WGI makes a very significant 41-spot jump from last year’s Hot Firm ranking of #76.
Awesome Associates – Loren Steele, Project Engineer (Tallahassee, FL)
Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and where you went to school:
I am originally from Jacksonville. I moved to Tallahassee to attend FSU and never left. Go, Noles! I enjoyed all college had to offer as a member of Greek Life, and managed to get my bachelor’s in Civil Engineering in the process.
What drew you to this profession?
Growing up I watched my grandfather, who was an amazing woodworker, build all kinds of furniture and my grandmother taught me to sew using patterns. Both taught me how to build an item from pieces and not only look at the final product but the steps and processes it took to get there. I enjoyed the creative process and I was also good at math.
What types of projects have you worked on?
The majority of the projects I have worked on are roadway jobs for FDOT. These have included milling and resurfacing, widening, reconstruction (2 lane to 4 lane divided highway), I-4 Ultimate, and some minor drainage design.
What’s your get-pumped song?
I am terrible at knowing artists and song titles, but right now it is “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love home improvement projects and spending time outside. Weekends typically include the beach, park, or simply backyard time and a home project.
Have you read any good books lately?
Does “Potty Training in 3 Days” count? I hate to admit how long it has been since I read a book in its entirety (2 years – since my daughter was born).
What does your ideal vacation look like?
My ideal vacation is sitting on a beach, relaxing, and maybe reading the good book from the question above. 🙂
What was your first job?
As a kid, I was free labor for my dad’s sleep center. I would call patients and schedule their procedures, do filing (before electronic medical records), and general office tasks. However, my first paid job was as a peewee gymnastics coach at the gym where I took tumbling classes for cheerleading.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
Coffee is one of my major food groups.
Any interesting facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Ever since I was a kid, planning for Halloween began in the summer with a homemade costume. Now, we have handmade family costumes, a big party, a hayride, games, the works. Prep still begins in the summer and is a lot of work, but I love it.
Who or what inspires you?
My mom is the most inspiring and influential person in my life. She built a successful career and a second business all while being a single mom. She is my role model both professionally and personally, showing me what true strength, integrity, and character are.
Everyone at WGI has a story about why they joined the team. What’s yours?
I previously worked for a large, global company. The smaller, more personal feel of WGI intrigued me. I liked that each employee is valued and known, and not just another name on a list.
If you would like to work with Awesome Associates like Loren, explore our Careers page to learn more about the culture of WGI.
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