Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Midweek Chuckle

You're probably here because you either have or want a career in engineering, so you'll probably really appreciate this man's enthusiasm for the profession! :)

Can you watch it without laughing out loud?  Find out here:

Friday, December 2, 2011

On Location: Roanoke, Virginia

This month, for those considering employment with Commonwealth, or simply wishing to learning more about us, we are featuring a series of posts showcasing our various office locations.  We are pleased to continue this week by introducing you to our Roanoke, Virginia office in America's picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains.  We trust you will find it, as we do, to be a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

Nicknamed "The Star City," Roanoke, Virginia is considered the cultural and business hub of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is the fourth largest city in the state and is home to many cultural attractions.  Roanoke's bustling city center is filled with lovely historic buildings, amazing upscale restaurants, and great shops.  It's easy to spend a whole day just exploring the blocks of this amazing area.  You may wish to stop by the historic City Market to see the produce and wares grown and created by local producers, especially as Roanoke is located within the designated "North Fork of Roanoke" winemaking region.

Love the outdoors?  Try hiking, biking, walking nature trails, fishing, and paddling in the cool, clear waters.  You'll find an abundance of natural choices in Roanoke with 69 parks, 5 greenways, Carvin's Cove, the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, and Appalachian Trail.

The Roanoke Valley is conveniently located off of Interstate 81 and the Blue Ridge Parkway at the southern tip of the Shenandoah Valley.  Experience the railroad heritage, take in the arts and culture, shop, eat, and enjoy the wealth of outdoor recreation in the heart of breaktaking mountains.  Surrounded by scenic beauty, the Roanoke region is a perfect place for Commonwealth employees to live and work. 

Soak in the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Experience Roanoke's exciting nightlife

Follow your rising star to "The Star City"

Shop, dine, and explore in downtown Roanoke

Pretty as a picture!

Children of all ages enjoy the Shenandoah Valley's rich railroad heritage

Just a few of the highlights:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Location: Mount Vernon, Washington

This month, for those considering employment with Commonwealth, or simply wishing to learning more about us, we are featuring a series of posts showcasing our various office locations.  We are pleased to continue this week by introducing you to our Mount Vernon, Washington office in the rugged and majestic Pacific Northwest.  We trust you will find it, as we do, to be a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

"Spectacular!"  "Breathtaking!"  "Magnificent!" 

These are just a few of the words sure to come to mind when you visit our Mount Vernon location.

Nestled between the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound to the West and the Cascade Mountains with the scenic Cascade Loop drive to the East, Mount Vernon, Washington is the county seat of Skagit County. 

At just 60 miles from Seattle and 90 miles from Vancouver, it is an easy distance to virtually anything you might have in mind.  Skagit County features an abundance of action, adventure, relaxation, and culture, but you don't have to leave home to find recreation, entertainment, and family fun, because Mount Vernon has enjoyed a rating of #1 "Best Small City in America."

Historic Downtown Mount Vernon offers much in the way of boutique and antique shopping and fine dining, or you may wish to grab lunch at one of the great eateries and enjoy the day at Edgewater Park.  Perhaps you'd prefer to walk your dog along the miles of paved trails, take a whale-watching tour in the San Juans, kayak the Skagit River, or go eagle-watching in Concrete. 

In Mount Vernon, the sky's truly the limit.

Be surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery

Explore the limitless playground

Witness firsthand the majestic Bald Eagle in flight

Mount Vernon, a nature lover's paradise

Enjoy the gorgeous Tulip Festival

Tackle the slopes of Mt. Baker

Just a few of the highlights:


A Special "Black Friday" Option

If you will be in the Jackson area and looking for something different to do on Friday, consider brunch at The Granary at Ella Sharp Museum:

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Hot New Orleans Style Beignets
Eggs Benedict - traditional or with salmon cakes
A Variety of Homemade Quiche to include:
Salmon with fresh dill and hollandaise,
Tomato Herb with Goat Cheese
Traditional Quiche Lorraine
Bananas Foster French Toast
Bagels and Homemade Gravlax
Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Homemade Corned Beef Hash
Scandinavian Apple Puff Pancake (Pfannakuchen)
And our regular lunch menu too.

...and touring the W.A. Foote exhibit to learn more about Commonwealth’s roots.  There is a $5.00 admission fee for the galleries.

*The Granary does not take reservations for groups smaller than 6 people.

