Employee Spotlight: Vern Settle

Riverside's Chief Financial Officer, Vern Settle

Riverside's Chief Financial Officer, Vern Settle

Vern grew up in rural Washington state near a fishing town, in a house on a beach, overlooking part of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.  He graduated from the same high school as his father and grandfather. Vern then graduated from Western Washington University and promptly moved to southern California, where he met his wife and lived for ten years before moving to Loveland in 1994.   The youngest of his three kids is the only Colorado native in the family.  Riverside is the first non-manufacturing job Vern has held.   As the CFO, he is responsible for financial reporting, financial planning, banking relationships, risk management and everything else financial.  Vern received his CMA (certified management accountant) certification 10 years ago and is now working on a follow-on CSCA (certified in strategy and competitive analysis) certification. He will sit for the exam in March.

Vern and his family enjoy vacationing in Mexico, usually Playa del Carmen & Puerto Vallarta, and quick trips to Las Vegas in the winter to catch a little warmth.  

1.      What three traits describe you? 
         a.) Outdoorsy
         b.) Patient, able to defer gratification
         c.) Numbers oriented (I have a spreadsheet for everything)

2.      What are you most excited or passionate about in your career?
          
Making a business succeed through strategy and planning.

3.      What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
          Right out of college, I took a job at a tax-preparer shop in Oxnard, CA.  On the first day, I realized the owner was running a scam to get as many customers through the shop by getting them unreal (and fraudulent) refunds.  I guess he had been doing this for a couple of years.  He developed a blue-collar (oil rigs) clientele.  The word had spread of the near 100% refunds and the lines were out the door.   I quit at the end of the day.  All the clients got audited and the owner went to jail a year later.  

4.      What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
       
 I probably be building a real estate investment business by flipping houses.

5.      Who lives in your house (people, pets, etc.)?
         My wife, Laura and her five cats (not mine!).    My son, Kevin is still living with us and saving money to buy a house.

6.      Tell us something that might surprise us about you. 
         While I was in college, I fished commercially in Alaska on a salmon seine boat. 

7.      What was your favorite subject in school and why?
          Economics.    It just made the world make sense to me.

8.      What kind of music do you listen to?
          I can listen to most classic rock and country music.  I really like big band music as well.

9.      You can only eat the same three foods for the rest of your life. What are they?
          Qdoba burritos, grilled elk steaks and apple pie.

10.  Tell us about your most unique travel experience.
        Piloting my brother’s 38 ft. dive boat from Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska.

11.   Name a food item you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
        Lutefisk.   I grew up in a town with great Scandinavian heritage.

12.   What movie could you watch over and over? Why?
         The Perfect Storm.  I can relate to it pretty well with my fishing experience.

13.   Tell me about your best friend.
         
Mick is my best friend.  We were roommates in college.  He has stayed true to his values since day one and is a successful businessman owning the same sound production/reinforcement business since we were roommates.

14.   Who would play you in a movie about your life? What would be the title of that movie?
         Robert De Niro.   “The Greatest Fisherman who ever Lived”.

15.   Tell us about your best live performance experience.
         I was a drummer.  I met some guys on college who wanted me to play in their band.   They were complete hacks but had a lot of stage charisma.  They got a gig to play at some outdoor event on campus.  I agreed to do it but did it with a paper bag over my head as “the unknown drummer”.  It ended up being a successful, fun and funny gig.  

16.   If you could choose one amenity to add to the workplace, what would it be?
        Personal, free tech support available all the time.

 

Riverside Technology hosts Side Panel Discussion at AMS Conference in January

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Riverside Technology, inc. and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) will host the Side Panel Discussion: “Unlocking the Value of Satellite Observations for the Public through Cloud-Based Access” on Tuesday January 9, 2018 from 12:15pm-1:15pm. This will take place in room 18CD at the Austin Convention Center and Hilton. The panel features NOAA’s Chief Data Officer and Big Data Project Director, Dr. Ed Kearns as well as experts from the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites-North Carolina (CICS-NC), Amazon Web Services, IBM, Open Commons Consortium, and Digital Globe.  They gather to discuss how NOAA’s satellite resources may be made available to a wider community through cloud-based platforms that focus on maximizing data usability and accessibility.

