runklestephanie_watercoolerStephanie Runkle always had appreciation for structures. Growing up in San Diego, then making to move to the Midwest, she was able to see a variety of cultural influences in buildings, based on location. Now as an architectural designer at ISG La Crosse, Stephanie gets opportunities to create that ever desirable “feeling” of an architectural structure. In between her collaboration with other ISGers on a variety of  projects, Stephanie gets to spend time with her two sons, Theron and Kellen, as well as put her feet on the pavement and see how far they will take her. Let’s learn more about Stephanie and her roles inside and outside of ISG.

How do you spend your free time?

I spend a lot of my free time with my sons Theron, 16 and Kellen, 14, and they love to hang out with their mom! I am of course kidding, but they do humor me with acknowledging me in public……sometimes. They especially like it when I break out my rad dance moves or the cool lingo I learn to remain hip with their friends. We try to hike the bluffs with our dog, Zelda as much as possible especially on winter days. There is something about being active in the winter elements which invigorates me. We have a pretty old home which is in a constant state of upgrading and remodeling so we are forever working on our house. I enjoy cycling and just purchased my older son a bike, to which he assured we would never really ride “together” because he will always be faster than me. To which I say we’ll see!

What is one thing about you that most people would find surprising?

I’m a pretty open book, so the surprises surrounding me are very few and very far between. But I do have a story….

I like gardening and growing vegetables, but didn’t feel I would have time this year so I purchased a CSA box. With a CSA Box, a local organic farmer would grow the vegetables and I pay for 22 weekly boxes to be delivered for me to a business in Lansing, IA. It is essentially paying for someone else to grow and harvest their own garden and deliver it to me. Lynn Bruns and Will Kratt share a CSA box from a different farmer which they have delivered to the office. I am most interested in this box as they get different vegetables than I do. One time I was sure I saw strawberries in the handle hole of the box, so I investigated by opening the box and scoping out what was inside. The contents are in a plastic bag so I just picked up the bag and gave it a good look over and yep, those were ruby red beautiful strawberries. I had received my CSA box the night before and it contained a number of different lettuces, cucumber, and maybe a celery stalk. I was a little sad that I didn’t get any strawberries, but maybe it was just a fluke and my farmer’s strawberries were coming.  I hoped week after week they would show up, but sadly they never did. What did show up though, was an insatiable curiosity as to what was in Lynn’s CSA box every week. So week after week I would  look at the outside of the box, open it up, take a gander at what was inside, then close it up and be on my way. It occurred to me recently that maybe this was a little weird and bordered a little on the invasion of privacy idea. I mean, essentially, I was nosing around the boss’s stuff and maybe he wouldn’t like it. Maybe it was time to come clean….so I did. I told him about my secret weekly investigations. He chuckled and pointed to his most recent CSA box sitting on his office floor. It had arrived about a half an hour before and asked had I looked at that one…I admitted yes, it had only just arrived, but yes I had already done my inspections of his box. At this he laughed harder and  I assured him he would probably enjoy his carrots and parsley, they looked really fresh and tasty!

How do you recharge after work?

I recharge best with people. Laughing, laughing is the best!

Where would you go on a three-month long vacation? What would be on the itinerary?

For a 3 month vacation I would go anywhere and everywhere. I would contact friends all over the world and hop from one friend to the other. If I happened to see Brunelleschi’s Dome, The Sagrada Familia, the mountains of Tibet, and the ruins in Peru I would not be sad. I love to travel and have not done much of it recently so I would be happy with just about anywhere.

Do you have a morning routine? If so, how does it help you prepare for the day?

My morning routine generally consists of wake-up, make coffee, shower, drink coffee, and drive. It isn’t much, but it gets me to work awake and ready for the day.

What are three words your family/friends would use to describe you?

I asked my friends this question and got a range of answers so I picked my favorite of all those: Adventurous, Compassionate, and Joyful.

Have you received any awards? If so, for what?

I won the La Crosse ISG Stair Challenge- does that count? I also won second place at a chili cook-off once, but I did serve beer with my chili, which may have unfairly swayed the votes. My thought on that is: winner is as winner does, second place winner that is!

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