make better decisions. I love to work with people from all backgrounds and political viewpoints to create a more sustainable world.” Brandy served on her city’s Planning and Zoning Commission for 8 years and currently serves on the Ada County Open Space and Parks Advisory Board.
Lindsay is an experienced consultant focused on sustainability program development, planning, and mobilization. As the Sustainability Director for CH2M HILL’s OMBG, Lindsay catalogs best practices, develops stakeholder awareness, and integrates sustainable solutions into our delivery of operations services at 180-plus client facilities across North America. She developed and leads the company’s OMBG sustainability program that empowers CH2M HILL employees to enhance the environment and generally improve the operational efficiency of their facilities. To date, the program has cut energy consumption by 22 million kilowatt hours (kWhs), diverted 9,605 tonnes (10,588 tons) of waste from landfills, beneficially reused 64.4 million cubic meters (17 billion gallons) of effluent, and identified $US4.7 million dollars of savings. Under her direction, the program earned the 2011 National Association of Water Companies Innovations Award. In April 2012, Lindsay shared her tactics in “How to Capture Employee Passions to Address Sustainability Goals” in CH2M HILL’s Access Water blog.
Lindsay serves on CH2M HILL’s SLB, a cross-discipline group chartered with building sustainable solutions business and delivering complex sustainability projects. When Lindsay first joined CH2M HILL, she served as facilities manager for the City of Johns Creek, Georgia, where CH2M HILL provided a wide range of municipal services. She gained first-hand facilities management experience overseeing the design, construction, and management of the newly formed city’s facilities.
“As we’ve learned in all our sustainability efforts across CH2M HILL, involving employees in all aspects of the planning and implementation process is critical to achieving success. By harnessing our employee’s passion and integrating sustainability into business processes, sustainability becomes a distinct and tangible thing that delivers rich results.”
As our Environment and Sustainability Manager for Europe, Mark Browning is supported by an extensive and committed network of environmental managers and coordinators. For more than 20 years, Mark has assisted organizations worldwide to become more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible, advising on how to mainstream sustainability thinking into organizational decision-making to create value and remove risk.
Mark believes science and engineering have a pivotal role in equipping us to address sustainability challenges and improving the quality of people’s lives overall. “Over my career, I have seen business sectors change beyond recognition, becoming more environmentally sustainable using engineering and science know-how to understand sustainability issues and risks and develop solutions,” notes Mark. “I know achieving more environmentally sustainable outcomes is possible; it can take time but it can be done. It is important to look back and understand how and why we have achieved more sustainable outcomes and the path taken to achieve this. Often it is not just one thing that has leads to change but a suite of actions by people working together to make a difference.”
Mark is interested in business and sustainability and does not see these as two separate areas—they are bound to each other and interconnected. “It is great to work with people and organizations like CH2M HILL who see sustainability as a game changer, recognize the importance in having a forward-thinking sustainability program, and are committed to making a difference.”
Mark recently spent 2 years working with his local community to develop a neighborhood plan in line with new UK government legislation. The plan empowers local communities to identify their short- and long-term needs and work with local government and citizens to prepare their own neighborhood plan detailing housing, education, amenity, and recreational needs, as well as measures to create community cohesion and well-being.
Ethics and Diversity
William H. (Bill) Brierly
Bill Brierly joined CH2M HILL in October 2012 to ensure that our ethics and integrity program has the tools and focus necessary to meet the challenges of our global growth strategy. As Chief Counsel for Ethics and Business Conduct, Bill oversees our ethics and integrity programs in more than 75 countries.
Bill applies his passion for lifelong learning and teaching to find creative ways to integrate his understanding of economics and the law. He brings real-world, collaborative solutions to ethical issues facing international businesses. Before joining CH2M HILL, he served in a variety of executive roles at TeleTech, where he and his teams developed several ethics and compliance initiatives that guided and empowered TeleTech’s employees to make sound, ethical decisions.
