Rae Anne Rushing
Ms Rae Anne Rushing
President/CEO, Rushing Company
Seattle, WA

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    Today, I have the privilege and joy to manage Rushing Company which I founded with my partner Scott five years ago. It is a role that fits me like a glove. We currently employ 25 professionals in the mechanical and electrical engineering fields. We design High Performance Commercial Buildings in the Pacific Northwest and around the world . I recently was asked by the Governor of Washington State to serve as a delegate on a business trade mission to Asia and I am a current member of the Clinton Global Initiative serving on committees to find solutions to our world's biggest problems. I serve on many community boards such as the Washington State Workforce Development Council and volunteer my time as a Peer Board Member of the YWCA.
  • Why Engineering?
    In 1982 the choice of becoming an engineer was about two things: 1) I was naturally strong in math and science; and 2) it was the highest paid profession with a four year degree right out of school. Money was very important as I was a teen parent with one small child with only a GED equivalency high school diploma.
  • School Days
    I went to the University of Washington. I graduated in 1988 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. I became Registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of Washington in 1994.
  • My Day At Work
    I have designed heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems for commercial buildings for over 20 years. These systems are responsible for over 40% of the energy consumption in the US. It is and has always been my passion to reduce the carbon footprint of our designs and our clients buildings. Development must continue, and we will design them better and more efficient!
  • Best Part
    It is a non-emotional business when it comes to the facts of the design BUT it is a VERY emotional business when it comes to the business side of the business! Every project is different, very creative. I never know what is going to happen in my day. There has NEVER been a problem we, as a team, cannot solve. That is CRAZY fun!
  • Proud Moments
    I am proudest of the fact that I have had the wonderful blessing to have each of my children be able to intern at my company and work with me. This was and still is the most amazing gift in my life.
  • Challenges
    1. Having children young while in college. 2. Having to work and have a family while earning my degree.  3. Graduating at 23 years old with two children, but not being taken seriously or having the same respect as my male peers.  4. Under paid with respect to my male peers.  5. Not given proper leadership roles with respect to my male peers.  6. Hitting the pay and responsibility "ceiling" at age 40 in my industry as a professional woman engineer.
  • My Family
    I was paying rent at 14, dropped out of HS at 15 and I was the first to graduate from college. I left home at 16 to have my baby. Today I have three children, all adults: 28, 24, and 18. They are all college graduates or on their way to becoming college graduates! My Engineering career made this all possible.
  • Dreams and Goals
    In the short term, my goal is to continue to manage Rushing Company internationally and complete the Documentary that I am working on for the Clinton Global Initiative: Inspiring Young Women to pursue careers in Engineering. My long term goals are to semi-retire and transition our younger Principal staff into Management Leaders. I want to work more with young people.
  • Inspiration
    My three children: Evan, 28; Amanda, 24; and Anton; 18. While I have heroes that have certainly inspired me upwards, the real motivators were my children. Their joy and love inspired and motivated me everyday and still does. I always felt devinely guided.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    This is a field dominated by males. Don't be naive or surprised when you arrive and find that men sometimes misbehave. Keep your integrity high, insist that the company you work for takes its bar higher. If you truely have the passion to overlook and tolerate this wart, then you will find a very lucrative and creative career that can open many doors and options that other degrees just cannot get you. Engineering needs the talents and perspectives of women. Just as the field of Medicine would be out of balance without a diverse amount of women, we are lonely in mechanical engineering at only 7% women. It is out of balance.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Rae Anne went from being a high-school dropout and teen parent to managing her own successful engineering company designing energy efficient buildings.
  • Hobbies
    This work can be quite stressful and anyone considering this profession must be ready for deadline management skills. I manage stress with YOGA practice and meditation. My day always starts with my dog Russell, a crossword puzzle, and a cup of coffee. We walk, drink, puzzle, YOGA, then ready for the day!
Biography

RAE ANNE RUSHING, P.E., LEED AP:

…I am many things; a natural leader, an engineer, an entrepreneur and a visionary.

With this toolbox of traits, starting Rushing Company was the obvious next step to continuing my vision of strong, creative, sustainable engineering. The way I see it, there is no creativity without diversity; more than one way of thinking is critical in the development of a successful solution. It is my passion for this that led to the evolution of Rushing Company into a diverse, multi-disciplinary firm, constantly seeking new innovative approaches to engineering and sustainability.

In 1982 the choice of becoming an engineer was about two things: 1) I was naturally strong in math and science; and 2) it was the highest paid profession with a four year degree right out of school.

Money was very important as I was a teen parent with one small child with only a GED equivalency high school diploma. I was brought into the University of Washington system through the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP), specifically the Economically Disadvantaged Student Division (EDSD). As I went through the process of applying to the UW, I knew that my admission was my only way out of generations of poverty, alcoholism, child abuse, etc.; and I would have the opportunity to become the first person in my family to gain a college education and break the cycle of poverty and abuse for my child.

Today I have three children, all adults: 28, 24, and 18. They are all college graduates or on their way to becoming college graduates! My Engineering career made this all possible.

During college I received many accolades and scholarships recognizing my hard work, many of which were as a result of nominations from my professors. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington in 1988.

Today, I have the privilege and joy to manage Rushing Company which I founded with my partner Scott five years ago.  It is a role that fits me like a glove. We currently employ 25 professionals in the mechanical and electrical engineering fields. We design High Performance Commercial Buildings in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. I recently was asked by the Governor of Washington State to serve as a delegate on a business trade mission to Asia and I am a current member of the Clinton Global Initiative serving on committees to find solutions to our world's biggest problems. I serve on many community boards such as the Washington State Workforce Development Council and volunteer my time as a Peer Board Member of the YWCA.

When I am not working, I like to spend my time practicing yoga, skiing, and walking with my dog named Russell Q. Tip.

Engineering has definitely changed my life, impacted my children's lives, and enabled all of us to be independent and free to become everything that we could be. I am proud to promote engineering as a career for women.

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