Employee spotlight featured image spotlights Suzy's husband holding the phone for a selfie with their two children and their daughter with graduation robes.

Suzy Sheppard – Vice President, Senior Airport Engineer & Thru-Hiker Wannabe

What drew you to Hoyle Tanner?

I was living up in Burlington, VT after college (this was before we had our Burlington office) and I expanded my job search out of state. I saw the ad for an airport engineer in the Boston Globe (yes, the actual newspaper), sent a resume, and here I am. I didn’t know anything about Hoyle Tanner at the time or airport engineering for that matter, but I immediately wanted the job once I came down for the interview. I still remember the day I listened to the job offer on my answering machine and how absolutely excited and terrified I was—my first time venturing out on my own.

What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle Tanner & why?

I love our Christmas party. I look forward to it for weeks. It’s so fun to ‘play’ with the people we work with day in and day out and get to know the new employees. It’s a perfect celebration of all the hard work we’ve done all year long.

But if you’re asking about actual work, I’d have to say that summer is the obvious answer. Being out on an airfield on a nice sunny day with a gentle breeze is something we in the Northeast look forward to all winter long.

What’s the coolest thing you are working on & why?

I am the civil project manager for an inline baggage handling building addition to the Bradley Airport terminal. We are responsible for the site work and it’s interesting to see all the different disciplines and how they interact on such a big project. Construction just started. I think the coolest parts are yet to come.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently?

My son came home from college so all four of us are here for the summer. Nothing can top that.

How many different states have you lived in?

I was born in New Hampshire, grew up in Vermont, went to college in New York, went back to Vermont after college, and then moved to New Hampshire. So three states, if college counts.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

I get sick of eating the same food over and over. But if I have to choose I’d say nachos and beer, with a side of sautéed brussel sprouts. That’s also in an ideal world where this is actually a healthy meal.

What kind of pet do you have & how did you choose to name it?

I currently have one dog and one cat. The dog is named Echo, partly for the aviation alphabet and partly because I just like it. When we adopted her in 2021 I made a Google doc so that all four of us (husband and two college-aged children) could add suggestions and rate the names. We had over 50 names by the time we were done. My favorite was Echo but I wanted to be democratic. Well, the name Echo didn’t rate all that high so I had to make an executive decision since I am the one who walks her, gets up with her in the morning and feeds her the most. The family has gotten over it but reminds me every once in a while when I ask them to take her out.

My daughter named the cat Bender after characters in her favorite TV show and movie at the time. I’ll leave it up to you to guess what those were. Hint: she was 13 when we adopted him.

What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?

I grew up in Wallingford, VT. It was the boyhood home of Paul P. Harris. He was the founder of Rotary International. My dad was in the Wallingford Rotary for many years.

What are three things still left on your bucket list.
  • Finishing the Long Trail in Vermont. 172 miles down, 100 miles to go.
  • Maybe not thru-hiking but definitely section hiking the Appalachian Trail.
  • I can’t think of anything else specifically, but once the first two are done it’ll probably be another long trail or some other type of travel.
How old is the oldest item in your closet?

I have a chest in my closet where I keep mementos. I haven’t opened it in a long time so thank you for that trip down memory lane. I think I determined the oldest items are old film reels that my parents recorded. I think the earliest was from around the time they were married, 1965. I really need to get those digitized.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I don’t remember wanting to be anything in particular much earlier than around 8th grade. At that time I wanted to be an architect, but soon after I was determined to be a civil engineer like my dad.

Words to live by? Favorite quote? Why?

My husband bought me a bracelet many years ago that says “Enjoy the Journey.” I was pleasantly surprised by the gift’s thoughtfulness since I had never worn a bracelet before then. I know the saying is a bit cliché but it really resonates with me. Helps me weather the downs in life. And now I never take it off my wrist.


*It’s Hoyle Tanner’s 50th anniversary this year! Keep an eye on our FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter feeds for articles and anniversary news!