2020 Speakers

 

 

 

Jessica Rector

Bio: Jessica’s mission is simple: Transform Lives. As the top mind wellness expert, Jessica Rector, MBA is the authority on tackling your inner game and turning it into outer success and positive action! As a former TV talk show host and an award winning #1 top sales performer at a Fortune 100 company, Jessica uses her company’s research to help organizations, leaders, and teams to fire up your thinking, extinguish burnout, and ignite your people, while having a lot more fun. Jessica has three college degrees, including an MBA, and has written nine books. As a #1 best-selling author, she has worked with clients such as NBCUniversal, the Dallas Mavericks, and American Airlines and has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX for creating change. Jessica also enjoys learning about the exciting world of Transformers, so she can carry on real conversations with her seven-year-old son, Blaise, who is a #1 best-seller author and the youngest published author in the United States.

 

Ally Jencson

Bio: Ally is often referred to as the Tradeswoman Tigress. She is fiercely passionate about helping women be successful and stay feminine in the trades, service and construction industries. Ally has spent the majority of her professional career in male dominated industries and knows first-hand how challenging it is to maintain our femininity being surrounded by men all the time. From commercial printing to window cleaning to grinding concrete and installing epoxy coatings, Ally knows exactly what it’s like being the only chick on a job site and in the office. She had to learn on her own how to take a broke and broken business to badass status with leadership mindset techniques, unique marketing strategies and communication savvy. Ally knows it takes more than just hard work and dedication to be successful in the construction trades industry. It takes becoming a Tigress!

Ally has been in business ownership with her husband, Barry, since 2005. Together they have four children; Ray, Cheyenne, Joe and Chance. They also have two cats, Cosmo and Luna, and a pit bull named Onyx. When not working, Ally enjoys camping and riding her ATV in the Colorado mountains. She also enjoys airbrush painting, being physically active outdoors and holds a black belt in Taekwondo. Ally is a strong believer in community and is active in her local Housing and Building Association and is a member of the El Paso County Contractors Association. Ally has been a member of NAWIC Pikes Peak Chapter 356 since December 2014 and was the 2018 Spirit Award recipient. Ally is currently President Elect for NAWIC Pikes Peak Chapter 356 and will serve as President from 2020-2022.

 

Courtney Clark

Bio: Courtney Clark is the luckiest unlucky person in the world. After a series of major struggles beginning in her mid-20s, she has built two successful businesses and is the author of two books, including her most recent book The Successful Struggle: Powerful Techniques to Achieve Accelerated Resilience. She works with people who want to adapt faster and achieve more and has spoken worldwide to organizations like Procter & Gamble, Dell, S&P, Humana, Cisco, and Cardinal Health.

 

Lana Coble

Bio: Dr. Lana Kay Coble CPC is an author, construction industry professional, advocate for diversity, and educator. She has dedicated her career to the advancement of construction methods, education of future and existing professionals, and promotion of diversity within the industry workforce. She has over forty years of construction management experience, including positions as an owner’s representative, executive manager in construction companies, and a professor in a major university construction management program.

Her portfolio of construction projects includes healthcare, higher education, K-12 schools, commercial development, corporate campuses, mission critical data and energy facilities, athletic venues, zoo facilities, and major infrastructure systems. Her expertise includes the introduction of advanced technology to more efficiently engage all stakeholders in the construction process from concept to completion. Technologies and methods include implementation of software systems, development of document management systems, complex program management, planning/scheduling, and conflict mitigation on major high-profile construction projects.

Ms. Coble’s experience as an educator, includes teaching at both the university level as well as in professional organizations and construction firms. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Construction Management Program at the University of Houston. She has published research in the American Institute of Constructors national journal. Additionally, she has authored a book on risk mitigation utilizing planning and scheduling (Collaborative Risk Mitigation Through Planning and Scheduling). Her passion for scheduling and mitigation is based upon academic fundamentals and construction experience. Her most recent teaching endeavour was serving as the lead author and instructor of scheduling mitigation training to construction project managers and superintendents through the AGC.

