Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas

Airports bring children to Grandma's embrace
And carry sweet letters to Santa's home base.

Streets host parades with reindeer and smiles
And wind past displays that go on for miles.

Water cleans cheeks after hot chocolate drinks
And turns parking lots into ice skating rinks.

Power adds dazzle to the evergreen tree
And bakes Santa's cookies (they're really for me!).

At Christmas, we're proud that the work we do
Makes holidays more special, and creates memories, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

IQ Volume 4 Issue 4

The newest issue of Garver's IQ will be in mailboxes soon, but you can begin reading our online edition now. This edition features:

Steady Flow for Trout Below
A siphon through Norfork Dam is improving the North Fork and White rivers' trout habitat by sending a constant flow of cooler water downstream.

Steep Terrain
Hills along U.S. Highway 281 in Major County, Oklahoma added a level of complexity to an Oklahoma Department of Transportation project that replaced an aging bridge. The project runs through an area known to locals as Griever Canyon.

Wastewater Reuse: The New Commodity
An advanced recycling method is re-purposing wastewater to reduce potable water usage and improve energy efficiency at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. The recycling distribution network gives Fort Sill the ability to use the treated wastewater in its energy plant's cooling towers and for geothermal heat pumps to condition buildings.

What Lies Beneath
Auburn University Regional Airport in Auburn, Alabama faced a unique challenge during its taxiway extension project: contending with an abandoned, capped landfill.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Angels

Presents are ready to be delivered to 20 children adopted by Garver employees.

The Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree
Garver hosted a Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree in our corporate lobby this year. Many of the children were adopted by business line teams that came together to purchase bikes (with helmets), clothes, skateboards, dolls, and even a toddler bed.

Judy Allen, Jessica Vinson, and Claire McKinney add name tags to the unwrapped gifts.

"Every child deserves to wake up to gifts on Christmas," said Transportation Engineer Claire McKinney, who organized the gift-giving event. "Not only are they getting necessities like shoes and coats, but also fun stuff like play kitchens and science-based toys. It's made me so happy to see everyone's generosity."

The Salvation Army added gifts from Garver to its truckload of presents for local children.

Our House Ministry
In addition to the Angel Tree, the Finance and HR teams adopted a family from Our House and provided a mother and two young children with gifts for Christmas. Although the family only asked for school uniforms, clothes and shoes, the teams decided to buy toys and books to further brighten their Christmas.

Our House is a charitable organization that shelters the working homeless, trains them for jobs, and assists in their transition from poverty.

The Finance and HR teams wrapped the gifts with festive paper and bows.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Young Engineers and Public Speaking

Engineers are often called upon to make public presentations, whether speaking to a group of middle school students, explaining a project to the public, or presenting Garver's engineering expertise to a potential client. To help young engineers prepare for their time in the public eye, Garver's Tulsa, Oklahoma office has developed a public speaking training program.

Since last May, seven employees with Engineer Intern licenses have chosen topics and given lunch seminars to coworkers. The engineers focus on developing a message and presenting the information in a clear manner. After each presentation, comment cards are handed out, and the audience provides feedback.

Bradley Banks' presentation focused on Bridge Railing Systems. Brad graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010 and is a structural engineer in the Transportation Group.

"The public speaking presentations allowed me to sharpen my communication skills in the presence of peers," Bradley said. "This training will be especially useful in technical presentations that highlight Garver's commitment to providing clients with valuable engineering expertise."

Jeff Rundle graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2009 and is a structural engineer in the Transportation Group. He titled his presentation Accelerated Bridge Construction: SH-51 over Cottonwood Creek.

"My presentation gave me more confidence in my public speaking skills," Jeff said. "These presentations help us as we become more involved in the project management aspects of our jobs."

Other topics have included Technical Writing Dos and Don'ts; Asphalt Pavement Design; and ODOT Environmental Studies. Engineers involved in the program include Marc Flusche, Garrison Smith, Lacee Stanley, Andrew Snyder, and Nick Braddy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Winning Holiday Recipes

A week before Thanksgiving, employees at the North Little Rock, Arkansas office gathered for a huge meal and a little competition. Garver’s Annual Thanksgiving Celebration Lunch was enjoyed by over 85 employees.

“The time and effort everyone puts into preparing food makes this event very special,” said Daphne Ruck, who organized the event. The Finance department furnished turkey and ham, and everything from dressing to desert was prepared by employees. After giving thanks and enjoying the food, everyone voted for their favorites in the vegetable dish, salad, casserole, dressing, pie, cake, and cookie categories.

