Engineering Can Challenge benefits The Salvation Army

May 14, 2021

CONNECTICUT – HNTB’s CT office hosted its first annual Engineering Can Challenge between Connecticut engineering firms between April 1st and April 30th. The event was organized by the CT office’s Community Involvement Group lead by William Edberg, Lauren DiGovanni, Susan Bakulski, Maklye Hawk, and Pina Leone. Food collected will be distributed from The Salvation Army’s food pantry in Hartford and will greatly help those in need. Funds raised will benefit The Salvation Army’s social services at the Citadel in Hartford. Monetary donations coupled with food value donations totaled $10,476.

“We were presented with an opportunity to make a difference for the people in the communities where we work and live; the same communities providing jobs and great projects for us to work on.  We are also presented with an opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ and spread our blessings because we can,” said Pina Leone, Project Analyst – HNTB. 

In this first year of the challenge, there were a total of seven companies participating, all eager to make it into first place.  The initial goal for each participating firm was set at $1,000.  The participating 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.  

A total of 248 employees participated as they proudly surpassed their goal with a total collection of $10,476. Corporate matches were contributed from GM2 Associates, VN Engineers, and Alfred Benesch & Company. Congratulations go to the company in first place, GM2 Associates, Inc.! A trophy plaque will be awarded to hold for one year until it is passed onto the first-place winner of next year’s challenge. 


“I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of the companies who participated in this wonderful event,” said Jacob Argiro, CT Office Leader, HNTB. “As engineers, the goal of our work is intended to benefit people and communities. The Engineering Can Challenge is just another way to make a positive impact. These efforts to support The Salvation Army’s tireless work has made me very proud to be part of this engineering community.”

“Engineering with passion starts with compassion and together we can improve the quality of life in our community,” said Michael Gomez, Director of Business Development, VN Engineers.

“At VN Engineers, it is our commitment and responsibility to provide a positive impact to the neighborhoods we work and live in. Participating in the Engineering Can Challenge allows us to reach the community beyond the traveling public and support our neighbors that may need help during these tough times. We strive every day to ensure that our work has a positive impact on the quality of life for everyone that drives over a highway, railway or sidewalk we designed, and we are honored to be part of and support The Salvation Army with the first annual Engineering Can Challenge to help those in need.”

“Part of Lochner’s culture is giving back to those less fortunate in our communities. Lochner’s Connecticut staff are eager to compete against our fellow local engineers in the Engineering Can Challenge and assist The Salvation Army in helping those around us who are hungry and need help,” said Roy Merritt, Jr., P.E. Chief Inspector/Field Design Engineer, Lochner. “We’re happy to support this great cause when so many are still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic,” said Steven Drechsler, PE, Connecticut Division Manager, Alfred Benesch & Company. “In the engineering community, while we have certainly faced challenges due to COVID-19, we know that others have been hit harder than us, and it’s nice to be able to support The Salvation Army in providing some relief to those who need it most.”

“CHA is happy to lend a hand to this great cause because it follows our motto of Responsibly Improving the World We Live In,” said Aaron Foster, P.E., Project Manager, CHA Companies.

“We’ve all learned through years of experience and working together; success is best achieved with teams and collaboration,” said Pina Leone, Project Analyst, HNTB “Afterall, HNTB is all about teams and collaboration, but most of all it’s about people and this is what our campaign was all about… the positive impact we can make on people’s lives. Over the course of this pandemic, many have lost jobs, homes, or loved ones, and many children have experienced the loss of one or both parents/guardians. We are grateful to organizations like The Salvation Army for distributing our contributions to families and individuals experiencing hunger, homelessness, or hardship. Together we can make a significant impact. We are great engineering firms with the ability to give back to our communities in great ways. HNTB looks forward to meeting everyone for the challenge again same time, same place, next year.”

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