TETER is a “Best Firm To Work For” Winner

Zweig Group ranks TETER as 2019 Best Firm to Work For

Zweig Group’s “The Best Firms to Work For” award recognizes the top architecture, structural engineering, civil engineering, environmental, geotechnical, landscape architecture/planning and multidiscipline firms in the US and Canada based on their workplace practices, employee benefits, employee retention rates, and much more.

TETER is ranked as the #3 “Best Architecture Firm to Work For” and ranked #5 “Best 100-199 Employees Firm to Work For”.

TETER’s employees are the heart of the company. Get to know all the individuals at TETER who are responsible for Zweig Group’s prestigious recognition.

Outstanding Partner in Education

Megan Chang Named Outstanding Partner in Education

Visalia Unified School District and Visalia Partners in Education recognize Megan Chang (TETER Associate / Professional Engineer) for her dedication and support of their Linked Learning Academies and Career Technical Education programs:

Megan Chang has been an active advisory board member for the Architecture and Engineering Academy at Redwood High School and currently serves as its chairperson. Her ongoing support for the academy goes beyond attending meetings as evident in her involvement and interactions with students both inside and outside of the classroom. This past February, Megan helped coordinate various activities for Engineering Week at Redwood which included guest presentations and lunch with professionals from TETER and an essay writing competition for young women interested in the field of Engineering. I wish more industry partners were committed to our students and made the high level of contributions like her, which allows our students opportunities to explore and expand their interest in a career field of choice. The Architecture and Engineering Academy would like to thank Megan for serving as an inspiration for many of our students, especially the three girls in our program who now have a role model to follow.

Megan, who was unable to attend the event, expressed her appreciation:

I am honored to receive this recognition. I’m also honored to work alongside the great Redwood High School faculty and other design professionals to help these bright Academy students achieve their dreams in Architecture and Engineering.  Volunteering with the Academy for the past five years always brings a smile to my face. I love watching the kids smile, and get excited and amazed at what they can achieve with the knowledge they’ve learned.  I’m looking forward to many more smiles in the years to come!”

TETER Partner, Robert Thornton, accepted the recognition on Megan’s behalf.

(Left to Right) Jamon Peariso Ed.D. (Director of College and Career Readiness), Robert Thornton (TETER Partner), and Dru Quesnoy (VPIE Board and Marketing Director Kaweah Delta Hospital)

Robert Thornton (TETER Partner) and Tou Lor (Assistant Principal – Student Supervision)

A Company Outing That’s Right Up Our Alley

TETER’s annual spring outing takes place at Freeway Lanes.

Staff from all five TETER offices (Fresno, Visalia, Modesto, Bakersfield, and San Luis Obispo) and their family enjoy bowling, billiards, arts and crafts, kids’ games, pizza, and winning raffle prizes.

Mechanical Engineer Steven Jones (far left) and his family.

Design Professional Sonia Orozco (center) and her family.

Electrical Engineer-In-Training Patrick Shaw and his family.

Design Professional Guillermina Gonzales and her daughter.

Future TETER Architects and Engineers.

Structural Engineer John Allys and his family.

Kristi Davis, Education Studio Production Manager, and her family.

Design Professional Lou Martinez and his daughter.

Construction Manager Kathy Snyder and her children.

New Healthcare Architect

Building a healthier Valley

Bill Craig has joined TETER, cementing our commitment to our thriving healthcare studio.

With his four decades in healthcare planning and design, a list of very impressive projects, and highly satisfied clients, we’re thrilled to welcome Bill to our Fresno office.

Bill’s work ranges from small projects to multi-million dollar ones, and his skills cover all the bases from planning and programming through design and construction, but his added value to healthcare clients rests in his deep knowledge of their industry and his ability to be a trusted adviser to them on all aspects of their growth.

We look forward to building a better (and healthier) Valley with Bill as an integral part of our healthcare practice.

Excellence in Transportation Award

(L-R) Bryan Glass (TETER Partner), Michael Osborn (Provost and Pritchard), and John Rowland (Peters Engineering Group)

Fulton Street Reconstruction Team Receives Awards

Caltrans bestows their 2018 Excellence in Transportation Award at Fresno City Hall

Bryan Glass, Electrical Engineer of Record, joins Provost and Pritchard, Peters Engineering Group, American Paving Co., and the rest of the project team as they receive Caltrans’ 2018 Excellence in Transportation Award in the “Highway as Main Street” category for the Fulton Street Reconstruction Project.

“We are excited to be part of the team on this important project for the City of Fresno and to play a part in Building a Better Valley.”

