It’s a cloudy day on Martha’s Vineyard, perfect for finally getting to that writing I’ve been meaning to do. The seagulls are complaining about something, and the gentle chug of distant outboards competes with the clanking of halyards on the sailboats in the harbor. The ocean outside helps cut through the clutter of news and events to try and report on something hopefully more meaningful than Miley Cyrus’ MTV performance and less disturbing than the prospect of US involvement in the Syrian conflict.

A couple of highlights from this summer since the last post. In mid-August I had the privilege of joining CH2M HILL’s Black Employee Network, called Harambee (Swahili for “working together in unity”) at their Summit in New Orleans. The gathering of 80 or so of our company’s top leaders and up-and-coming talent seemed well-timed just ahead of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Like America, our company has accomplished a lot in the last several decades on the diversity and inclusion front, but we have work yet to do. The client presentations and talks by outside speakers were all great, as was the food and music, but I was most inspired by my own colleagues telling their stories.

We also participated in a community service project in New Orleans, helping the Ross family and a few others who are still trying to get home, eight years after the levees broke there, flooding 80 percent of the city. I am here to tell you that installing tile on a kitchen floor looks much easier on HGTV than it is in real life. But helping with the St. Bernard Project’s important work was worth the effort. That’s Mrs. Ross in the photo with me below.

Another highlight earlier in the summer was a session with our newly-reconstituted Sustainability Leadership Board. We worked through a new charter for the group, which is working hard to embed sustainability principles into everything we do for our clients and ourselves, and to contribute to the company’s growth goals. I’m sure we’ll come up with something more formal, but our informal “vision statement” was: “Saving the planet, one cool project at a time.”

If it’s still summer where you are, enjoy what’s left of it. Sox are looking good but I’m fighting off expectations and trying to just enjoy each game as it comes.