Being a leader takes commitment, passion and energy. Being an effective leader also takes drive, collaboration and lots of teamwork. This week we feature Roseana Richards, PE, LEED AP who is not only a Senior Vice President at Pond, she is also the newest Chairman of the Board of Directors for ACEC Georgia. She has been active with ACEC since 2007, served on the Board since 2009 and received the President’s Award in 2009 and 2010 for her active involvement in committees and forums. When asked about what qualities makes a good leader, Roseana thinks that “a leader doesn’t need to be the outspoken one, but needs to be one that can build consensus in order to get things accomplished. A good leader also needs to walk the talk. You have a lot more credibility when you’re willing to occasionally toe the line alongside some of your followers.”
Roseana is featured in the July/August 2015 issue of Engineering Georgia Magazine in their “Take 10” feature. She was asked 10 questions about herself and the industry. The full publication can be found here.
TAKE 10: A Q&A WITH ROSEANA RICHARDS, ACEC GEORGIA’S NEW 2015-2016 CHAIR
1. You’ve been with Pond & Company for over 20 years now. Tell us about your role.
My role has evolved over the years as the company has grown. When I started at Pond & Company (then Armour, Cape & Pond) in 1993, I was hired as a Senior Mechanical Engineer/Project Manager and the company had just ventured into becoming a full service A/E consulting firm. Today, my role as a SVP primarily focuses on Risk Management, Quality,Project Management training and I’m Principal In-Charge of our Virginia Beach office.
2. What led you to get involved in ACEC Georgia?
I attended several meetings and was interested in the Building Systems Forum. The first year on the Board, I volunteered to help review and update ACEC’s governance documents. It provided an incredible opportunity to learn all about the organization.
3. How have you seen Georgia’s engineering industry change over the last 5 years?
There have been several impactful changes to our industry, both positive and negative. One positive has been the incredible advancements in technology, such as BIM and the associated collaboration tools. These have completely changed the traditional work flow processes and improved the quality and constructability of designs (provided it’s done correctly, that is). It means that change is inevitable and as engineers, we have an opportunity to go along for the ride or help form and shape it to ensure our profession is continued to be valued and not commoditized.
4. What do you think is most important to Georgia’s engineering community in order for it to continue to grow?
If you ask me what contributes to a healthy economy, I’d have to say a reasonable tax rate which doesn’t stifle re-investment and spending. It’s the re investment in equipment, facilities and infrastructure which grows jobs, including engineering jobs, and provides opportunities where they didn’t previously exist.
5. What advice would you give an engineer just beginning his/ her career?
Keep your options open – work in intern positions while in college and see what interests or doesn’t interest you. The most important thing is to find a career and job that you enjoy doing,because life is too short to work 8-10 hours a day doing something that doesn’t make you happy.
6. You’re originally from Maine. What brought you to Georgia?
My husband Dan and I drove here in a 1978 four cylinder Ford Fairmont not long after graduating with our mechanical engineering degrees. The economy in New England in 1985 did not provide many opportunities for two inexperienced mechanical engineers. We decided to drive to Atlanta on the advice of Dan’s sister, who indicated the unemployment rate in the metro Atlanta area was pretty low.The short story is that we both found positions within three weeks and have lived here since.
7. You travel a lot with your role at Pond & Company. What has been your favorite place?
Surprisingly enough, my favorite place is Charleston, SC. I love the architecture of the city, the art galleries, the restaurants, the food and the fact that it’s on the coast. Everywhere you go, you can see something picturesque.
8. Tell us a little bit about your family.
Dan and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary later this year. We have three adult children, the oldest (our daughter) just got married and is in medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; our oldest son will soon graduate with an English teaching degree from Kennesaw State University, and our youngest son has just finished his sophomore year studying mechanical engineering at George Washington University.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy oil painting and anything with arts and crafts. My husband and I also enjoy working on construction projects together. We’re a DIY couple just ask any of the employees at the Johns Creek Lowes.
10. Do you have a favorite vacation spot in Georgia?
We enjoy going up to the North Georgia Mountains and taking day hikes or camping for a a weekend.