Stephanie Adamczyk – Project Manager
Stephanie Adamczyk has proven herself a strong leader in Ryan Companies’ Senior Living Projects group by creating national awareness of innovative ideas that can be applied in the practical sense. She has explored the entire spectrum of prefabrication to provide quicker schedules, better quality, and a safer environment on the projects she leads. And the company’s Great Lakes operation has grown by about 40% since Adamczyk joined. Adamczyk also participates in Ryan’s Emerging Leaders Group, an internal “mini-MBA” program where the best and brightest learn about the company’s business lines, participate in advanced leadership training, and work on a project with direct impact to Ryan’s future. Adamczyk chose as her project: innovation, which comprises applying anything from virtual reality, to robots, to autonomous vehicles in the construction environment. She identified the highest value opportunities and created an action plan that can gain traction within an organization as large and diverse as Ryan.
Nicole Baca – Estimator
Nicole Baca plays a critical role at Suffolk Construction, where she has leveraged her skills as an estimator to win new business and validate the need for cutting-edge tools and processes in the industry. Her work has proven key to Suffolk’s Build Smart approach, which uses an interactive huddle wall in the company’s Smart Lab. Baca leveraged 5D estimating from the preconstruction phase into the current buyout phase of 1100 Clay Street, a 16-story, 288-unit apartment building with about 4,000-sq.ft., of street level retail space. Using the technologies available in the Smart Lab, she has worked with teams to update and compare 3D cost models that boost predictability, reduce risks, and run cost/quantity variance reports to use for change management. Baca also leads development and implementation of a software program to automate the traditional estimating process, promoting a more principled, streamlined approach to building.
Alyssa Bailey – Project Engineer
Alyssa Bailey essentially created her own job. She taught herself the intricacies of software that enabled her to become Stronghold Engineering’s liaison with architect/engineer firm Cannon and the GSA (General Services Admin.). The GSA manages government buildings and real estate and supports product and services procurement. Bailey leveraged her role on a $20 million design-build renovation of 12 floors of an occupied building to save money and shorten the timeframe, since she could easily access project managers’ input. In the process, she learned GSA’s proprietary software to turn in timely reports. Bailey additionally teams with other project engineers at her company to encourage high quality standards; she serves on a community board; and she participates on Stronghold Engineering’s wellness committee.
Joanna Benning – VP of Facilities and Construction
Joanna Benning oversees operations for Mercyhealth’s system facilities and construction, architectural and engineering services, telecommunications, and safety and risk management. Mercyhealth is a regional health system with more than 700 employed physician partners, seven hospitals, and 85 primary and specialty care locations throughout 50 northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin communities. In her role, Benning leverages her experience with submittals, design research, space planning, and construction drawings. She works with Revit, AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Architecture. She also has experience with sustainable design and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Benning joined Mercy in 2009 as director of architectural and engineering services and has been involved in several facility projects and renovations, most recently, the completion of the MHTC ambulance garage expansion, Mercy Delavan Medical Center, and Mercy Elkhorn Medical Center.
Jamie Berzon – Information Technology Manager
S.M. Wilson & Co.
Jamie Berzon started as a draftsman 19 years ago at S.M. Wilson, a 97-year-old nationally recognized contractor. Berzon has leveraged her expertise with a number of systems in conjunction with her industry knowledge of cost management, submittals, and project planning. Berzon said in an internal video that S.M. Wilson is working to share its collaborative environment with owners, architects, and other contractors. S.M. Wilson, which boasts employee ownership through an ESOP and 75% of its business from repeat customers, leverages Google tools to enable a central repository for documents both internal and those shared outside of S.M. Wilson. Berzon sees communication in everything her employer does. She says some of the great things about S. M. Wilson are the company culture, the family friendly atmosphere, and the willingness of the executives to respond to employee needs.
Caramy Biederman – Engineering Team Lead
Caramy Biederman leads electrical design efforts as an engineering team leader at Faith Technologies, where she oversees a team of engineers, designers, and detailers. Her expertise is in leading projects that use BIM (building information modeling) coordination and detailing. The work uses technology to virtually build a building before it goes to construction, with the detailing then used for manufacturing assemblies at the company’s Excellerate manufacturing building. Excellerate provides manufactured assemblies and “ready to install” components to jobsites nationwide. So her role is an integral one. Biederman has also been instrumental in Faith’s renewable energy solutions projects. In Biederman’s tenure, she has been involved in the conceptualization and/or design of four utility-scale solar projects, five customer solar projects (roof and ground mount), performed several return-on-investment analyses, two CHP (combined heat and power) applications, and three microgrids. She is also lead engineer on a state-of-the-art microgrid at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve.
