Joelle Poploske Celebrates 25 Years with Tec Inc. Family

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Today, September 18th, 2019, marks a great milestone for one of the longest-standing members of our Tec Inc. family. We’re celebrating the fantastic, 25-year run of excellent administrative work from our own Joelle Poploske.

Since joining our team in 1994, Joelle has been an absolute joy to have in and around our Eastlake, Ohio office.

Over her quarter-of-a-century run as a member of our team, Joelle has exuded respect, kindness, and loyalty to our company, exemplified by her warm greeting to all those who walk through our front door. Every day, Joelle travels around 50 miles to get to our offices; as those of you who live in Northeastern Ohio know, some of those winter drives can be a little treacherous, but they’re no match for her ability to overcome the elements. 

Her hour commute to-and-from work each day aside, having Joelle in our office is a pleasure and benefit to the entirety of our team to have her working with our engineers, marketing personnel, and executives.

“Joelle has worked with us for 25 years and we cannot tell you just how much we are grateful for your services to us,” commented Director of Mechanical Engineering, John Milenius.  “Commuting from Ashtabula to Eastlake is a lot of miles after 25 years, [she] must be very dedicated to the company. Please continue the hard work and the undiminished dedication!”

Managing director, Adam Kilbourne joked, “She drives a hundred miles a day to be with us!” 

We’re incredibly happy Joelle continues to call Tec Inc. her work family, traveling such a far distance away from her own family during the working week; we hope she puts up with all of us for many years to come!

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Learn Ways to Prevent Injuries from Electrical Contact

In a 2018 NFPA research report, nearly 6000 injuries of workers were attributed to direct contact with electricity. Tec Inc. works with industrial, manufacturing, higher education and municipal clients to make the workplace safer for employees and contractors. Learn more about preventing electrical accidents from Timothy Pool, PE, RCDD in this co-authored article in Properties Magazine.

Read More

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Celebrating our 36th year: Promotions and Additions to Shareholders

Tec Inc. Engineering & Design is celebrating our 36th year with several promotions and additions to our shareholders. 

Adam Kilbourne, FSMPS, CPSM became a shareholder and was promoted to Executive Vice President Business and Administration after serving the firm for more than 20 years as IT Manager and Director of Marketing consecutively. Adam will lead the firm’s accounting administration and marketing, alongside the Executive Vice President of Engineering, Timothy Pool.

Timothy Pool, PE, RCDD was promoted to Executive Vice President of Engineering and Production leading the technical staff for Tec Inc.’s three offices in Eastlake, Columbus and Pittsburgh. After more than 28 years as an employee of Tec Inc., Tim is passionate about leading the engineering staff with integrity and accuracy in engineering services. 

Jon Alexander, PE, CGD, is now a shareholder and has been promoted to Principal of the firm. Jon, a 20+ year employee in the Columbus office, dba Monks Engineers, LLC., is a senior mechanical engineer. Alexander leads projects and manages a team of engineers and designers for higher education, municipal and industrial clients. His most recent projects include at The Ohio State University Halloran House renovations, Logan Chieftain Center and OARDC Residential Building.

John Milenius, PE, LEED AP became a shareholder and was promoted to Principal of the firm. He is the Director of Mechanical engineering leading projects for public and private institutions. John has more than 30 years of experience as a mechanical engineer designing building HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection systems. John is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers and actively mentors junior staff.

Brandon Sargent, PE, LEED AP was promoted to Associate and is now leading the Pittsburgh office of Tec Inc. Engineering & Design. During his 10-year tenure at Tec, Brandon provided electrical engineering and project management for public and private entities. His experience includes higher education, housing, and industrial projects. His skills in responsive and collaborative design as well as his professional engineering license and technical expertise, have earned respect amongst peers and clients alike.

We are excited for the next generation of leadership in our firm that will continue the legacy that was built by our founders.

Tec Inc. Opens a Pittsburgh Office

Tec Inc.’s Pittsburgh office

Tec Inc.’s Pittsburgh office

After several years of working in and around the Pittsburgh area, and a significant investment in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania business development, Tec Inc. has opened an office in Pittsburgh. Local resident and Tec Inc. Senior Electrical Engineer, Brandon Sargent, will lead the office and serve our higher education, commercial, healthcare, and industrial clients in the area. 

Mr. Sargent lives in the area and worked from his home office for the last six years. As business expands in the area for Tec, we have grown a client base in education, commercial, and healthcare projects that provides the opportunity to grow a branch office. The office, located at 2300 Freeport Road, in New Kensington, PA, will be adding staff within the next year as several new projects begin. This location was chosen for the ease of access to downtown and main transportation arteries, enabling us to continue to serve our local clients.

