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56 minutes | May 11, 2022
58 - Andrew Kong, Senior Manager, Restoration
For episode 58 of our Unleashed podcast, we had the pleasure of speaking with the always entertaining Andrew Kong, a senior manager for our Restoration division based out of our Charlotte, NC office. Andrew has been an integral part of WGI for over 16 years and leads a team of restoration engineering professionals in the southeastern region of the U.S. Right from the beginning of our interview with Andrew, we knew we were in for a treat! He brought so much energy and positivity 🙌 to the room that it was hard not to get completely swept up in all of the interesting stories he had to share with us. Andrew took us along on his journey from Jamaica to Canada and finally to the United States, where we learned he picked up several post-secondary degrees along the way, including a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, as well as, 2 Master's degrees, one in Civil Engineering - Structures from Queen's University, and the other in Business Administration from Duke University. We talked about his tight-knit team, were enthused about his passion for his job, and discussed why he loves working at WGI. He also gave several shout-outs to co-workers throughout the podcast, so listen closely because you may have gotten some love from Andrew 🥰. We also had an interesting time learning about what he likes to do in his spare time, which includes: gardening 🌱, traveling 🧳, attending F1 races 🏁, and enjoying lots and lots of rum 🥃😎!
52 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
57 - Sandor Laszlo, Regional Manager Technology, Geospatial
In episode 57 of WGI's Unleashed podcast, we spoke with Sandor Laszlo, the Regional Manager of Technology in our Geospatial division. Sandor joined the WGI team about three years ago and brought over 20 years of professional experience with him. Sandor told us what it was like growing up in Fords, New Jersey, a diverse suburb of New York City, where he spent the entirety of his childhood before heading off to college. We discovered that he started his career in software development, spending almost 20 years in that field before transitioning into engineering, ultimately refining his focus on geospatial technology. We also delved into some of the latest, cutting-edge technology WGI has been investing in, and learned how Sandor and his team have being utilizing this equipment to enhance our projects and benefit clients. Listen to Sandor's episode now to find out what his go-to karaoke song is, what exit he's from in New Jersey, and to hear the unique way he pronounces the word coffee!
63 minutes | Mar 16, 2022
56 - Augustine Verrengia, Civil Market Leader
For episode 56 of our Unleashed podcast, we chatted with Augustine Verrengia, a Market Leader for our Civil Engineering team in our Austin, TX office. Augustine has over 12 years of Engineering experience and is coming up on his 1st anniversary with WGI. Augustine talked to us about growing up in the Austin area, walked us through the early days of his career after graduating from The University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering, and told us the story of how he ended up here at WGI. We learned he recently got married and discussed the joys of becoming a new parent and raising a family in the same city he grew up. He also let us in on some intriguing endeavors he has embarked on in the past, took us through some of his hobbies, and told us the life-altering reason he had to scale back on one of his favorite outdoor activities. Augustine has substantial experience in civil engineering design, project management, and construction administration duties gained through a wide range of assignments, including mixed-use, residential, aviation, industrial, municipal, education, commercial, and master-planned projects.
41 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
55 - Britney Cooper, Business Development and Marketing Representative
In our first episode of 2022, we got the privilege to speak with Britney Cooper, Business Development and Marketing Representative located in our Houston, TX office. Britney talked about studying abroad in Italy, being born in south Florida, and studying at Southern State University. She also discusses how she met her now-husband on a blind date before both of them moved to Texas to teach kindergarten. Britney now has two young boys, a dog named Luca (named after the movie), and 4 chickens where she gets fresh eggs every day! Britney jumped into the AEC world in 2015 and has not looked back. Her creative side, management, and organization skills have assisted her in becoming a successful marketing manager and assisting in business development efforts.
48 minutes | Dec 15, 2021
54 - Jackie Tuten and Ashley Schmidt
For our final WGI Unleashed episode of the year, and in celebration of National Twin Day on December 18th, we talked to WGI’s only set of twins, Ashley Schmidt and Jackie Tuten. Both are located in our Austin, TX office and have been with WGI for over 6 years.