Heather Bowman – Director of Operations
Branch & Associates
As director of operations at general manager Branch & Associates’ Herndon office, Heather Bowman runs the firm’s Northern Virginia construction program. Bowman also serves as project executive, leading teams and ensuring all client objectives are met and expectations exceeded. A highly detail-oriented professional who is relentless about exploring new technologies, Bowman plays an integral role in developing and refining the company’s standard operating procedures and establishing best practices and process enhancement. Her ability to research and evaluate new technological tools makes her a natural to lead solutions assimilation and training across the company’s three offices. Bowman’s successes include the Prince William/Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center; the Crossroads Station Apartments; and the Lewinsville Inter-generational Center. Bowman also has demonstrated outstanding leadership with people. Her recruitment and personnel structuring efforts have boosted morale and led to a dramatic increase both in the scope of projects the office is undertaking, as well as the overall office volume.
Ally Cain – Project Management
Walt Disney Imagineering
Ally Cain recently transitioned into a new role and company, but made a name for herself by expanding Fluor Corp.’s innovative safety planning application, called Safety Pin. Safety Pin is an application for project sites that unites location monitoring and connects site-wide pre-task planning. While still in its pilot phase, Safety Pin will ultimately make jobs safer by providing location monitoring, connected safety conversations, and realtime 3D visualization and notifications. Indeed, innovation—and technology—could be Cain’s middle name. Her work to establish Fluor’s innovation catalyst event, Innovation Unwrapped, as well as her efforts to implement Safety Pin on project sites have given her a reputation for being not only a trendsetter during her time at Fluor, but in the industry, as well. Cain has also worked to share Fluor’s solutions with industry partners, such as the company’s integrated scaffolding solution with the Fiatech organization and sharing Fluor’s modularization developments with the Edison Awards innovation organization.
Janet Callahan – President and COO
Palmer Paving Corp.
Jan Callahan oversees technology development and integration for the company, which includes administrative, manufacturing, and construction service operations. That means she is responsible for ensuring the company is profitable, as well as focusing on quality, safety, environmental stewardship, customer service, and cost-effective resource management. In doing so, Callahan pushes innovation and asks vendors to think outside the box. For example, she recently worked on safety protocols, processes, and tracking of these processes with smartphone and tablet technology. That’s especially timely as mobile technology for field personnel continues to evolve, and as enhanced services and methods are increasingly integrated. Besides all that, Callahan always looks for ways to enhance workforce development so she can build pools of potential candidates and workers. She is involved in the Women of Asphalt Council, a new coalition that supports women in the asphalt industry.
Jit Kee Chin – Chief Data Officer
Jit Kee Chin
Jit Kee Chin has stepped into a critical leadership role, building a center of excellence for data analytics that is cross functional by design. Her team’s vision is to use new technologies, digital tools, and processes to provide a level of predictability and efficiency that is unique to the industry. Chin’s teams have started setting up a data platform to provide a 360-degree view of a jobsite in realtime. She is also leading a team working on machine learning capabilities and predictive analytics systems to better plan and control the building of a project, accelerate schedules, and minimize costs. Longer term, her teams will bring in new measurement techniques to supplement existing information. Ultimately, Chin and her teams intend to use data to boost productivity, increase project quality and safety, and lower costs. Implementing a successful big data strategy has required a cultural shift across the entire organization. Chin and her team have been instrumental in incorporating measurement, data, and analytics to reinforce a “data culture.”
Ashly Coggins – Construction Area Manager
Ashly Coggins has gone above and beyond her role as a construction area manager on a major pharmaceutical project to create cost-cutting strategies and implement new technology solutions. As part of an all-female leadership team on a manufacturing practice warehouse project, she implemented a strategy that slashed costs by more than a third. Coggins also pioneered Fluor’s BIM work process and software, implementing workflows and documenting best practices to improve execution. That’s in addition to her work managing contractors and ensuring they complete their work on time and on budget. As the BIM manager on a life sciences project assignment, she supervised 10 employees and the overall deliverables for 35-40 detailers on the project team. And Coggins recognizes the need for information and drove the implementation of iPads in the field. The success on that project led to a major contract award. Ashly and two others on her current project have launched Movers and Makers, an afterschool club for fourth-grade and fifth-grade girls.
