Our January Member of the Month is Heidi Clayville who serves on the Northwest Exchange Committee.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THE JUNIOR LEAGUE, AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JOIN?
I was looking for a place where I could volunteer and make new friends and saw the ad for the open house and checked it out. I haven’t looked back since!
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I am passionate about many things from cowgirl boots to German food, but what inspires and influences me most are bridges (more about this later) and providing support and leadership to women as community leaders. Five years ago, I attended the end-of-the-year gala for the professional society, Women’s Transportation Seminar, where the keynote focused on how as women, we should lend a hand to each other. I left the gala feeling energized and inspired to surround myself with the amazing and strong women leading my community. Two years later, I found Junior League and I have been feeding this new passion since then.
WHAT IS ONE FUN FACT ABOUT YOU?
I named all my childhood pets after Peanut’s characters. My cow’s name was Linus. (I grew up on a farm on the Snake River in southern Idaho and we have a ranch in the mountains near there.)
WHAT PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT(S) ARE YOU PROUD OF?
I grew up in a small town in southern Idaho, so adjusting to a large university in St. Louis, Mo., was difficult at first, but I’m just that kind of girl who loves challenges. There I learned more about myself than I could have imagined, and continued to learn the more places I discovered; eventually leading me to one of my greatest achievements. After accepting a job in Washington at a nationwide transportation design company, I was eventually assigned to a large project in Denver, Colo., as the bridge engineer. On other projects, I had only worked on different parts and pieces of the total structure, but with this project, I was given a chance to do something I hadn’t done before. I was assigned two complete bridges approximately 200 feet in length (each) that would lead traffic from US6 to I-205. I am proud to say that I completed the assigned task(s) as the sole designer for every aspect of the two bridges. I was also able to use my professional engineering stamp to sign and issue construction plans, which was rare on large bridge projects. Looking back on all my current life achievements, that feeling still overwhelms me with pride. It was also fun to live in a different city for ~6 months.
WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Fabric and sewing. I have been quilting/sewing since I was 5 years old and I come from a very crafty family. There is something soulful and healing about crafting and creating something with my hands. It feeds my creative desires and helps to relieve the stresses of my profession. My hobby could be bordering an addiction because I have a stash of fabric that I am not exactly sure why I bought them, but I love to look at them.
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?
I am a bridge engineer. I am licensed in four states and used to work all over the West Coast. Now I generally work on projects in Washington and Oregon. To say that I love bridges, would be an understatement. If you really want to see me geek out, catch me when I come across bridge-printed fabric! I find my work challenging because it isn’t just about mathematics, it is also about communities, people and making connections.