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Sandi Danna – A Fond Fare Well

Sandi Danna – A Fond Fare Well

When I landed at Purdy-McGuire in 2010, Sandi Danna was one of the first people I met. In many ways, she’s the kind of woman I want to be if I ever decide to grow up. Her tenure here is longer than the age of many reading this post, yet I have found her to be eternally young at heart! She has been a teacher and a student, the company’s historian, a sister to many, and a trusted adviser for many others. She has been the face of our Accounting/Contracts Administration for many years, and has worked with our clients displaying what I call “professional grace.” I so admire her love for capturing history with her camera lens, along with all the beauty it includes. Surely PMI won’t be the same without her, but it’s time for her to turn the page and enter the next chapter of her life. So here’s to Sandi Danna – never to be forgotten at Purdy-McGuire. Below is some information about Sandi in her own words. Enjoy! (rhh)

How did I arrive at Purdy-McGuire? On October 13, 1969, Snelling and Snelling (used to be a huge staffing company) sent me to a place called Ratliff-Purdy-McGuire. Dianne Fletcher hired me to be her assistant, typing specifications and answering ALL THREE telephone lines!! Thank goodness I graduated from those duties to processing contract administration on all of our projects.  I truly love the aspect of providing service to our clients. Most of the young people may think that the present construction boom in the DFW area is exciting but the construction in the 1980’s in Dallas was AWESOME! So much of the downtown Dallas skyline was developed during this timeframe and Purdy-McGuire was a huge player on that field.  I’ve always pridefully boasted of being a participant in this great organization with a superior reputation!

What have the past 47.5 years meant to me? It has meant a supportive family and friendship thru joys, celebrations, rewards, and sorrows. This has been a wonderful environment to both work hard and play hard.

What will I miss most in leaving Purdy-McGuire? Besides the interaction with the people I will no longer be the “historian” or “photographer”.  So many of the photographs that I have taken throughout the years at company events continue to pop up in slide shows sometimes to the embarrassment of the photo subject. (Don’t worry, Sandi; I’ve got your back-rhh)

How did I meet my husband?I met John B. Danna, Jr. (my second husband) at a party. We literally bumped into each other and started up a conversation.  He knew where I worked and said “put the coffee pot on and I’ll be by on Monday morning for a cup”.  And as they say….”the rest is history”!  We dated 5 years before I convinced or coerced him to marry me.  We were married 33 years before he passed away September, 2015. Since John was an Architect following in his dad’s footsteps it was great to be able to “talk shop” at the end of each day and understand what the other person’s workday was all about. These A/E people are a breed all of their own! John and I just “clicked on all cylinders” and enjoyed our married life whether traveling the world or sitting on the patio at our small ranch in Palo Pinto County watching the sunset.

Family? I have one son Michael Martin, and John has three children with spouses Jeff Danna (Karla), Paul Danna (Linnea), and Tricia Johnson (Doug). Between us we have 10 grandchildren and have enjoyed being a participant in their lives into young adulthood watching them enjoy their college years and then choosing a myriad of careers.

Hobbies? Besides the expensive hobby of traveling I enjoy creating greeting cards and invitations from all forms of paper and embellishments as well as with the photographs that I have taken. Perhaps after a two-year hiatus I will now have time to regenerate some creativity.

Favorite trips? That’s a difficult question as I genuinely love every place I’ve ever been. A 3-week photo safari in South Africa is definitely at the top of the list!  My husband and I enjoyed salmon fishing in Alaska.

What will I do after retirement? I already have a trip planned at the end of May to Prague in conjunction with a riverboat cruise on the Danube. I am also looking forward to having a leisurely paced lunch with Dianne Fletcher and not having to be concerned with rushing back to the office or violating office rules with a glass of wine at lunch!