Catrinia Cook – Corporate VP
Catrinia Cook has taken Cardel Homes homebuilding company into the cloud, and in the process optimized efficiency, increased security, and allowed easy collaboration across the firm. She has balanced her expertise, built through nearly 20 years in the construction and technology fields, with another kind of cloud—a heavenly one—as a single mom. As corporate vice president of Cardel Homes, Cook heads up the information technology and management information system department, where she implemented the cloud and mobile-first strategy. Her team provides employee training and technical support to all business lines. So she is active in the executive decision-making process, including making Cardel Homes one of the first clients to embrace Microsoft’s Azure and Microsoft 365, as well as Citrix ShareFile Cloud. It has taken a few years, but Cardel Homes is now almost exclusively in the cloud. Cook helped Cardel move to the cloud without skipping a beat all while allowing the company to focus on higher-value tech projects.
Shelley Doran – Senior VP
Shelley Doran leads Webcor’s business acquisition, external affairs, and government relations, as well as the company’s philanthropic involvement. She also served as chair of Build SF, a coalition of developers, architects, and engineers who advocated for direly needed infrastructure projects in San Francisco. Among the projects for which the group advocated were expanding the Moscone convention center; extending the T-Third Line subway line to North Beach, Calif.; and implementing the San Francisco Giants’ Mission Rock project, which would put 1,500 housing units, 1.5 million-sq.ft., of retail and office space, and eight acres of park to a hardtop tailgating space. Doran focuses on teamwork. She says it’s always about the team and building trusting relationships with everyone we interact with on every project.
Sarah Dudek – Software Specialist
ARCO Murray Design Build
Sarah Dudek carved her own unique role in a new position as software specialist when she joined Chicago-area construction company ARCO Murray in September 2017. She made her voice heard loud and clear on her main project—driving adoption of the company’s project management platform, implemented just three months before she was hired. The platform is a key component of ARCO Murray’s vision for technology, making project data and insights available in realtime to all project stakeholders. Dudek’s commitment to continuous improvement and partnering with project teams helped accelerate the platform’s adoption and meet ARCO Murray’s goal of complete adoption by the end of 2018. Dudek also works side-by-side with ARCO Murray’s project teams to help implement, adopt, and improve operational technology. She also works with the company’s technology partners on improvements and long-term roadmap and vision planning.
Kristen Erickson – Virtual Construction Manager
Kristen Erickson has modeled 16 projects now under construction, worth more than $176 million in construction revenue, in her three years at Pepper Construction. These projects include a multi-year restoration and expansion of the Chicago Cubs’ home ballpark, Wrigley Field, and the University of Chicago’s Living and Learning Facility. In her role as technical services manager, structural services, Erickson has specialized in creating intricate models using Tekla Structures that can be used for design, coordination, estimating, detailing, fabrication, erection, and facilities management. She helped transition the Pepper Self Perform Concrete group from traditional estimation to a 3D process for all concrete projects over one story with vertical work. Erickson also trained more than a dozen project engineers in model authoring and updating using Tekla Structures, while creating and maintaining company standards. The structural services team has additionally incorporated the model into shoring layout, shop drawings, and quantities that the field staff is able to use.
Eva Fryar – VP of Construction Operations
Payne Family Homes
Eva Fryar provides strategic leadership and direction for the homebuilder’s growing portfolio of residential homes in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan region. She oversees 26 people, including field superintendents, estimators, and the company’s in-house architecture, purchasing, and customer care teams. She also coordinates the efforts of about 100 suppliers. In her work with Payne Family Homes since 2009, Fryar has played a key role in reducing the firm’s construction costs by 8% and construction cycle time by 10% as purchasing manager. Her improvements to the company’s systems and processes have helped to grow revenue to $83 million in 2017. Fryar also leads the company’s campaign and building efforts for the 2018 St. Louis Saint Jude Dream Home Giveaway house. She has described her work style being a collaborator, feeling that when people know their voice is being heard, they feel more a part of the team.
Dominika Graham – Project Manager
Plus Group of Companies
Dominika Graham’s role as a project manager has expanded to include identifying ways to leverage cutting-edge technology. In just a year, she has identified technology solutions to lower project costs, including laser scanning of clients’ sites to reduce the time and effort required to accurately document work areas. The technology provides a scan of an area as opposed to a team of people hand measuring it. Graham particularly enjoys challenges, such as finding alternative protein sources for animal feed and leveraging existing technologies in alternative ways. She uses tools such as 3D modeling to communicate a project’s design intent and execution strategy and to explain how it improves design coordination and benefits the owners and construction team. Graham also coleads the firm’s Women’s Empowerment Group. This group provides a forum for women in a predominantly male field to discuss challenges and successes in a safe environment.
