Rising to the challenge amidst COVID-19

Aaron Cobb– Assistant Director of Surveying

f there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that innovation, kindness, and compassion are fundamental to prevail during times of crisis. Much like what most companies experienced in March when most communities faced an initial disruption in the availability of personal protective equipment, the W&A management team was tasked with finding alternate solutions so that our field workers were not left potentially vulnerable. The W&A management team has continued to work diligently to provide guidance and materials to the survey crews and department teams so they can be protected as they continue to do their part in keeping projects moving forward.

Thankfully, our hard-working Survey Technicians have been able to continue field work over the last two months, necessary to help keep projects on-track. During these unprecedented times, the W&A staff found themselves especially grateful for, Aaron Cobb, W&A’s Assistant Director of Surveying and his mother-in-law, Louise. Louise is a retired Registered Nurse of 46 years, who saw the PPE shortage as an opportunity to help others. 

Aaron grew up in Loganville, Georgia, and after gaining several years’ experience with another firm, he joined the W&A team in 2014. Working in various positions within the survey department, Aaron has risen to the Assistant Director of Surveying in the last six years. In this role he coordinates projects with the support of several managers who oversee the survey crews.

Thanks to good Samaritans like Aaron’s mother-in-law, Louise, who had started sewing masks for the hospital she previously worked most of her years as a nurse, Gwinnett Medical, now Northside Medical, where she donated 70 masks to support their healthcare staff. When Aaron asked if she could make masks for everyone on W&A’s survey crews, she of course said yes. Louise then continued to make extras for anyone at W&A who needed them. Altogether, Louise has made 150 masks and counting. To date, she has sewn 30 for W&A, 30 for Wachs Water Services, the company Aaron’s brother-in-law works at, and the rest have been for friends and family.

The apple must not fall far from the tree, however, because when asked, Aaron is quick to acknowledge that he could not do what he does without his wife, Brie. Brie and Aaron have two young children, and Aaron’s transition to remote-work has gone smoother than he expected. “Brie does and always has done an amazing job keeping up with everything to do with the kids and house. I wouldn’t be able to put the hours in at work, whether it’s at the office or at home if it wasn’t for her. She has done a great job not letting our boys distract me from work while working remotely,” said Aaron. 

Aaron’s story is similar to so many others, as we all work to find new and innovative ways to deal with varying circumstances during COVID-19. Thanks to the support and compassion of our staff members and their families, W&A’s staff is able to safely continue pursuing their mission to build better communities.