“Last year was the first time we held a recipe contest,” Daphne said. “I wanted to encourage people to participate with homemade dishes. This year, we increased the prize categories from four to seven, and we had a lot more participation.”

While all the food was delicious, these winning recipes deserve to be shared. If you need a new dish to serve for Christmas, we’ve included a link to the recipes. Thank you to all who organized, volunteered and cooked for the lunch, and congratulations to the winners. Enjoy!

Apple Cashew Salad - Adam Wierciak
Chess Squares - Seth Collier
Chocolate Chip Cookies - Allison Fasel
Dressing - Mary Kennedy
Jalapeno Cheese Grits - Lawren Wilcox
Hasbrown Casserole - Kendall White
Chocolate Cake - Fred Walker

Click to download the winning recipes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Community Donates to Recycle Bikes for Kids

At Garver’s recent annual meeting, members of Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas (BACA) presented a $7,500 check to Ron King and Recycle Bikes for Kids. Members of the community donated the money in memoriam of Garver President and CEO Brock Johnson who passed away in August. Johnson was a cycling advocate and huge supporter of Ron’s program.

“Brock’s family graciously requested that memorials be given to BACA for our benefit,” Ron said. “Thank you to Brock and his family, to his friends who gave, and to BACA. You make everything we do possible.”

Paula Johnson, Brock's wife, gives Ron King a hug after a $7,500 donation was made to Recycle Bikes for Kids in Brock's memory.

Recycle Bikes for Kids collects unused bicycles and bicycle parts, refurbishes them through volunteer labor, and distributes them to children and adults in the community. Recycle Bikes for Kids has given away more than 750 bikes this year, and they expect to give away hundreds more before the year ends. Since 2008, Recycle Bikes for Kids has given away more than 3,600 bicycles.

Volunteer workdays are Tuesday evenings and Saturdays. Check out their Facebook page to contact Ron for more information or to make a donation.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Davis to Participate in Coin Toss Before KSU and Texas Game

Garver Senior Project Manager Darold Davis will be at midfield before Saturday's college football game between No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats and No. 18 Texas Longhorns. Davis is participating in the coin toss after being nominated for the honor as part of KSU's Fan Appreciation Day. The game will be aired on ABC at 7 p.m. central time.

Davis is a 1970 KSU graduate and has supported his university for years as a season-ticket holder. In August, Davis had surgery and wasn't able to attend three KSU home games. However, a month after the operation, he took his usual seat at the stadium to cheer for his team.

In an interview with the Broken Arrow Ledger, Davis said, "I am absolutely excited. How many people get to do this?"

The public was encouraged to nominate fans who embody one of KSU Coach Bill Snyder's 16 Goals for Success. The KSU Athletics Department selected the nomination submitted by Davis' daughter Kim.

"My dad never gave up and is the strongest man I know," said Kim in the nomination letter explaining that Davis exemplified the goal, Never Give Up. "He continued to be so strong as we all grieved and healed. My father taught me to never give up."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Big Dam Bridge Full Moon Walk

Garver Director of Marketing Diane Barton participated in Sunday's third annual Big Dam Bridge Full Moon Walk in Pulaski County, Arkansas with Garver's Bert Parker and Lawren Wilcox (both are also members of the Big Dam Bridge Foundation) and hundreds of other walkers.

Sponsored by the Big Dam Bridge Foundation and the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, the walk encourages families to exercise together and enjoy a nighttime walk across the Arkansas River on the Big Dam Bridge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Serving Others at Our House

Human Resources and Finance employees ready to serve lunch.

Garver’s Human Resources and Finance teams left the office for a lunch hour, but they didn’t go to a restaurant. Instead, several employees from the North Little Rock, Arkansas office spent their hour serving others at Our House.

Our House is a charitable organization that shelters the homeless, trains them for jobs, and assists in their transition from poverty. The Our House facility in southeast Little Rock shelters up to 80 residents, with 220 meals served every day. The Garver team didn’t just serve a great meal for over 50 people­— they also cooked pots of homemade chili and brought sides, desserts, and drinks.

Beverly Green, who organized the volunteer effort, has worked with Our House before. “This organization appealed to me because it not only provides shelter for the displaced, but it also requires employment within 16 days of entering the facility.  They teach money management skills and offer job skills training programs to better prepare them for success.”