Shannon Gwyn – Senior Applications Administrator
GE Johnson Construction Co.
Shannon Gwyn’s software expertise enables her to serve as a knowledge point for the company’s software vendors as well as build a true partnership among GE Johnson and third-party vendors and software providers. She also ensures consistency in changes to applications for planning, installing, administering, and maintaining multiple enterprise environments. Gwyn also has been instrumental in identifying, developing, and implementing a single source for the different platforms used at construction sites. The result is a new M-Files Enterprise Content Management system. Gwyn has taken advantage of GE Johnson’s growth by figuring out better processes and enterprise solutions to support the construction staff. She recently initiated a RMT (resource management tool) that aggregates data from the CRM (customer-relationship management) and ERP (enterprise-resource planning) systems to a centralized dashboard. The result helps executives better determine their resource pool and time allocation for their staff. This new tool is expected to increase the productivity, enabling projects to be staffed appropriately.
Liz Hartmann – VP of Field Operations
W. Bradley Electric, Inc.
Liz Hartmann has helped bring W. Bradley Electric’s field crews into the 21st century with innovative technology solutions, and in so doing, boosted the company’s top and bottomline financial goals. The company has grown to become the largest woman-owned electrical contractor and the seventh-largest woman-owned company in northern California. Hartmann gained expertise in the nuances of field work while coordinating and scheduling 209 field employees who together completed $106 million worth of work in 2017. The employees work in five divisions: electrical construction, telecommunications, security, audio visual, and traffic signal/street lighting. Besides implementing technologies, she also assigns, monitors, and calibrates field test equipment. Hartmann’s vision and patience to work with industry veterans, most of whom started their careers prior to the rise of smartphones, has paved the way for future generations to take full advantage of future technologies and work to offset disrupters by augmenting their chosen vocation.
Sherry Hunyadi – Director of Applications
Sherry Hunyadi epitomizes extraordinary tech women as the chief information officer for Layne Christianson Construction. She is responsible for the entire technology space at a $600 million construction company. By collaborating and partnering with her field business units, Hunyadi has been instrumental in adding defined business value through better use of existing ERP (enterprise resource planning), rather than just installing ‘the latest new thing.’ Hunyadi also has played a key role in integrating the many systems of Layne Christianson with its new owner—Granite Construction, which acquired Layne in February in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $565 million. She has a great vision for the future and is always looking for ways to help her company be on the cutting edge if it makes sense for all involved. She looks at the big picture and sees what’s in it now and what’s to come and that is how she has helps Granite collaborate, partner, and achieve the success it has up to this point.
Sara Hutchcraft – Associate Preconstruction Manager
Sara Hutchcraft has helped her employer expand its VDC (virtual design and construction) efforts and Excellerate controlled manufacturing environment—a feat that has boosted the company’s productivity far beyond industry norms. The company’s productivity now stands at 64% primary time, compared to an industry average of 42%. In her role, Hutchcraft has also helped the company improve its jobsite safety and proved adept at encouraging others to adopt new tech tools and techniques. She brings a fresh outlook to the team at the Kansas and Oklahoma marketplace, as well as the overall preconstruction management team at a corporate level. As a project manager, Hutchcraft facilitates estimating, design/engineering, virtual design and construction, productivity tool efforts, and offsite construction/fabrication for construction projects. She is now coordinating VDC resources on a data center construction project for a major client. Besides leveraging her in-house skills, Hutchcraft has additionally become a leader in recruiting other women to join the construction company.
Tiffany Ital – Corporate Purchasing Manager
Tiffany Ital plays a key role in redefining how homebuilder Eastwood Homes estimates plans and implements mission-critical software set-ups. Ital has helped Eastwood Homes expand and grow in part by setting up technological tools. She trained Eastwood’s builders and trade partners how to use software. The goal is to get product and job information to the field as quickly as possible while ensuring that job costs are accurate. In her official capacity, Ital oversees a construction team that builds plans and options, performs purchasing and job start activities, and sets option pricing. Yet she went above and beyond by playing a critical role in streamlining specifications to consolidate what had been six separate divisions’ differing ways of estimating, costing, and selling the same architectural plan. Ital has played yet another crucial role in her company. She’s helping Eastwood’s 350 trade partners understand that they can electronically access all construction job information.
