by Rick Himmel, Principal.
Of all the seasons, fall is my favorite. It’s that time of year when we have a mix of warm summer days and crisp mornings that remind us that winter is just around the corner. And, of course, the fall leaves. While the colors of each season change from the wild palette of spring flowers and the lush greens of summer, there’s nothing that compares with the brilliant reds, crimsons, golden bronze, yellows, and orange on display in our neighborhoods and on the surrounding hills. It’s like the earth is wrapping up the year by saving its best show for last.
Fall also starts the Holiday Season which for me, is a time of reflection and gratitude. As I continue this journey through the third-third of my life, I am increasingly aware of how blessed I am. I have my family, my wife and life partner who is my best friend, two wonderful daughters and two beautiful granddaughters, and reasonably good health, I live in a country where I am free to worship and serve God, and where I still have the freedom to speak and express my thoughts.
Professionally, I have been fortunate to have had some great mentors and to have mentored some remarkably talented individuals. I’ve worked for some great companies over the forty-some years of my career. And as if that was not enough, I’ve had the good fortune to work at FSi, a place like no other. Many companies have some version of a Vision Statement. Some even attempt to live up to their Vision Statements. For FSi, our Vision, Values, and Purpose (VVP) is the compass by which we navigate our company through seasons of abundance, and seasons of scarcity. It is the standard by which all decisions are made.
Our founding principals, Michael Eshelman and Rob Danforth, years ago planted the seeds of operating a company with Integrity and Intention. Thanks to them, those of us who are now in leadership continue to harvest and benefit from their decades of dedicated labor.
Here are some of the fruits:
“We support and care for each other, our clients, and our community” Our staff is passionate about and have a true heart for those who are not as fortunate as us. From flipping pancakes to feed folks at a local shelter to going out into the streets of Seattle at night on a Search and Rescue mission with Union Gospel Mission, the people of FSi volunteer to provide blankets, food, and perhaps above all listen and be present to those in need. One of our staff has gone the extra mile and made her backyard available to build a Block Home, providing a permanent, stable home for someone formerly unhoused.
We care about one another. From acknowledging birthdays with e-cards, to providing meals for staff who are going through the challenges that life throws at them, we give grace to one another.
“FSi is a leader in sustainability” Members of our staff have committed themselves to having us reexamine how we approach building systems design to reduce the energy use and carbon impact on the planet. Their passion for lessening the impact of buildings on climate change has given them the boldness to reach out to manufacturers to influence their products. They’ve been the cause for generating a company-wide sustainability plan as a baseline for all our MEP design projects. Through their efforts, FSi has signed the MEP 2040 challenge. We are proud to be one of the first 40 firms nation-wide to have made this commitment to proactively decarbonize building systems.
“We love what we do” And it shows up in the fun we have and the passion we all bring to the office every day.
So, what is it about FSi that I am grateful for? It’s quite simple really. I am a better man, a better husband, father, brother, friend, and colleague. I more quickly give grace. I am more open to seeing the perspective of others. AND, I get to wake up every morning knowing that I work with some wonderful, fun, diverse, amazingly talented and passionate people that truly inspire excellence. I am blessed indeed!