The Garver team is not done yet: they plan to sponsor a family at Our House, and they will be serving lunch again. “As a matter of fact, we plan to provide lunch monthly,” Beverly said. “I encourage anyone looking for volunteer opportunities this holiday season to contact them.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holder Named Director of Transportation

Garver has hired Jerry Holder, Jr. as its Director of Transportation. Holder brings more than 25 years of transportation and program management experience to Garver, and he is directing our transportation services from our North Texas office in Frisco.

“Jerry began his career at Garver and spent his first 14 years with us,” said Garver President and CEO Dan Williams. “After working the last 12 years with one of the largest transportation and program management firms in the country, we are very excited to have him back in the Garver family. His experience, insight, and leadership enables us to better serve our clients.”

In the last five years, Holder has been involved in Texas and Mississippi program management projects valued at more than $7 billion. These programs include the City of Dallas stormwater improvements, the North Texas Tollway, and the City of Biloxi Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

Holder’s engineering background includes projects for departments of transportation in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi. His prominent projects include I-540 in northwest Arkansas, the High-Five Interchange in Dallas, and the Trinity River Levees analysis and recertification in Dallas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spirit of Garver Award Winners

Garver has honored two employees with the Spirit of Garver Award for their outstanding work.

This year's winners are Daphne Ruck, a finance administrator in our North Little Rock, Arkansas office, and Jenny Sallee, a transportation project manager in our Tulsa, Oklahoma office. The Spirit of Garver Award is one of our firm's highest honors, and each year's nominees are employees who exhibit passion, dedication, and leadership in their jobs.

This past year, Daphne pursued and developed an internal process to better track expenses with fleet vehicles. Daphne strives for excellence and exceeds customer expectations.

Jenny provides clients with an organized project management approach and offers coworkers technical mentoring. She also is regularly involved in meeting with future engineers through the Garver externship program and by visiting students on their college campuses.

Additional nominees for this year's award included the following employees:

  • Colin Bible, Aviation Project Manager, Frisco, Texas
  • Mike Harrison, Survey Party Chief, Franklin, Tennessee
  • Jon Hetzel, Marketing Communications Manager, North Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Kyle Kruger, Water Project Manager, Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Jim Morris, Senior Construction Engineer, Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • David Rogers, Energy Designer, Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Mike Spayd, Transportation Project Manager, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Kevin Sullivan, Federal Senior Designer, North Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Rusty Tate, Water Project Engineer, Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Adam White, Aviation Project Engineer, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Monday, November 12, 2012

Zweig Letter 2012 Hot Firm List

Garver is ranked in this year's Zweig Letter Hot Firm List, which recognizes the 100 fastest-growing engineering, architecture, planning, and environmental consulting firms in the United States and Canada.

According to a ZweigWhite press release, the listed firms have "outperformed the economy and competitors to become leaders in their chosen fields."

Garver is ranked #65. Rankings are based on a ZweigWhite survey, and firms are ranked according to their three-year growth rate in gross revenue for fiscal years 2008-2011. Half of the ranking is based on percentage growth and 50 percent on dollar growth.

Garver also made the list in 2011.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

35th Annual Tulsa Run

Brent Schniers

The 35th Annual Tulsa Run may have been on a cold Saturday morning at the end of the workweek, but that did not stop Garver employees from running. Kirsten McCullough, Jeff Rundle and Brent Schniers from the Tulsa, Oklahoma office joined over 9,500 others to run the 15k race, which benefits several charitable organizations.

Kirsten McCullough

“The Tulsa Run is a great community event,” Kirsten said. “It has all the energy of a big race but still feels local.” This year, the race gave $25,000 to Camp Fire Green Country, a youth and family sponsorship program.

Jeff Rundle

'Team Garver' had other reasons for running besides supporting the community. “Our next goal is to run the Oklahoma City Memorial Half-Marathon in April,” said Jeff. He trained for six weeks with his wife for the Tulsa Run and they both finished under their target times.

Kirsten, running the race for the second time, beat her personal record. She also plans to run again in the Williams Route 66 Half Marathon on Nov. 18.

Brent raced once in 2005, and he decided to "test my physical and mental strength," training several times a week before the big day. "It was a beautiful day to run a race."

Congratulations to Team Garver on a good Saturday’s work.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Several members of Garver's transportation group volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity of Pulaski County ReStore in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers organized the opportunity, and AJ Khairi, Claire McKinney, Luis Cobos, and Joel Skinner represented Garver at the event.

Their service at the ReStore involved moving walls and shelves to build a larger display area for donations. The ReStore accepts donations such as building supplies, working appliances, home furnishings, light fixtures, doors, and windows.