Carmen Kasner – Regional Chief Executive
Carmen Kasner has led her technical engineering and consulting solutions firm to more than double its Southern California practice, to more than $41 million, in the past three years. That’s an annualized growth rate of more than 25% for NV5. Kasner has also assembled a dynamic team, leveraging her experience as a contract city engineer for several municipalities and her work with public agencies throughout Southern California. Her team of planners, engineers, surveyors, and construction inspectors provides expertise in community development, transportation, water resources, and power transmission and distribution services. Kasner has helped a leading public relations team gain the support of neighborhoods and communities to facilitate important community development projects. She has also embraced integrating technologies in her team’s delivery of services. One example: Kasner was responsible for integrating LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and thermal imagery technology with the use of drones to boost the company’s leadership in visual and digital imagery mapping.
Anna Kennedy – Project Manager
Anna Kennedy’s relentless drive and leadership skills have propelled her to develop a paperless workflow system and manage a construction team that uses a fully digital, hyperlinked set of construction documents. In just two years on the job, Kennedy, a project manager, estimates and manages $45 million in K-12 design-build projects in Northern California. Not surprisingly, she’s on track to be a project executive. Because Kennedy manages primarily design-build projects, she has become an expert at using construction technology to markup documents and collaborate with her design team and construction team. In fact, all future projects will use the digital processes that Kennedy has initiated. Kennedy’s positive personality has prompted the company’s owners and construction managers to ask her to help with their systems. So, in true leadership fashion, she is affecting the construction industry one person at a time, one company at a time, and one job at a time.
Stacy Kubit – Managing Owner
Stacy Kubit has gained a prestigious reputation for two seemingly incongruous ideals—identifying and rapidly deploying proven but under-used innovations, and for growing and developing the people who work for her. In May 2018 she left her job of 12 years as a construction services area manager and began operating her own construction services inspection firm Kubit Engineering. She specializes in providing quality construction inspection services to architects, engineers, developers, contractors, and government agencies, and provides expertise in digital delivery and e-technology deployment needs in the highway transportation industry. As a board member for ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), Kubit often engages with other women and students from middle school to collegiate level on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and engineering. She also volunteers as a judge for multiple innovation competitions. Kubit has shown she’s a leader in directing complex and high-profile engineering projects while addressing budget, logistics, and other challenges.
Stephanie Littlefield – Lead Estimator/Assistant Project Manager
Walsh Group / Walsh Construction
Stephanie Littlefield’s take-charge attitude has led her to mentor new hires and project engineers in software that’s vital to putting together a bid—and gets them excited about it, too. She’s also skilled at taking on and bidding for several projects at a time. As Littlefield works on three to 10 projects at any one time, she understands the latest technologies needed to maintain organization, perform quantity takeoffs, and to prepare detailed proposals for the client. At the same time, she engages with owners and designers, coordinates with Walsh leadership, reviews drawings, and leads a team of estimators to provide a complete proposal for the client. On Friday afternoons, she holds training sessions with new hires where they can openly ask any question to help them grow as professionals. Littlefield also has played a key role in making the Walsh Healthcare group a leader in hiring women professionals.
Emily Mays – formerly of
Manhattan Construction Co.
Emily Mays is a technology advocate—and that has served her well as the mechanical, electrical, plumbing project manager, and BIM coordinator for several high-profile projects. She has been a champion and driving force behind the adoption of VR (virtual reality) as an effective client communication tool; a cloud-based mobile project-management software; and the use of drones to support construction planning and site monitoring. Mays has served as the BIM coordinator for several projects, including the award-winning River Spirit Casino Margaritaville, Phase II expansion, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mays worked with specialty crews from throughout the United States—including several teams from Disney and a muralist from the Caribbean—to pull off the resort’s unique branding and theming. She was the lead in managing the MEP components and she managed the virtual construction for this highly complicated project.
Becky McCain – Senior Project Manager
Concord General Contracting
Becky McCain is known for not only her advocacy of technology, but also for her new ideas to make jobs safer and on time and budget. She’s also a darling of Concord General Contracting’s clients and subcontractors for sharing her knowledge wealth. McCain leverages her experience, having built many schools and churches, as the company’s lead on implementing Bluebeam. She works hand-in-hand with the IT department to provide feedback, test new equipment, and helps manage the technology on remote jobsites. McCain’s latest project is at a border crossing in San Luis, Ariz., where she manages the project through technology, and uses a large screen and computer in the trailer, rather than printed sets, to work dynamically with subs and supers. Past clients often ask for McCain to return as their project manager because they know she will pass along her tech knowledge and make their work more efficient.
