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Leadership Spotlight with Diana Rader: Vice President and Strategic Account Manager

We recently spoke with Diana Rader to learn more about her new role as Vice President and Strategic Account Manager. We asked her about her background, what she enjoys about working at Braun Intertec and her new role, and what she looks for in team members.

What is your current role at Braun Intertec?
I am Vice President and Strategic Account Manager. This is a new role for me so I’m still figuring things out! However, I’m excited about this opportunity to focus on several clients. I was already spending the majority of my time with one of our top clients, so now I can focus on optimizing this relationship for both the client and Braun Intertec.

What is your professional background?
I started as a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey doing hydrogeologic studies of the Edwards Aquifer. This gave me the opportunity to get published early in my career. After a brief stint as the “City Geologist” for the City of Austin (Texas), I made the switch over to environmental consulting in the late 80s. Over the years I’ve worked on many different types of projects which include soil and groundwater remediation projects, environmental due diligence, risk-based investigations and closures and a variety of environmental permitting projects. I’ve had the opportunity to work for a number of clients, both in the private and public sectors. The private sector clients have included oil and gas companies (upstream, midstream and downstream), mining companies, large industrial and manufacturing companies, as well as commercial property developers. The public sector clients have ranged from Federal, such as the Department of Defense, to municipalities and academic institutions. I’ve gotten to do a lot in my 30-year career.   

What interested you about your profession?
Like most geologists, I love being outdoors. I had a middle school teacher who really got me interested in earth science. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working in the public sector but found that I much prefer the variety of work and client interactions that come with consulting. 

What is your favorite aspect of your role or the most rewarding part of what you do at Braun Intertec?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoy working with people to solve problems and continually learn new things. We are fortunate to work with some great clients who trust us with some of their most challenging projects. At the same time, I get to work with the best staff here at Braun Intertec. They are smart, energetic, and have great ideas (and they don’t mind listening to me!). 

What is your favorite thing about working at Braun Intertec? What do you feel makes it unique?
It is a big deal that we are employee-owned. I think we should be proud of that. It means we’re committed to our own successes which in the end should reflect on our clients’ success. We all want to help each other succeed.

What is your approach to client problem-solving?
Listen! This sounds basic, but I think we sometimes worry so much about providing an on-the-spot response, that we don’t hear everything or miss the subtleties. I have this quote on the whiteboard in my office, “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”

What traits do you look for in your team members?  
A positive attitude and the desire to learn. Every day we have so many opportunities to learn from each other, our clients, and, of course, the technical aspects of our projects. Those who seize these opportunities are the ones who are most successful.

What should new Braun Intertec employees know about working here? Do you have a piece of advice for someone entering your profession?
We have a great work environment and our senior leadership is committed to providing opportunities for our staff to develop their skills and have opportunities to advance. We are also fortunate to work on interesting and challenging projects. My advice to someone entering the environmental consulting field, is to be prepared to apply the critical thinking skills you’ve learned in college, be a good listener, and ask questions.

What are some of your hobbies, or things you like to do outside of work?
I have twins in college, one at the University of Texas and the other at Texas Tech, and two stepsons who are married with children. I have four adorable grandchildren. So, family time is big for my husband and me.

We are also big college sports fans – go Longhorns! I grew up going to Texas football and baseball games and have had season tickets to both for decades. My grandfather played baseball at Texas and I ran track there as well. The most fun, however, was the football season that my son played in the band as a Longhorn. I think my husband and I enjoyed it more than he did. We feel fortunate that we’re here in Austin and able to attend so many college sporting events.