Ever since I was little, I’ve had an infatuation with maps, and geography in general. I’ve always been interested in the way the world works, our interconnected networks, and how past experiences have shaped the landscape today, and there is no better way to show these changes than with maps. The world is just one big map, and we’re all navigating it, so it certainly helps to know what you’re doing. I enjoy the relaxed culture that we are provided with here. It’s vital that we work hard but it is also important that we relax a bit, have fun, and enjoy ourselves while working. I’m at work more than I am at my own apartment, so it’s important for me to have a working environment that is conducive to my workplace philosophy. Also, this company has helped foster my technical development as well as my development as a manager. I’m thankful to be gaining knowledge in both of these departments.
I have always been drawn to maps, as a kid I would make maps of everything and anything, real or pretend. My fascination with maps eventually would lead me to obtaining my degree in Environmental Geography from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. I held a few jobs after graduation unrelated to mapping when I came across an opening at CMC. They were located in my hometown and would provide an opportunity to use my knowledge and skills doing something that I have always enjoyed. Continental Mapping has the small business mentality and values that have made it an incredible place to work. They are always encouraging the personal development of their employees and pushing them to succeed. The company is growing rapidly and it is a very exciting time for CMC and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
I have always taken pride in my sense of direction (ask my wife). I have pin-pointed my self-proclaimed directional success to the ability to ‘map with my mind,’ a fundamental understanding of my general orientation to North, South, East and West at any moment, and a habitual/addictive use of Google Earth. This pre-dates my professional geospatial experience, but it explains my interest in coming on board at Continental Mapping. My background includes selling stuff to likes of Sam Elliot at a cool cowboy store in Southern California, and being a graphic designer/marketer for a company that makes stuff for babies. Now I get to design posters in an attempt to make American infrastructure a sexy topic, and use my other skills beyond the ceiling I thought I had.
I love relationships, for example, I know that my house is here and that there is a 100 year floodplain there. I know that my children’s school is within three miles of a firehouse. Maps are documents that record these relationships – they track over time and they inform our decisions. I have known of Continental Mapping for 15 years – becoming increasingly familiar within the last 10. While Continental Mapping embodies a desire to move constantly forward, my favorite part is the atmosphere. There is a strong streak of generosity. As I write this I’m falling further behind in my weight-loss goals because somebody anonymously bought doughnuts and cookies and left them in the kitchen - just because it’s Friday. There’s a streak of comradery. Informal teams gather to play hockey, softball and flag football. Most importantly, there is a streak of respect. There is certainly respect given from ownership down. But the culture also drives one employee’s respect for another. With respect comes trust. My boss, and the co-workers around me, can trust that I will do my job. That allows me to do my job independently and in ways that suit me best, as long as I am able to do it right.