The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
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March 2017



Region Directors report on NAWIC activities across the country.

Midwest Region | Vickie Nickel, CIT

Four years ago, I wrote a fun script that was presented at Region 6’s Forum titled “You Asked…NAWIC Food Network Stars Share Their Secret.” Cast members included Rachel Ray, Prep for Success; Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, Back to Basic; Sandra Lee, Create a Wow Experience; Paula Deen, Celebrate; and Iron Chef Mario Batali, The Secret Ingredient. Throughout the day, these “Food Network Stars” presented their episode by sharing their secrets for enhancing the flavor of NAWIC dishes. A few months later “Paula Deen” (aka Vickie Nickel) attended the Welcome Party at AMEC and handed out autographed copies of the NAWIC Cookbook. Were you one of the lucky members that received this priceless gift?

In this article, I wanted to share Iron Chef Mario Batali’s Secret Ingredient. It’s you, the NAWIC member. So, how do we create an “Iron Chef” member?

• This year, national launched the Leadership Training Series to help us build our skills to better serve our Association.
• In our strategic planning, we developed NAWIC’s BAG (Big Audacious Goal or Vision). We want to be the Association that empowers women to influence the direction of the construction industry. “That is a big goal that has been set for us,” said Karli Meisinger, Greater Omaha, Neb. chapter president. “But like any big goal, when you break it down, it’s easy. Look at yourself and the women you interact with every day. We are influencing the direction of the construction industry.” Read below for what’s in Omaha’s BAG!
• Spice up your NAWIC recipe by stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new dishes. Have a CAN-I Attitude (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) by investing in yourself. Attend chapter, regional and national meetings; join a committee; or serve on your chapter’s board.
• Seasoned members should be a mentor to new members.
• New members, bring fresh ingredients to your chapter. Let them share ideas and skills.
• Turn the heat up by attending your region Forum and AMEC. This helps members gain a “Molto Gusto” appetite for NAWIC (zest for life).

What’s in The Midwest Region’s Bag?

In January, the Greater Omaha, Nebraska Chapter #116 sponsored an informational meeting/presentation for 107 contractors and interested parties for the City of Omaha to introduce a new inspection option powered by VuSpex. The City has expanded its electronic offerings for the Permits & Inspections department and is starting to allow live inspections via a smartphone app. Technology continues to change the way we do business and NAWIC’s Omaha chapter was chosen to help spread the word about this major change. VuSpex will be attending the Midwest region Forum and members will have an opportunity to view a demonstration using VuSpex. 

NAWIC’s Midwest region partnered with the AGC of Kansas, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Construction Specification Institute (CSI), Design Build Institute of America (DBIA), and Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) in a joint collaborative conference of construction industry professionals called KAN-STRUCT. The event was held in Wichita, Kansas, Feb. 2-3. This director along with Bev Sauerwein, past Region 6 director and the Greater Wichita, Kan. Chapter’s current president represented NAWIC on the KAN-STRUCT planning committee. NAWIC had a booth during the exhibition and sponsored one of the workshop presentations titled “Generation Gap: Real or Imagined?” The format for the workshop was a panel discussion moderated by Katie Loughmiller, president of NAWIC’s NE Kansas Chapter #142. Panelists included four young millennial generation industry professionals, including Kelsey Billingsley, a member of the Greater Wichita, Kan. Chapter. They presented their thoughts on the generation gap in the construction industry. There was a great interaction between panelists and the audience, which was standing room only. The PowerPoint presentation has been forwarded to national requesting it be posted on the website for PD&E use.

National President Connie Leipard also attended and gave a warm welcome before the keynote address.

Karli Meisinger said, “How do you impact the direction and success of your company? How does your company impact the construction market? How does our market affect the industry? Now combine all of those little influences through the “funnel” of NAWIC and we are a power force to be reckoned with.”

From my region to yours, best wishes for enhancing your NAWIC dishes.

North Central Region | Jenny Mangas

Can you believe we are almost to mid-year? Time flies when you’re having fun! With chapters busy with Block Kids, chapter meetings, and WIC Week, we are in full bloom here in the North Central Region! I wish the weather was that cooperative! Spring will be here soon enough and so will our 2017 Forum!

We continue doing an outstanding job of retaining and recruiting members. We have 449 total members as of Jan. 31. We only need 169 more to meet our national goal. Several chapters are above the 80 percent renewal target! Keep up the good work recruiting! I encouraged everyone in my last newsletter to “Each One, Recruit One” as a New Year’s resolution. Let’s keep up the energy! The more excited we are as members, the easier it is to recruit new members!