Long a champion for diversity in the construction profession, Ms. Coble is an advocate for the development of women in construction and the advancement of historically underutilized businesses (HUB) through targeted affirmative action programs (City of Houston OBO, Mentor Protégé Program, and AGC Diversity Council).

Dr. Coble holds a Bachelor of Arts in Construction & Design from Trinity University, a Master of Science in Architecture from Texas A&M University and a Doctoral degree in Education from the University of Houston.

 

Kathi Dobson, CIT, CSP, STS-C, SMS, CHST, LEED AP

Bio: Kathi Dobson is a 21 year veteran of the construction industry and of Alberici Constructors, Inc. Prior to her work in construction, she was a hospital-based critical care nurse and holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercy College in Detroit. She works throughout the country & North America supporting safe work efforts in her company’s automotive, mining, heavy civil and industrial processes markets.

Kathi has held leadership positions with NAWIC at the chapter, region and national levels. She chaired the OSHA-NAWIC National Alliance from 2013 - 2019.

Kathi was an appointee to the Michigan Construction Safety Standards Commission; chaired the commission, and was instrumental in bringing several standards to revision and acceptance to MIOSHA during her tenure there. She is on several national committees, including the AGC, NACBE, AISC and TAUC – the Association of Union Constructors, serves on the A10 committee and is an involved member of the ASSP and WISE, Women in Safety Exellence.

Kathi is a passionate advocate for women in the construction building trades and her self-proclaimed mission is to enhance the success of women through efforts to advance safety in the industry. Attention on PPE issues, recruiting and retaining women in construction and identifying ergonomic concerns, harassment issues, bullying, sexism, inclusion, sanitation and more keeps her drive alive.

 

Kizzy Ferrer, CIT

Bio: Kizzy Ferrer has a passion for leadership, mentorship and team building. She started her career as a receptionist for a minority Electrical Contractor in 2001. Kizzy points to her ten year term at this company for her reason for loving the construction industry. Her tenure allowed her to gain a wide exposure to various facets of the construction business as she was in charge of tasks that ranged from HR and Payroll Administration to Project Coordination and Business Development.

Passionate about the industry, in 2013, Kizzy transitioned to the general contracting side of the business when she was hired at Boyer Building Corporation; a full service General Contractor that specializes in construction for the hospitality industry. Today, Kizzy has advanced to Assistant Project Manager and enjoys working on the company’s high profile projects for clients such as Walt Disney World and Marriott Vacation Ownership. Her experience has expanded from working on primarily K-12 projects, to commercial/tenant fit-ups, design-build, new construction and interior renovation projects. Kizzy’s vast experience provides her with the knowledge to be a profound team leader, extremely resourceful and dependable, always providing clear direction while keeping to the goal.

Kizzy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida and is Construction Industry Certified. She is the President-Elect of the Greater Orlando Chapter where she also serves as a mentor for personal development, leadership and public speaking.

She is the recipient of the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training Highest Achievement Award, the NAWIC “Shining Light” Executive Spotlight Award and the Greater

Orlando Chapter 73 2016 Chapter President’s Award. In her spare time, Kizzy loves traveling with her husband Nate, reading, volunteering and spending time with her nephews. Kizzy Ferrer lives in Sanford, Florida.

 

Karen Hager, CBT, CIT

Bio: Karen Hager has been in the construction industry since 1986. She began her construction industry career as an Accounting Clerk for a Longwood Florida based HVAC company and worked her way up to Controller. She left her 29-year career for the position of Chief Financial Officer for The Briar Team in Sanford, Florida and is now working for AB Design Group, LLC, an architectural and engineering firm in Longwood, Florida. Karen has been a member of the Greater Orlando Chapter of NAWIC since August 1996 and has served on numerous committees and chaired Membership, Chapter Sales, Bylaws, and Mentoring. She served on the chapter board of directors as Treasurer two times, Vice President, President-Elect, and President. She served as the Southeast Region Director 2017-2019 and is currently the National Treasurer.