Panelists will discuss their experiences with GOES-16 and other satellite data on their cloud platforms, how these platforms can be used to support the development and distribution of future satellite products, and their view of the future for the cloud to ensure the maximum extraction of value for NOAA’s data users. Q&A will seek user feedback on cloud data access, the NOAA BDP activity, and the suitability of the cloud for development and distribution of new information products. A limited number of boxed lunches will be provided by Riverside and AER.

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Employee Spotlight: Gemma Ray

Gemma at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Gemma at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Gemma Ray is Riverside’s Payroll and Billing Specialist. She began employment with Riverside in March of 2016. Her job duties consist principally of processing payroll for 130+ employees and billing preparation and processing for Riverside’s valued customers.  Prior to arriving at Riverside, Gemma has worked for many different companies and in many different capacities, from payroll, to general accounting, to project capital accounting and billing. 

Gemma was born in the Philippines and emigrated to the U.S. She worked her way through college at Metro State, and has been working ever since.  My employers were also located all over the Front Range, including working for several years at the City of Loveland, both for the general accounting department for city administration, as well as with the water and power utility departments.  Because of the various jobs she has held, Gemma now finds herself to be very appreciative of the staff and management here at Riverside, combined with the variety of the job.

1.      What three traits describe you? 

I am determined to resolve all employee payroll issues as quickly and as flawlessly as possible.

I am conscientious about my responsibilities because I know the monetary matters I deal with daily have a very profound and personal impact on the hard-working individuals (and families), who are the foundation of Riverside’s success.

I pride myself on my organizational skills which I have developed over the numerous years of my career (sometimes from the experience acquired with wisdom, but more often as is the case, from mistakes I have seen made at other companies which I don’t want to see any staff repeat here at Riverside).

2.      What are you most excited or passionate about in your career?

I enjoy all the new challenges associated with implementing new accounting and payroll systems which replace older, less capable, and less efficient applications.

3.      What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

When I was in college, I used to work as a restaurant delivery girl.

4.      Who lives in your house (people, pets, etc.)?

As of the departure of my eldest son (18) to the Colorado State University dorms last month, I now share my home with my husband; my youngest son (13 years old) and my hard working, stubborn mother who is amazingly still staunchly determined to continue working nearly full time at 77 years of age!

5.      Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  

I have travelled (and part of the time I was even awake enough to enjoy the lovely scenery out the window) through part of Europe (France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy) on a bus tour. 

6.      If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, dead or alive, who makes the guest list?

I would invite David Copperfield, Michael Jackson, Thorin Oakenshield (the character, not the actor), and my best friend from high school.

7.      If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

I would choose the ability to shoot laser beams out of my eyes at any other drivers, pedestrians, or birds who threatened to get too close to my beautiful car (My Precious)! J

8.      Tell us about your most unique travel experience.

My hotel room in Venice was so small, you couldn’t even sit up in bed without hitting your head on the ceiling rafter!  Likewise, the ceiling height was so low in the bathroom that you couldn’t even stand up to take a shower!  AND there wasn’t even a shower curtain to stop the water from spraying all over the bathroom floor! 

9.      What movie could you watch over and over? Why?

All of the 3 Hobbit movies! *THORIN OAKENSHIELD* Rocks!   

10.  Tell me about your best friend.

She is hilarious and always makes me laugh!  She lives in Japan.

11.  Who would play you in a movie about your life? What would be the title of that movie?

Sandra Bullock.  “The Rocky Road Through Life to Find Happiness Requires Courage and Faith.”

12.  Tell us about your best live performance experience.

Probably when I saw Janet Jackson in Denver?

13.  If you could choose one amenity to add to the workplace, what would it be?

Personal espresso maker with all necessary supplies provided by the company!

