Phoenix Mecano June Employee Spotlight: Engineering Administrator, Kim O’Connell

At Phoenix Mecano, we have all sorts of people, who come from all kinds of backgrounds, who are interested in all types of things. So, it’s no wonder why we want to spotlight our employees, to share their depth of personality and interests.

Recently, our Engineering Administrator, Kim O’Connell, participated in her 10th marathon, and we’d like to tell you a little more about Kim and her interests.

Originally from Frederick Maryland, Kim went to Frostburg State University, and then completed her degree in History at Hood College. However, for the past 10 years she’s worked in the engineering field and has really grown to love it. Kim started working at Phoenix Mecano in December of 2017. “Phoenix Mecano has a very dynamic environment. It’s interesting because we’re not making the same things every single day, and as a result, we’re faced with challenges on how to make it better and improve our quality. That’s one of my favorite things.”

Juggling life with two small children and a 9 to 5 job can be hectic by itself. Throw in a time-consuming hobby and you can imagine how filled Kim’s days are! Usually, your hobby or pastime is something that relaxes you, and this certainly holds true for Kim.

“For me, running is definitely my quite place. With work and taking care of my kids, it can get crazy. Running is my outlet to keep myself sane.”

As someone who has been running her entire life, Kim has mastered the art of training for marathons.

“Training not only takes a lot of discipline and motivation, it also takes having an incredible support system. I log a majority of the mile before work, it can range from 5 miles upwards to 14. In the afternoon I have a window of opportunity to do a second run if necessary or strength/mobility work. Depending on my fitness at that time, a training cycle can go from 18 to 20 weeks.” As told by Bruce Bator, Engineering Director at Phoenix Mecano, “Kim brings the same dedication and energy to her role as she does to her training. That ability shows in her race results as well as her daily work performance.”

Kim has completed 10 marathons so far! She has run the Boston Marathon twice, but says her favorite was the Marine Corp Marathon. “It’s my fall goal race this year, and will be my third time doing it in October! It’s scenic, too – you start at Pentagon and run parallel with Arlington National Cemetery, then end at the Iwo Jima Memorial.”

While travelling all over the country for these events, one would have to think that Kim has some memorable moments to share and stories to tell. Her most interesting story comes from the Marine Corp marathon in 2015:

“I always give myself ample time when I take the metro for this marathon, because you’re so close to the government and military intelligence that you have to do a security check before you start the race. I got there with an hour and change to spare and the crowds weren’t moving. Apparently the security system went down while hundreds of us were still in line. All of a sudden I hear the cannons go off to start the race! We were all eventually able to get through security and start the race. It wasn’t how I pictured it going but I did run a 15 minute PR that day!”

Running is clearly a very big part of Kim’s life. It is something that she has worked hard at and is passionate about, but her number one passion is being a mom.

“I have two small boys – Sullivan (Sully) is 8 and Desmond (Desi) is 5. They keep me on my toes and occupied for sure! We try to be outside as much as possible because little boys have a lot of energy and need space to roam.”

Kim has truly been a welcomed addition to the Phoenix Mecano team. We look forward to cheering her on at her next marathon and keeping up with how she balances everything so nicely.

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