Words of Wits & Wisdom with Sandra Scanlon…

Why did you choose your profession?

  • Process of elimination – I shadowed an architect and didn’t like it; I took mechanical and civil engineering classes and didn’t like them; and I was good at math, programming and electrical engineering classes, so that’s where I stayed.

When have you been most satisfied in your life?

  • Now – I’ve been purposeful at chasing my goals and dreams and I’m doing pretty good so far.  Plus I just turned 50, so I think I’ve got this “adulting thing” figured out.

What surprises you every day?

  • My 21-year-old son – I love seeing the world through his eyes and opinions and that he is willing to share those with me.  We have a great relationship.

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?

  • In my previous career in the petroleum industry with Amoco Oil, I was the Owner’s lead electrical engineer on a new chemical plant being designed by an engineering firm in Rome, Italy for a location in South Carolina.  My job was to oversee the design by the Italian firm and explain the National Electric Code, among other codes as well as Owner Standards to the design team.  Their lead electrical was much my senior and supposedly the rest of his team didn’t speak English.  I traveled several times to Rome and had to gain his respect and trust by proving my technical knowledge as well as overcome the hurdles of being a woman in a male dominated field, especially in Italy.  All in all it was a success and had a great time learning so much on so many levels.

Where do you see the company in 25 years?

  • Unified across several locations and known for its brand reputation for adherence to producing a quality product while having fun helping our clients solve their design challenges.

If you weren’t with BCER what would you be doing?

  • Working for Habitat for Humanity and serving on a few corporate or non-profit boards.  I intend to retire from BCER.

What is your passion?

  • Helping others see their potential.  I am a long-time advocate for STEM outreach and helping kids learn more about STEM careers as well as helping young women stay in STEM careers.  I am also an advocate for safe and affordable housing for all – thus my involvement in Habitat for Humanity.

If you had 30 minutes of free time, how would you spend it?

  • Anything outside.  I love being outdoors.

What do you want to tell your building Owners?

  • Invest in the right long term solution and not the quick fix up front, even if it means a long term plan of progressive projects.  AND we can help them with that.

What keeps you doing what you are doing?

  • I love the career I have chosen and others value what I have to share.

How do you want to be remembered?

  • As a loving person with high integrity who always did what was right, even if no one was watching.  I want to be remember for the experiences people had with me and not the “stuff” I left behind.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

  • Oh, if only my body would cooperate on that one…because I wouldn’t grow up, I would keep doing the stuff I could do in my 20’s, but with all the wisdom I have now.