Practitioner Spotlight--Owen McKenna

Practitioner Spotlight--Owen McKenna

February 6th, 2018

ELM & Sustainability Practitioner, Owen McKennaName:

Owen McKenna


Marlborough, MA

Practice Area:

Sustainability, Environmental Remediation

Area(s) of expertise:

Corporate Reporting

About Me in 140 Characters:

I’m generally an optimist as long as I’ve had my morning cup of coffee, occasionally a hypocritical environmentalist, and rarely someone who takes himself too seriously.

Favorite Thing about Being a Practitioner:

The variety

What’s your favorite part of your job?

All of it! While I can sense the collective eye-roll after reading that, it’s true, I don’t think I can name just one thing that’s my favorite since every week here seems to bring something new and exciting my way. In a more general sense though, I feel that I’ve developed a level of ease and confidence in my day to day work that stems from the support and guidance of all of the great people I get to work with at Antea Group; that’s something special I haven’t found anywhere else.

If someone at a party asks what you do, how do you respond?

Since my children were born (Connor 3, Kaylee 1) I sadly don’t get invited to many parties anymore. Actually, that’s not true, I don’t get invited to many adult parties anymore, I go to kids' parties all the time. However, I’ve found that parents at parties for toddlers are generally too harried to be the least bit interested in listening to me explain what I do. I think the next adult party I’m attending is my office Christmas party. If anyone there asks what I do for work, I’ll be calling them a sober cab.

What surprises people about your job?

When I do get the chance to discuss my work in the field of sustainability, people volunteer all sorts of wacky theories about global warming, corporate conspiracies, and the like, and generally shoot me a look of surprise and disbelief when I don’t immediately agree. Case in point, I was just in a Lyft last week with a guy who was trying to convince me to start a self-sufficient eco-village with him in the mountains because he thought sea level rise was going to wipe out the low-lying city. We were in Denver, by the way.

What was your first job?

My first job was as an interpretive tour guide at Gillette Castle in Connecticut when I was 16. For those of you who have never been to Gillette Castle, it is neither a castle nor a razor company theme park. Those are the only two things I remember from that job. My first job after college was as a scuba divemaster at a beach resort on the island of Roatan, Honduras. I don’t remember anything from that job.

What TV show character do you identify most with?

Hodor from Game of Thrones, because concepts seem to make perfect sense in my head, but when I try to explain them things get lost in translation and no one else seems to get what I’m trying to say.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Steak Oscar.

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