Employee Spotlight: Elisabeth Hutzel

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Last Updated: May 18, 2023 11:00 AM

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What do you do at Hannon Hill?

I’m Hannon Hill’s Services Senior Web Developer. In short, I help clients implement their websites into Cascade CMS. This includes a variety of tasks, the most basic of which is setting up a new client with their first page types, generally in the form of a QuickStart, and encompasses everything from templates to data definitions to formats.

I assist existing clients with updating their current implementation, which could include HTML, CSS, JS, and/or Velocity. I have also created a few of our modules, and I complete implementations and customizations for those.

Another task I spend a lot of time on is coding custom web service scripts using the Cascade REST API. This could be a content migration into Cascade or some other function that a client wants to automate, such as updating assets across all sites.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you joined the company?

I always wanted to do something with computers, so I got my B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

Before joining Hannon Hill, I worked at a start-up company right out of college. I was on the company's Product team, which wasn't aligned with what I wanted to do, and that company didn't have a Professional Services team, so I decided to look elsewhere.

I also taught kids how to make video games for a summer camp, which was enjoyable, but only a summer position.

After that, Hannon Hill found me, and I haven't looked back since!

How has your position evolved since you started?

I only worked on regular implementations when I started working at Hannon Hill. The addition of scripts and customizations has been an evolution. As the longest-standing Services team member, my position evolved into a technical team lead role. As Cascade, our other products, and technology advance, there will always be new things to learn and offer.

Can you share a project or accomplishment that you're particularly proud of?

Brandeis University is one of my favorite clients. They are like my baby. They were my first large project, a complete site redesign, and my first migration script (although it was Cascade to Cascade).

We have done numerous additional projects with Brandeis throughout my years on the team, updating different departments' websites and changing the main site. I feel like I've been on an entire journey with them.

I am always very proud of every successful custom migration project. Just seeing all of the content I helped migrate live for the whole world to see makes me feel like an important part of their website.

What skills or qualities do you think are most important for success in your role?

Communication is probably number one in my book. Clients often don't know exactly what they want, so the ability to ask the right questions and develop a solution is key to successful projects and happy clients.

We also need to mesh well as a team, helping each other out, answering questions, and sometimes even working together on the same project, so without communication, we would be too siloed.

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What has been your most memorable vacation spot or what place would you like to visit one day?

Growing up, my family would go to Silver Star Mountain in BC, Canada, every Thanksgiving for a vacation ski trip! We would go cross-country and downhill skiing, ice skating, tubing, building snowmen and igloos, and really any winter activity you can think of.

I haven't been in a long time, but it is definitely something I will always remember fondly.

What motivates you?

I am motivated by results. Seeing the product of my work with satisfied customers encourages me to put in the maximum effort every time.

I guess this works in my personal life too. I like to cook and bake, but if I didn't have anyone to share and enjoy the food with me, I wouldn't be nearly as motivated to try new recipes.

 

What do you do for fun?
Battle bots

I enjoy reading and playing video and tabletop games during my downtime. In the winter, I go skiing as much as possible, and in the summer, I hike the Cascade Mountains and help in my parents’ garden. I also love cuddling with my cats and bunny!

My partner and I enjoy the very nerdy sport of BattleBots, so much so that we went to Vegas last October to experience it live! Fun fact: We are now in a ton of audience shots on TV. I wish I had gone to a school with a robotics team, because that would have been amazing to be a part of.

What's your favorite quote and why?

“Don't look back with regret, look forward with hope.”

I think this saying really resonates with me as I tend to dwell on past mistakes, and while it is good to learn from them, you can't do anything to change the past. It is better to look towards the future and all of the things you have yet to do and experience.

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