Small Business Innovation Research for Risk-Based Decisions

Riverside and our Asheville-based partners, NEMAC and FernLeaf, have developed web-based tools to connect severe weather with socioeconomic information to help identify vulnerability of assets and to inform risk based decisions. We developed tools to integrate data from National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data centers with socioeconomic and other custom datasets. Our initial efforts have been to develop tools, services, and datasets to help community Emergency Managers (EMs) and city planners connect severe weather to hazards with socioeconomic information to determine exposure and to inform resiliency planning.

Our recently available Severe Weather Climatology and Data website, sbir.riverside.com, provides publicly available product information, highlights NCEI data, demonstrates our free interactive tools, and points customers to our fee-based products and services. 

Other aspects of the SBIR project are still under development.

  1. Severe Weather Risk Assessment. These are free interactive web-based tools that are integrated with the Severe Weather Climatology and Data website. These tools provide integrated access to processing and analysis of publicly available datasets. They visualize the available data sources in meaningful ways to enable users to explore severe weather, the resulting hazards, and their impacts on society.
  2. Customized Severe Weather and Multi-Hazard Risk Tools and Services.  These paid products will include software, data, and services customized for communities.

Riverside’s corporate mission is to “improve lives and livelihoods by leveraging environmental intelligence to solve the world’s most challenging water, land, and climate related problems.” By participating in these research projects and through our partnerships with businesses and institutions, we aim to advance the overall understanding of the severity and frequency of extreme events, and provide tools for decision makers in their planning and response.

To insure that our customers can fully apply our tools to their risk analysis needs, we have designed the tools to match the risk process and definitions outlined in the US Climate Resilience Toolkit (toolkit.climate.gov). We assume that most of our customers will be using a risk analysis process similar to the one utilized by the US Climate Resilience Toolkit.

To insure that our customers can fully apply our tools to their risk analysis needs, we have designed the tools to match the risk process and definitions outlined in the US Climate Resilience Toolkit (toolkit.climate.gov). We assume that most of our customers will be using a risk analysis process similar to the one utilized by the US Climate Resilience Toolkit.

Collaboration between Riverside Technology, inc. and TruWeather Solutions

TruWeather Solutions provides forecasting and alerting technology

TruWeather Solutions provides forecasting and alerting technology

Riverside has worked for more than 30 years to meet the unique and changing needs of the water and weather industry. We have long believed in collaborating with companies providing cutting-edge technology to bring science-based actionable information to their clients. We are therefore proud to announce a relationship with TruWeather Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) headquartered in Virginia, and operating out of New York State. TruWeather is focused on accelerating weather science and technology from labs and universities into commercial operations. TruWeather’s cutting-edge capabilities provide clients a competitive advantage through organization-wide dissemination of highly customized weather messages and visualizations to plan, prepare, and execute decisions and actions consistently for any type of weather scenario. TruWeather has a proven framework for recovering lost profits for weather sensitive businesses.

Onion Creek in Austin, TX after catastrophic flooding in 2013. As mapped by RiverTrak.

Onion Creek in Austin, TX after catastrophic flooding in 2013. As mapped by RiverTrak.

By joining the functionality of Riverside’s RiverTrak real-time flood inundation maps with TruWeather’s weather forecasting data and alerting platform, we provide an end-to-end solution to improve the quality of data for emergency managers, first responders, community planners, and for businesses and individuals who are affected by weather and flooding. This serves as an essential source of information for planning, preparation, response, and recovery.

Riverside and TruWeather are working together towards a complex view of how water and weather events impact business intelligence and supply logistics decision while simplifying that information for organizations. We will continue the ongoing work of assessing impacts of water quality and how it affects aquiculture and agriculture by way of heavy rains impacting specific areas and evaluating how to best address and mitigate issues that arise.

Riverside and TruWeather are beginning our collaboration with actionable information about the Onion Creek watershed in Austin Texas as a showcase for the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in January 2018. This will demonstrate the synergy between RiverTrak’s flood inundation mapping, showcasing a scenario of an extreme flood event, and TruWeather’s alerting capabilities for an emergency management use case.

