Mindshare is a forum for ideas—a chance to share the latest breakthroughs in our business, from “aha” moments to the latest sustainable strategies or most current code revisions. It’s also a chance for Rushing to share our community connections and global concerns as we work to create a more sustainable culture.
Please join us in the dialog—we believe the most interesting conversations thrive on collaboration.
Employee spotlight: Krystle Smith
Krystle Smith is a senior lighting designer at Rushing. We asked Krystle to give us a peek into her work-from-home life as well as share about how she got into her field and a project she’s excited about right now.
Q. How did you get interested in lighting design? A. A lie. My high school teacher needed students for her Stagecraft class. I wanted to be a writer and go into film studies, but the film directing class was full for the semester (it was always so popular). “Stagecraft?” I asked. “You’ll learn everything a good director needs to know,” she assured, so I naively signed up. For the next two weeks I was hanging lights, running cable, painting sets and telling actors to shut up backstage in preparation for a production of The Music Man. When I called her out on the fact that this clearly wasn’t what I was looking for and felt she lied to me, she said, “So I told a little white lie? Theatre is more fun and you have a natural knack for lighting.” Annoyed as I was, she was right—it was ridiculously fun and I did discover talent for something I never even knew about. “Well, at least there are lots of jobs and great pay to be had in theatre, right?” I worriedly inquired. “Oh…,” she slightly paused as if caught in a moral dilemma, but ignoring it continued, “…of course!” It wasn’t until I graduated college that I realized I’d been had again, but I eventually found my way into architectural lighting design, which I enjoy immensely.
Q. What has brought you joy this week? A. Working from home—CALI STYLE! I figured out how to take my Teams meetings poolside when the weather permits, and in California the weather is always permitting.
Q. How are you staying active? A. Next question…
Q. Have you picked up any new hobbies? A. I started doing cross stitch. It’s easy and they have fun patterns that speak to me.
Q. Which projects are you excited about right now? A. I’m excited about the California Theatre project in San Diego, California. It hits all my lighting wishes that I like in a project: challenging energy codes, dynamic lighting features and opportunities for growth and development in a new area of the market.
Q. Anything else you want to add? A. If you’re wondering what happened to that unscrupulous teacher of mine, you should know she remains a beloved mentor, friend and liar to all teenagers she thinks need a push out of their comfort zone.
Meet the rest of our lighting team or check out more work-from-home employee spotlights:
A week before the scheduled June 23 release of a tell-all book of John Bolton's tenure as President Trump's national security adviser, the Trump administration mounted a last-ditch effort to block its publication. The Justice Department’s civil lawsuit says the publication of Bolton’s memoir, The Room Where It Happened, would be a violation of nondisclosure agreements and compromise national security. Publisher Simon & Schuster said the book, "shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government."
President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training — a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against people of color. The order will create a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, and use federal grants to encourage departments to meet certain higher certification standards on use of force. The president is facing fierce political pressure to take action following the national outcry over the killing of George Floyd and others by police.
A record-setting number of women are running for the House this year, fueled by a surge in Republican candidates. Why? GOP leadership set out to recruit more women to run — and it worked. Many women who were thinking about running on the GOP ticket also “wanted to change the narrative to say: ‘The Republican Party isn’t bad for women,’” said Professor Kelly Dittmar with the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. (Listen here or read the story)
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has an advantage over President Trump in the states likely to tip the presidential race, but he's still short of solidifying 270 electoral votes needed to win in November. Support for Trump is slipping in the key states he won in 2016 and his disapproval rating is at near record-highs as voters gauge his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and protests over racism and police brutality.
California’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of unlawfully starting a fire. It marks the first time that any major utility has been charged with homicide. In 2018, a horrific blaze destroyed much of the town of Paradise in Northern California. The fire was determined to have been sparked by the utility’s faulty equipment.
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Some major shift appears to be happening to a lot of white people. Protests and marches have erupted across the country in broad support of the Black Lives Matter movement, even in alabaster-white cities with negligible black populations. The New York Times' bestseller list has been topped with books that have titles like White Fragility, Me And White Supremacy, How To Be An Antiracist and So You Want To Talk About Race. And several major polls show that white support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which was underwater at the time of the Ferguson protests in 2014, has spiked around the world in recent weeks. Code Switch podcast host Gene Demby wants to know: Why now? (Listen here or read the story)
Climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are not part of the $3 trillion in U.S. relief packages passed so far — despite a long history of funding energy programs after economic crises. For years, scientists have been warning that carbon emissions must be reduced dramatically to avoid the worst effects of climate change. (Listen here or read the story)
Before You Go
Although sisters Este, Danielle and Alana — the trio known as HAIM — are self-quarantining in separate residences, their Tiny Desk set from home is a reminder that California is a state of mind.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he is on board with any of the NFL's 32 franchises signing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In an interview with ESPN earlier this week, Goodell admitted the league was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier" on racial injustice issues.
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with cellist Yo-Yo Ma about his reunion with Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan and their new upcoming album, Not Our First Goat Rodeo.
The new book by journalist Chase Purdy, Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food, wants readers to ask: What is meat, exactly?
Record of the Day - In tune. Informed. Indispensable.
In tune. Informed. Indispensable.
Monday 8 June 2020
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Easing our way into a new week is this soulful ode from London-based singer-songwriter FAYYE. Having grown up in a family of pianists, she learnt to play the piano from a young age. Over time, drawing upon the Greek and Irish folk music of her childhood along with the '90s and pop of her teenage years, she honed her music at open mic nights across the city. She is the title track of her debut EP released last Friday (5 June) and is a hauntingly melancholic, yet uplifting number. There’s a touch of London Grammar’s dreamy pop tones about it but also a soft jazzier side too - perfect for mellow playlists. Clash magazine are fans having supported her first single and this Wednesday she will be performing a live streamed gig for Sofa Session. Currently working on her next project with Ian Barter (Amy Winehouse, Paloma Faith, Izzy Bizu), FAYYE is an emerging new talent to keep close tabs on for the future.