This month we honor IT Project Manager Eric Callahan, CTEH’s employee of the month for October 2019. Eric joined CTEH in 2010 and has aided the company through many of its largest and most intense responses. His work in creating in-depth visualizations has been vital in analyzing and interpreting the data our professionals collect in the field. This year, Eric also received a “Best Data and Analytic Presentation” award from the Arkansas GIS Users Forum for his visualization of the 2019 Arkansas River flooding. Below, Eric shares highlights from his experience.

What do you enjoy about your work at CTEH?

I love working with our team, with TERP, and with everyone in different departments. We have a really great team here at CTEH. Lots of highly interesting people who are frankly a joy to work with and solve problems with. I have formed lots of friendships over the years with different people. That’s not that common in workplace settings. Lots of people want to get away from their coworkers. But when you’re working long hours in high-stress situations, you start to form bonds with people.

What motivates you?

Solving problems. I really like to look for the next way to ask, “What can I learn, and then how can I apply that to a problem to make it easier for myself and other people in the future to solve?” That’s what I’m always on the lookout for if I’ve got free time.

Do you have a favorite CTEH memory?

There was a great project we worked on in 2011 in Montana. It was a pretty challenging project. Toward the end, they gave us every other weekend off, so I got to spend some time with my colleagues, and we went hiking in the mountains and white water rafting. That was a lot of fun.

What sets CTEH apart?

I think it’s that the people are willing to tackle big problems and aren’t afraid to take on a challenge. They’re willing to stop and think about a problem and then dive in and try to solve it. I’ve experienced quite a few people who, when they’re faced with a challenge they’re not familiar with, they’ll say they “don’t do it.” They’ll let someone else figure it out. We’re the ones who figure it out. Pretty uniformly, the CTEH culture is willing to tackle problems and try to solve them, whether it’s our responsibility or not.

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