Tec Inc., established in 1983, is a Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing engineering services firm headquartered in Eastlake, Ohio with a branch office in Columbus, Ohio. The primary markets we serve are Industrial, Commercial, Education, and Healthcare sectors. Projects completed by Tec in Pennsylvania include, Gannon University Recreation and Athletic Center, Grove City College boiler replacement, and Erie Library renovations.

Our services are built on core values of building relationships, not just projects. Opening this new location will allow us to better serve our clients in Pennsylvania and increase our ability to weave our services into the fabric of the Pittsburgh design community. 

Perfect Night for Stargazing

Lake Metroparks Lake Erie Bluffs Observation Tower

Last night I drove out to one of my favorite parks in the Lake Metroparks system, Lake Erie Bluffs. Situated high on the bluff, the park has walking trails and beach access.  A couple years ago, Tec worked with I A Lewin, PE and Associates to complete the engineering for the 50 ft observation tower at the east end of the park. 

It was a perfect night for stargazing - clear skies and a cool 65 degrees and the stars were bright. The Milky Way was visible, but to my back in the shot above. 

Learn How a Relighting Project in Cleveland became an Adventure into the Rainforest for Tec Project Team

LD+A, the magazine of Illumination Engineering Society (IES), explores a high profile project in University Circle and reveals the adventures and challenges that were overcome for the relighting of The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. A collaboration of Tec Inc. Engineering & Design and Tec Studio Inc., this was a unique opportunity for our team given the limited number of these types of facilities around the country. 

Read more on how the team made the Glasshouse sparkle again in LD+A's July issue.

Garden of Cleveland | LD+A; July 2018 (p. 37)

Courtney Van Ostran, CPSM named Director of Marketing for Tec

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Courtney van ostran, cpsm

Tec Inc. is excited to introduce Courtney Van Ostran, CPSM as Director of Marketing. Courtney is an industry veteran with 20 years experience in A/E/C marketing. Courtney will be based in our Columbus (Monks) office. In her role, she will develop strategy and initiatives to unify the Tec Inc. Engineering & Design and Monks Engineers brands and build awareness of the firm throughout Ohio and the region. 

An active member of SMPS Columbus, Courtney has held several positions on the board, including Chapter President. She is also involved in the planning of the Heartland Regional Conference. 

We look forward to Courtney's contributions towards the growth of Tec and Monks. Courtney can be reached by phone at 614.267.4928 or by email: cvanostran @ tecinc1.com 

With Courtney's addition to the company, Adam Kilbourne will become the Managing Director of Tec. A role focused on business administration. 

 

Tec Studio Inc. receives State of Ohio EDGE Certification

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Tec Inc. affiliate company, Tec Studio Inc. received EDGE Certification from the State of Ohio, after almost a year of filing the application and providing necessary information to the State.

Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) Program

The State of Ohio’s Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) program establishes an annual goal for state agencies, boards and commissions, as well as guidelines for state universities in awarding contracts to certified EDGE businesses. The EDGE program is designed to assist socially and economically disadvantaged businesses in obtaining state government contracts in the following areas: construction, architecture and engineering; professional services; goods and services; and information technology services. (In contrast to the Minority Business Enterprise program, the EDGE program does apply to construction contracts.) The State of Ohio developed the program because it recognizes the need to encourage, nurture, and support the growth of economically and socially disadvantaged businesses to foster their development and increase the number of qualified competitors in the marketplace.

Tec Studio was opened in 2013. We felt there was project opportunity available to an independent firm that may not be available as a service within the engineering firm.  Tec Studio is majority owned by women, allowing for diversity certifications including EDGE, WBENC, and Women Owned Small Business Enterprise (WOSB).

 

 
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Lemons to Lemonade, A Story of Corporate Evolution

The saying goes, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Several months ago, Tec was given some lemons and what could have been considered a sour situation has become some really great lemonade.  So here's the story…

The Lemons Come

About six months ago, two long-tenured electrical engineering professionals left our organization and in the wake of their departure, left a hole in our project management staffing capabilities. Already feeling the weight of many projects, our Director of Electrical Engineering knew that our clients would suffer if we didn't come up with a solution that looked to the future and wasn't just a quick fix.

Initially we thought to advertise for senior level electrical engineers. This produced a large amount of resumes, mostly entry level and mostly mechanical engineering.  Not quite what we were searching for.

Our next thought was to hire a headhunter, but before investing valuable dollars, we turned the light on our existing staff (couldn't resist throwing in a lighting reference) and came up with a plan to utilize the resources we already had and make lemonade from those lemons.

Making Lemonade

Three names emerged. All three were electrical engineers. All three were seasoned employees with ten years experience under their belts. We are delighted to share that Chris Bayda, Steve Bohn, and Brandon Sargent, PE, LEED AP BD+Chave all been promoted to Engineer II (Project Engineer) and are providing project oversight services to our clients.

