Civiltech staff turned to the Roundabout, the company’s intranet platform, to crowdsource a snowman! Kristin Kalitowski, P.E., led the Civiltech effort with the goal of entering the 1st Annual Snowman Contest being held at the APWA Chicago Metro Chapter’s 2022 Holiday Luncheon. The snowman could be made out of anything but snow and was to be displayed and judged at the luncheon.

The creative and collaborative effort began with a Roundabout post by Kristin asking for ideas to flesh out the little man who began to take form from a stack of hard hats replicating the requisite 3 snow boulders that create the classic snowman form. Requests for clever solutions included things like how to affix a ruler to create arms, how to attach toy tires on the vertical face for eyes, what to use as a nose (a construction cone being an obvious solution except that it would be far too large), ideas for additional accoutrements, and ultimately, a name.

The Civiltech team pulled together with individuals providing out-of-the-box ideas, such as using a 6’ folding ruler for the arms, and offering supplies, such as the all-important crafty glue gun. A Hot Wheels orange cone became a nose, a graphic traffic signal became colorful buttons, and construction site tape became a scarf. Finishing touches included a construction vest and a Civiltech hat. Then Maddie Johnson, P.E., and Jen Hurtado joined Kristin in breathing life into the snowman.

The last, but perhaps most important step was to give the snowman a name. Again, staff took to the Roundabout with recommendations. After a number of clever suggestions, the Civiltech snowman was named Shivertech.

Although he didn’t win, Shivertech made us proud by standing tall and bravely competing in the contest as well as representing the magic that can happen at the intersection of creativity and collaboration. Now, he is happily living out his life in the lobby of Civiltech’s Itasca office.  Never has there been a more cheerful greeter.

But Shivertech the Snowman,
Knows the season will end someday,
So he says, “stop by and tell me hi,”
Now before I’m packed away.

Shivertech the Snowman,
Will be hard hats again we fear,
Soon he’ll wave goodbye, saying don’t you cry,
I’ll be back again, next year.