Todd Sumner, PE – Senior Structural Engineer & Bicyclist
What drew you to Hoyle Tanner?
- Location – reasonable driving distance of home
- Firm Size – not too big, not too small … just right
- Good reputation
- Jon Olin and Sean James – great interview and the only folks at the firm I had met before.
What’s something invaluable you’ve learned here?
Hoyle Tanner has great people to work with. Smart, collaborative, motivated, diligent, care about the work they do and have a great sense of humor.
What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle Tanner & why?
Winter – I don’t really have any winter outdoor hobbies (haven’t skied in about 34 years) so I don’t feel like I am missing out on good weather outdoors.
What’s the coolest thing you are working on & why?
North Hero-Grand Isle drawbridge project. It is a very unique structure for Vermont that required the involvement of many different engineering disciplines that you don’t typically have on a bridge project (mechanical, hydraulics, electrical, hazardous contamination, potable and waste water). This project also provided MANY learning moments throughout construction.
I was the Project Manager for this project for VTrans before I retired, but was fortunate to stay involved as a Hoyle Tanner employee. While I was retired for three weeks, VTrans approached Hoyle Tanner to inquire about hiring me to continue as the Project Manger for VTrans.
How many different states have you lived in?
One! Vermont. I don’t get out much. Ironically, according to geneaologic research, most of my ancestors dating back to 1620 (yes, the Mayflower) have lived in only four states (Vermont, New Hamphire, Maine and Massachusetts).
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Tacos and chocolate cream pie.
What kind of pet do you have & how did you choose to name it?
Two cats. Twinkie and Cookie. Our dog passed away during COVID and his name was Snickers … seems to be a pattern.
What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?
My hometown is Montpelier, VT – The only state capital without a McDonalds.
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Honestly, I have never had a bucket list. But if I started to create one, it would probably have a lot of travel destinations.
Name three items you’d take with you to a desert island.
Tacos, chocolate cream pie and sunscreen.
What characteristic do you admire most in others?
The ability to relax and have fun when presenting to the public.
How old is the oldest item in your closet?
A pair of black cowboy boots and a brown leather jacket both are about 34-years-old. I don’t think I have worn either one for over 25 years.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
As a kid I did not have career aspirations. Even in high school I had NO idea what career I wanted to do. As for growing up … still working on that.
What’s one of your most ridiculous/nonsensical fears?
Fear of heights – I can’t even watch other people up high. For example there was a Mission Impossible movie that had filmed action/stunts where the the actors were in very dangerous and very high situations …… I had to close my eyes until the scene was over.
Words to live by? Favorite quote? Why?
Sometimes when my daughters make a moaning noise (when they don’t want to do something we ask them to), it sometimes sounds like a whale (or cow). Our response is “I DIDN’T KNOW YOU SPEAK WHALE” – Dory (from Finding Nemo)