Bryan Glass, PE
TETER Partner and Electrical Engineer

 

City of Fresno Mayor Lee Brand congratulates Bryan Glass, PE

Bryan Glass receives Caltrans’ 2018 Excellence in Transportation Award from Scott Mozier, City of Fresno Public Works Director

The Fulton Reconstruction Project Team, Caltrans, and City of Fresno

 

 

Megan Armendariz, PE Profiled in The Zweig Letter

Published by The Zweig Letter on March 18, 2019, Issue 1288

Written by Richard Massey, Editor

Megan Armendariz is an engineer from Clovis, California. A member of the team at TETER since 2014, the 29-year-old has a master’s in structural engineering from Stanford University. She married her prom date from high school, John Armendariz, who, like her, studied civil engineering at Fresno State. Her favorite movie is Remember the Titans, the last book she read is Everybody, Always by Bob Goff, and if she’s listening to the radio and hears an old Beach Boys song – or even something by a ‘90s boy band – that’s a good thing because it brings back fond childhood memories. If you ask her, she’ll tell you: Her parents gave her the self-belief she needed to be successful. A soccer enthusiast who once considered going to school to become a veterinarian, Armendariz is one of those people who gives back to society.

“Ultimately, I want to make the world, or at least someone’s world, better in whatever time I’m given,” she says. “I want to serve, love, and encourage as many people (or adorable animals) as I can.”

A CONVERSATION WITH MEGAN ARMENDARIZ

The Zweig Letter: What’s the best advice you can give to an architect or engineer at the beginning of their career?

Megan Armendariz: Understand the “why” behind what you are doing. Ask questions to understand the purpose of whatever task you’re given and how it impacts the overall project. Whether you’re picking up red marks, or going out to a job site to observe how designs translate in the field, ask questions from the experts around you to better understand the reasoning behind the decisions that were made, so you will then be able to apply the best solution when you find yourself in a similar situation on a different project. However, more important than developing your technical knowledge, understand the “why” as it relates to why you do what you do every day. At the end of the day, what truly motivates you? Understanding this “why” will give you an intention and deeper purpose, and will motivate you to do the very best you can every day.

TZL: Back in 2011, when you first entered the AEC industry, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

MA: Like many interns, I had to learn how to relate to real-world challenges. In our profession, no two projects are identical, so I had to learn how to apply those foundational concepts and problem-solving skills to each individual situation, and to convey those solutions in a set of documents that could actually be used in construction. The satisfaction of solving these problems was similar to college; only this time, instead of a letter grade, the reward was a building; better than an individual accomplishment, it was a positive impact on a community.

TZL: On the other hand, what was easier than you thought it would be?

MA: The transition from classmates to co-workers was easier than expected. In college, we worked together to make it through one of the most rigorous majors we could have chosen. Entering the industry, I was pleased to find the same collaborative mentality, with everyone coming together to solve exceedingly difficult problems, and come up with the best solutions possible. I wasn’t treated as an intern or rookie, but rather as a valued member of the team. My peers and leaders respected my perspective and supported me in the transition to the industry.

TZL: What do today’s CEOs and firm leaders need to know about the younger generation?

MA: In my experience with my peers, I think our generation wants to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to ensure that what we do every day, including our careers, has a positive effect on our world. Through our projects, we want to create solutions that are meaningful, conscious of their environmental impact, and will make communities better for the current and future generations. Beyond our professional work, I think many of us also like to be hands-on in making an impact, and gravitate toward a company that shares this desire.

TZL: What is the biggest mistake you’ve made and what was the lesson learned?

MA: In general, one of my biggest mistakes has been a lack of confidence. I’ve always had nothing but the greatest support system my entire life. Yet, when I jumped into my career, or even my first quarter in graduate school, I was intimidated. You feel as though you are surrounded by geniuses who know everything and it can be hard to think that you can ever reach their level of expertise and understanding. The learning curve is so steep when we enter our careers and we know we don’t have all the answers. However, recognizing that lack of confidence was only going to hinder my potential and keep me from reaching all that I could become has made me work even harder to improve. I’ve found solace in recognizing that this industry is ever-changing, that we will always be learning, and that I’m also surrounded by selfless experts eager to share their knowledge and mentor me along this journey.

TZL: There’s an increasing interest in the business side of the AEC business. Do you think the college curriculum could use a few non-technical courses? If so, what are your recommendations?

MA: I think it is very important for everyone to understand the basics of business and how a firm operates as a whole. The more the individuals in a firm understand how we each play a role in the overall success of a business, the more capable we are in helping the firm run effectively. At my first internship, I was fortunate enough to gain some experience in the financial aspects of the company, assisting with payroll, billings, and taxes, among other office management duties. This exposure stoked my interested in business and led me to enroll in an accounting course during graduate school, which introduced me to assets, liabilities, and the many other considerations of operating a business. In my current position, these principles have helped me manage projects and understand the associated financials. I certainly don’t claim to be a business expert (far from it), but I hope to continue my growth in this area, as I realize how crucial it is to the financial health of individual projects and the company as a whole. In addition to business courses, other valuable courses would introduce students to soft skills, like communication, leadership, and project-solving skills. The AEC industry, like many others, is based on much more than technical abilities. The more you can supplement your technical knowledge with business savvy and soft skills, the better.