Karen enjoys helping other women in the construction industry, offering guidance and experience whenever needed. For this reason, she was excited to be on the Greater Orlando Chapter’s first Mentoring Committee and served as a mentor to two members.

Karen grew up in a military family and moved multiple times whenever her dad was stationed in a new state or country. She credits this constant moving to her ability to adapt to different situations and her out-of-the box thinking. She enjoys sharing knowledge and loves teaching bookkeeping to our members, having taught the CBT course 4 times, providing experience and insight that enhances the knowledge in the CBT manual.

 

Angela Highland, CIT, CPC

Bio: Angela Highland, CIT, CPC is an Entrepreneur, Certified Mentor, Leadership Coach and Business Strategist specializing in collaborative problem solving. She is a native Floridian, born and raised right here in Orlando, and for 30 years she has been climbing the ladder of success growing her leadership skills through a variety of management positions working for small companies as well as large corporations. Her construction career began accidentally in 2005 while consulting with a subcontractor who asked her to stay on and manage the company. Having zero experience in this industry, she took the bull by the horns, learned the tricks of the trades and, in addition to managing, became an estimator and project manager. 2 years later she opened her own Division 10 subcontracting company that she successfully grew and then sold in the spring of 2017.

Her NAWIC career began in March of 2012, where she immediately got involved and has blazed a trail ever since. She is a Past President of the Greater Orlando Chapter and served as National Chair of the newly modified PD&E Committee from 2013-2015.

Her latest venture is Call to Action Coaching & Consulting, an innovative approach to coaching designed for the empowerment of women using innovative programs to support their personal and professional goals. Through coaching, mentorship and thought leadership she is committed to the success of women on every level as they realize their potential, accelerate their performance and achieve greater results.

 

Debra Lesar, CIT

Bio: Debbie Lesar has 31 years of experience in the construction industry. Currently, she serves as the Contracting Administrator at The Brewer-Garrett Company and her role plays a vital part to the success of not only the Construction Group but the entire Contracting Department. Debbie is an extremely dedicated and reliable member of her team. She directly supports the Contracting General Manager and works with the Project Management Team, Engineering Team, and Automation and Commissioning Team daily to develop project tracking reports, procedures, policies, and monitoring for projects; as well as ensuring the contractual obligations are fulfilled.

Debbie is a very active member of NAWIC, both in her local Chapter and at the National level. She served as NAWIC’s 56th National President (2010-2011); past NEF National President, (2014-2015); North Central Region Director (2004-2006) and is a 20-year member of the Cleveland, Ohio Chapter. This year she served as the NAWIC National Bylaws Chair, Governance Committee, and next year she will be the National Parliamentarian. Debbie has conducted seminars on:

  • Partnering
  • How to Be a Great Communicator
  • Newsletters
  • Mentoring
  • Getting the Most Value Out of Your Membership
  • Team Building
  • Treasurer Workshop
  • Women and Leadership
  • Mock Board Meeting

Debbie’s motto is Communication is Key to Relationships - both personally and professional because without it you have nothing.

 

Joshua Levy

Bio: Years in the trenches as in-house counsel for a major construction firm have given Josh a real-world understanding of the concerns of owners, developers, architects and contractors.

Each group recognizes Josh’s advice as authentic - from the onset of planning to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He is motivated to the core to help his clients navigate the complexities of commercial construction projects.

A dedicated advocate, Josh has represented clients in more than 50 American Arbitration Association (AAA) hearings, as well as numerous state and federal court and jury trials. He also has served as an arbitrator on the AAA construction industry panel of neutrals for 10 years. Josh also assists clients with matters concerning employment law.

 

Diane Mike, CBT

Bio:  Diane is employed by ERDMAN and has worked in the construction industry for almost 20 years serving in various roles throughout her career. In 2014, she decided to move from Wisconsin to Texas to continue her career in construction administration and assisting project management in ERDMAN’s Dallas office.