“Operating at all levels of our business with ethics and integrity is central to our success at CH2M HILL and forms the basis for our approach not only to large-scale engineering and construction projects but also in solving day-to-day issues in the workplace,” Brierly notes. “From our founding in 1946 through today, CH2M HILL has a tradition and a reputation of doing business ethically and with integrity. This tradition is captured in our Little Yellow Book, written by one of our founders Jim Howland, which includes several tenets on how to run an ethical, productive, and ethical business. These tenets, such as ‘Integrity is the all-important prerequisite to employment; the person must be honest with himself and others or we have no foundation on which to build,’ are woven into the fabric of our culture and guide the actions of our employees.” According to Bill, “we cannot rest on our tradition of ethical business conduct; instead, we must view this tradition as foundation upon which we will continually improve our ethics program and enhance our reputation for integrity in our work and in our business practices.”
A chartered banker with more than 20 years of experience in corporate and international banking, Neil Holt is an internationally recognized figure in the areas of business ethics and compliance.
While working for international consulting firm Halcrow, Neil led the development and implementation of an ethical compliance policy and program. This included the external publishing and promotion of Halcrow’s business principles in 2003, at a time when many engineering and construction companies were unwilling to openly discuss corruption in their markets. Halcrow’s ethical risk management processes subsequently became recognized as industry leading.
When Halcrow was acquired by CH2M HILL, Neil was appointed as Director, Ethics and Business Conduct – International Operations, with geographic responsibility for CH2M HILL’s and Halcrow’s combined operations worldwide, with the exception of North and South America.
Neil was an early member of the World Economic Forum’s Engineering and Construction anti-corruption working group, which led to development of the forum’s current Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). The initiative now has more than 140 corporate signatories worldwide. Neil remains an active member of the PACI working group.
Neil is a trustee and nonexecutive director of Transparency International (UK), the UK Chapter of the global coalition against corruption, and is also a member of the UK Government-appointed Export Guarantee Advisory Council. He is also a founding member of the UK Anti-Corruption Forum, which has become one of the principal consultative interfaces between UK government and business on anti-corruption matters.
“Ethics is something that affects us all, but I believe that as with health and safety, ethical behavior should be so embedded in the way that we work, that it becomes second nature—put simply, it is about doing the right thing, for the right reason.”
Faye Wilson Tate
In the 12 years Faye Tate has been working as CH2M HILL’s Vice President and Director for Diversity and Inclusion, she has transformed the way the company focuses on these issues. In the past several years, Faye has helped to establish employee network groups for employees who are African-American; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) and allies; Hispanic; differently enabled; women; and junior professionals. In 2012, four of the network groups held face-to-face summits in addition to their regular conference calls. A diversity council is made up of the leads of the employee network groups, their executive sponsors, and several Human Resources executives.
Faye has played a vital role in making CH2M HILL a global industry leader in supporting LGBT employees. Her leadership has helped create a culture of inclusion, a strong nondiscrimination policy, and domestic partnership benefits. In fact, the firm has found its domestic partnership benefits so beneficial that representatives testified at the Colorado State Capitol on their positive impacts to company culture and the bottom line. In 2012, One Colorado honored Faye and three other individuals with “Ally Awards” for all they do to change the hearts and minds of Coloradoans.
“I am a passionate advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion and have witnessed their positive impacts on our business and our people,” Faye said. “Focusing on employee and supplier diversity is a strategic business imperative for CH2M HILL.”
Giving back to the community is an important part of Faye’s life. She serves on the national board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign, a national organization that focuses LGBT rights, and on several local boards of directors. In 2012, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce named Faye as one of the 25 most powerful women in Colorado. She has received much recognition for her work in the community with several organizations: “Woman of Distinction” from the Girl Scouts of America; Leadership Denver and Distinguished Community Leader and Trailblazer by the National Council of Negro Women; finalist for Frances Weimar Jacobs award recognizing women who are leaders in philanthropy; and the Outstanding Women in Business Award from the Colorado Black Women for Political Action.
In recent years, Faye has been working with CH2M HILL project teams and employee groups to establish a culture of respect and tolerance on their teams. She traveled to the United Kingdom to assist with diversity issues related to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
Community Partners and CH2M HILL Foundation
Growing up in a small town in South Texas (Laredo) at the border with Mexico, Judith excelled at math and science studies. Several people recommended that she become an engineer, but she never understood what engineers did until she learned about engineering through community investment programs. Because of that outreach, giving back has always been one of her highest personal and professional responsibilities. Now she is excited to be able to give back by serving on the CH2M HILL Foundation board of directors.
