MFA Values Come to Life

Author: Alistaire Clary, PE Published: April 13, 2018

The culture of an organization is many things, one of which is values. “Values, shmalues,” you might say, “that’s just corporate jibber-jabber.” To some degree, yes. What’s really important is the values in action. If you’ve worked with our staff at MFA, you may have seen our values in action, and been like, “yes, more of that please.” Well, here’s another helping: in celebration of our staff and their great work, we’ve created the iCARE Awards to recognize individuals that exemplify our core company values of innovation, collaboration, agility, respect, excellence, and community service. Read on to learn about our recent award winners and how we’ve seen our values play out in their work.


Alex Brasch, GIS/Data Analyst, is a truly outstanding contributor who makes our GIS and data group more cost-competitive, accurate, and agile. Alex uses his expertise in data software Alteryx and robust research skills to apply spatial data at a granular level and to improve our service delivery. This enhanced delivery has been a game-changer for both our firm and clients.


Fitting, a team is winning the collaboration award! Emily Curtis, Project Health, Safety, and Environmental Specialist; Merideth D’Andrea, Senior Geologist; Erik Naylor, Project Environmental Scientist; Ted Wall, Vice President/Principal Engineer; Mary Benzinger, Project Chemist; and Kelly Titkemeier, Staff Geologist, earned the award for collaboration for their quick response to a boom lift that caught fire at a client’s construction site. Their amazing team coordination helped the client through an otherwise stressful event and made sure the client’s needs and tight deadline were met.


Stephanie Ashmore, Accounts Payable Specialist, embodies agility. She juggles many requests from staff, maintains her accounts payable and payroll duties, and makes it look easy at the same time. Plus, she pitches in on her days off just to make sure everything is taken care of.


Jerry Oelerich, Data Analyst, takes respect to the next level. A champion of his colleagues, Jerry fosters and encourages new ideas, validates opinions, and values input in group meetings and in one-on-one conversations. His dedication and work ethic show his level of respect for his job, and in turn, he has earned much respect from colleagues.


Mary Benzinger, Project Chemist, is our winner for the Excellence iCARE Award. Mary constantly pushes her team and our labs to provide thorough, quality data. Data is often the basis for making decisions. If we don’t have excellent data, we can’t make excellent decisions. Thankfully, Mary is a tireless advocate for excellent work in this arena.

Community Service

Chad Darby, Principal Air Quality Consultant, is recognized for his community service. Chad is the Executive Director of Neighbors Nourishing Communities, a non-profit organization in Tualatin that he founded in 2013. This non-profit provides free garden spaces, classes, tools, seeds, and plants to the community and encourages donating a portion of their produce to food pantries, seniors, and low-income families. He regularly spends his nights and weekends helping these families with their gardening needs.