Diane joined NAWIC in 2005 with the Greater Madison, WI Chapter, serving immediately as a board member and eventually serving in almost every chapter board position – some more than once. Her NAWIC career continued by serving as Region 13 WIC Week Chair from 2011-2013 and then Midwest Region 13 Director from 2013 – 2015. Diane received the NAWIC Executive Spotlight Award for Professionalism in 2012 and Outstanding Leadership Award from the Greater Madison Chapter in 2013.

She is currently serving as National President and is currently a member of the Ft Worth, TX Chapter.

 

Jennifer Mitchell, LEED AP, BD&C

Bio: Lead, Headquarters Capital Construction Projects Workplace at Linkedin, Mountain View, CA Jenny joins us from LinkedIn’s Global Real Estate Workplace team at their headquarters campus in Mountain View, California. She has more than twenty years experience in the construction industry leading projects throughout the Bay Area as concrete manufacturer, general contractor, client representative, and owner. With a passion for sustainability, Jenny is leading the concrete carbon reduction mission for LinkedIn’s new Mountain View headquarters building scheduled to open in 2021. Jenny earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a Concentration in Sustainable Development and Policy from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies accompanied by a Minor in Business Administration from San Jose State University.

 

Angelina Perryman

Bio:  Angelina Perryman serves as the Vice President of Administration for Perryman Construction. Perryman Construction is one of the leading, full-service construction management companies on the East Coast, self-performing project planning, management and construction for major projects in the region. She is responsible for managing the administrative operations including human resources, risk management, and strategic and corporate planning. She currently serves as the Philadelphia chapter Immediate Past President of the National Association of Women in Construction and is the Co-Chair for the 2020 Mentoring Young Women in Construction camp. She served as the Chair of the 2016 Student and Volunteer Engagement Committee for MAGIC Philadelphia Camp; a free camp for girls between 7th and 12th grade to gain hands on exposure to careers in construction. Her work was recognized in 2019 by Bisnow Magazine as a "Philly Power Woman" for outstanding excellence and influence in Philadelphia Commercial Real Estate. In 2019 Autodesk featured her in the 2nd annual 40 Under 40: Construction Champions of 2019 for accomplishments in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. by Engineering News Record (ENR) Magazine on the 2018 list of Top 20 Under 40 Young Professionals in the Construction Industry. Ms. Perryman received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and Executive Leadership Education from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH.

 

Debbie Rodriguez

Bio: Debbie Rodriguez CEO, Quality Labor Management & Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting Founder & President – iBuild Central Florida

Debbie Rodriguez has built a solid reputation as a minority woman business owner over the last two decades. She possesses well over twenty years experience in recruiting, sales management, training development, and safety. In 2008, she was a vital part in starting Quality Labor Management and is the owner operator of two Florida locations, Winter Park and Jacksonville. QLM specializes in supplemental skilled staffing for the construction industry. With over 24 staffing and recruiting offices in nine states, QLM’s focus is delivering quality team members to their client’s workforce.

In 2009, Debbie opened Competitive Edge Partners and Consulting. CEP is a minority certified prime subcontractor specializing in Division 1 – General Requirements, supplemental staffing for the skilled trades, and as of 2019, has opened an electrical division.

In 2015, Debbie met with industry leaders to discuss how to work together and attract youth and young adults to consider construction as a valid career path and change the stigma related to technical schools and working in the construction industry. Thus her vision for a solution was born, iBuild Central Florida, founded 2016. The mission of iBuild is to create synergy between organizations to increase awareness of the construction industry. 4 years later iBuild is 400 members strong and is preparing to expand those efforts with chapters in the Gulf Coast and in Jacksonville.

