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Recent internal events turned some elite VAA employees into Office Olympians. Using only office supplies, four teams were challenged to demonstrate their skills in multiple team and individual events. Our recent office expansion presented an opportunity to stir up competitive spirit and host events in each space at our Plymouth location.

Teamwork is in our foundation and we recognize this value can take many forms. Encouraging employees to work and play together builds trust in VAA teams and makes for entertaining competition. The 2018 Office Olympic events included:

Desk Chair Sprint
Teammates pushed each other on a desk chair around obstacles

Target Archery
Rubber bands went flying as employees took aim at one of three targets

Chop Chop
Using chopsticks, teammates raced to pile tea, sugar and creamer packets into a bowl

Finger Skating
Employees competed for the fastest and most accurate typing of an email

Marble Challenge
Using a combination of standard office supplies, teams constructed a system for moving a marble across a two-foot distance

Waste Paper Toss
A basketball-style challenge, employees shot scrap paper balls at (and sometime into) a recycling bin

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An office expansion was recently completed at VAA to accommodate our continued growth. The space is open and occupied by 64 employees from the civil, process, mechanical, electrical and industrial architecture teams. The new adjacent space does not connect to VAA’s Plymouth corporate headquarters because of a neighboring tenant's space. Known to employees as the Berkshire and Annapolis spaces, the (Annapolis) office is in the northeast corner of the building.

The new office features several amenities for all employees to enjoy, including two kitchen areas, a large-group training center and fitness and game rooms to support employee wellness.

We look forward to giving you a tour.

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Residents of Building 22 are moved in to the newly completed Veterans Home in Minneapolis, MN. Working with Nelson-Tremain Partnership, VAA provided structural engineering and system analysis to support the 140,000 square foot building.

Watch the Channel 5 video to learn more about how the Home serves the residential and medical needs of the veterans in our statewide community.

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Brrr...rave men and women participated this season in the Polar Plunge event in Maple Grove, MN. Competing as a Small Corporation team, VAA employees and loved ones raised over $1,300. All funds from the event support Special Olympics Minnesota, specifically programming and events for more than 8,200 athletes statewide.

Congratulations to our Polar Plungers and all those who braved the cold for a good cause.

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Giving back to our community is very much valued at VAA – in this case, the Haldorson and Jansen Scholarship program recognizes long-standing community ties to the Dunwoody College of Technology (Dunwoody). Founded in 2014, the VAA program includes two scholarships named for current VAA Principals and Dunwoody alumni Gene Haldorson and Bernie Jansen. The program has awarded a total of $16,000 to Dunwoody students since its launch. In addition to the monetary award, the scholarship recipients meet Bernie and Gene for a celebratory lunch and VAA office tour.

“Supporting dedicated students and their progress in our field is important to us,” Gene said. “We’re glad we can help students financially – it gives them the opportunity to continue their education and focus on learning the skills they need to succeed.”

Recent scholarship recipients Karla Schmitt and Kyle Huberty were selected from a pool of seven candidates. The candidates were interviewed and evaluated for commitment, academic achievement, benefit from scholarship, community involvement and previous employment. Congratulations to our 2018 recipients.

About the Dunwoody Scholarship Recipients:

Jansen Scholarship
Karla Schmitt is a second-year student in the Dunwoody Architectural Drafting and Design Program. As an active community member, Karla participates in Feed My Starving Children, Kate’s Club and initiatives to get professional clothing in the hands of women entering the workforce. She says her love of art supports and reinforces her career path.

Haldorson Scholarship
Kyle Huberty is in his fourth year of the five-year Bachelor of Architectural Degree at Dunwoody. He is heavily involved in a range of student organizations and community activities. Prior to his architectural pursuits, Kyle’s career path included a role as a stone carver – designing, carving, fabricating and installing custom architectural and ornamental stone work.