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This month’s Employee Spotlight is…

David Tan – Senior UI/UX Designer


1. Where did you grow up? Where do you reside now?

David supporting his hometown Winnipeg Jets

I grew up in Winnipeg, a City in Manitoba, Canada. It’s also known as Winter-Peg for how cold it gets in the winter and is home to the Winnipeg Jets NHL hockey team. I currently live in downtown Philadelphia.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up (when you were child)?

Growing up, I first wanted to be Superman for obvious reasons. Then, when I discovered that was not a practical or potential option, I wanted to be an Architect.

3. What guided you into the energy efficiency industry?

I’ve been interested in building design and energy efficiency for a long time. When I was younger, my grandfather came to live with us when he was going through cancer treatments. He was a mechanical engineer in WWII stationed in the UK. After the war, he became an inventor (on the side) when he wasn’t fixing planes. While staying with us, he would write letters to other European inventors. Before the internet, they would send VHS tapes to each other showing different inventions. Some of the inventions were related to building science, geothermal, and energy efficiency-related things. That sparked my initial interest in energy efficiency. So, later in life, while looking for a Job in Ithaca, NY, I saw a job opening for an energy efficiency company called PSD, and I applied.

4. What does a day in the life of David at PSD look like?

I work in the Software Development, Products group. We work on improving our software products for clients. A typical day involves participating in client sprints and dividing and selecting projects into multiple cards that developers can pick up. We resolve bugs, improve design, and build new features for clients. There are meetings in the mix to plan future development efforts.

5. Our company has five core values (Integrity, Passion, Collaboration, Vision, and Making an Impact). Which of these values resonates most with you and the work you do at PSD?

I resonate with all of them, but mostly with Vision and Collaboration. I think building great products needs to involve all the stakeholders to ensure we understand the problems and address the needs of our clients and users. Vision is a big one for me because I know what’s possible, and we want our team to work on the best solutions for our clients.

6. What is your favorite PSD-related memory?

My favorite PSD-related memory was a recent one when we celebrated PSD’s 25th Anniversary. It was great to spend quality time with the larger PSD team at an in-person event in Ithaca. Also, since most of our team is spread out across the US, it was great to spend time with them in person. We really have great and dedicated people working at PSD. All with a goal to improve the world around us and make a positive impact.

7. What do you do when you aren’t at work? Any interesting hobbies? 

David and his partner traveling around the world

I love hiking and spending time in nature with my partner and dog. I also have a deep interest in history. So, I love any opportunity to travel and experience places I’ve been learning about.

8. Do you have any pets?

I have two pets. A dog (wire haired fox terrier) and a cat.

9. What is your favorite holiday?

My favorite holiday is Christmas. I grew up Catholic, so it’s always been an important holiday for me. But I also love that it’s a time to appreciate the people in your life and spend quality downtime to connect with family and friends.

10. Favorite travel destination? Or dream travel destination?

My favorite travel destination is Rome, Italy. I’ve been there many times now. But I love being surrounded by all the history and walking through the old winding Roman streets. It also doesn’t hurt that they have some of the best food in the world. I love the fresh ingredients and outdoor markets in the Piazzas around the city. I am looking forward to going back again!

11. Favorite musician/genre?

My musical tastes are very eclectic. I listen to a bit of everything from rock, folk, blues, and funk to classical music. I would have a hard time narrowing down to a favorite musician. Depending on the day, it would likely change. Recently, I’ve been listening to Chris and Thomas, the Menahan Street Band, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

12. What’s the top item that is still on your bucket list? Have you checked anything cool or fun off?

Financial Independence is probably the top item on my bucket list. But that’s a long way off. I’ve spent the last few years improving my financial literacy and think it’s an important thing people should spend more time understanding. In terms of a fun bucket list, many items are about traveling and experiencing different places. I am currently planning a road trip with my partner and dog to Williamsburg, the Outer Banks, and Asheville, and I’m looking forward to it. I love road trips, where we listen to audiobooks and podcasts along the way. It makes for great conversations while you’re stuck in the car together.

13. What is an interesting thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I love to cook. Just like a lot of things about me, I really like a mix of different things. I grew up with a mixed background from my French-Canadian Mom and Filipino/Chinese Dad showing me various foods from an early age. I love cooking everything from Italian, Japanese, and Indian to Chinese food. My partner is a classically trained French Chef, so food is an important staple in our house.

Thank you, David! We appreciate you taking the time to do this and are excited to have people get to know a little more about our employees here at PSD.

David speaking at PSD’s 25th Anniversary

David on a hike in the woods