55 minutes | Dec 1, 2021
53 - Chad Riddle, Project Manager
We had an entertaining time this episode talking with Chad Riddle, a Project Manager on our Land Development team in Jacksonville, FL. Chad began his career with WGI in the West Palm Beach, FL office before transferring to our Jacksonville office to help jump-start our land development division there. Chad has extensive knowledge and experience in the production and management of design and drafting services on a variety of projects. His range of work includes mixed-use developments, residential community design, and commercial/urban infill. As a project manager, Chad is responsible for site and landscape design, managing projects through the local agency approval process, and assisting clients from concept through construction to ensure their design intent is maintained.
51 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
52 - Blake Wallace, Data Engineer
We had a blast this episode talking to Blake Wallace, a Data Engineer in our Tampa, Florida office. Blake is a part of our Info Technology division and has been with WGI for over 3 years. Blake told us what it was like growing up in a small town in Florida, after being adopted from Thailand as a toddler. We learned that he joined the Marines fresh out of high school, and also got some insight on just how much fun one can have when working the night shift alone at Kinkos. Blake discussed his love for all genres of music, that he likes to build and race drones (who knew you could race drones 🤷♀️), and how he used to compete in autocross. As for pets, we learned he has one cat at home, as well as 3 adorable parking lot strays he cares for at work!
43 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
51 – Wes Kaisershot, Regional Manager of Utilities Engineering
We had the privilege of talking to Wes Kaisershot, Regional Manager Utilities Engineering on our SUE team located in our Austin, TX office. Wes has been with WGI for less than a year but has over 23 years of experience in his field.
49 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
50 – Amanda Montgomery, Environmental Scientist
In this episode, we got to chat with Amanda Montgomery, an Environmental Scientist on our Environmental Services team. Amanda is based out of our Fort Lauderdale, FL office and has been with WGI for 4 years. She is one of WGI's most active brand ambassadors and exudes passion in everything she does, which is why our hosts were so eager to have her as a guest on the show.
47 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
49 - Tom Bernard, MEP Market Leader
In this episode, we got to chat with Tom Bernard, the Market Leader of our MEP Division based in our Tampa, FL office. Tom has recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with WGI and was excited to hop on the mic and join us on the show.
50 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
48 - Shad Shafie, VP of Buildings
In this episode, we got to chat with Shad Shafie, VP of the Buildings division based in our San Antonio, TX office. Shad drove to the Austin, TX office to record this episode of the podcast for a riveting conversation. Shad discussed his early life growing up in the Austin, TX area and going to college at The University of Texas where he played football and studied Architectural Engineering. He also discussed moving around the country to many cities with his wife before they had two daughters. We also learned about Shad's passion for photography, skydiving, 80s music, Las Vegas, and more!
45 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
47 - Loren Steele, Project Engineer
In this episode, we got to sit down in the Tallahassee, Florida office to chat with Loren Steele, Project Engineer with our Transportation team. Loren is originally from Jacksonville, FL, and moved to Tallahassee, FL to attend FSU where she obtained her bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. In her free time, she discussed how she enjoys home improvement projects and spending time outside at the park where her kids can play. She also gave gardening tips to our host, calling back to our previous episode with Floyd Jackson. Loren's transportation design experience encompasses a wide range of assignments involving roadway design, plans production, quantities/estimating, planning, public involvement, and engineering research, analysis, and reporting.
42 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
46 - Floyd Jackson, Chief Designer
In this episode, we got to sit down in the Tampa, Florida office to chat with Floyd Jackson, Chief Designer with our Civil Engineering team. Floyd talked about growing up in Florida and attending the Santa Fe College in Gainsville, FL on a scholarship for being a school ambassador for two years. He then graduated from the University of Central Florida where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He also discussed getting married, traveling the world, and his newfound hobby - gardening! Floyd and his wife started gardening during the pandemic and have not stopped since.
62 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
45 - Marcia Alvarado, Structures + Parking Market Leader
In this episode, we got to sit down in the Tampa, Florida office to chat with Marcia Alvarado, Market Leader for our Structures and Parking division. Marcia discussed growing up in a military family and her travels around the world. She also discussed her path to the engineering profession, going to college with a full-ride to play basketball, and her life as a model working during New York Fashion Week. She received the USF College of Engineering Young Alumnus Award in 2018. Marcia is a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay and serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair for the Board of Directors. Marcia provides a unique combination of experience with structural engineering and Building Information Modeling (BIM) coordination as a project manager. She has 16 years of structural engineering experience and project management of new construction and renovation in healthcare, commercial, higher education, multi-story residential, federal, aviation, and parking garages. She also has engineering experience in structural design for restoration construction and forensic engineering investigations, structural analysis for existing buildings for seismic, wind, and AT/FP blast resistance, and progressive collapse upgrades, including National Technical Reviews for various FEMA programs.