(With special thanks to Monica Collett for the great suggestion!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Commonwealth Pool Tourney Results

THANK YOU to the company and the participants who helped make Commonwealth's 4th Annual Pool Tournament a success!  

Trophies were awarded to our first and second-place finishers, and a very special "Horse’s Rear" trophy was awarded to the team in last place.

And now, for our award recipients...
  • In first place were the illustrious team of Dave "the Destroyer" Myers and John "Right Pocket" Raymond. 
  • Finishing second were "Magnificent" Mike Petty and Kevin "the Krusher" Stone. 
  • Receiving the non-coveted "Horse's Rear" trophy were Brett "Bruiser" Broxholm and Chase "Champ" Oxbourgh.

Brett "Bank Shot" Stockhill and "Sensational" Sam Cobb finished third.

Door prizes were awarded to everyone and a special thanks goes out to Sandy Fisher who stopped by to watch.

Thanks again to those who participated – we hope to do it again next year!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Reed assumes new post at national engineering firm’s northwest regional office

MOUNT VERNON, WA – Commonwealth Associates, Inc. is pleased to announce that Paul W. Reed, P.E. has been promoted to the position of Transmission Section Manager in its northwest regional office in Mount Vernon, Washington.  “With 13 years’ experience serving the electric utility industry, Paul is an accomplished transmission engineer who brings tremendous insight and expertise to this role,” stated John White, Commonwealth Vice-President and Northwest Regional Manager. 
Reed is a registered professional civil engineer in the state of Washington and received his B.S. from the University of Washington.  Prior to joining Commonwealth in 2010, he was employed as a Transmission Engineer at HDR Engineering, Inc. and at Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue, Washington.  White continued, “Paul looks forward to using his collaborative leadership approach to expand his team and to assist clients in upgrading their transmission infrastructure.”  “The people at Commonwealth are a great team and it’s a real privilege to be able to serve in this new capacity,” commented Reed.
Commonwealth offers a complete package of engineering and consulting services for clients and is proud to be listed among the 2011 Top 40 Design Firms by EC&M Magazine and the 2011 Top 500 Design Firms by  The company maintains principal offices in Mount Vernon, Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; and Jackson, Michigan, along with satellites in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio and Roanoke, Virginia.

For more information, please visit:

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Location: Atlanta, Georgia

This month, for those considering employment with Commonwealth, or simply wishing to learn more about us, we will be featuring a series of posts showcasing our various office locations.  We are pleased to continue this series by introducing you to the great southern city of Atlanta, also affectionately known as "The Big Peach."  We trust you will find it, as we do, to be a wonderful place to live, work, and play.
Despite its humble beginnings as a settlement at the intersection of two railroad lines, Atlanta today is a major business city and the primary transportation hub of the entire Southeastern United States.  It contains the country's third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies and is also home to the many cultural institutions and exhibits.  As Georgia's Capitol and largest city, Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlantic metropolitan area.
Trendy, gracious, vibrant, and energetic, Atlanta is the ultimate blend of Southern hospitality and multicultural influence, lending to its reputation as one of the nation's leading international cities.  Additionally, to the delight of environmentalists, it is unique among all major American cities for its lush tree canopy, earning it the nickname, "City in a Forest."
Whether you are an avid sports fan, a student of urban architecture, or an outdoor enthusiast lured by the balmy climate into one of Atlanta's spectacular city parks, you are sure to find plenty of activities to meet your cultural and recreational needs here.

Atlanta Stadium
Centennial Olympic Park

Atlanta Aquarium

Atlanta Zoo
Just a few of the highlights:

 ·         Atlanta Botanical Garden
 ·         Georgia Aquarium
 ·         Fox Theater
 ·         Braves Museum & Hall of Fame
 ·         Georgia Dome
 ·         Centennial Olympic Park
 ·         Atlanta Motor Speedway  

Don't forget to visit us on Facebook for more great photos and information! 


It's that time of year! Are you ready to bring some cheer?!


Toys for Tots Began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.  In the fall of 1947, Bill's wife, Diane, crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization which would give it to a needy child at Christmas.  When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one.  He did.  Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns each year since 1948.  Over the 62 years of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys and a powerful message of hope to more than 188 million needy children. 

Commonwealth Associates, Inc. is proud to assist in this worthy cause.  We invite you to participate with us by bringing your new, unwrapped toys for children up to age 12, to our office lobby in Jackson. 

Thank you for caring!  YOU make the difference!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A note of thanks...