TZL: You received TETER’s 2018 Be Inspirational award for your work ethic and ability to finish a project. Describe being honored by your peers and how the celebration fits into the company’s culture.

MA: First, I was extremely humbled, and also a bit shocked to receive this award, as I am surrounded by peers who inspire me on a daily basis. “Teople” are the heart of TETER, and we all strive to be EPIC (exceptional, professional, inspirational, and connected to each other, our community, and our clients). These core values drive the work we do. Everyone from our youngest interns fresh out of college and eager to contribute, to the servant leaders among our partners, associates, and veteran staff, exhibit these values, and I am grateful to be among colleagues who are as compassionate and selfless as they are hard-working and dedicated. That’s what makes this peer-voted award so meaningful and special to me, as it comes from those who daily demonstrate what it means to “Be EPIC.”

TZL: Volunteering at an animal shelter. Mentoring high school students. Youth soccer and summer camp. What drives the philanthropic side of your life?

MA: I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without the mentorship and encouragement I received from my parents, friends, co-workers, professors, and coaches who took the time to help me grow, and who continue to help me today. I am incredibly grateful for those who have invested in me, and I want to do all I can to pass that along. Plus, many of the activities simply bring great joy to my life. Soccer is and always has been one of my greatest passions, and I treasure any chance I get to share the love of the game with the next generation. I get to watch them build that camaraderie, learn the life lessons that come with playing sports, and develop relationships that may last a lifetime. Mentoring high school students is also very rewarding, as I’ve always enjoyed school and learning, and now get to contribute to helping these students grow their passion. Ultimately, I want to make the world, or at least someone’s world, better in whatever time I’m given. I want to serve, love, and encourage as many people (or adorable animals) as I can.

TZL: TETER has crossed the 100-employee threshold and recently opened new offices in Modesto and San Luis Obispo. How has growth affected you specifically and the firm in general?

MA: Growth presents more opportunities for staff, including myself, to stretch ourselves and take on new roles. It also allows for more in-house development opportunities, like mentorship and training, which betters both our employees and our firm.

TZL: It seems like you have developed a specialty working on projects for public clients. What are the pros and cons of doing design work for public owners?

MA: My favorite part of working on public projects is the opportunity to serve the educators, students, and communities who will benefit from the work we do. Some of my childhood friends now work at the schools we’ve designed, or have children who attend them. In my experience, the public owners, whether school superintendents or government officials, have the same passion for serving their communities and providing them with the best facilities possible. They have great pride in their projects, and being able to help them make their dreams become reality is extremely rewarding.

TZL: What drove your decision to become an engineer in the first place? Was there ever a different career you wanted to pursue?

MA: Being an animal lover since I was a child, my heart was set on becoming a veterinarian, until I realized I’d have to face the reality of not being able to save every animal. Although soccer was a huge part of my youth, I think the practical side of me recognized that I was probably not going to have a lifelong career on the pitch. I loved art, but was also partial to the challenges presented in my math and science courses. Architecture seemed to be a perfect balance of my regard for both the left and right brain activities. However, I also had a mentor from an early age who is still the most passionate structural engineer I’ve ever met. He guided me through science fair projects about coefficients of friction and the thermal properties of wood, took me along on job sites, and most importantly, believed that I could become an engineer in a male-dominated field. His passion, along with my parents’ constant encouragement and support of whatever I chose to do in life, helped lead me to engineering.

TZL: What’s the most important thing you’ve ever learned from a mentor?

MA: While I have many great mentors in the industry who help me with everything from technical knowledge to work-place confidence, my greatest mentors have been my parents. They’ve taught me to believe in myself like they do, and have led by example in their own careers and in their roles as parents and life mentors. At a young age, I learned from them that there were two things I could always control – my attitude and my effort. This advice guides me in my profession and in all other aspects of my life.

 

 

 

New Senior Architect

The Art of Growth

Vivek Harris has joined TETER as a Senior Architect in our San Luis Obispo office.

Vivek’s passion for the craft of architecture—the art of making— infuses his projects. He enjoys working closely with K-12 and higher-education clients to plan and create spaces that help shape and inspire the lives of the students, teachers, and administrators who inhabit them.

Expertly integrating masterplanning, design, budget, and schedule from the earliest stages, Vivek works with stakeholders to conceive projects that balance all three and streamline the construction process. In addition to sharing his talents on our design projects, Vivek will be a mentor to our staff, helping them hone a similar enthusiasm for the art of making architecture.

