Employee-Owner Spotlight | Savannah Smith | Survey Technician

We are excited to welcome Savannah Smith, the newest addition to our growing team of surveyors. Ms. Smith is a graduate from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA with a Master’s degree in Mathematics. Outside of work, you’ll often find Savannah at home, mastering the art of chocolate, by creating delectable bonbons and desserts. She also enjoys cooking meals and spending time outdoors with her friends and family.

Since starting with Sebago, Savannah has hit the ground running; with her friendly, energetic spirit, strong work ethic, and love of food, we know she will be a great fit for the team.

Welcome aboard Savannah! We are delighted to have you with us, and watch you grow in this new role!

Savannah Smith, Survey Technician

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

I grew up in a beautiful place – a region beside Mt. Washington, right by the Maine border. After graduating high school, I was very curious about the rest of the world, and so I left to attend college in Oakland, California. Since then, I’ve lived in a bunch of places including the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia.

Favorite place(s) to go in Maine?

Honestly, these days, I have become very content just staying at home! But there are many happy memories for me whenever I return to Crescent Beach State Park. And if there is someone who likes to shop, I love taking them to the Flea Market at the Fryeburg Fair Grounds.

What three traits define you? 

Unconventional, friendly, adventurous.

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

My very first job I was just a wee 14-years-old and started working at the Ralph Lauren Outlet Store. Working in fashion was fun, and the retail and sales aspect was thrilling because it was destination shopping for a lot of people. It felt very glamorous, and so I started having fun with makeup and clothes to an extent that I think rarely occurred to most other middle school kids at the time! Now everyone has Youtube tutorials and the magic of their online profile pic, but for me it was my first opportunity to experiment with a public persona and it gave me confidence.

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

I love being outdoors, so it has been really great finding there’s work for me as a Survey Technician. I get to work on projects that require a lot of dedication in the field; blood, sweat and tears if you factor in bugs and pollen. Nonetheless, I am super excited to be here, learning vocabulary and gaining more and more aptitude, and hopefully not frustrating any of my fellow crewmembers…

What was your journey like to get where you are?

Moving back home, my journey really does feel somewhat circular. But I am returning with a lot of experience, and that adds new dimensions to it. I would compare my journey to doing a long traverse, and finally returning to a really familiar baseline.

What are your hobbies outside the office?

When the lockdown happened last year, my Philadelphia apartment became my entire world, and I discovered I needed a hobby, so I bought some polycarbonate chocolate molds and my partner and I got really good at making bonbons. I’ve always loved making desserts, but I became a pro at tempering chocolate. There’s a lot of trial and error, and it can get very messy. The closest comparison I have found is probably mixing and working with concrete. It was incredibly satisfying to tap out a mold, and I hope there are always people around me who will celebrate my attempts!

Now that I am back in the country, I am learning everything I possibly can do in Korean Natural Farming to enhance the health and resiliency of my garden, family and surroundings.

What inspired you to work for Sebago Technics?

I was immediately interested when I discovered Sebago Technics is an employee-owned company, because I think that has a significant impact not just on the employees but the larger community. I am fresh off of several years working the restaurant scene, where I was both in the kitchen and serving the public, relying on tips to make it worthwhile. I just burned out, trying to make the boss and the customer happy, which was always difficult or impossible. It became really clear to me that I needed to feel like I had more authority, and somehow still feel like I had a team I could support and rely on.

Favorite thing to do in Maine?

I’m a huge fan of wetlands. There is always so much to observe and identify. The area where I live now has a system of brooks and beaver ponds that attract all manner of life, and through my conversations with old timers, I believe there used to be even more, including otters, trout and salmon. It’s been a treat every time I have access to a canoe or kayak, but I could happily just visit a single spot for eons and observe its changes.

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

Funnily enough, I went from being a really picky eater as a child to now craving the variety of the world’s cuisines. But, if I had to choose, I could eat a pasta meal everyday. I’ve even had the opportunity to test this theory while I worked at a restaurant that made their own fresh pasta. It was, in fact, spectacular.

Top three life highlights?

First meeting my partner Benjamin, and falling in love at oyster bars in Philadelphia and taking epic walks through the city and parks. Finding those underground shows in an Oakland warehouse. And every cross country road trip.

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

I’d choose an egret, who gets to enjoy the air and the water and even is known to gather in groups and dance. I also prefer standing on the shoreline as opposed to treading water.

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?

Definitely a bit of a pipedream, but I would love to visit pre-colonial America. The birds and fish alone would be astounding!

Favorite Holiday and why?

Halloween, because I love fall and it’s great when adults make costumes! I personally can never seem to get my creative juices to flow in that direction, so I always admire those who do.

What is the best concert you attended?

This summer, my brother’s guitar teacher has held concerts for his students to share what they’ve been learning. It’s awesome to attend a recurring event that showcases people’s growth, so for me each concert just gets better and better.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I prefer well-done meat, even though I know it’s blasphemy and there are many, many who feel otherwise.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family?

Being outdoors with friends and family is synonymous with cooking outdoors for me. I love taking care of building a fire, getting the service utensils right, and cleaning up afterwards. With some minimal planning the food can be so delicious.

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

I am proud to be joining such an interesting, motivated and multi-disciplined group of people that have gathered in my home state. I am excited to be learning a skill that will be critical to every build and landscaping project I am likely to encounter, and to witness our projects go from the site work all the way to finished result.