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OBG takes part in SWE WE Local Milwaukee

Laura Calandra discusses community engagement in environmental remediation programs

OBG recently took part in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) WE Local Milwaukee conference in Wisconsin. A collaboration between SWE Headquarters, members, and local organizations with a goal is to see women achieve their fullest potential in­­ careers as engineers and leaders, WE Local brings together people in all stages of their collegiate and professional journey to learn and connect through workshops, networking, inspirational presentations, and outreach activities.

During WE Local Milwaukee, Laurie Parsons, PE, a senior vice president at OBG and leader in the company’s environmental business, participated on a panel session called, Getting People to Talk about Unconscious Bias. Laurie joined Michelle Matthai of Rockwell Automation and Susan Schlett, a SWE Life Member and former UTC Engineer, to talk about the importance of understanding why unconscious bias exists, how it affects decision-making processes, and how awareness leading to behavioral change can positively affect business performance.

An expert in environmental remediation and liability matters, Laurie consults at the corporate strategic level and on individual environmental programs needing remedial decisions. Laurie’s active involvement extends across many professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and The Water Council, and community outreach programs that engage local high school students in learning about STEM careers. 

Learn more about Laurie in a recent highlight from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. 

Engineering degree, passion for water spark successful consulting career

OBG’s Laura Calandra, EIT, a civil/geo-environmental engineer, also took part in the WE Local event. She discussed the importance of community engagement when remedial actions encroach on residential areas or indirectly affect the community. Her presentation focused on a project in Upstate New York, where early and sustained engagement with the community facilitated a smooth implementation of required soil removal in residential backyards.

Early Community Engagement Leads to Successful Remediation [PDF]

Laura is actively involved in her community and is a lifelong volunteer for science fairs and other events hosted by the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse, New York.