Employee-Owner Spotlight | Kendall Willard | Civil Engineer

Sebago Technics just grew by another great mind! ⭐

We are so excited to welcome Sebago’s newest Civil Engineer, Kendall Willard! Ms. Willard interned with us during the Summer of 2021 after completing her B.S. in Civil Engineering.  She returned to the University of Maine to complete her Masters in Civil Engineering and recently graduated in May.  Originally from Ohio, Kendall is looking forward to exploring the beautiful parks and trails throughout Maine. She is also excited to develop new connections in her role as a civil engineer and learn the more practical aspects of engineering (CAD, grading, stormwater management).

We are happy to have you on our team, Kendall!

Where did you grow up and what other places have you lived in throughout your life?

I grew up just west of Cleveland, Ohio, and lived there with my family until college. After graduating from UMaine (Orono) I moved down to South Portland this year.

Favorite place(s) to go in Maine?

I love spending a day in Acadia National Park, but definitely feel like I have more exploring to do! I was just getting familiar with some of the smaller parks/trails in the Orono area (Hirundo Wildlife Refuge was a common stop), so hopefully, I can find similar areas in my new home.

What three traits define you? 

  1. Curious
  2. Active
  3. A good listener
Javelin became Kendall’s main track & field event about midway through her college career. She learned the event on her own, but by the end of her last season, she was on UMaine’s “Top 10 All Time List” and had competed in both conference and New England championships.

What was your very first job, and what did you learn from it?

My first ‘job’ was a volunteer position at a local food bank, and it taught me how to interact with so many different people that I would normally not have crossed paths with. One of my other early job positions was for the Environmental Engineering Department at school; doing interdisciplinary research taught me to never hesitate to ask questions and embrace the weird places that work might take you (from the school cow farm to the first anaerobic digester in Maine).

What is your favorite part of the type of work that you do?

I love making connections from my hobbies and favorite courses while we are working on a project. Learning the ‘how’ of sustainable design and development is just as important as the ‘why’. I love to get out of the office and walk a site when I get the chance, too.

What was your journey like to get where you are?

I definitely started to think of Maine as my home towards the end of college. After having the significant challenge of recovering from an accident my senior year, I’ve been seeing every day and every task as a new opportunity. Now that I have just finished grad school and begun working, I feel like the journey has just begun.

What are your hobbies outside the office?

I participated in track and field for 15 years until the present (2nd grade through my 5th year of college). It definitely has taken up most of my free time, and though I’m not on a team anymore, I can still see myself continuing the sport as a hobby.

I also enjoy visual arts – I loved drawing and painting as a kid but am trying to learn the basics of photography. Definitely something I love to do while out in nature!

“Part of why I love training for track is the challenge of new events. One of my high school teammates is a Tokyo Olympian in the shot put! (She taught me everything I know). – Kendall

What inspired you to work for Sebago Technics?

I participated in an internship last summer and loved the community here, as well as the multitude and diversity of projects, groups, and tasks in which I found myself participating.

Favorite thing to do in Maine?

I love to explore the food scene in Portland and Bangor and shop in the Maine outlet malls.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is a hard one…I think I would choose either a bento box or tacos. The variations of how you can make either would help make eating them every day infinitely more bearable, and they already are two of my go-to meals.

Top three life highlights?

  1. Scoring points in my senior conference track meet
  2. Finishing my Bachelor’s and Master’s one year apart (and finally got that 4.0 my last semester!)
  3. Reaching Level 40 in Pokémon Go (at the time, it was the highest level you could reach)

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I would absolutely be some type of cat because I am a curious person but also love a good nap. To make my answer seem cooler, maybe I’ll go with a tiger since I’m not afraid of the water and I think the orange getup would be cool.

A photo of Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park that Kendall took in her first year with her bridge camera. “One day I’ll catch up to my dad’s level of expertise!”

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?

Somewhere in Europe – probably a food and sightseeing tour of Western Europe (France, Italy, Greece, and the like).

What is the best concert you attended?

I attended the Vans Warped Tour as it made its stop in Cleveland for 5 years. My family and I have gone to several concerts since that were much better performances but being a teenager roaming free, seeing at least 10 sets in a day, and running into some of the artists was the highlight of my summer.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  

I’ve gone swimming with sharks! After I graduated high school my mom and I took a trip to Cozumel, Mexico to swim with whale sharks. It was an incredible experience, and much more tiring than expected (they swim faster than you think!).

A photograph of some turtles native to the Cleveland Metroparks area (taken by Kendall)

When you think about working at Sebago Technics, what makes you proudest or most excited?

I’m most excited to learn the more practical aspects of engineering (CAD, grading, stormwater management) and make connections to how and why we are designing a project site in certain ways. The connection to how we can reduce environmental harm while creating something to meet a client’s needs is very important to me.