Karl manages the preparation of Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) and Mitigated Negative Declarations (MND) for numerous residential projects, large office projects, civic development projects, and rezoning projects.

1. What is your favorite ESA moment/memory so far?
I’d have to say it was years ago when Anthony Padilla had a small basketball hoop (for crumpled sheets of balled-up paper) in the Brannan Street production room. One day he was blocking jump shots by a couple of other employees so I drove straight at him and MISSED the over-the-head dunk.

2. What does it mean to you to be part of an employee-owned company?
Everyone has a stake in the results of our work, which I think makes people feel more engaged. Also, in this era of mega-takeovers, it provides us some protection.

3. What has been your favorite job in your career and why?
Probably my first one, at a gas station. I had a great boss who gave me far more responsibility than I deserved right out of high school, I learned a lot of practical things (about cars, work life, and people), I was working outside, and I DID NOT have to take my work home with me. (Of course, we all take our work home nowadays.)

4. What keeps you coming to work here at ESA every day?
It’s been said many times before, but it is the people. Even working remotely, the support of other staff is as strong as ever. While random brainstorming is more challenging, the good people still shine.

5. What is your hidden talent?
Repairing plumbing leaks at the office. But more importantly (although less hidden) is [was] supplying everyone with high-carb breakfast on Friday mornings!

6. What’s your favorite thing to do when you are out of the office?
Repair things around the house.

7. What are three skills that you bring to the ESA team? In other words, what should colleagues know to reach out to you about?

  • I am old, so I know a fair number of project histories, especially in the Bay Area.
  • I enjoy reading and understanding CEQA case law.
  • Any time you need to rant about CEQA, I am here for you.

8. Share a personal fact no one would ever guess about you?
Past jobs include emergency medical technician, taxi driver, news reporter, and office staff for a women’s professional basketball team.

Karl Heisler