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.


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