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Employee Spotlight – Mariah Rice

Employee Spotlight – Mariah Rice

Mariah holds a very specialized position here at Purdy-McGuire. She is our Revit Coordinator, and works

  1. I was born and raised in Greenville, Texas and still live there today. Family is the most important thing to me, and that’s why last year I moved from Garland back to Greenville.
  2. I’m the first person on my dad’s side to graduate from high school.
  3. My name came from a song in a famous Broadway musical (Paint Your Wagon) called “They Call the Wind Mariah” by Harve Presnell. It was later made into a movie with Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg.
  4. By age 10 I had won four blue ribbons at the County Fair for my charcoal drawings.  I took drawing lessons until middle school.
  5. Flew on my first plane at age 10 to Grand Forks North Dakota to visit my uncle who was stationed there for the US Air Force. Swam in the coldest lake ever.
  6. My middle name, “Dale,” has been passed down 5 generations on my dad’s side.  It’s also the middle name of my daughter, Maci.
  7. During High school I was an officer for Future Farmers of America and showed animals (sheep and steer).
  8. When I was 17 I started working at Raytheon in their engineering department.  My first project was the airplane for the Prince of Saudi Arabia. Woman were not allowed on the plane without a male escort. Everything on that plane was 14K gold even the screws for the seats.
  9. I’m a huge history buff.  I plan our vacations around historic places.
  10. I have dyslexia and it’s very hereditary – my dad, grandmother, nephew and both of my children have it. I wasn’t tested for it until my senior year in high school, so I’ve had no formal training.  I struggle with it every day but I’ve found reading now is very easy.
  11. Never read a book until 2012.  In 2014 I read 374 books with 300 pages or more.  I always have three books going. 1 audible, 1 hard back, and 1 Kindle.  I always have to finish the book … even it’s really bad…

 

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Employee Spotlight – Todd Johnson, P.E. / Associate Principal

Employee Spotlight – Todd Johnson, P.E. / Associate Principal

I have worked at Purdy-McGuire since 1994 and have headed interior project teams since 2001.  I believe our office will truly move the needle this year with client relationships and better quality of service.  Each of the leaders in our office has specific talents that are being shared throughout the office. I am a fan of lists – partly out of necessity, since I have been involved in 1,467 interior projects since 2001, with a peak having of issuing 19 projects in 20 straight working days.  Organizing schedules, tasks, and project criteria is key when juggling so much.   I am sharing ideas of organization of project criteria to help improve project quality throughout the office.

Here are some other items of interest about me:

  • I am originally from Topeka, Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Architectural Engineering. My wife Georgia also graduated from K-State and is a veterinarian here in Dallas.
  • My wife and I are supporters of Kansas State and root for their sports teams by attending road games and home games in Manhattan, KS whenever our schedules allow.
  • We spend a lot of time watching or attending professional sporting events – including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, tennis and golf. My wife and I have visited 18 MLB baseball games at different ballparks since 1999.
  • I enjoy learning about history either being a tourist or reading books. I want to know what happened and why. History always has at least two sides of the story and I am fascinated by each perspective.
  • Whenever I get a chance either at a local trail or while traveling, it always nice to be outdoors. Our most challenging hike was Mount Kilimanjaro in 1999 and ascended to 17,500 ft above sea level .
  • Snorkeling is one our favorite but rare travel activities. We have snorkeled in Hawaii, Greece, Africa, and Caribbean but believe the south pacific islands is our favorite.
  • I became an Orthodox Christian prior to my Greek Wedding
  • Oddity: since 1983 I have filled out and kept the NCAA basketball tournament bracket from the local newspaper. Before the internet thiis was a great way to look back at past years.  Now that I have 33 years of them – I continue doing it purely because I don’t want to break my streak!

* Editor’s Note: Todd is being very modest about his contributions. Here are some stats for Todd and his interiors staff:

    • Projects: 1,503
    • SF to Date: 25,809,000 sf
    • Project Hours: 199,000 (since 2002 when he began to track hours)
    • Buildings:  I counted 66 and quit…and that’s only up to the Gs
      • Includes multiple projects at 2100 Ross, Trammell Crow Center, Bank of America Tower, 717 Harwood, Chase Tower, and more.
    • Clients: 70+

/rhh

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Moving the Needle … Camille Barton

When I started at TCU in 2003, being the Chief Executive Officer of a nearly 60-year-old company wasn’t really on my radar. But ten years later with hard work and some good timing, here I am – excited, determined, focused, nervous but always ready. Ready to perpetuate the Purdy-McGuire legacy for providing exceptional service to our clients and our employees.  I look forward to continuing to work with our clients and business owners to ensure that their MEP design expectations are met and exceeded.

