2020.. What a year!

This year started off like any other. We held our 3rd Annual OE Bass Tournament in late February. LaRee Bossier and her grandson, Logan O’Dell, won 1st place with a 5 fish stringer weighing 13.59lbs. Second and third place also had a 5 fish stringer that weighed in at 12.82lbs and 11.02lbs respectively. Big bass went to Logan O’Dell weighing in at 5.03 lbs. Small bass went to David Monteaux (he did not want us to publish the weight!). Little did we know, this would be the only company outing not cancelled this year.

Shortly after the tournament, the pandemic began to affect our clients and our ability to get into their facilities. Toward the end of March, we made the decision for everyone in our two offices to work from home. What should have been a massive undertaking turned into a nearly seamless operation. The transition for our employees was such a pivotal moment that could have swung us either way. We had some high-profile projects with unrealistic schedules just kicking off, along with the rest of the portfolio already underway. The seamlessness of the transitions undergone in 2020 is a true testament to the dedication of our employees and management. A major “hats off” goes to Jansen Wahl for his IT expertise and can-do attitude during this shift. He never panicked, never wavered, never said “we can’t do that”. He showed up with solutions and made it happen in a matter of a few days. We continued to work from home for a number of months before returning to the office, where we currently are practicing all precautions.

This work ethic and dedication was displayed not only by our in-office employees—our in-plant employees were fighting the same fight with their respective clients’ continual adjustments to the pandemic protocol. They were also forced to work remotely with the expectation of maintaining their established level of quality and accuracy. In some cases, they were brought back to the site, then sent home again, then back to the site again, but as with our in-office employees, there were no beats skipped in the output of our onsite employees.

A silver lining in the dark cloud of 2020: the construction of our new office building was not significantly impacted by the pandemic. We moved into the new office over a weekend in mid-November. With the help of our office furniture supplier (Orange Stationer), our IT Contractor (Discovery), Laura (VP Finance and wearer of many other hats), Renee (HR), plus more, we pulled it off and settled in. We hope to have an open house after the first of the year as well as a grand opening.

Regarding the state of the business, considering the year we had, we are strong. Although we are strong, 2020 was tough as some of our clients shelved projects and/or resorted to drastic budget reductions. However, other clients maintained or even increased their capital spending. We certainly are counting our successes this year considering the pandemic’s impact on the market.

We are safe. We are effective. We are proud of our team. We are Olson Engineering.