CBBEL is excited to welcome Jenny Leshney, PE as our new director of engineering. Jenny joins us after nearly 13 years in the public sector as the city engineer in Lafayette. Through her role there she had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects ranging from drainage and streetscape improvements, to pedestrian bridges and sewer tunnels. In her new role at CBBEL, she leads a creative and outgoing team of engineers specializing in water resources and Nerf gun battles. Below she tells us what she loves about engineering and why she is ready for the challenges of her new role.
1. How long have you been doing your thing?
I’ve been in the industry since 1990. Two years with the Department of Natural Resources, 12 years in consulting (water, wastewater treatment, utilities, storm water, parks, traffic, roads, land development), one year as an economic development director, and 12 years as a city engineer and public works director. A long time!
2. What made you choose this field? What do you find most interesting about engineering?
This profession has just always been with me. For my 6th grade science fair project, I designed a sustainable city long before I truly knew what sustainable meant. In retrospect, I chose wisely when I chose Purdue Engineering and figured it out.
This profession is diverse and creates true and lasting impacts in the lives of people and the built environment. If you can’t make a difference and matter every day, what would be the point of continuing to practice? It keeps life interesting, exciting and joyful!
3. What about your new role with Burke most excites you?
I’m excited and grateful to be able to work with many communities on many different projects and share any insights from my experience with the CBBEL team. It will be fun to learn and grow and continue in this career that has given so much to me.
4. Having been on the other side of the table, what, in your opinion, is the most important take away for consultants?
Clients are too busy to read lengthy emails, so stop sending them! If an email has more than three sentences with more than one subject, pick up the phone and call the client. If it has been more than a month since you talked to the client, call them and share your progress or lack thereof and challenges you are having with progress. A five-minute phone call can change the entire relationship and the client’s confidence in your ability to get the job done.
5. If you could be any natural feature, what would you be and why?
I would be a mountain, for no other reason than hiking in the Smokey Mountains is one of my favorite things to do. Or maybe because the view from the top gives me such an appreciation of this world and my insignificance is palpable? Or because the sense of accomplishment of making it to the top makes me feel as big as the mountain and that I can do anything if I set my mind (and body) to it.