Jessica Morrissey – Operations Manager and Lead Estimator
Bald Hill Builders
Jessica Morrissey has been a major part of Bald Hill Builders’ growth from a fledgling company run out of a 1775-era farmhouse, stone garage, and barn, to a $20 million company—pushing the envelope on technology every step of the way. Eight years ago, Morrissey set up emails, phones, outside accounts, and used technology for takeoffs, scheduling, and taught herself to do all the accounting and payroll. She now has time to focus on being the lead estimator, a role in which she meets with owners, goes on walk-throughs, and does all her own in-house estimates. As always, Morrissey uses the latest tech tools to pre-qualify subs, compare bids, and keep construction documents in order. Additionally, she mentors and trains all of the project managers on those bids, until the projects are awarded. One of her most recent projects is a 48-unit apartment building. She has done much to help the next generation and she takes great pride in what she is accomplishing thus far.
Suzanne Motica – Director of Product Management
Suzanne Motica has leveraged her 20 years of construction and engineering experience to lead product managers to identify construction and engineering technology solutions for contractor Kiewit. Motica is now head of the company’s InEight Project Suite—a cloud-based platform with a core group of industry-leading technology solutions that help users visualize, estimate, manage, control, and connect all aspects of a project. The construction technology is integrated with Kiewit’s SAP system and is transforming the way Kiewit builds work. Motica also helps set the company’s strategy and roadmap for new product development, along with enhancements to existing technology. Under her leadership, the product team has focused on training in both construction and engineering processes and best practices in product management. Throughout her career, Motica has served as a coach and mentor, both formally and informally. She has sponsored three women and two men in the ICan leadership training. She created a Culture of Service Committee at Kiewit that sponsors volunteer opportunities for employees, including organizations like the Junior League and Women’s Fund of Omaha.
Kate Panks – Systems Manager
Johnson Development Associates
Kate Panks has leveraged her unique understanding of both accounting and IT systems to open up opportunities to develop more robust data reporting and analysis. And through her hands-on management style, she has shown Johnson Development how to leverage technology to strengthen its procedures and work more efficiently. Panks has shown that kind of leadership since she joined Johnson Development in 2017 as a development coordinator for the SE team. She managed both the Concur and Projectmates software systems and now serves as the systems manager across divisions. She won her leadership role by being highly organized, task-oriented, and strongly motivated to exceed goals and expectations. Panks focuses on accuracy and thoroughness, learns concepts quickly, and analyzes information skillfully.
Jennifer Parkerson – VP, Operations
Jennifer Parkerson leverages her expertise in social media to advocate for the construction industry, while putting her management information systems experience to work on the operations side. Her IT background enabled her to bring best practices, software, hardware, and years of experience to Welsh Construction, where she was recently named vice president of operations. Parkerson’s previous work includes working as an IT specialist for a company integral to the Rocket program at Cape Canaveral. In that job, she connected the field and office by implementing Web and mobile applications in the construction management system. Parkerson’s range of IT, marketing, and business management skills for both small and large firms will be important components of Welsh Construction’s growth and development.
Siggy Pfendler – Director of Virtual Construction
Columbia Construction Co.
During the course of Siggy Pfendler’s 18-year-career, she has held a variety of roles in the construction industry—from laborer, to field engineer, to project manager, to her current leadership position. Pfendler guides Columbia’s use of new tools to enhance its BIM process and other workflows across the company. This includes using an online tool that provides access to construction documents for all team members. Her work has contributed to Columbia’s doubling its yearly volume growth to nearly $300 million. One example: Pfendler ran the coordination process for the complex new Rowley Cleanroom Manufacturing facility for New England BioLabs. In that job, Pfendler used design models to identify important issues and provide early feedback to the design team. She has grown the virtual construction department from a department of one to a department of three and she has identified the best uses for and implemented BIM technologies on more than 150 projects in the past seven years.
Katrina Pratt – Project Manager
Katrina Pratt leverages her unique background in business and structural engineering to identify, implement, and champion new technologies in the office and the field for Fortune 500 engineering design firm AECOM Tishman. Among Pratt’s successes is championing weather-enabled decision-support and Industrial Internet-of-Things solutions that help her and her teams improve situational awareness and make better informed decisions. Her technological leadership has unlocked new business value for AECOM Tishman, one of the world’s leading builders responsible for managing construction of more than 600 million square feet, including iconic projects such as the World Trade Center, One Vanderbilt, and Hudson Yards. Pratt is currently the project manager on the Manhattan West mega-project.