As Area Manager for our south Texas offices, Judith is responsible for area branding, government affairs, representing the firm, implementing corporate giving and employee volunteerism programs, and coordinating with local media and public relations. She also serves as the operations lead, manages projects, and is involved in multiple civic and nonprofit organizations in the area, such as the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Texas Floodplain Management Association, and San Antonio Mobility Coalition. She is also the chair of Enlace, CH2M HILL’s network for Hispanic employees.
When she joined CH2M HILL in 2007, one of the first things she noticed about the firm was the culture of commitment to community investment. The culture, combined with her personal and professional goals of giving back, provides a positive synergy that is truly indescribable. She is proud to lend her expertise to the Women’s Transportation Seminar, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and American Council of Engineering Companies. As part of her work with Women in Transportation, she participate and coordinates outreach to local middle and high schools to provide hands-on activities and discussions regarding the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math careers.
“CH2M HILL’s investment programs offer opportunities to combine our everyday work with the community to get a real understanding of how the work we do affects others. Interaction with our communities reinvigorates that spark in me that led me to engineering in the first place,” notes Judith. “This powerful combination is summarized best by Sir Winston Churchill, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’”
Francois (Didier) Menard
Didier began his career as an intern at CH2M HILL 15 years ago, and now he is the central and northeast Florida Area Manager and Vice President and Geographic Market Lead in the Water Business Group. He specializes in traffic analysis, noise modeling, data collection, costing, and public involvement for transportation projects, but what he enjoys most about CH2M HILL is its volunteer spirit.
Didier walks his talk by serving on several nonprofit boards: the CH2M HILL Foundation Board, where he can marry his love for the firm and the communities it serves; the board of directors of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida, which provides services to special needs kids who have cerebral palsy, autism, and other development challenges; and as vice chair of the Goodwill board of directors, whose mission is to put people back to work through the donations received by the local community.
“From the day I started working here 15 years ago, CH2M HILL has always stressed and supported the notion of working and being very active in the communities we serve,” notes Didier. “This has enabled me and countless other employees to be engaged in our communities. That’s why I’m so honored to serve on our foundation.”
Water engineer Diana Frost is passionate about improving the standard of living in developing countries by contributing her expertise with water systems. Through funding from the CH2M HILL Foundation, in February 2012 Diana travelled to Rwanda as a member of a seven-person volunteer team with Water For People. She worked on the Rulindo Challenge project, which aims to provide 100 percent water coverage to residents before December 2014. Rulindo’s residents often have to walk more than 2 kilometers to reach water.
Diana and her team helped design expansion of Rulindo’s existing water systems. They also helped build the capacity of the local Water For People and Rwandan teams so they could continue design and construction after the volunteer team left the country. Given the short duration of the visit, the engineering work proved to be highly challenging—especially with the limited power supply. One night, while they were testing for bacteria (which takes 24 hours at a specific temperature), they had a 4-hour power outage. The next time she brought the samples to her hotel room, which had a generator.
“I had done quite a bit of water quality testing in developing countries, so I took on the water quality aspect of the work,” notes Diana, who showed a local engineer how to take samples, where to take them, and what to test for. “I was immensely impressed with Rwandans, who were dedicated to learning all they could to improve their nation’s clean water access. Most of the professionals speak three languages and are willing and keen. It was so nice to work people who are excited about their jobs.”
As a teenager, Diana lived in Gabon for 6 years, which shaped how she sees the world. “Watching women carrying water, babies, and wood along the road to my high school every morning opened my eyes to issues in developing countries,” says Diana. She has a long history of working to improve access to drinking water in South America, Haiti, and Africa. She also lived in Peru for 2 years, working as a volunteer to optimize water and sanitary sewer systems. Still, Rwanda surprised her. “Given the history of genocide, I expected the country to be less organized. I was surprised driving through rural areas to see new roads, schools, and clinics—all recently built. Lots of people had moved their households to be closer to these amenities, too. In Canada, we move on a whim because we can afford it. We have more resources and support systems than any individual in Rwanda. For them to pick up and rebuild a house is huge. That shows me how confident they are in their government, and that is unique.”
Samantha Connolly, Sustainability Technologist, represents the new generation of sustainability practitioners who bring knowledge, passion, and innovation to the complex sustainability projects CH2M HILL is implementing around the world.