"The ReStore is a great place to help because they serve the community by offering discounted home-building items," Skinner said. "I also enjoyed developing closer relationships with my coworkers by serving together."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Engineering Magazine Features Article About Brock Johnson's Legacy

The newest issue of Arkansas Professional Engineer magazine features an article about past president and CEO Brock Johnson.

Johnson passed away in August, and the article, "Johnson, a man with vision, a mission," details how he led the company through unprecedented growth and how he is remembered for his influence on others.

The article takes a look at Johnson's Mission Possible campaign to expand Garver and build a stronger corporate brand, his commitment to health and wellness, and the way he mentored engineers and encouraged his employees to pursue their passions and career interests.

You can read the article on Garver's website. Arkansas Professional Engineer granted Garver permission to post this article online.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Racing for the Cure

Members of Team Garver before the race. L-R, Back Row: Patricia Edwards, Bree Rush, Judy Allen, and Kathryn Kennedy (Mary’s mom). Front Row: Nancy Fulmer, Dorothy Junkin (Judy’s Sister), and Mary Kennedy.

Garver employees participated in the Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure in Little Rock on Saturday. As one of the top five largest events in the series, the Arkansas Race for the Cure had over 40,000 participants, and several of those runners were members of Garver’s team. “I do quite a few races throughout the year, and this one is the most emotional, uplifting, and exciting race that anyone can attend. The energy and happiness among the crowd will put a smile on your face,” said Garver’s Team Captain Bree Rush.

Along with running and walking, a total of 16 Garver employees supported the cause.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Outstanding Engineering Design Award

The American Society of Civil Engineers/Arkansas has given its 2012 Outstanding Engineering Design of the Year Award to Garver's Norfork Dam bulkhead and siphon project.

Accepting the ASCE/Arkansas design award for Garver is Terry Johnson (retired) and project leaders Paul Strickland and John Watkins.

 The two cutting-edge projects at Norfork Dam in Baxter County, Arkansas are meeting unique needs. A siphon through the dam improves North Fork and White rivers trout habitat by sending a constant flow of cooler water downstream, and a 65-ton steel bulkhead allows maintenance staff to easily seal and dewater the dam’s spillway gates.

Steady Flow for Trout Below: The 42-inch-diameter siphon draws water from Norfork Lake, carries it through the dam and down the structure’s face, and discharges it into the North Fork River. This cooler minimum flow provides a more stable condition for the cold-water fish habitat, which contributes to the area’s world-class fishery. The nearly 5-mile-long tailwater to the White River is stocked with brown, rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout that struggle to survive and reproduce when water warms and pools.

Rolling Bulkhead: The unique spillway closure system consists of a 130,000-pound maintenance bulkhead that runs along a 667-foot-long steel monorail beam attached to the dam. After motorized trolleys slide the 24-foot-high by 48-foot-wide bulkhead in front of a tainter gate bay, the spillway gate is opened. As the bay is dewatered, the resulting differential pressure pushes the bulkhead into the opening and holds it in place. This allows maintenance crews to work on the gates and gate mechanisms in a dry condition.

The bulkhead project was recently featured in our newsletter, IQ, and the siphon project will be featured in a future issue.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ruck on the Radio

The Talk Business with Roby Brock radio program interviewed Garver civil project manager Bill Ruck about his involvement in the Envision program. Ruck is the first professional in Arkansas to achieve the Envision Sustainability Professional Credential, which is an environmental rating system to manage and rate infrastructure on sustainability.

“We’re turning the corner, and that’s what makes this certification so interesting,” Ruck told Talk Business. “It catches the civil engineering world up to the LEED program that architects have been practicing.”

You can listen to the seven-minute interview online or read about the certification on Garver's blog or the Talk Business website.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Expanding Operations in Tulsa

Garver is expanding its operations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Today, October 12, we're moving into larger office facilities on South Lewis, about 6 miles southwest of our East 51st Street location. Our new office allows us to expand our staff in Oklahoma and to offer even more services to our valued clients.

Our new address:
6450 South Lewis
Suite 300
Tulsa, OK  74136

Our phone and fax numbers remain the same:
918-250-5922 (office)
918-858-0107 (fax)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Project Engineer Plays in USTA Nationals

Project Engineer Kyle Williams, right, receiving serve with his doubles partner.
Transportation Project Engineer Kyle Williams is playing in the United States Tennis Association’s National Championships with his team this weekend. In August, Kyle’s team played in the Missouri Valley Sectional Championships in Oklahoma City and went 4-0 to advance to the national tournament.

