We are bringing you another Q&A session this time with Senior Associate on the Green/LEED team, Natalie Terrill.
We hope that you enjoy getting to know the people behind the various service offerings at Vidaris.
What's your commute like?
NT: Atrocious. It’s 4 hours round trip. I take it a bit easier on Friday’s and work from the Norwalk office, then it’s about 30 minutes.
Early riser or night owl?
NT: Are you kidding me? With my commute I’m forced into being an early riser. Now days I’m up early even on the weekends. You can get a lot done when you’re up before everyone else.
Do you have weird quirks?
NT: Me, really? Where do I even start with that one? Of course I do!
Natalie dressed up as Dead Marilyn for the 2015 Norwalk Office Halloween Party
What's the food you can't live without?
NT: Coffee is a food group right?
Tell us about your family:
NT: My husband and I are high school sweethearts from the Midwest. I have a very large, very loud family and my husband comes from a small, quiet family.
We now live in Connecticut and have two dogs; a Great Dane and a Maltese.
What are you inspired by?
NT: Lifelong learners. I love to hear the stories behind people who’ve accomplished great things. Everybody that has success can tell you about all the failures or lessons learned to get them where they are and how they embraced those moments.
What's your favorite TV show?
MV: I’m a big fan of the Marvel tv shows and Netflix Originals - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Dare Devil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage – that kind of stuff. Truly though, I mostly watch anime.
3 Things you can't live without?
NT: Family, Friends and Food!
If you weren't doing what you are doing what would you be?
NT: I’m passionate about philanthropic sustainability. I’m starting to get involved with some of the issues the state of Connecticut is facing with environmentally sound and socially equitable solutions to economic growth and clean energy.
Favorite vacation spot?
NT: I like warm coastal cities with white sandy beaches. I’m planning a trip to Singapore next spring.
Animal you most resemble
NT: Platypus. I often feel like a hodge-podge. I have to be very flexible and adaptable in my role – I’m never quite sure what I’ll be walking into.
Most relatable TV Character:
NT: Umm, Dexter? HAHAHA, gotcha. No, really, I’m not sure. I’m referred to as “The Closer”, but I’ve never watched the show. I hope it’s not a bad thing. I’m assured it’s because I’ll roll up my sleeves and get the job done, no matter the assignment.
Book Read over and over:
NT: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Favorite Lunch Spot:
NT: I default to Essen almost every day. It’s quick and easy and the selection is great. It’s also right across the Street from Birch – my favorite coffee shop.
What do you do when not in the office?
NT: Right now, unfortunately, work and study. Otherwise, I enjoy travel, hiking with my dogs and home improvements.
Favorite office Memory:
NT: It was amazing to see the outpouring of support for our colleague when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. I think I shocked everyone when I showed up to our holiday party with a shaved head for cancer awareness. I was not prepared for everyone to start sharing their own stories; it was very emotional and very touching.
What made you do what you do?
NT: I was always building and tinkering with things as a child. I was building massive things out of cardboard boxes and smaller scale things out of stained popsicle sticks because I loved the stained color on the wood grain.
Growing up, we used to visit the Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum in Lincoln, Nebraska every Arbor Day. Arbor Day focusses on environmental preservation - saving and planting trees.
It was no question I was going into architecture. Once I started the curriculum I took every class I could on passive solar design and anything that had to do with sustainability. At the time, there was only one instructor teaching anything about sustainability, and I took every course he offered. I guess I was just drawn to it.
Tell us more about your position:
NT: I manage the Sustainability Group with John Amatruda and provide technical leadership, oversee project budgets, maintain client relations and improve group efficiencies.
I also manage projects. I assist teams with the implementation of sustainable strategies to achieve third part certifications - to date I’ve certified over 10 million square feet of spaces both nationally and internationally!
I’m also working on some corporate initiatives that I’m excited about, currently, the formalization of Vidaris’ Professional Development Program.
Defining moment at Vidaris:
NT: Prior to the IBA/Vidaris merger I was running the Kansas City, MO office. I made the decision to move back to the Northeast when the companies merged. Nobody really remembered who I was, or what my qualifications were, because I had been away for nearly five years. That was tough.
NT: I started my career with John Amatruda and Adrian Tuluca in 2005 at Steven Winter Associates. At the time I was a fresh architecture grad interested in sustainability, but while I was interviewing all the firms told me they didn’t do the work I wanted to do – they hired a consultant. So I applied at the consultancy firm to chase my dreams.