Wasco’s new MOT breaks ground

Groundbreaking for new Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation Building

Wasco Union Elementary School District breaks ground for their new Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation (MOT) facility.

TETER joined Superintendent Kelly Richers, the Board of Trustees, Director of Facilities Planning Daniel Vargas, and Director of MOT Rob Sanchez at the district’s groundbreaking ceremonies.

After nearly 80 years in their current facility, Wasco Union Elementary School District’s department of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation is eager to relocate to their new facility.

The new MOT is being constructed near the southern boundary of the City of Wasco in order to efficiently support the needs of the growing district. Relocating the main bus and warehousing facility further away from the center of town benefits Wasco. Daily school bus traffic congestion will be alleviated in an area of the City of Wasco that has developed significantly over the last 80 years.

The 4.7 acre property will be developed with ample employee parking, school bus parking with space for expansion, office, warehouse, and bus maintenance building totaling 15,000 square feet.

Thanks to funding from Measures D and E, Wasco UESD’s larger and more efficient facility will be completed in December, 2019.

Kelly Richers, Wasco Union Elementary School District Superintendent

L to R: Luis Arrezola (TETER Design Professional), Daniel Vargas, Architect (Director of Facilities Planning), Luke Casavant, Robert Thornton, Ralph Williamsen (TETER Architects), Gabe Ceja, Ana Santiago (TETER Project Coordinator), Tayler Wells (Klassen Corp. Project Engineer), Kelly Richers (Superintendent), Alex Flores (Klassen Corp Jobsite Superintendent), and Ryan Inglehart (Klassen Corp. Director of Construction).

Rod Paine (Klassen Corp. Senior Project Manager) speaks to TETER staff at the groundbreaking ceremony.

New Year, New Partner

TETER Partner Group Expands

In the spirit of the new year and the promise it holds, we are excited to announce that Lee Avila has been promoted to partner at TETER.

Lee’s two decades of medical facility design experience, characterized by his strong, long-term relationships with clients and his understanding of complicated hospital operational systems, has led to hugely successful healthcare projects throughout the Central Valley.

We look forward to the collaborative leadership spirit he brings to our firm, and to his mentorship of our younger architects. In his new role, he will continue to build our healthcare team and practice, and both existing and new clients will benefit from the expertise and understanding he brings to their projects.

Selma High School holds groundbreaking ceremony for new stadium

(L to R): Christian Defehr (Ardent GC Project Manager), Paul Green (Selma School District Board of Trustees), Jamie Hickman (TETER Partner), Larry Teixeira (Selma Unified Assistant Superintendent), Tony Pavone (TETER Project Manager) Mike Morales (TETER Construction Administrator) and Megan Armendariz (TETER Design Professional)

Selma High School’s new Stadium, designed by TETER, is featured on ABC30 Action News

Aired On January 24, 2019
Reported by Cristina Davies, ABC 30 News Reporter

Selma High School is getting a new stadium, and on Thursday they held a groundbreaking ceremony. It’s been nearly 30 years in the making.

Our students have not had a stadium like this and now I’m proud to have one like this.” said track coach Haskell Henson.

Henson is a Selma High grad, class of ’61, and is excited to see changes are being made – especially since this was the same stadium back when he was a teen.

I was one of the first ones on this field when it was built. I was on the football team here. I came through that gate. I can tell you it was really exciting at the time,” he said.

It’s been over 55 years. Now the paint is chipping, the track is dirt, making it hard to train on after it rains. And the bathrooms — well, they aren’t the best.

Henson is looking forward to an all-weather track, hoping to give his athletes a fair shot.

It will give us an equal opportunity to compete with other schools, that’s the name of the game. An all weather track definitely draws athletes and makes the workouts better,” he said.

And speaking of workouts, part of the new stadium includes an updated weight room — something the football team is eager to get.

Our weight room is a little small so I’m hoping that’s going to be a big upgrade,” said football player Michael Renovato.

The new facility will cost between $10 million and $12 million. It’s being funded through measure O which the community voted on.

Tony Pavone (TETER Project Manager) and Randy Esraelian (Selma High Athletic Director) shows a community member a rendering of the new stadium.

Superintendent Dr. Tanya Fisher says this stadium will serve more than just the students.

We are over the moon excited. We will be able to hosts events and folks from other areas will be able to come into the community which is a boost to community and businesses. So it not only helps our school but it helps the community as well,” Fisher said.

Dr. Tanya Fisher, Selma Unified School District Superintendent, admires the donor wall rendering (designed by TETER) at the groundbreaking ceremony.

They hope to have the stadium completed by this fall.

The superintendent says she plans on having weekly meetings to make sure everything is on budget and on time.