During Pride Month, we are sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ employee-owners at Parametrix. Meet Kyle Chiodo, a Designer based in Central Oregon who is part of our Portland Transportation team. He has worked at Parametrix for 4 years.
Tell us about your career. What do you do? Tell us about a project you’re working on currently or a project you have worked on that you’re proud of
I am a Civil Designer in the Portland Transportation Group. Currently I am working on the Interstate Bridge Replacement project as the CAD Lead. I have been working through the quirks of learning a new software and helping set the project up for success on the CAD front as we move further into the design phase of the project and creating exhibits for some of the many meetings. One of my other favorite projects at Parametrix was working as the Civil and Right of Way CAD Lead for the Southwest Corridor project, one that I hope someday gets funding and is able to be built. It connects the south suburbs of Portland to the rest of the city.
Tell us about your family.
My family is my partner Dustin who works in healthcare and our two dogs, Charlie, a Cocker Spaniel mix and Cheese, a Schnoodle. We are both close with our extended family too and spend time with them whenever we can. We know we are lucky LGBTQ+ members whose families accepted them with open arms.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I love to go camping (glamping), kayaking, hiking, fishing, and gardening. We just moved back to Central Oregon for my partner’s job and have been re-exploring the area now that we have a small camper. I am also an avid woodworker and DIY’er with a passion for design. We’ve remodeled our last two homes top to bottom, this time we tried a new construction home and I’ve still found plenty of DIY projects to keep myself busy!
How has being LGBTQ+ influenced your career? What challenges have you faced?
Being part of the LGBTQ+ community and working in the AEC industry hasn't always been easy. I've worked in heavy civil construction where I didn’t feel comfortable at all being open about myself and other places just out to a few close co-workers who knew the real me. One of the reasons I chose Parametrix as a place I wanted to work was because of the inclusive environment. It is the first place I have worked that I have felt comfortable being open and out about who I am with my coworkers and by contributing to this pride piece that means all my coworkers companywide!
What does Pride Month mean to you? How do you celebrate? What would you like others to know about Pride Month?
Pride Month isn't something I have always celebrated or understood even as a member of the LGTBQ+ Community, but now we try to attend some sort of Pride Event if we can. The last few years have been difficult with covid though so I just try to help spread awareness where and when I can. I don't think everyone understands how important Pride is because not everyone has an open supportive family, or co-workers, or live someplace they feel safe being out about their identity. Pride is about feeling proud of who you are and celebrating your true authentic self, for some it's the only time they have to be themselves.
Can you recommend any LGBTQ+ organizations for people to support?
I am a supporter of OUT Central Oregon. OUT Central Oregon develops and supports events and provides information to encourage community involvement and build well-being for the LGBTQ+ community. It's a great organization that helps spread awareness in the area, not just in Bend but in other smaller towns like Redmond and Prineville are even having small pride events.