Clare Fullerton, PE
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
LOCATION: TALLAHASSEE, FLA.
Clare Fullerton, PE
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
LOCATION: TALLAHASSEE, FLA.
“Our projects elevate departments of transportation and allow them to better serve the needs of their communities. It’s a great feeling to know we’re making a positive impact!”
Data enthusiast. Professional engineer. Mother. Florida native. Community volunteer. This is Clare Fullerton, a relatively new addition to our geospatial and technology division, GeoDecisions.
With a passion for data, she is looking forward to diving deeper into this subject in October 2022 as part of our INSIGHTS webcast series.
“Data is a type of knowledge, and organizations are rich in data but often poor in information or knowledge,” Clare said. “By leveraging existing data stores and enabling data to do more, organizations can become proactive in defining solutions that benefit the communities they serve.”
We asked Clare a few questions. Get to know her here:
Tell us about your experience in the industry.
I have worked as an engineer for 14 years, with about eight of those years in the transportation market. During that time, I’ve run statewide programs, supported projects, and engaged with colleagues across the nation. I’m thankful to have had opportunities to be a part of the entire lifecycle of projects, from preconstruction to construction to maintenance.
How do you enjoy being back in your home state of Florida to grow business?
I love drinking the best orange juice in the world every day! I’ve enjoyed learning, gaining work experience, and growing my career in New York, Tennessee, and North Carolina. But I’m a Florida girl at heart and enjoy the unique challenges Florida faces in balancing its coastlines, tourism, and diverse ecosystem. These challenges require careful consideration when determining how to deliver diverse and comprehensive solutions through geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial data integration.
I joined the team in January 2022 as I was looking to move to a firm with a strong focus on innovation. I also wanted to share my skillset while growing as an engineer in the transportation industry. GeoDecisions is full of passionate individuals with pioneering GIS, data science, and technology ideas who are eager to deliver quality work to our clients, and I’m proud to work alongside them.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities.
As a senior project manager and client manager, I oversee individual projects and project portfolios for GeoDecisions. Our projects help our clients transform their data so that it can do more for them in their programming and project efforts.
How does the firm support your professional development and career growth?
Gannett Fleming and GeoDecisions support my participation in projects for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transportation Research Board committees. They also encourage me to attend industry conferences, dedicate time to continuing education opportunities, and become a thought leader through presenting, leading webinars, and writing articles.
What's the most interesting project you're working on right now?
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Roadway Characteristics Inventory (RCI) Next Project is moving into the statewide implementation phase, where we’re supporting the office both technically and through change management to upgrade their legacy RCI system to Esri Roads and Highways.
For this project, I work onsite with the client and engage with various stakeholders across the state to help them migrate this exciting technology into their various business processes to enhance their programs.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Witnessing our solutions create a positive impact on the communities our clients serve. Working with departments of transportation (DOTs) means our projects elevate those DOTs and allow them to better serve the needs of their communities. It’s a great feeling to know we are a part of that!
What do you see for the next generation of employees at Gannett Fleming and GeoDecisions?
I see them contributing fresh ideas and challenging us to accomplish tasks in new ways. Because of our differences, each of us brings a unique perspective to how we view the world. By celebrating these differences, including experience levels, we can keep moving the needle on innovation.
How does your work contribute to the firm's vision?
GeoDecisions’ work is at the forefront of innovation. Our projects continuously allow our clients to bring their innovative visions to fruition.
What’s one professional achievement of which you’re especially proud?
When I worked at the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), I developed and ran the CLEAR (Communicate Lessons, Exchange Advice, Record) Program, the department’s internal knowledge management and innovation program. It was a part of the NCDOT Transportation Innovation Council and, in 2021, was awarded the Federal Highway Administration’s STIC Excellence Award for Innovation. I’m proud to have contributed to the program’s success and look forward to working with other government agencies to develop systems that support positive change and growth.
How has working on the client side allowed you to serve clients better now that you're a consultant?
Having worked at a DOT has allowed me to better understand the constraints our clients have due to funding streams, legislative requirements, and resource needs. Additionally, I know firsthand that our clients’ ultimate goal is to deliver superior services and quality projects and programs to the people of their states.
What leadership characteristics do you rely on the most for success in your job and life?
My ability to unite a diverse team of individuals who, collectively, can lead us to the right solution. I listen to my colleagues, value their insight, and acknowledge when we need additional expertise or opinions on a matter to drive us to the best solution.
What's the best piece of professional advice you've ever received?
Most people’s moods have nothing to do with you. Early in my career, I thought a supervisor was unhappy with me, but it turned out they had something going on in their life that was impacting their mood at work. I now know not to take things so personally, and I’m mindful about giving someone grace when something difficult is going on in their life.
Why is it important to have diversity around the table when working on projects?
It’s imperative to invite diversity to all rooms where decisions are being made. Having diverse backgrounds, expertise, education, and experience around the table allows for different viewpoints of a problem and encourages a more comprehensive solution. Each of us sees the world from our own unique perspective, and it’s paramount that we understand how our solutions impact others.
How have your experiences led you to your current position? What are the steps you took to get to where you are now?
I’ve taken a nontraditional path. I started as a project engineer working on a large power plant project in upstate New York. Over the years, I always said “yes” to opportunities that interested me and got involved in research and professional organizations that introduced me to different types of work.
Once I started working with DOTs, I realized I wanted to make the jump to the transportation industry, and I had a strong skillset in knowledge and change management that I could apply. I continue to pursue different interests and seek opportunities to try new things.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Running, reading, cycling, and listening to music.
Let's talk family!
I have two great kids, who are in elementary and middle school. I also have two dogs that constantly stir up trouble!
What's your favorite family tradition?
Everyone gets a cake on their half-birthday!
What's the best piece of personal advice you've ever received?
Rest when you are feeling weary or worn down, but never give up.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I grew up and spent half of my childhood in Central and South America.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose and why?
Secretary Buttigieg. It would be incredible to spend a day learning about the nation’s transportation needs as well as meeting innovators in the transportation industry and asking them questions.
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