46 minutes | May 26, 2021
44 - Colter Sonneville, Project Manager
In this episode, we got to sit down in the Austin, TX office to chat with Colter Sonneville, Project Manager and Certified Arborist in our Landscape Architecture department.
54 minutes | May 5, 2021
43 - Joelle McCormack, MEP Team Leader
Our hosts got a kick out of our new guest this month, Joelle McCormick, Team Leader based in our Austin, Texas office on our MEP Engineering team. She talked about growing up in New Jersey and going off to college at The Pennsylvania State University to become a doctor. She changed her career path to becoming an engineer because she is good at solving problems and making systems work efficiently. She went on to talk about how she found herself moving to Austin, Texas after a site visit with a previous employer while eating Thai food. She ended up here at WGI and has been with us for 5 years!
42 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
42 - Mario Garcia, Graduate Civil Engineer
In this episode of WGI Unleashed, we got to chat with Mario Garcia, Graduate Civil Engineer located in our Houston, Texas office. We were thrilled to get to have Mario as a guest in this podcast episode. Mario has expressed great interest and fandom towards Unleashed since the beginning and was excited to finally be on the show! He discussed many projects he has worked on throughout his career with WGI, growing up raising cattle, his love for movies, and how his two-year-old daughter and the family dog both fight for his attention daily! Mario works in our Civil Engineering division on land development projects across Texas and the Southwest. He also has extensive experience in parking planning, parking design, parking analysis, and operations studies. If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe in your favorite podcast app – Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!
42 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
41 - Jose Mendoza - Geospatial Field Supervisor
In this episode of WGI Unleashed, we chat with Jose Mendoza, Geospatial Field Supervisor located in our West Palm Beach, Florida office. We were excited to get to know Jose since he was recommended so many times to be on the podcast. He talked about how he was a military kid growing up in many different countries and how he eventually ended up in Florida. He also talked about his favorite place he has ever been to which is Barbados. He is an avid surfer and he loves visiting Barbados to surf. He told our hosts that he had visited Barbados at least 6 times. Today, he's a father and a new hobby he shares with his son is knife throwing! At WGI, Jose is responsible for a wide variety of surveying assignments. He is proficient in the use of conventional surveying methodology, and hydrographic surveying technology, as well as both static and RTK global positioning. Jose's project experience over the past 13+ years includes work on major highway projects as well as urban and local roads. Jose is also proficient with boundary surveys, topographic surveys, and large land development surveys.
48 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
40 - Jeff Cassell - Proposal Coordinator & Katherine Heighway - Senior Proposal Coordinator
In this episode of WGI Unleashed, we got to chat with Jeff Cassell, Proposal Coordinator who is located in our Orlando, FL office, and Katherine Heighway, Senior Proposal Coordinator located in our Austin, TX office. Both Katherine and Jeff work in our Business Development Team. They both work with our technical professionals to develop captivating responses to RFPs/RFQs that spark the interest of our clients. Jeff's experience is very broad and versatile from various forms of media which include magazine production, special print and digital projects in the newspaper industry, working at an advertising agency, and in radio broadcasting. Katherine's strategic writing and proposal development skills stem from my Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Check out Jeff's podcasts Jeff Allen Sportstalk and AAC Report With Jeff Allen.
39 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
39 – Lilli O'Steen, Engineer Intern
In this episode of WGI Unleashed, we chat with Lilli O'Steen, Roadway (Transportation) Engineer Intern located in our Orlando, Florida office. When we sat down with Lilli, we discussed how she grew up in Georgia and how she came to find herself in Florida working as an intern for WGI. She displayed her knowledge of Disney facts and claims to be the "queen of Disney karaoke". Lilli also talks about her home life, her 4 dogs, and how excited she is to get married this year! Lili is also the first podcast guest to ever win our "Two Truths and a Lie" segment!
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