Kimberly Roy – CEO
Kim Roy climbed the career ladder to the CEO role at HITT Contracting after 18 years at the company. She started her career in commercial construction with HITT in 1999, overseeing operations in the base building sector, delivering more than 6.5 million-sq.ft., of complex tenant fit-out and new construction projects. In 2009, Roy was promoted to vice president, and in 2012 to senior vice president in charge of preconstruction and strategy. Roy’s considerable construction experience and business savvy propelled her to executive vice president in 2015. In this role, she led the firm’s healthcare sector, which delivers more than $100 million annually from hospital, ambulatory, and highly specialized patient care construction. Additionally, Roy provided executive oversight for a diverse group of corporate resources. In 2017, Roy was named CEO—making her responsible for defining key initiatives, identifying emerging markets and business opportunities, as well as executing the board of directors’ strategic vision.
Dareen Salama – formerly of
Dareen Salama is always looking to innovate, looking to offer new services related to construction technology application. Salama has tested software platforms that use reality capture from multiple sources, including drones, to track progress. Since the time that Salama joined her previous company, Lehrer, the firm has started offering BIM, data analytics, and project management information systems services. Indeed, her mission is to optimize the suite of technology applications to generate savings and create efficiencies. Salama has also advised owners on the implementation and use of sophisticated design, construction, and operations technology systems. She has done so by leveraging her expertise, particularly applying virtual, design, and construction platforms, and linking various aspects of project/construction management including cost, schedule, and facility information using BIM and other emerging construction technologies. Salama has also spent time working on the $1.5 billion Jacob Javits Convention Center expansion, implementing building information modeling for owner specific uses. She has also had experience leading the implementation of a cloud-based project-management system at her company.
Melissa Schulteis – Virtual Construction Specialist
Miron Construction Co., Inc.
Melissa Schulteis is on the cutting edge in researching and developing tools that help define the vision of technology in construction. Schulteis facilitates building systems coordination with design engineers and MEP subcontractors with various technologies to resolve issues before they take place in the field. One example is how Schulteis helps in structural coordination to preplan using 4D to better visualize the end product. Schulteis has worked on more than 30 projects that span multiple industries. Also during her tenure, the department has doubled in size to accommodate the ever-growing need for new tools, education, and evolving technologies. Likewise, Schulteis’ ability to identify gaps within the construction industry has helped define new construction processes and workflows that increase productivity and collaboration and open lines of communication. Schulteis’ expertise has taken an extremely complex construction project that is simultaneously in the design phase and under construction and has removed the barriers between the engineers and the construction tradespeople.
Cathy Underwood – VP of Preconstruction
Branch & Associates
Cathy Underwood’s ability to work smarter, not harder, has led to her employer’s success. She is always looking for more efficient ways to work, primarily by expanding the company’s use of technology or rethinking how it is using tools already there. Underwood’s leadership style is one of empowerment and support. She is a collaborator, strategist, and voice of reason in the hectic world of construction procurement. She is one of the firm’s primary strategic planning and organizational management professionals. As the leader of the preconstruction team, Underwood collaborates with team members across not only Branch & Associates, but The Branch Group as a whole. Underwood also leads the lean construction program that, while based more on a logical partnering methodology than technological, represents a significant progressive construction approach. Underwood’s leadership enables her to evaluate systems, software, and methodologies to ensure the construction company is using the most effective resources.
Erin Valentine – Director
McCarthy Building Companies
Erin Valentine recognizes the importance of cultivating a workplace where every partner can grow and thrive. Valentine has contributed to that goal throughout her 17-year tenure, both in spearheading the company’s Partnership for Women, and developing a business plan to expand McCarthy’s presence into the federal government sector. She went on to secure more than $3 billion in federal projects during a five-year period. The Partnership for Women has won acclaim, too. The national employee resource group supports a diverse and inclusive work environment within the company. The group introduces young women to construction careers and provides personal and professional development opportunities for women within the company. Since joining McCarthy in 2001, Valentine has worked closely with the firm’s clients and project teams to develop new solutions to enhance project delivery. She actively works within the education and commercial markets for hospitality, housing, office, entertainment, and related developments, including leadership of efforts with state and local governments.
Sheryl Van Anne – Construction Executive
M.A. Mortenson Co.
