Staff spotlight on Orin Schmitt 

This month, DEQ turns the spotlight on Orin Schmitt, who for many staff at DEQ, is one of their first points of contact at the agency. But Orin is more than about just onboarding new staff. 

What do you do at DEQ? 

As a training and development specialist, my job requires me to design, deliver and evaluate training and development projects. I work independently and with others to assess and develop training for all DEQ employees ranging from developmental training to job-specific training.  

I have daily contact with staff, agency administrators and managers, to discuss training programs, assess training needs and answer questions or concerns.  

Having this contact helps me collaborate with others so I can identify issues, generate alternatives and develop solutions. I then make suggestions and recommendations regarding various trainings and methods that will benefit employees and bring change into the agency to improve work productivity and employee satisfaction.  

I also work with subject matter experts to design curricula, implement training, suggest methods of delivery, and provide technical assistance and consultation to agency staff and managers. 

What is your favorite part of working at DEQ?  

I have to say I have two. When people ask me where I work and what I do for a living, I like to be able to say I work somewhere that is really making a difference. As a born and raised Oregonian, I am proud of the work DEQ does to restore, maintain and enhance Oregon. My other favorite part is, I get to onboard all the new hires at DEQ. I love getting to meet and welcome everyone, help them learn about DEQ’s history and provide them with all the basics they need to get started. It energizes me to welcome and interact with all these incredible, talented, diverse individuals who are just starting to become members of the DEQ family. 

What do you do to relax? What’s your favorite hobby? 

I don’t know if you can call this a hobby, but my favorite thing to do is to take myself someplace that is sunny and spectacular. I love sunshine, shopping and music. I love traveling to Las Vegas for the shopping and concerts and to Palm Springs for the sunshine. These trips are like little shots of adrenaline for me. At the end of summer, if I need to just relax, I like to go to Rockaway Beach here in Oregon, rent a beach house and just take a few weeks to relax and unwind. 

If you could have any meal tonight, what would it be? 

I love Mexican food and I can never decide what I want when I go out to a restaurant. So if I could have any meal tonight it would be a GIANT combination platter with cheese and onion enchiladas, tamales, chili rellenos, rice and beans and a little plate of nachos on the side with shredded beef, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go? 

I would go to London, England. I have grown up listening to so much music that has come out of the U.K. I would love to see and visit all of the places I have heard about in songs and seen in music videos and on T.V. and in the movies. 

By Michele Thompson, DEQ Web Design/Business Applications and Graphics 

Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.