Faces in the Crowd

Name: Greg Skemp

Employer: City of Janesville      How Long:  2-1/2-years

Title: Engineering Technician

Education: BS in History/ Social Studies Education from UW-Platteville

Special Certifications, Awards, or Honors:  HTCP PCCTEC-I Certification

What about Public Works is exciting to you? What drives you to serve the public?  

I enjoy the daily interaction with City staff, contractors and the public. I serve the public with the hope that I am making a difference in their daily lives. Street and utility improvements go a long way, but sometimes the small things can make a difference as well. It could be as simple as a smile and a wave, or a brief conversation with a resident who lives near a project.

What is the best Public Works innovation you’ve seen in your career?  

The best innovation I’ve seen is the use of horizontal directional drilling to accomplish difficult projects. I have worked on a few projects where it was used, and it was a huge benefit especially when encountering sensitive areas like wetlands, rivers and streams.

What has been the biggest challenge – or – what do you see as the biggest challenge going forward? 

Sometimes the biggest challenge can be educating the public on why we are doing the things we do. Spending their tax monies wisely is a major concern, but we also need to be mindful of our infrastructure needs as well. Sometimes it can be difficult for residents to understand how a project may be benefiting them while they are being inconvenienced by street or driveway closures. Improvement of the communities we live and work in is the ultimate goal.

How do you spend your free time when you’re not serving the public?  

I enjoy spending time with my wife Stacy, children (Bryce – 6 and Mckinley – 3), and our families and friends. I am a WIAA licensed high school football and baseball official and I also enjoy hunting and watching sports (in person and on t.v.).

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Name: Sean Gehin

Employer: City of Wausau      How Long:  5 years

Education: Bachelor‘s degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech University. Emphasis in Transportation and Water Resources

Special Certifications, Awards, or Honors: I am a Licensed Professional Engineer in Wisconsin. I’ve had the opportunity to work on many interesting projects over the years. For example, the 400 Block Reconstruction Project in the City of Wausau received an APWA Project of the Year Award as well as an ACEC Award.

What about Public Works is exciting to you? What drives you to serve the public?  As a Project Engineer for the City, I enjoy being involved in a large variety of projects such as roadway reconstructions; extension and replacement of utilities; parking lot and multi-use trail improvements; as well as oversite of the City’s MS4 stormwater permit. I grew up in Wausau so it is an honor to serve my home town. I enjoy being involved with improving and maintaining the City’s infrastructure in an efficient manner.

What is the best Public Works innovation you’ve seen in your career?  Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of design software packages; however, Civil3D has been one of the best innovations that I’ve seen. Civil3D has really help complete projects efficiently with limited staff.

What has been the biggest challenge – or – what do you see as the biggest challenge going forward? One of the biggest challenges is maintaining and repairing aging infrastructure with limited budgets. Municipalities just don’t have the fund to keep up with the required maintenance of roads, utilities, etc. It will be important for all communities to work together to find innovative ways to fund these projects.

How do you spend your free time when you’re not serving the public? I spend my free time coaching football, basketball, and soccer for my two kids Noah and Ava (10 years and 8 years old). When I’m not coaching, I like to spend time fishing, boating, and hunting at my family’s cabin on the Willow Flowage located in Oneida County.

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