Today we recognize and applaud the brave men and women who selflessly serve and have served this country so courageously and honorably.

We owe you so much more than words can express. 

Please accept our most heartfelt "Thanks."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On Location: Jackson, Michigan

This month, for those considering employment with Commonwealth, or simply wishing to learning more about us, we will be featuring a series of posts showcasing our various office locations.  We are pleased to start by introducing you to the city we call "home" -- Jackson, Michigan, location for the headquarters of Commonwealth Associates, Inc.  We trust you will find it, as we do, to be a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

From its historic downtown, to the 600 acres of beautiful, open parkland that stretch across the city limits providing limitless outdoor recreational opportunities, Jackson easily earns its designation as one of Michigan’s “Cool Cities.”  Once known as the “Crossroads of Michigan” due to its location at the I-94/US 127 junction and its use as a major railway hub, Jackson has become a crossroads of innovation led by an eclectic group of entrepreneurs and artists. 

The area features numerous festivals and celebrations and cultural activities abound.  Attend the symphony, catch a Broadway show, or stop by the Shakespeare Festival.  History buffs may wish to explore Jackson’s captivating history with a visit to the birthplace of the Republican Party “Under the Oaks,” or soak in her rich heritage with tours of Underground Railroad and Civil War sites.  Wine lovers can spend the day at their favorite local winery and race fans can try their hand at a lap around the famed Michigan International Speedway.  Love the water?  You’ll find plenty of it to play in here, so grab your gear and set off on an adventure.

In the “Rose City,” there’s something for everyone…making it the perfect place to call home.

Cascade Falls, Cascades Park

Destination: Downtown - an art lover's paradise

Jackson's Civil War Muster

Just a few of the highlights:

Don't forget to visit us on Facebook for more great photos and information! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spooktacularly good fun...

Now that the sugar coma is finally wearing off, it's time to fill you in on the great time we recently had at our annual company Halloween Party, organized by Dept. 50.

Folks couldn't wait to get in on the fun!  The line started forming early outside the door to get into the festively decorated side conference room.  With lights low and the tables set with fun decor and tasty treats of doughnuts, cider, candy, fruit, cheese and crackers, etc., attendees began to enter, undeterred by the hauntingly creepy music which helped to set the tone.  Upon doing so, they were treated to a selection of costumes, masks, and other playful accessories to have fun with to further liven the mood. 

Post-event comments confirm it was another great success -- one which would not have been possible without the help of fellow colleagues willing to lend a hand with decorations and Commonwealth (100% employee-owned and managed!) for providing the yummy treats!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recruitment: Full court press?

While the phrase "court recruits" might evoke the image of a delectable meal at a trendy, new bistro, it actually refers to Commonwealth's hoops action.  Engineer John Stieber and a group of colleagues have been playing basketball Monday nights after work at the RAC, Jackson County's nearby multi-purpose sports facility, and the group is looking to expand.

Stieber, a guard/power forward, recently took a few minutes to share a little bit about the team.  He noted that the real secret to their on-court success was that the players share a common bond.  That bond: 60Hz.  "It helps us to stay on the same wavelength on the court," he said. 

When asked whether anyone on the team might be likely to switch careers and turn pro, Stieber replied, "It's mostly just getting out to have fun and get exercise; I personally won't entirely give up my goal of becoming a professional athlete until I hit 35, but as a group our focus is to have fun."  Not unexpectedly, this news was most reassuring to the team in HR.

Stieber indicated that, beyond the friendships and opportunity to socialize, what he liked best about working at Commonwealth was that "Commonwealth has given me important projects to work on the day I began working here as an intern.  This exposure, and having supervisors that have been in the business for decades means that I've been able to grow my skills very quickly."  He continued, "Commonwealth encourages personal growth and will help you in your goals, such as obtaining a master's degree or becoming a professional engineer."

If you are looking for a rewarding career and fun activities in which to take part, then you'll want to learn more about Commonwealth.  Just visit

No basketball skills are necessary, but they're always welcomed.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Commonwealth President, Dennis F. DeCosta with SVP Stephen W. Arnold

This blog is a place to learn more casually about Commonwealth: what it's like to work here, what our people have to say, and what fun things we do.  I hope you will check back each month for new interest stories and updates.  Our main blog, "Connect with Confidence at Commonwealth," features more frequent postings and is another terrific source for learning more about Commonwealth Associates.  Please click here to view it now.

Have a great weekend!