- By: NAWIC
- On: 04/17/2023 10:04:34
- In: Best Person for the Job
“I started my career in construction when my youngest child began first grade in 1999. It was my first full-time job since motherhood and at that time, I was attracted to the pay and benefits that union construction companies offered their office staff,” said April Brown, now Lean Facilitator and Process Improvement Manager at Tonn and Blank Construction in Indianapolis, Indiana. “I took an entry level position as a receptionist for a large mechanical contractor. Little did I know then, this would be the industry that I would end up dedicating my professional growth and career to,”.
There are many paths to a career in construction. April Brown has created her path to executive leadership and to mentoring women entering this industry. She leads an executive lean steering committee that works to improve company workflows and processes. “I facilitate change by delivering new or refined processes that improve efficiency, environment, and add value.”
“As my career has developed over the years, my biggest challenge is ‘within' and the feeling of imposter syndrome. I think this is mostly from being outnumbered by men in the room. However, I will say that even when I am the only woman in the room, my personal experience has been mostly positive in being respected and supported.”
Brown finds satisfaction in positively impacting the way people work and the value that brings to Tonn and Blank customers. “There is also an aspect of problem solving that allows for creativity that I appreciate. It is fulfilling to get to the root cause of a problem and transform through collaboration,” she said. “We need more women in all leadership roles, especially executive leadership. It takes a diverse mindset for companies to be truly innovative and forward-thinking.“
“I created my current position which is a new role for our company and niche to this industry. When I proposed it to my CEO for consideration, I laid out responsibilities, certifications and support required to optimize the role, and the added value to the company. Not only did he promote me to this new role, but he also commented this would take our company to the next level and lean thinking would be the way we manage projects.”
Tonn and Blank have also been supportive of Brown's involvement in NAWIC. They have sent her to the NAWIC Annual Conference each year and sponsored the Indianapolis Chapter, chapter events, and the regional NAWIC conference. They allow Brown to take time to support the chapter and region in her various roles. (Brown has served as Vice President, Director and Membership Chair, and Professional Development & Education Co-Chair of the Indianapolis Chapter and as the North Central Region Membership Chair, in addition to other volunteer roles in the organization.)
Brown adds, “I requested to promote WIC Week in 2023 throughout our organization and honor all the women in our company. Again, my CEO responded, ‘We fully support you!'”
Her involvement in NAWIC has benefited her work at Tonn and Blank, too. “I am more connected through membership. Through industry events, I have gained a deeper industry knowledge of different sectors. Business development is another area that has happened organically as I have promoted our company and made some great connections while being out at events.”
For more information about the benefits of NAWIC membership, visit nawic.org/membership
If you know of a NAWIC member that deserves to be recognized as a Best Person for the Job, contact us today!