WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? EDUCATION? PREVIOUS JOBS?
My background is quite diverse. I’m a degreed civil engineer from Virginia Tech (go Hokies) and my professional practice was in structural engineering. Today, I advise clients on growth, globalization, innovation, disruption and the green economy. I’m also engaged in litigation support. It has been an amazing career evolution starting as a practicing engineer on building and transportation structures, an engineering educator, a market development leader with the concrete and cement industries, and then an executive with a Fortune 500 global design and construction company.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF YOUR POSITION?
I thrive addressing challenges and I’m agnostic on the type – technical, business, political, otherwise. This underpins my career path. I greatly appreciate the trust and confidence my clients and former employers placed in me to help them find their path forward when faced with a difficult challenge.
WHAT ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH?
Throughout my career, I’ve been involved with many and benefited from each and every one. Today, I serve on the American Concrete Institute Board of Direction as past president, National Institute of Building Sciences Board of Directors, and the Environmental Technologies Trade and Advisory Committee by appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. I’m also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineering Institute. I’m actively working with the SEI Global Activities Division. The importance of giving back to advance our industry and profession was impressed upon me by my university professor, Herb Moore. He would have been overjoyed one of his students received recognition from Concrete Construction magazine as one of the most influential people in the concrete industry in 2013 for activities advanced at ACI.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND AMBITIONS FOR YOUR POSITION?
Happiness and fulfillment. My career has been a great source of both, only second to my family. My children are my greatest source of happiness.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR OTHER WOMEN JUST ENTERING THE CONCRETE INDUSTRY?
First and foremost, you must LOVE the smell of fresh concrete. Your passion for the product must be authentic. Second, be aware of your own behaviors and style. Support the women around you. If a woman voices a good idea, repeat it and attribute the idea to her. There is room for more than one woman on the leadership team. Speak with certainty. Don’t present your ideas and thoughts with “I think”, “I hope”. Constantly build, broaden and nurture your network. Treasure your mentors and champions. Not all men are comfortable mentoring a woman, but I find many are amazing champions.