2nd Annual Engineering Challenge to benefit The Salvation Army

Jun 15, 2022

Pictured left to right: Aaron Foster of CHA Companies, Jagdeesh Gopal of GM2 Associates, Shawna Bartkus of GM2 Associates, Major Migdalia Lavenbein of the Greater Hartford Salvation Army, Holly Fink, Events & Partnerships Manager for The Salvation Army, Anna Cruz of Benesch, Pina Leone of HNTB Corporation, Jake Argiro of HNTB Corporation, Lauren DiGovanni of HNTB Corporation, Rudy Franciamore of HNTB Corporation

CONNECTICUT – HNTB’s CT office hosted its 2nd Annual Engineering Challenge among Connecticut engineering firms between April 1st and April 29th. The event was organized by the CT office’s Community Involvement Group led by William Edberg, Lauren DiGovanni, Susan Bakulski, Maklye Hawk, and Pina Leone. Funds collected will be used to support The Salvation Army’s Greater Hartford feeding program and will greatly help those in need.

In the first year of the challenge, there were a total of seven companies that participated. This year, there were a total of 11 teams, all striving to take first place! The seven returning CT engineering firms were Jacobs in Wethersfield, Lochner in East Hartford, HNTB Corporation in Rocky Hill, GM2 Associates in Glastonbury, Alfred Benesch & Company in Glastonbury, VN Engineers in North Haven, and CHA Companies in East Hartford. They were joined by newcomers WSP in Glastonbury, AECOM in Rocky Hill, Michael Baker International in Rocky Hill, and Mintz + Hoke in Avon.

A total of 581 employees participated this year as they proudly topped last year’s donations, almost doubling what was raised with a total collection of $19,612. Corporate matches were contributed by GM2 Associates, CHA, Lochner, HNTB, Michael Baker International, Mintz + Hoke, and Alfred Benesch & Company. Congratulations are in order once again to GM2 Associates, Inc., who have now taken 1st place in back-to-back years!

“GM2 is honored to be part of a great program like this and be able to help families through The Salvation Army.  We love to challenge our team members like this and it’s such a shot in the arm to see so many people step up to help others,” said Paul Brand of GM2.

“We are great engineering firms with the ability to make positive impacts in the communities where we work and live. Even as competitors in the industry, this engineering challenge brought us all together to work for one common goal and is a testament to the pledge we make every day to improve the quality of life in our communities. What an amazing engineering community,” said Pina Leone, Project Analyst, HNTB. “It is truly heartwarming to see the tremendous enthusiasm around this event. Our efforts will support The Salvation Army’s year-round tireless work. Together we made a significant impact.”

“The Salvation Army is synonymous with the bells at Christmas, but throughout the year, there are so many other things that we do beyond that type of fundraising for our programs and services,” said Holly Fink, Events and Partnerships Manager for The Salvation Army. “What these eleven firms have accomplished by coming alongside us helps in so many ways.”

“We cannot do what we do without each and every one of you,” said Major Migdalia Lavenbein, officer for The Salvation Army of Greater Hartford, speaking to a group of engineers gathered for the plaque presentation. “We have fed over 319,000 people in Greater Hartford. You helped us do that. We can’t change people’s lives without you.”

“This is Benesch’s second year participating in this event, and we are honored to do so, especially in the company of our Connecticut engineering colleagues. Giving back to the communities we serve is a large part of who we are as a firm—we appreciate the opportunity to support The Salvation Army and help those in need,” said Anna Cruz, Project Assistant for Benesch.

Pina Leone added, “On behalf of the entire Community Involvement Group, a heartfelt thank you to all who participated. We appreciate the firms who gladly and enthusiastically joined this effort, the corporate contributions that made a huge difference to our overall success, and The Salvation Army’s entire team for their logistical support (we are all proud to partner with you in making a difference to so many people’s lives), and a special thank you to all the Challenge Champions who made it happen within each firm. See you all next year, same time, same place!”


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