I look forward every day to addressing the needs of our employees – all while learning and growing with them.  This is an ever-changing industry, and Purdy-McGuire will change and grow and morph as needed to continue to serve our PMI family.  Every employee is charged with ensuring that our clients’ expectations are met and exceeded. But make no mistake: ultimate responsibility for client satisfaction and employee delight rests with me.  A task that I do not take lightly — to say the least.

As you’ve heard from Kip, Dan, and Scott through the blog, at our annual retreat, we explored ways we all can provide better service to external and internal clients. With a new year just starting, we want to feel the pulse of our clients and make sure we’re on the right track. So we’ll be reaching out in various ways to ask a simple question – “How can we move YOUR needle?”  I am here to serve — in every way, shape, or form that I can.

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Moving the Needle … Scott Brown

The first time I walked through the doors of Purdy-McGuire, I knew it was a unique company. Not only did we focus on providing excellent service and growing relationships with our clients, vendors, and contractors. We also take pride in providing opportunity for our staff to grow and develop their talents. As we go forward we’re constantly looking for ways to move the needle and grow both in our efforts to serve our clients and to continue to make Purdy-McGuire a great place for our employees to work and to grow.

 

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Moving the Needle … Dan Thien

When I started at Purdy-McGuire in 2000, I knew this company was different. Purdy-McGuire always focused on the human element of our engineering projects. The culture in our office and the relationships we have with others is very important at Purdy-McGuire.  I’m proud to be part of the new leadership of this firm going forward, and we recommit ourselves to serving you – our clients, employees, contractors, vendors, and community partners – with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. It’s important to Purdy-McGuire that you see our efforts to move the needle. So let us know how we’re doing (good and bad) – we’re here to serve you.

 

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Moving the Needle … Kip Hanzlicek

I’ve worked at Purdy-McGuire for over 30 years and have seen the company go through many changes. But one thing has remained constant:  “to always strive toward excellence in service to our clients,” which is part of our mission statement. With the change in leadership, we renew our commitment to you with a promise to continue to “move the needle” forward until we exceed your expectations.  In addition, we continue to foster a culture where our employees come to work each day expecting a positive experience in their workplace – a place they are proud to share with their own families. During 2017, we will reach out to all of our clients to thank you in our own special way; but if we miss a personal appearance at your workplace in 2017 know that we invite you to celebrate our 60th year of serving you. So thank you to all of our employees, clients, and business/community partners for allowing us to serve you for 60 years and counting.

Pictures below are from Purdy-McGuire’s annual retreats held between 2004 and 2016.

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Turning the Page

Turning the Page

When Dianne Fletcher was hired on as the receptionist/secretary for Ratliff, Irby, Purdy, she had no idea that in a few short years she would be CEO and majority owner of the firm that would ultimately become Purdy-McGuire, Inc. Yeah, she turned a few pages as well as a few heads, I’m sure.

Fast forward to January 2015, some 54 years later and another page-turning year. Dianne retired and handed the company’s leadership reins to Camille Barton – a 8-year Purdy-McGuire veteran at the time. Camille accepted the reins and faced the challenge of leading this great company. Although the other members of our leadership team remained intact, this represented a fresh, new chapter in the Purdy-McGuire story.

For the next four weeks, our leadership team will each use this blog to share their vision for Purdy-McGuire going forward. This is an exciting time for everyone involved with PMI – employees, clients, business partners, and friends. We are proud and thankful to have made and sustained so many relationships over the years, and look forward to more in the future.

The Purdy-McGuire family has a renewed commitment to serving you even better. Let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve. We’re committed to moving the needle.

 

 

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Employee Spotlight – Greg Wiles

Employee Spotlight – Greg Wiles

Greg Wiles came to us through our internship program in Manhattan, Kansas. He stopped along the way to work for another DFW MEP, but he got to PMI as quickly as he could! He is very pleasant to work with, and has the guts to do all sorts of funny things during some of Purdy-McGuire’s wacky events. Check out a few things about Greg – let him know you saw his profile on our website.

