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Employee Spotlight: Brad Smith

We are excited to bring you another Employee Spotlight! This regular feature acquaints you with both an ARRO team member and a nonprofit that they – and now ARRO – proudly support. This spotlight falls on Brad Smith, an Engineer who works in our Birdsboro, PA office.

 Do you mind telling us a bit about your background? Where you call home and where you went to school?

I grew up in Boyertown, PA, and now live in Exeter Township (Berks County) with my wife and five daughters. I attended Messiah University (in cooperation with Temple University), studying Civil Engineering. I also took graduate classes with Penn State University.

What brought you to ARRO? What is your title?

I came to ARRO 18 years ago to broaden my experience in engineering and really found my place here. Today, I am an Engineer V. I work in water resources with projects in floodplain determination, HEC-RAS, sewage collection, stormwater, MS4, grant writing, industrial pretreatment, water distribution—along with services in land development, grants, municipal engineering, construction engineering and administration and zoning. I really enjoy helping municipalities solve their problems.

You’ve been attending Shepherd of the Hills Church in Bechtelsville, PA with your family for the last 28 years and have been helping the church organize annual missions trips the last few years. Can you share some more details about these trips?

After COVID, our church recognized the need to revive our community outreach efforts—so a couple years ago we began organizing missions trips again. The first trip we planned was to Baltimore, where we partnered with a local church called Morning Light Calvary Chapel. Together, we participated in two food ministries and helped refurbish a row home in the city. (This home will take in individuals recently discharged from rehab and, for up to two years, provide shelter, job training and mentorship.)

Our next trip took us to New York City with Street Life Ministries, where we assisted the homeless and did street outreach. This year, we are partnering with Morning Light again to support Mustard Tree Farm, Inc. This ministry owns a farm in Pennsylvania that is being renovated to house children who are victims of human trafficking or other abuse. Looking ahead, we are developing relationships in Mexico to serve in areas impacted by the drug trade.

What is your favorite part about participating in missions trips with your church group?

Organizing and going on missions trips with my church is incredibly rewarding but it’s not without its challenges. We often encounter unexpected problems, have to manage limited resources, and the days can be mentally and physically draining. Volunteering in this way definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone and challenges my faith. But as General Longstreet said, “you can’t lead from behind,” so I choose to keep pushing myself because it helps me grow as an individual.

I would ultimately say my favorite part of volunteering is the aftermath of each trip. Looking back, I see the beauty of God at work. That is what resonates most with me. A group of people who were once strangers came together as a team to work toward a common goal that helped others. That is so rewarding to see.

ARRO is happy to provide a donation to the upcoming trip to Mustard Tree Farm in July. What are a few ways monetary donations will support the project?

Mustard Tree is a new ministry dedicated to providing a safe haven for abused and trafficked children. They plan to offer counseling, therapy, education, care of animals and a safe place to grow up. However, as the property has been uninhabited for several years, there is significant work required to bring everything up-to-code, and make it a safe and welcoming environment. ARRO’s monetary donations will directly contribute to these critical renovations and improvements, such as cleaning out the barn and demolishing several out-buildings, ensuring that Mustard Tree Farm can fulfill its mission to provide a nurturing and secure home for vulnerable children.

Learn more about this month’s beneficiary, Mustard Tree Farm, and how you can support them by contacting Shepherd of the Hills Church.