In addition, Riverside and TruWeather will begin collaborating on a solution incorporating both fine-scale weather forecast and alerting capabilities, and flood inundation mapping for the State of New York. TruWeather is a certified New York State SDVOSB and is one of very few addressing the complex weather needs in that area.

We are enthusiastic about this partnership and look forward to the many opportunities ahead as we continue to address the challenges of rapidly changing water and weather needs in our country and the world.

To learn more about TruWeather Solutions please visit: TruWeather Solutions. Additional details about RiverTrak can also be found at www.rivertrak.com. 

Employee Spotlight: Jeff Trew

Jeff Trew

Jeff Trew

Jeff Trew took his first trip as a longline explorer for the Pelagic Observer Program (POP) on the fishing vessel ADAM-C out of Panama City, FL. The ADAM-C was one of the first instances of conducting offshore research on a commercial fishing vessel. Jeff’s work was invaluable to the continuation of the program as well as paving the way for future observers. In his career, he has exceeded 150 trips and spent nearly 2,000 sea days. Over the past 18 years Jeff has proven himself to be one of the hardest working individuals to join the POP effort. His supervisors and colleagues have praised his incredible work ethic and noted him as a desired team member to have on the most challenging trips.

His experience, reliability, positive attitude, and amiability over the years have endeared him to those who have worked with him. Many vessels mention Jeff by name, commend the quality of his work, and relay how enjoyable it is to be around him as a person and co-worker. In an often-unforgiving marine environment, his pleasant personality is a welcome change.  Jeff is spoken of as a great story teller and conversationalist, with an uncanny ability to remember details and personal information. He exhibits joy in the work that he does and deeply cares about his colleagues and his work. Jeff represents Riverside, NOAA, and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with a professionalism we should all strive to replicate.

Bridge Sensor Installation on the Poudre River

On this beautiful Thursday morning in the Poudre Canyon, Riverside was excited to be a part of the installation of a Bridge Mounted River Stage Sensor on the North Poudre River near Bellvue, CO. Dan Ceynar, Project Engineer with the Iowa Flood Center (IFC), joined Riverside’s Product Manager Sean McFeely for this installation.

Sean McFeely (left) Product Manager for RiverTrak, assists Dan Ceynar (right) of Iowa Flood Center to install a Sensor on the Poudre River near Bellvue.

Sean McFeely (left) Product Manager for RiverTrak, assists Dan Ceynar (right) of Iowa Flood Center to install a Sensor on the Poudre River near Bellvue.

The IFC has done extensive research in the development of these sensors, and Riverside is incorporating them as data points to increase the reach and accuracy of flood inundation maps for our RiverTrak product. This gage is only the second of its kind to be used outside the State of Iowa. Not only will it deliver useful data to the local community, but it will also serve as a real-life testing ground for improved global flood modelling and forecasting technology.

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Riverside is proud of our collaboration between research facilities, private business, and local communities. We have partnered with the University of Iowa, Colorado State University, and the University of Kansas to create real-time flood inundation mapping that shows depths and extents in real-time and for forecasted rainfall. Our model incorporates the information from gages on the reach of the river, providing an accurate and comprehensive map. 

For additional coverage on the installation, the Fort Collins Coloradoan published a piece on October 8th with video interviews of both Sean McFeely and Dan Ceynar.

Employee Spotlight: Chris Clark

Chris is currently the Staff Accountant for Riverside Technology. She handles client billings, accounts receivable, helps our CFO with month-end closing and serves as the backup for the payroll and accounts payable person. In October, Chris will have been with Riverside for 10 years! She was born and raised in Westbury, Long Island, NY. At the age of 35 she took her 2 teenage boys and moved to Fort Collins where a month later she met her husband Jerry. Chris feels this was a blessing by God, as she was focused on starting a new life here in Colorado, not looking for romance. Jerry and Chris have been married for 18 years and moved from Fort Collins to a small community called Purcell right off the Pawnee Grasslands.