  • I have been married to my wife Briana for a little over 2 years. We met when we were both at Kansas State.
  • I have now been in the DFW area for over 5 years. What’s the saying? I wasn’t born here, but I got down here as quick as I could?
  • Most of my family is still up in Kansas, so I make the 5 ½-hour trip quite often to visit them.
  • If you review the PMI Facebook page or attend a PMI event, you’ll see that apparently I will do almost anything for the camera (que the hula hoop video)!
  • I enjoy hunting and fishing very much. I hunt deer, turkey, pheasant, dove, and duck. Right now, I am concentrating on getting my first deer with a bow.
  • I am currently in the process of restoring a 1950 Chevy truck that I drove in high school. It is a fun way to spend your money quickly, and I appreciate my wife’s understanding for me spending countless hours laying on our garage floor.
  • My old truck isn’t my only toy in the garage. Currently I have two dirt bikes, one sport ATV and a really cool moped (is that an oxymoron?).
  • I have taken my dirt bike and ATV to many destinations. One memorable trip was after I graduated from K-State, my family and I took a road trip to St. Anthony Sand dunes in Idaho to play in the giant sand box (10,000 acres of sand to be exact)!
  • Although it is not as impressive as I would like, I have visited 23 states in the US. Eventually I would like to claim them all.
  • My favorite food is Mexican food. I feel like I ended up in the right location for that too.
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Employee Spotlight – Karen Fletcher

Employee Spotlight – Karen Fletcher

Karen Fletcher holds a unique position at Purdy-McGuire. She tackles the huge task of keeping track of professional engineering licenses and CEUs for 13 PEs, and ensures that membership in any industry affiliations (company or individual) are current. She books travel, and supports Accounting in several ways as well. But her creative side surfaces when she plans special events and interacts with our clients. Karen has a real flair for decorating – she’s good at making something that looks “ok” look WOW.   Fortunately for PMI, she willingly and tirelessly gives of herself. Thank you, Karen, for all you do. and for sharing a bit about yourself.

  1. I love shopping, retail, decorating, and crafting – Dianne (PMI’s recently-retired CEO) and I owned a gift store for 15 years in Carrollton, and before that I worked for Happy Happy Hallmark for five years.
  1. Traveling is a passion of mine. I have been to Africa, France, London, Bahamas, and many Caribbean isles and well as 22 states in the US. In fact, last year (2015), I attended a friend’s wedding in Amberley, England at the famous Amberley Castle – it was a real life “fairy tale!”
  1. I am a Certified Personal Trainer through Coopers Clinic and am also certified to teach many cardio classes including Spin.
  1. I used to street cycle with a friend we would reach up to 50-60 mph at a time, several times a week. We would start in Lewisville and ride the back roads all the way to Denton.
  1. I competed in nine bodybuilding competitions and brought home over a dozen trophies, including two swords (which is the overall prize). Now they are collecting dust. LOL
  1. I have led many, many (MANY) committees (PTA, Booster Clubs, Metrocrest Chamber, my daughters sorority, Dallas Safari Club, etc.), and have served as co-chair and vice-president. I even wore the president’s hat a couple of times (the things we do for our children…)
  1. Silly fact – eight years in a row, I spent my birthday in Lubbock, Texas (LBK as we like to call it)!!  And I’ve attended four Texas Tech graduations with one more to go!!! GO Raiders!!
  1. I absolutely LOVE the beach!!! I could spend all my time being a sun bunny! I snorkel, take long walks, hunt for sea shells for my collection, and I even take some sand! Can you believe I can’t really swim? But the great thing about the ocean is that you can float…
  1. I enjoy scrapbooking – I started when my son was about a year old and to this day I have about 25 + albums and am still going strong!
  1. I have two beautiful children who are both married, two nieces (that I helped raise) who are both married, and am the proud aunt/great aunt to 13 nieces and nephews (and one on the way). They’ve nicknamed me “Sissy,” which I cherish because it was given to me by my late brother when he was two years old.
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