Chris Bayda

Chris has been with Tec since 2006. He enjoys working directly with clients and being involved in every step of the project process. He specializes in retail projects having completed the electrical design for more than 500 Circle K stores. Furthermore, Chris has served as the project manager on more than 200 of those 500 projects!

 

Steve Bohn

Steve, celebrating 10 years with Tec, started his career as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry. Since joining the team, he's transitioned to the light side (pun intended) and provides electrical engineering and project management for clients such as Lubrizol, Lakeland Community College, and The Ohio State University.

 

Brandon Sargent

Brandon, who joined Tec right out of college is our Spartan Warrior having set some lofty career goals a few years back that included: obtaining LEED AP accreditation, passing the FE and PE exams, and move up from an entry-level engineer to project engineer. Brandon even listed the length of time it would take! As of May 2017, Brandon has officially accomplished all those goals with the last check-mark in the PE certification column. Brandon's projects include: The SPIRE Institute Track & Field Building, Gannon University Carneval Athletic Pavilion, and the Parker-Hannafin Downtown Cleveland YMCA.

Our lemonade was off to a great start, but we still needed another ingredient or two.

Sweetening the Mix

Remember those resumes we received? Several of them were too good to ignore and so we welcome to the team: Michael Ferrante (Mechanical Engineer) and Nicholas Kar (Electrical Engineer).

Michael Ferrante

Michael has a BS from the University of Cincinnati in Mechanical Engineering. Although, at the time, we weren't actively looking for a mechanical engineer, we can't imagine life without him. Prior to joining Tec, Michael served as an intern for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Exact Metrology Inc., and Moen, Inc.

 

Nicholas Kar

Nicholas (or Nick as he's known around the office) earned his BS in Biological Engineering from The Ohio State University. His work experience includes Mevion Medical Systems, Henkels & McCoy, Inc., and Renovo Neural, Inc. Currently working under the guidance of Steve Bohn, Nick is a quick study learning the ins and outs of electrical engineering focused on building systems rather than biological systems.

Although we've taken a light-hearted approach to sharing these promotions and new hires, we are absolutely serious in our CONGRATULATIONS to every one of these individuals and thank them for the ongoing contributions they make to the successful outcome of our clients' projects.

Want to extend your personal congratulations to any of the team members listed above? Please feel free to leave a line or two in the comments section below.

 

A 6-Date Salute to Combat Engineers

The name Richard Gridley may not be familiar to many, so this Memorial Day we share a bit of military-focused engineering history as our way of thanking, saluting, and paying respect to all the great engineers who have dedicated their engineering talents--and given their lives-- to protect the liberties we all enjoy as citizens of this great nation.
 

Date 1: June 16 1775

Colonel Richard Gridley, along with his two assistants was appointed General George Washington’s chief engineer given unofficial birth to what would later be known as the Army Corps of Engineers

Date 2: 1779

Congress creates a separate Army Corps of Engineers that was comprised of mostly French subjects hired from Louis XVI by George Washington to build fortifications near Boston at Bunker Hill

Date 3: March 16, 1802

The Army Corps of Engineers becomes a separate, permanent branch of the government because of the Military Peace Establishment Act signed by President Thomas Jefferson. It is responsible for founding and operating the US Military Academy at West Point.

Date 4: December 1862

Six ponton bridges to support the Union attack on Fredericksburg were laid across the Rappahannock River under heavy, and devastating gunfire from the South.

Date 5: WWII

Although they had nearly 150 years of experience in wars as well as non-military civil projects, the Corps of Engineers found they were not equipped for the events unfolding in Europe during WWII. New technologies and tactics employed by the Germans made it necessary for change and so Congress appropriated more funds for our national defense that provided the army—and engineers—to prepare for this new kind of warfare and thus the term "combat engineers" was born. The primary objectives of combat engineers was--and still is--to keep the army moving towards attack while impeding an enemy advance. Some functions include:

  • Construction/deconstruction of roads, rails, and bridges
  • Building barracks, depots, and similar structures
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Laying beach roads, unloading/loading supplies, vehicles, and personnel from transports in order to land on and maintain a beachhead in hostile territory
  • Map production
  • Mine warfare including the defusing of mines
  • Establishing supply/ammunition dumps, and
  • Clearing of rubble, debris, and obstructions

Date 6: May 28, 2017

Today, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is a division of the Department of Defense and is made up of approximately 37,000 civilian and military personnel, providing engineering services in more than 130 countries, making it one of the world’s largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies.


We, at Tec Inc. Engineering & Design, thank all our military personnel--with an extra nod to our kinsmen in engineering--for your service to our country.

God Bless the USA.

Tamara Zupancic, Marketing Manager

Submitted by Tamara Zupancic, Tec's Marketing Manager and Lead Cheerleader.