My Hallam Story

Base Office: South Burlington, VT

Hallam-ICS Careers

Brenda Matthews | Corporate Support

I met Dave Hallam in the early 90’s when I was working for a glazing contractor as a project manager. We were working on a project with Hallam Associates, PC. Dave was easy to work with and I felt like we hit it off.  In 1993, I decided I wanted a change and was looking for a new opportunity.  At this point, my husband had been at Hallam for nearly a year as a mechanical engineer. He mentioned to Dave that I was looking for work.  Dave asked that I send my resume in and a few days later I had an interview.  I arrived at the interview, and there sat the heads of Accounting/HR, the Controls Group and the Structural Department. I don’t think they knew exactly what they might do with me and at the end of the interview I had no idea what position I interviewed for.  It was the most unique job interview of my career. It went well; I started with Hallam that June. I began working a bit with both the Structural and Controls groups and that is where I found my home.  I began working with Tink Pelkey and the ICS team,  helping with ordering and receiving parts, billing, shop drawings, P&ID drawings, and then on to estimating.  Within a short period I was managing a portfolio of projects.

After working with the ICS group for a while, it became apparent that I had “skills” that applied to projects, organization and accounting. In 1998, there was a vacancy on the Finance and Accounting team and I was offered the position of Controller.  They wanted me to bring the same organizational skills and knowledge that I had brought to the Controls Group, to Accounting and Finance.  In the beginning I worked with Management and the Accounting and Finance department to put systems in place to build timely and reliable financial systems.  During this time, I also went back to school and got my MBA at UVM.  In 2001, I was offered the position of CFO.

In 2006, I decided I needed to move back to Oregon to be close to my family. I began talking to the CEO about how to manage the transition. In the midst of this process the head of IT said, “Why don’t you stay at Hallam and work remotely?”  I didn’t even consider it.  It was too far out there to take serious, right?  Well a few days later the CEO and I were discussing something and I mentioned, in a “this will never happen fashion” that he had better be careful or I wouldn’t leave, I would just telecommute.  You should have seen the lightbulb go on above his head.  We agreed to try it for 6 months.  I think it was at least a year before we stopped to ask each other if it was working.  I continue to telecommute from Oregon. The process has been adjusted here and there and it has been a great solution for the company and me. 

At the end of 2021 Jacob Hillegas took on the CFO position and I step back and fill a corporate support role.

I truly believe that Hallam-ICS will help you succeed and pursue what you are interested in. Hallam-ICS has provided me many opportunities and supported me in my desire to learn, grow and try new things.