“We are one of 17 teams in the USTA 3.0 Men’s National Championships, held in Tucson, Arizona,” Kyle said. “Teams will be representing the entire United States. We will need to win four matches, two on Friday and two on Saturday, to advance to the semifinals on Sunday.

“We have nine guys, and eight play at a time: three lines of doubles and two lines of singles,” Kyle continued. “I have played the #1 line doubles as well as captained the team.”

Good luck this weekend Kyle!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Alabama Clean Water Task Force

Kevin Mullins, PE, PLS has been appointed to serve on the Alabama Clean Water Task Force as a civil engineer expert. He was recommended by the Alabama legislature and approved by Governor Robert Bentley.

Kevin is the Water Business Team Leader in Garver's Huntsville, Alabama office with 30 years of experience as a water project manager and business professional.

"I am extremely honored and pleased to serve in this capacity," Kevin said. "I'm looking forward to working with this task force to study and improve Alabama's water and wastewater infrastructure."

The Alabama Clean Water Task Force serves as a platform to study Alabama's water treatment infrastructure and provide suggested methods to improve public health, the environment, industrial and economic development, and project financing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Big Dam Bridge 100

Garver employees came out to support the Big Dam Bridge 100 last Saturday by joining approximately 2,500 cyclists and by hosting a rest stop in the parking lot of our North Little Rock, Arkansas headquarters.

A number of Garver employees and their families tackled routes that ranged from 15 to 100 miles. Although some of them were a blur as they went by, we spotted Bert Parker, Brent Anderson, Beverly Green, Nancy Fulmer, Patricia Edwards, David Gambill, Robert Sunta, John and Deanna Ruddell, David Yandell, Madison and McKenzie McEntire, and Adam and Stacey Hall. A special congrats goes out to Diane and John Barton and Derek Berry for completing the 100-mile ride.

We again hosted a rest stop for cyclists riding past our corporate office. Liz Hoover, Kate Hoopchuk, Chad Clinehens, Laura Nick, Larry Taylor, and Lawren Wilcox greeted participants with Gatorade, fruit, PB&J, pickles, and even music from loud speakers we'd set up.

Garver also served as a sponsor and designed this year's jersey. According to ride officials, the first round of 550 jerseys sold out, and a second order will be placed around October 17. It's not too late to order one!

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures from the event, and be sure to ride with us next year!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sustainable Engineering Practices

After training and testing, Bill Ruck and Wes Mittlesteadt have earned the Envision Sustainability Professional Credential from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). Ruck is the first person in Arkansas to reach this milestone, and Mittlesteadt is one of two from Tennessee. Their training in the Envision software certifies them to manage and rate infrastructure projects on sustainability, much the same way as architects score buildings on the LEED system.

The ISI is a partnership created and founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC). The Envision software used for project scoring was developed by the Zofnass Program at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

The ISI is managed by six permanent committees, and Ruck serves on the Intergovernmental, Nonprofit, and Global Affairs Committee. This committee has subdivided, and his subcommittee focuses on requests from other countries to utilize the Envision software. He hopes to draw from the experience of the National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) in presenting its engineering/surveying exams to professionals in other countries.

Ruck has participated in sustainable efforts in North Little Rock for over four years as an original member of its Green Agenda Committee created by the city council in 2008. Ruck has served continuously as its vice-chairman and led North Little Rock to become a charter member of ISI.

The ISI has recently announced the next opportunity for professional training – Project Verifiers. Following training and examination, the verifiers will judge project rating submittals and issue final project ratings on behalf of ISI.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

MOVITE Board Director

Congratulations to Nathan Becknell on being elected as MOVITE Board Director last week. The Missouri Valley Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers is a six-state regional society for professionals engaged in the planning, design, and operation of streets, highways, and transportation facilities.

Becknell is a project manager in Garver's transportation group. His election to the board is the beginning of a six-year commitment to leadership. Future office opportunities will include treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president. As board director, Becknell will be in charge of membership, by-law revisions, and budget preparation.

"It's an honor to serve," Becknell said. "As a member of the host committee for the two previous Arkansas meetings and as former Arkansas State Director for MOVITE, I've learned the commitment it takes to be a member of the MOVITE Board. This is a great opportunity to continue and add to the rewarding leadership experience, professional development, and friendships I have gained through MOVITE."


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