Getting to Know Us: Brenda Holt

Lync PictureThe Wood Harbinger team is made up of diverse and interesting people, who bring all kinds of backgrounds, professional experiences, and insights to our firm. In this blog series, we’ll share a little something about each of the people behind our successful engineering projects.

This week, the spotlight’s on Brenda Holt, one of Wood Harbinger’s Project Assistants.

Brenda worked for Wood Harbinger for a short while in 2013, then pursued other opportunities for a few years, and rejoined the Wood Harbinger family in 2016. We’re all thrilled to have her back! With 25 years’ experience in the AEC industry, Brenda has been involved in just about every aspect of a project. She brings a triple threat perspective to her role with experience as a marketer, production coordinator and manager, and CADD drafter and designer. Her attention to detail and knowledge of the project process make her an indispensable member of her project teams.

What made you decide to become an engineer/designer/drafter/work for an engineering firm?

I fell into the engineering field by accident while starting college. I was the errand person for a civil engineering firm and worked part time picking up survey maps, property research information from King County, property owner information for Utility Local Improvement Districts (ULIDs), and ran a lot of blueprints and specifications. Once I finished college, I stayed with the company and started drafting utility and road plans. During that time, I also learned to design water, sewer, storm drainage, and transportation facilities.

Have you held any jobs/had any careers outside of the engineering industry? If so, what industry and what did you do?

I worked for a biotech company for a couple of years. I was part of the business development and marketing team.

What do you like best about being an engineer/designer/drafter/working for an engineering firm?

I really enjoy the variety of projects and clients we get to work with. My favorite part is being part of a project team and interacting with the clients on projects.

What do you like least about being an engineer/designer/drafter/working for an engineering firm?

As a CAD drafter/designer I felt I had gone as far as I could in that role, it was a great experience but I needed new challenges. I moved into a production manager/marketing role and found new challenges supporting engineers and scientists by assisting on the assembly of large environmental documents. One of the projects of interest was the environmental aspects of the SR520 Bridge. On that project, I worked 22-hours straight on a Biological Assessment to meet a deadline, the consultant we teamed with rewarded me with a gracious Italian goody basket and some wine! An unexpected surprise.

What do you hope to be doing in five years (becoming a PE, being a project manager, mentoring junior engineers, working on a high-profile project, developing client relationships, etc.)?

I am working towards getting a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). I feel the training will enhance my role as a project assistant and sharpen my project management skills.

What’s one funny story of an experience you’ve had on the job?

Having a male stripper show up at the office for my 23rd birthday. It was a present from a City Attorney we were working with on a claim. I was on the witness list to be deposed and this was his way of thanking me for doing a good job. I was so nervous during the deposition I thought my hands were going to float away because they were drenched with sweat. This was the first time I had ever been involved in a legal case.

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