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#Duckumentary - Karissa Czepiga

Today we speak with EDA's Coordinator of Culture, Learning, and Innovation, Karissa Czepiga!

If you want to learn more about our culture, EDA's Coordinator of Culture, Learning, and Innovation Karissa Czepiga has got you covered!

What did you do before your time at EDA?

Before coming to EDA, I spent almost 12 years working in Higher Education in the fields of Student Activities, Student Affairs, and Conference & Event Services. I ran the building and programmatic operations of a student center, including leading, training, and developing a student staff of 25+ and 2 graduate assistants. I’ve worked with students, faculty, and staff to plan, organize, and execute various types of events from fun campus wide large-scale carnivals and concerts to homecomings, alumni reunion weekends, and first year & transition student orientations.

What brought you to the construction industry?

While I loved my time working in Higher Education and have many fond memories and lessons learned, the schedule and work demands were very hard on myself and my family with two young children at home. I was looking for a new opportunity where I could utilize and expand upon my skill set and education, focus more on training and development, and workplace culture creation; all while having a better work-life balance and getting to see my children grow up. I was excited by the thought of working in an industry completely out of my wheelhouse; I knew it would challenge me and help me grow in all the best ways.

What was your reaction to seeing EDA’s emphasis on culture?

Honestly, it was part giddiness, part excitement, part relief, and part confusion all at once. I had been wanting to work at a place like EDA for forever, as I truly felt like I would thrive in the type of work environment that you find here… surrounded by a supportive, growth mindset leader in Ed, Bill, and everyone who works here. In the past, I’ve had both the fortunate and unfortunate experience of working for supervisors and with co-workers who were anything but the supportive, encouraging people you find at EDA.

I was giddy and excited to finally have the chance to work in an employee first environment, relieved because I finally felt like I was in a place where I can not only lend my skills but learn and grow at the same time; all while being supported. And finally, I was a bit confused because everyone was genuinely nice, caring, and wanted to be helpful in making my transition to EDA as smooth as possible; even before I started working here! This wasn’t something I experienced a lot of in my career before joining EDA. I’ve called EDA a “unicorn” from the very beginning and that is how I truly feel.

How is EDA's culture compared to that of your previous workplaces?

U-N-I-C-O-R-N 🦄🦄🦄 – HAHA! My previous workplaces were certainly, absolutely, quite definitely NOTHING like EDA’s culture. Granted, I am the Culture Coordinator, and one might think I am more inclined to say this, however I can say that without a shadow of a doubt the employee first, family oriented, growth mindset culture at EDA is unlike anything I have ever experienced, but always dreamed for!

What has been the best part about your experience working with EDA?

Hands down, the people and the process of striving to hopefully be a small part of helping to make their lives more fulfilled both professionally and personally. I’ve never worked with such supportive, team-oriented, friendly, results driven, caring, compassionate supervisors and co-workers as I have at EDA. Everyone truly cares about the success of the company and of one another.

The fact that I get to lead the Culture Team, Champions, EDA Cares, the Fun Committee, create and teach leadership development and emotional intelligence content and work with colleagues who constantly and selflessly come together for the betterment of the lives of their co-workers and the local community… insert mind-blowing emoji here. It’s just incredible and insanely exciting to me that I get to be an integral part of it all! I encourage anyone who is interested in wanting to get more involved in the culture at EDA, to join a committee and see if it’s for you!

What is your favorite EDA value, and why?

It’s a tie between Be Passionate and Demonstrate Humility. Positive energy and passion in all things, especially at work is contagious! You can’t help but to want to be a part of that positivity and passion. Demonstrating Humility is super important in all areas of life to me because we can all learn from one another, we can all support one another, and we can all be successful together – with kindness, compassion, and humility.