In 2012, she was named one of the United Kingdom’s “Top 50 Rising Stars of Sustainability” by Building magazine. Based on client nomination, the recognition highlighted Samantha’s accomplishments as sustainability assurance manager for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games program—widely touted to be the “greenest games ever.” She has since taken her knowledge to advise other major sporting events around the world how they can deliver sustainable construction.
Samantha worked on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games program from 2008 to 2011, managing and implementing a challenging sustainability strategy into some of the largest, most high-profile buildings in the park. In particular, she helped establish the Velodrome as the park’s most sustainable, energy-efficient venue with achievements including the following:
- A 32 percent improvement in energy conservation (Part L, UK Building Regulations 2006 baseline)
- A 75 percent reduction in potable water use (2006 baseline)
- Use of 100 percent sustainable, legal timber for track and external cladding
- BREEAM Excellent
“The development for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provided an opportunity for the UK construction industry to rise to the challenge of delivering sustainable construction,” noted Samantha. “By taking on and delivering this challenge, the industry is now more knowledgeable and capable of delivering complex engineering projects sustainably.”
Samantha was also selected as a London 2012 Learning Legacy Ambassador, responsible for disseminating lessons learned through online case studies, presentations, and workshops. Samantha is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Full Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (MIEMA).
As project manager at a wastewater treatment plant in Crestview, Florida, Jayne Swift is actively working with her client to organize and present a local community environmental fair with a sustainability poster contest, in addition to investigating opportunities to implement renewable energy onsite at the plant. In DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Jayne and her staff helped organize a similar event. The DeFuniak Springs project staff handed out wildflower bookmarks to children and showed live microorganisms under the microscope, a huge hit with attendees. In addition, staff showed the effects of grease being dumped down the drain and lobbied with the nearby biodiesel vendor to show alternative methods of disposal.
In her 20 years in the water and wastewater industry, Jayne has worked at various facilities over the years, each providing its own environmental impact challenges. She has enjoyed looking for ways to implement groundwater remediation, water reclamation facilities in the desert, biosolids drying beds, anaerobic digesters producing gas for engines, sprayfield effluent disposal, zero discharge programs, and of course zeriscapes. ”I owe my CH2M HILL sustainability involvement to Grega St. John, who provided me opportunities for growth and advancement by electing me as her region’s sustainability champion,” notes Jayne. “Sustainability has become part of my project’s business plans and renewal strategies now. We let our clients know how they can implement small changes to save electricity and disposal costs and improve recycling efforts.”
Jayne has worked in several places around the United States. “Living and working in different climates has taught me several lessons in trying to sustain gardens and conserve energy of different varieties. I am an avid vegetable gardener, and I have successfully gardened in deserts, cold climates, and wet climates.” Jayne also raises chickens, collects rainwater for irrigation, and raises a pig – Harley – who loves the veggies as much as the rest of the family.
As Sustainable Practice Leader for CH2M HILL’s Government, Facilities & Infrastructure group, Ed Pieterick is intimately familiar with the full spectrum of sustainable services offered by the firm. A LEED® accredited architect with more than 33 years of experience in facility design, Ed also knows that LEED® design is often at the forefront of our minds when it comes to sustainable design, but it’s only a small fraction of what sustainability means for a firm like CH2M HILL, which has been recognized as a global leader in sustainability.
Ed has been instrumental in sharing innovations in sustainable design practices throughout the design industry, where he frequently lectures and writes about sustainable design. While helping to achieve LEED Silver® certification for more than 30 buildings and LEED Gold® certification for more than 20 buildings, he leverages lessons learned and best practices from his own award-winning and LEED®-certified buildings to improve the quality of sustainable design at CH2M HILL. In 2009, Ed helped pioneer the firm’s green building database that currently houses nearly 390 green building projects as a resource for the internal CH2M HILL design community. Since then, he has helped to expand the contents of the database and make it an even more valuable resource in the future delivery of green buildings.
“Sustainable design has become mainstream, and third-party certification, such as LEED®, has been instrumental with that. However, it is important to understand that sustainable design practice means more than just LEED® certification. We have people out there doing everything from marshland waste treatment, to biofuel production, to environmental cleanup—those things aren’t addressed by LEED®. But these are all significant contributions to making our world livable,” Ed says.
“Within CH2M HILL there has always been a proud commitment to sustainability but a modest record of our achievements. Hopefully, the green building database provides an opportunity for everyone to see the extent of our achievement with information we can easily share with others.”