Clearing the Cache

20 Years at Vernier

I joined Vernier as their first webmaster. They had a website that was maintained by summer interns and it was time to dedicate a full-time resource to it.

In my two decades at Vernier, I’ve grown so much professionally and personally.

  • 3 job titles: Webmaster, Senior Web Developer, Senior IT Solutions Engineer
  • 3 departments: Technical Support and Product Development, Marketing, and Information Technology
  • 8 supervisors: Jake Hopkins, Daylene Long, Kristen Paniagua, Donald Bosart, Lisa Datka, John Wheeler, Olga Vargas, Britni Hartford
  • Married Jennilyn Hill
  • Started a family and raising three kids

I’ve been blessed to consider my coworkers as family. Vernier is full of super smart people, but more importantly, super kind and loving people. I am proud to be among them.

In response to a company-wide email celebrating my 20 years, I provide 20 photos with stories about my career at Vernier.

Within the first week of working at Vernier, I was pleasantly surprised how much fun is had here. And the attitude of fun runs through all levels of management. Here, Jake’s desk is decorated for a milestone birthday.

This was my first Vernier summer picnic in 2004 and once it was discovered that I can press a button on a camera, I was tasked with group photos, which still continues to this day. Photos like these can be a pain herding cats, but they pay it forward to help us remember people throughout time.

I met my wife shortly before I started at Vernier. We were very blessed by everyone’s gifts for our wedding. We still have the ottoman in our house that was a wedding gift.

An unexpected gift of 20 years of history is seeing the Vernier family grow over time. Coworkers having kids and being around as they grow up.

Last summer, I took senior portraits of Jake’s daughter and I also took her 2nd birthday party photos.

This photo is Igor and Rachel as we celebrate the next arrival of one of their kids.

Speaking of kids, when it was my turn, I’m grateful for the work and life balance here at Vernier so that I could be a father that is present in their lives and support a family of five on a single income.

This photo reminds me of the importance of even a single moment of mentorship.

Jake’s daughter’s interest in basketball started from a bring your child to work day where Lamont led an intro class to basketball.

In my 20 years, I’ve mentored several high school students and hope to have impressed on them something positive.

My kids love Bring Your Child to Work Day. They believe that all I do at work is have fun with science. I can never thank people like Nus, Josh, Ami, and others for showing that learning is fun.

I’m a LEGO fan. And I confess that I put together most of this LEGO set myself when it was meant for everyone at Vernier to have a chance to build this iconic spaceship. But it was impossible not to put on just one more brick when I passed by to refill my club soda.

I wouldn’t have imagined that a solar eclipse would be so cool if it wasn’t for Dave Vernier’s enthusiasm. We didn’t plan ahead as much as we should’ve, but we still managed to get totality in Monmouth, OR.

Being around cool people at work has exposed us to unique experiences that we wouldn’t have found on our own.

One funny memory came from this photo at a Vernier Zoo Party. I was mesmerized by the blue eyes and snapped the shot without thinking much about it.

The next year at a Zoo Party, a lovely lady approached me and thanked me profusely for photos of her son. I was confused since I hadn’t taken any photos yet and I didn’t recognize her at all. It wasn’t until she was done thanking me that I asked who she was and what she was talking about.

She laughed and reintroduced herself as Ian’s wife and she was grateful for this photo that captured her son’s eyes.

At one of the company parties, my wife Jenni and I did a west coast swing dance demo. When we finished and returned to our seats, a coworker’s husband leaned over, and said, “well, you just got all the other husbands in trouble.”

I’ve used Vernier’s OMSI pass many times over 20 years. My family have enjoyed many of their exhibits over the years, including Star Wars, Marvel, Sherlock, and more. The kids were sad to age out of the science playground area upstairs.

One of my favorite Vernier group Halloween costumes because it fulfilled my hopes to have a group costume that included multiple departments. Plus the gang knocked it out of the park.

I was given grief from my kids that I didn’t join them as the impressive clergyman because my impression of his famous line is spot on (my kids say).

This was a last minute Halloween costume idea, as mine tend to be. There wasn’t a group costume for Marketing, so I joked with Ryan that we could do a dance number to Men in Black. He surprised me that he would do it.

I had a chance to introduce the then Senator Barack Obama but I’m grateful Verle did it instead.

Obama’s visit was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only became more profound after he became president.

For Vernier’s 30th anniversary party, we were expecting our third child and Vernier generously helped us make arrangements so that we could bring a friend along to watch over our daughters while we attended the party and festivities.

The famous curly slide at Vernier first arrived at the warehouse and it took a crew to drive it over to our building addition during construction and craned into its location. While it may seem superfluous to have a slide in the office, it reinforces Vernier’s culture of fun at work.

For a summer wellness challenge kickoff, during the craze of the Nintendo Wii, we had two of the partners box it out to a live audience.

Christine is always up for a challenge, if it isn’t Wii Boxing or Dance Dance Revolution and inspires me that growing up doesn’t mean not having fun anymore.

Dave Vernier has great quotes that we highlighted one Halloween. I tried my best to be a lookalike with the fake mustache but I can’t match his genuine smile and his wisdom that “The boss is down the hall”. His respect and adoration to Christine is a marriage that I admire.

For the Vernier 25th anniversary party, I took this shot in appreciation of the standing ovation we all gave Dave and Christine. Dave joked that he shouldn’t have gotten into the software business. I’m forever grateful that Dave and Chris did because I couldn’t imagine the last 20 years of my life if they hadn’t.

And I bet that thousands of science educators couldn’t imagine teaching without Vernier.

I’m beyond grateful and humbled to have spent almost half of my life and all of my career at Vernier. God has provided a place for me thrive, help others, and financially support the life He has given me and my family.