Are you ready to board the NAWIC train? The Indianapolis, Ind. Chapter and I have been busy over the last couple of months planning the 2017 Forum. This will be held in Indianapolis, Ind. the weekend of April 21-22. We have some amazing workshops planned for Friday, including Social Media, Blue Beam Training, and Silica in Construction. Our keynote speaker on Saturday is Holly Bolton, who will be “Connecting the Dots to Success.” She is the Director of Marketing at CE Solutions and presents around the country on marketing and business development topics. Our session will explore how the experiences we have, both positive and challenging, affect our future growth and success. I am personally looking forward to listening and learning from Holly! I hope you can join us for this exciting weekend of seminars, networking, and a little fun!

“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” —Kofi Annan

Northeast Region | Doreen Bartoldus, P.E., CCM

The Northeast is looking forward to getting together in Boston, Mass., April 28-30. We will encourage our members and guests to continue to grow both personally and professionally. We look forward to spending time and celebrating with our extraordinary Executive Vice President Dede Hughes. The City of Boston is the perfect backdrop in spring; it is the historic city of patriots and an example of resilience and spirit, Boston Strong.

All of our chapters continue to empower and build with incredible WIC week activities. The Wilmington, Del. Chapter #96 will hold three events including a panel, a tour, and a wear red day (March 7). The Lower Hudson, N.Y. Chapter #379 will have a paint night and a session with empowerment coach Lane Cobb. The Greater New York/Long Island Chapter #240 will host a movie night featuring the film “Sisters in the Brotherhood.” The Greater Worcester, Mass. Chapter #241 is holding an art contest looking for works of art of any type that feature women in construction. I am so looking forward to those results. The Boston, Mass. Chapter #15, is having a past presidents panel, a construction breakfast hosted by Shawmut Design and Construction, and a Habitat for Humanity Build Day. Whew! Basically, wherever you go in the Northeast, there is an event planned for WIC week.

NAWIC is also getting lots of market exposure through NY Builds. You may have seen our linked in and Facebook posts sponsored by NY Builds at the Javits Center in NYC. They are giving us fantastic local exposure. Ingrid Sletten and I will be participating in a diversity panel on March 15 and all women are invited to a networking event that same afternoon hosted by NY Builds. Plus, the Greater New York/Long Island and Lower Hudson Chapters will be sharing a booth March 15-16.

We had sad news in December when Viola Leskinen, a member of the Capital District, N.Y. Chapter #261 and a past region director, passed away. In January, her friends held a celebration of life that was truly a celebration. She is missed.

There is so much more to share. I will be going to Hartford, Conn., Albany, N.Y., New York City and Westchester, N.Y. I hope to expand my travels a to other chapters (and regions) after spring Forum.

Of course, I am looking forward to the mid-year board meeting with NAWIC President Connie Leipard, our great board of directors and executive board. The goal is always to build a better and stronger NAWIC to serve our members.

I continue to be impressed by our region’s leadership. Everyone is dedicated, motivated and positive. Hey 2017! We, NAWIC, are here and there is no stopping us!

Pacific Southwest | Elizabeth M. Teramoto, CIT

As we settle into this new year, the Pacific Southwest Region has jumped headfirst into a packed schedule!

Once again participation in both the Block Kids and CADD programs was high. After seeing the reports and projects turned in by various chapters, it is clear that anyone disparaging the youth of America hasn’t taken the time to really listen to these kids and see the talent and ability just waiting to blossom.

Also in February, as many set their sights on Valentine’s Day hearts full of chocolate, the Salt Lake, Utah Chapter #90 took the time to remind us to look after the health of our actual hearts by celebrating Heart Health Month. They promoted Go Red for Women Day and shared “Life’s Simple 7” rules that can help control your risk for heart disease.

March is already shaping up to be busy month, too! In addition to all of the incredible WIC Week celebrations and activities, the San Diego, Calif. Chapter #21 will host a Do-It Herself Electrical Workshop where attendees will learn the basics of electrical functions and installations. The Pikes Peak, Colo. Chapter #356 celebrates their 20th anniversary this month. Finally, the Tucson, Ariz. Chapter #122 has issued a worldwide invitation to explore “Expanding Borders with NAWIC” during our annual Forum at the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa in Arizona. I hope to see you there!


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