We don’t have enough time to list all of her accomplishments, and we can’t say enough of her drive and passion. What we can say is that she has been a NAWIC Leader since 2008 and this year was her 5th year as Chair for Construction Career Camp, which hosts about 75 girls every summer. She continues to raise the bar for everyone and her story is an inspiration to us all. Ladies and Gentlemen, Debbie Rodriguez.

Jan Spence

Bio: Jan Spence is an international speaker, author, and consultant. With contagious charisma and a zest for life which make her an excellent motivator and leader, this TEDx speaker has used her vast knowledge in sales, communications, finances, and employee engagement to help numerous clients including Pillsbury, Walmart, and Frito-Lay.

Jan and her husband, Mitch, launched the second FiltaFry franchise in the US in 2003. As CEO, Jan built such a successful operation that they were awarded the “2005 Franchisee of the Year” by the International Franchise Association. Meeting their four-year plan, they sold the business in 2007 at 300% ROI. Since then, Jan has circled the globe as a trainer, consultant, and speaker for franchisees, organizations, and companies.

Having been interviewed by Entrepreneur magazine and the Big Dog Morning Show in Jesup, Ga, Jan shares her story of fulfilling her lifelong dream of playing women’s professional full-tackle football. As a member of the National Speakers Association, Jan combines the lessons she learned through that experience with her business experience to inspire people to make a difference through “Cheer Leadership.” Known for her highly interactive, entertaining, and inspirational style, she recently taught in Panama, Romania, Switzerland, Uganda, Australia, and Bahrain.

Jan serves on the boards of Meeting Professionals International – North Florida and Compass Finances God’s Way – Florida. She is active with the local Association of Talent Development chapter and the Beach Church in Jacksonville, Florida. She and her husband of nineteen years enjoy traveling the world when not at home attending Jaguars football games and cultural events.

 

Tricia Thibodeaux

Bio: Tricia Thibodeaux is a Senior Project Director in Fluor’s Energy and Chemicals Business Group responsible for planning and execution of capital projects in various facilities. Prior to this role, Thibodeaux held roles as the Global Director of Construction-Driven Execution, the Houston Office Manager of Projects and the Global Director of Supplier Quality and Material Planning. Prior to the global role, Thibodeaux was a project manager for the Energy and Chemicals Business Group, leading EPC domestic and international projects in Downstream, Upstream and Chemicals Business Lines.

Tricia was recently presented with the Construction Industry Institute (CII) Distinguished Service Award, which honors members who have demonstrated a strong and lasting commitment to its mission and objectives of improving delivery in the capital projects industry. Thibodeaux has held diverse positions at construction sites and execution centers during her 26-year career with Fluor. These positions have included project management, project engineering, engineering management, project controls, strategic sourcing and mechanical engineering. Thibodeaux graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Active in a number of professional and business organizations, Thibodeaux is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and the Project Management Institute. She is a member of Louisiana State University’s College of Engineering Diversity Advisory Board and Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Committee. Thibodeaux represents Fluor on the CII (Construction Industry Institute) Board of Advisors and Executive Committee, and on the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) Board of Trustees. She holds PE licenses in Texas and Louisiana and PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. She and her husband reside in Sugar Land, Texas with their two sons.

 

Michelle Tull

Bio: Michelle Tull, Owner and President of Tull Companies, LLC.

I grew up in Bridgeport, Ohio which was an old coal mining and steel mill town. I dropped out of High School my senior year, not the best idea of someone who always said “I’m getting out small town Bridgeport and I’m going to make something of myself”. I had no idea of where I would go, what I would do or how I would do it. It is so important to know your worth. Now I am majority owner and President of Tull Companies. A successful construction company in Sioux Falls, SD. We made history in 2019 with The ARC of DREAMS. The sculpture is a tribute to the dreamers of the past, present and an inspiration to the dreamers of the future.

I am the current Vice President of the Greater Sioux Falls #237 NAWIC Chapter and the current Midwest Region Treasurer. If someone would have told my 18 year old self that I would be where I am today and inspiring other women, I would have asked them if they fell and hit their pretty little head!