Sheryl Van Anne
Sheryl Van Anne isn’t shy about expressing her passion for leveraging technology with top-quality construction that puts a premium on energy efficiency and operating cost savings. Passionate is how Van Anne described her feelings about a $50 million modernization project at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill. Much of the work is done virtually and using laser scans. Working on higher education construction projects is Van Anne’s specialty. She was promoted to the role of higher education construction executive after having joined the construction and real-estate development firm 15 years ago as a project manager. She leads the business development, design phase, construction phase, and turnover of all higher education projects while closely working with Mortenson’s higher-ed customers. Van Anne has worked on 13 Mortenson projects, including the Elmhurst Memorial Center for Health and the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. She’s also known for her fun-loving spirit that make workers and owners feel appreciated and part of the construction team.
Courtney Vigrass – Mechanical Estimator
Walsh Group / Walsh Construction
Courtney Vigrass, an estimator for The Walsh Group’s large construction projects, is known for possessing two extremely necessary but rare traits—being an outstanding communicator and for being extremely organized in her job. She coordinated budgetary design/build efforts using 3D CAD (computer-aided design) design for a new power plant at Ford Motor Co.’s Research and Engineering Center on Dearborn’s west side, as one example. The automaker plans to relocate 30,000 employees throughout the next decade, consolidating into two main campuses what is now spread across 70 buildings. Ford will build a design center and zero-waste sustainability showcase building and completely renovate the interior of the Glass House. Vigrass also is known for her incisive emails and willingness to help her colleagues. Further, she recognizes that communication is key, and uses her organizational and communication skills to help estimate and manage complex construction projects for her construction company.
Lacy Wargel – Lean Engineer
One of Lacy Wargel’s talents lies in tech-driven efficiency—and as such, she championed a paper-replacing technology that could serve as a catalyst for future digital innovations at Bowen Engineering. Her latest success is introducing Jovix data collection capabilities to provide accurate documentation for turnover reports when a project is completed. Wargel’s role is to examine and critique the supply chain and materials handling process at Bowen. She is responsible for identifying areas within the construction process that can be more efficient—and that can deliver direct results to the company’s bottomline. Ultimately, Wargel provides a detailed recommendation of how to increase supply chain visibility and overall construction efficiency. Through extensive research and analyzation, she also determines the value added by the types of construction technology Bowen deploys. By evaluating different types of software, Wargel has become a subject matter expert for multiple technological tools. Yet she describes her job as making other people’s jobs easier.
Cassie Warner – CFO/Senior VP
Cassie Warner has leveraged her expertise in budgeting and project management into a 22-year tenure as chief financial officer at Weis Builders. Warner started as a controller, and she has built expertise with contract management, forecasting, project management, and cash management. And she has experience with the company’s scheduling and ERP (enterprise-resource planning) technologies. Indeed, she described Weis Builder’s partnership several years ago with technology providers by explaining that the then-flagship ERP release provided an advanced dashboard and reporting capability and integrated content-management applications. This CFO recognizes that construction technology is critical to improving the bottomline of a construction company and leverages technology in a way that improves both productivity and enhances profitability.
Katie Wells – Director of Lean Construction
Brasfield & Gorrie
Katie Wells may be the director and creative force behind lean construction for general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie, but she discourages using technology simply for the sake of using technology. Wells’ mantra is that technology should optimize a process—not fix a problem. Her goal is to ensure that a process is sound before embracing a technology to enhance it. Wells leads a growing team that employs lean practices in the company’s operations and preconstruction processes by encouraging improvement, waste removal and team collaboration, and identifying customer-defined values. In this role, she excels at bringing innovative ideas to the table and fosters an environment of continuous improvement, which often involves identifying and employing new and emerging technologies and driving organizational change. Throughout her 13-year tenure, Wells has been involved in several process improvements that contributed to the company’s solid growth. She led the company’s Sustainability Committee in developing a formal sustainability initiative that encompasses not only environmental practices but societal and economic practices.
Jennifer Wukelic – Project Manager
Jennifer Wukelic has implemented GPS equipment technology in a way that’s revolutionized Northwest Construction’s excavation work. The technology lets operators dig based off on-screen information in their equipment. This eliminates a great deal of survey, ground guys, and downtime, making the crews much more efficient. Wukelic manages excavation projects as a project engineer for Northwest, a site-work contractor specializing in commercial, industrial, and residential developments throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is a leader and supports companywide efforts related to the adoption of new technology, whether it be aimed at increasing productivity or worker safety. Wukelic is additionally responsible for the successful implementation of such construction technology on the projects she manages. In the years that she has been at her company, it has continued to thrive and become an industry leader.