Monthly Archives: November 2010
Posted in Communities | Current Events | Marcellus Shale | Natural Gas | Politics | Transportation | Water/Wastewater by Marty Muggleton (VP Client Development & Marketing) on November 29, 2010
Our region will always try to define the Marcellus experience. Some think it’s good; some see an irreversible threat; some think of it as both. What we need is a commitment to make Marcellus development better and safer. While not everyone may be on board, there is a clear swing towards improving operations and technology to make development better and safer. I thought I would share two recent items.
Last week, I was involved in a conversation with some folks that weren’t convinced any improvements or progress are being made to reduce the impact of Marcellus Shale development. I thought I would share how this conversation went.
“There are still problems with gas companies destroying local roads. How are taxpayers going to handle that?”
No doubt that development activity is hammering local roads. There are lots of heavy trucks traveling on roads that were never built to handle the use. But there is a change underway to make this work better. This summer PennDOT issued guidelines primarily for the gas industry, but also for other heavy haulers. These guidelines included mandatory roadway maintenance and repair strategies. These strategies have to be submitted to PennDOT within 24 hours of a report of critical road condition. The strategies outline the contractor to be used, what materials will be used to repair to road, if the material will be replaced prior to June 30 following the winter, and so on. All actions relating to the strategies will be paid for by the gas companies. An article by John Beauge in the September edition of Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal describes how Chesapeake Energy has spent $15 million since spring repairing roads in Lycoming, Sullivan, Bradford, and Tioga counties and their plan is to spend another $15 million before the end of 2010. The inconvenience of a damaged road isn’t avoided; but the cost is being passed from the tax payer to the gas company. A good and necessary step I think.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Employees | Leadership | Professional Development by Steve Muller (Manager of Client Development) on November 15, 2010
Photo: © Wolfgang Schrötter
Recently I’ve been reminded of a fundamental life lesson: “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Interestingly, this came up twice in the same week recently.
Over a late summer weekend, our family enjoyed a lunch on our deck. One or two yellow jackets were doing reconnaissance, checking out all the food we had on the table, and paying particular attention to our younger son’s plate. While Joe loves collecting bugs and learning about insects, his interest ends when close encounters like that begin.
Several times Joe was frozen in fear with his eyes closed, holding his breath, whining, and cringing. I calmly explained to him that the bees wanted nothing to do with him, but were really looking for some sugary drinks or desserts to pick at. We finally got Joe to take some deep breaths, observe what the yellow jackets were doing, and get back to eating his lunch. When he realized they were just cruising by, and not even stopping, he was quite relieved. Getting him to do the hard thing (be more objective about the yellow jackets) worked incredibly well, and he handled himself quite bravely after that.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Alternative Energy | Employees | Innovative Solutions | Leadership | Sustainable Design | Transportation by Marty Muggleton (VP Client Development & Marketing) on November 12, 2010
In September 2010 Robert “Chip” Beam, CADD Specialist at Larson Design Group, journeyed from South Williamsport, PA to Bonneville Salt Flats, UT, where his two-door sedan clocked at just under 48 miles per hour, establishing a world speed record.
You may think, “What’s so interesting about a sedan going 48 mph?” The answer is the aforementioned car does not run on gasoline. Beam’s 1989 Mercury Cougar XR7 is completely powered by the gasification of wood pellets manufactured from timber debris often collected at furniture-crafting workshops.
I sat down with Chip to discuss his recent efforts and thoughts on climate change.Comments (2) | Permalink |
Posted in Blogging | Client Service | Communication | Innovative Solutions | Marketing | Social Media | Sustainable Design by Brad Breneisen (Graphic Design) on November 10, 2010
Photo: © Fred Fokkelman
The term “branding” – as it refers to an expression of a corporate identity or visual persona – comes from the practice of branding cattle. Branding often starts with research in order to develop a logo and then progresses to various other supporting visual elements or applications. Branding is often dismissed from a budget as an unnecessary expense. This is an understandable misunderstanding of the process and benefits of good branding.
Branding is an investment, and when done right it can pay off big time, not just in attracting attention from your target market and making a strong impression, but also in streamlining the design decisions that employees make every day (often without even recognizing them). The intention is not to be complicated or contrived but simple, supportive, and effective in order to create and maintain a recognizable and beneficial visual presence with your audience.
Things like templates and brand guides are not some fascist attempt to restrict the individual’s creativity, but rather a way to relieve employees from the burden of making small and/or repetitive design decisions everyday that would inevitably contribute to overhead costs and an inconsistent visual identity for the company. The most widely-experienced visual-design processes throughout the company should be understood and addressed during the branding process.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Architecture | Building Systems | Communication | Employees | Initiatives | Leadership | Professional Development by Stefanie JH English, PE (Structural Engineering) on November 2, 2010
Photo: LDG’s Leadership Academy kicks off with some team building activities during a three-day retreat.
© Aitken Leadership Group
Let’s think about the stereotypical “engineer” for a moment. What comes to mind? Intelligent? High achiever? Introvert? Confident? Poor communicator? Egotistical? Stubborn? Risk averse? These might make you think of the four friends on the show “The Big Bang Theory.” While these traits may not be shared by all engineers, certainly many of us can relate to the caricature.
Fortunately, being a confident high-achiever can serve a person well as he or she progresses through a career. Unfortunately, some of the other traits common to folks in technical careers can be limiting. For the people that got into engineering because they don’t like to deal with other people, the reality of the job may have come as a surprise. How do you get your brilliant design built if you can’t explain what you need to the contractor? If you alienate your client, how do you get more work? Business relationships still come down to the human beings conducting the relationship, and it’s important to have an understanding of how we tick.No comments yet | Permalink |