Chris Clark, Riverside's Staff Accountant and her puppy Rosco

Chris Clark, Riverside's Staff Accountant and her puppy Rosco

1.  What three traits describe you? Loyal, Caring, Jovial

2. What are you most excited or passionate about in your career? Learning new technologies, software to make us more productive.

3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? Repairing books and magazines that we damaged from the flood that entered CSU’s library.

4. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? Singer

5. Who lives in your house (people, pets, etc.)? Husband- Jerry, Chihuahua-Rosco, Chiweinie- Lilo, Cat- Bomber.

6. If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, dead or alive, who makes the guest list? My sons Stephen and Ken, My husband Jerry, and Jesus.

7. What was your favorite subject in school and why? Choir because I was happiest when singing.

8. What kind of music do you listen to? Classical (or as Jerry calls it long hair music), Classic Rock and Country.

9. You can only eat the same three foods for the rest of your life. What are they? Bagels and Lox, Lasagna, Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

10. If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see? I would want to be out in the field with the shepherds when the angels announced the birth of Jesus.

11. What’s your #1 item on your bucket list? Alaskan Cruise

12.  What’s on or in your nightstand? Lamp, Hand Cream, small ceramic container which holds my son’s ashes along with dried flowers from where we spread the rest.

13.  What’s your biggest pet peeve? People who text and drive.

14. What movie could you watch over and over? Why? Dances with Wolves, both the true story and the cinematography touch my soul.

15.  Tell me about your best friend. My best friend is my husband Jerry. It’s cliché I know but we gone through a lot together and we make each other laugh every day.

Riverside collaborates with CSU on RiverTrak and eRams.

Fort Collins is a beautiful community in Northern Colorado, home to both the corporate headquarters of Riverside Technology, inc. and Colorado State University (CSU). Since Riverside began operation in 1985, CSU, an academic leader in water resources engineering, has been a strong partner and supporter. Two of our board members received their doctorate and master’s degrees from CSU and many of our Fort Collins-headquartered team also hold CSU degrees.

CSU and Riverside share a goal to observe and advance our community and the world around us. The College of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Riverside both share a vision to provide solutions to complex environmental challenges. We have lived those goals through our partnership on many projects, ranging from research and development to alumni collaborations. Riverside is currently working with CSU’s College of Civil and Environmental Engineering department on advanced processing and networking of flood and river data.

Riverside’s RiverTrak® modeling technology rapidly generates flood inundation maps using real-time river data. CSU’s eRAMS is a powerful platform to build simulation models and analytical tools that can be accessed via desktop or mobile devices. The combined technologies create a powerful system to expand regional flood data networks, create timely and accurate flood maps, and provide analysis and communication tools to help protect life and property around the world.

 

The Engineering Building at CSU.

The Engineering Building at CSU.

Riverside Awarded ProTech Satellite Domain Small Business Contract

Riverside Technology, inc., a recognized industry leader in the design and implementation of integrated scientific and engineering solutions, has been awarded a contract vehicle for the Professional and Technical (ProTech) Satellite Domain by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Their reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as they work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. NOAA provides environmental intelligence for the nation. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration, and maintaining marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. The people of NOAA use research and tools to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers, and other decision makers with reliable and timely environmental intelligence.

The mission and objectives of the primary users of the Satellite Domain are related to satellite and observation activities and the collection, preservation, and dissemination of information and services derived therefrom. The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) is dedicated to providing timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources to promote, protect, and enhance the Nation’s economy, security, environment, and quality of life.

Riverside continues their decades long relationship with NOAA to work towards achieving the ProTech objectives of obtaining high-quality professional and technical services, developing an industrial base of partners, developing and maintaining performance-based contracts, and contributing to the NOAA mission.

“We are honored to continue our work with NOAA through this ProTech Satellite Domain contract. Riverside is focused on providing exceptional quality service through a variety of NOAA support projects. Since 2010, Riverside has been supporting NOAA’s mission in the development of our nation’s next generation of environmental satellites said Brian Ashe, Riverside President and CEO. “We look forward to extending our relationship and the opportunities that lie ahead.”