Far more men than women traditionally pursue careers in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — and the field of engineering has long been male-dominated. In the early 1980s, only about 5% of engineers in the United States were women, and while that number has improved slightly, it still has a long way to go. Currently, about 14% of engineers and about 18% of engineering college students are women. And, according to the United States Census, those female engineers earn approximately 83% of what their male counterparts earn.
Not so at Tata & Howard. Since the firm’s inception in 1992, Tata & Howard has recognized and rewarded the value of female engineers. Nearly half of the firm’s initial 20 hires were female, and that trend has continued. Today, 34% of our engineering force is female, and about 20% of our total staff are working moms, including our two Co-Presidents, Karen Gracey, P.E. and Jenna Rzasa, P.E. In addition, we place great value on our support staff, many of whom are working moms. This Mother’s Day, we’d like to introduce you to our amazing working moms.
Christine Beliveau, Environmental Specialist, has been with the firm since 2012. Chrissie provides full administrative support to the Environmental Group as well as assists with a variety of other administrative and marketing functions. Chrissie is known throughout the company as the go-to person for any and all things Microsoft Word, and she maintains our company’s resume and project database. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, adult daughter, and young grandson.
Justine Carroll, P.E., Project Manager, has been with the firm since she graduated from Tufts University with a Masters of Science in Environmental and Water Resource Engineering in 2006. Justine serves as Team Leader for the Hydraulics Group and has expertise in hydraulic modeling. She is certified in WaterGEMS and InfoWater modeling software and holds training certifications in ESRI – ArcGIS Desktop II and III. Even though she is a busy working mom, Justine still finds time to spend with her young daughter and to volunteer as a swim coach for Special Olympics.
Amanda Cavaliere, Project Manager, has been with the firm since 2003, and serves as Team Leader for the Water System Improvements Group. She has specialized expertise in water and wastewater system designs as well as experience with site remediation and surveying. When she isn’t managing projects, she enjoys spending time with her son and daughter.
Karen Gracey, P.E., one of our two Co-Presidents, has been with the firm since graduating from the University of Vermont in 1998. She has specialized expertise in water system design, having completed over 25 hydraulic models and holding certifications in both WaterGems and InfoWater software. She also has extensive experience managing the firm’s Business Development activities. Even though she has a lot on her plate running the firm alongside Jenna Rzasa, she still finds time to bring her daughter to gymnastics and to spend time at the Cape with her family.
Patricia Kelliher, Project Engineer, has been with the firm since she graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2010. At that time, Trish was splitting her time between Tata & Howard and the New England Patriots, for whom she was a cheerleader. Since then, she has retired from cheering, gotten married, and had a daughter, who keeps her on her toes when she isn’t designing water mains.
Maria Maynard, Manager of Human Resources, has been with the firm since 2008, and is responsible for all of our recruiting efforts and employee benefits. With over 65 employees, Tata & Howard keeps her very busy — as do her teenaged sons! Maria is an avid CrossFitter, and enjoys running alongside her beloved Pitbull mix, Ruby.
Carmen Perkins, Senior Administrative Assistant, has been with the firm for 11 years. She handles not only administrative tasks, but also helps out the accounting department. If there is ever a question where something can be found, ordered, invoiced, or mailed, Carmen has the answer! In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two adult daughters.
Jenna Rzasa, P.E., our other Co-President, has been with the firm since she graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1997 and has specialized expertise in water system design. She is also a financial guru who manages Tata & Howard’s financials and accounting. When she isn’t busy running the business alongside Karen, she can be found watching her son’s track meets or running a few miles herself.
Allison Shivers, P.E., Project Engineer, joined the firm just a few months ago, and is already an invaluable member of the team. She has targeted expertise in wastewater system design, and she splits her time between our Lakeville and Marlborough offices. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Evelyn Sistak, Administrative Assistant, joined the firm in 2016. Originally from Florida, she is still getting used to the temperamental New England weather. Evelyn handles all things administrative, and is always willing to lend a helping hand whenever she is asked. When she isn’t at work, Evelyn enjoys spending time with her young daughter, who loves everything pink and purple.
Mary Vermes, Senior Staff Accountant, has been with the firm since 2010 and handles all aspects of the firm’s accounting. She is an integral part of the inner workings of the firm, and if it’s accounting-related, Mary will have the answer! When she isn’t crunching numbers, she is getting ready to welcome her first grandchild.
Heidi White, Marketing Communications Manager, has been with the firm since 2012 and handles the firm’s marketing activities. When she isn’t busy preparing proposals or writing blogs like this one, she enjoys kickboxing and spending time with her husband, two young adult sons, and three Yorkshire Terriers. She is also an avid runner who has run to raise money for the Jimmy Fund for the past six years.