2019 Speakers

 

 

MJ

Major MJ Hegar

Bio: Major MJ HEGAR is a force to be reckoned with. While piloting her third tour of Afghanistan, she took a bullet to her helicopter’s windshield. Badly injured, and under heavy fire, she flew her team to safety, conducting a near-impossible landing. She received a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, an honor awarded to only one other woman ever: Amelia Earhart. When her injuries barred her from service, she fought a policy that excluded women—a historic victory for female military members. An incredible story—soon to be a major motion picture—Hegar’s bravery inspires audiences to persevere through change, hardship, and any obstacles in their way.

“She has outsize charm, crazy grit, a terrific story and a knack for telling it. Her memoir, Shoot Like a Girl, with a front-cover blurb by John McCain, is in Hollywood development.” — The New York Times

In 2018, Hegar ran for Congress in Texas, and struck a meaningful chord across the nation. Beautifully depicted in her moving and wildly-viral campaign video, “Doors”—which Lin-Manuel Miranda called “the best political ad anyone’s ever seen”—Hegar told her story “about opening, pushing, and sometimes kicking through every door in my way.” In electrifying keynotes, she discusses the importance of teamwork as well as individual advocacy, highlighting the doors that each of us have in our paths—and how to open, push, or kick your way through. Hegar’s bestselling memoir, Shoot Like A Girl, is currently being adapted to a major motion picture.

Hegar has worked as a medical consultant, mentored cadets, and serves on the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Advisory Committee. She is on the Board of Directors at the Texas Advocacy Project, an organization that provides legal representation and advocacy for victims of domestic abuse. Hegar has taught at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, as well as at UT in the ROTC and Women’s Studies Departments. In 2015, she was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, and in 2013, was named a Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy.

 

Judaline

Judaline Cassidy

Bio: Judaline Cassidy was born in the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. A multicultural country, known for its renowned carnival, steel pan, and calypso music.

Judaline started her career in the field of Plumbing at the John Donaldson Technical of Trinidad. She was one of the first three females selected to pursue Plumbing at the Technical Institute. Which is now known as the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Prior to her acceptance into the Unions' five-year apprenticeship program, She worked as a Nanny and Housekeeper.

She's been a proud member of Plumbers Local Union No One New York City, for the past twenty years. Being a qualified Plumber has drastically changed her life, and also the lifestyle of her family. Financially, it has afforded her and her family upward mobility in society.

Judaline was of the very first women accepted into Plumbers Local Union 371 Staten Island New York, and the first woman elected on the Examining Board of Plumbers Local Union No One. With her guidance, fortitude, and determination she ushered in the first Women's Committee within her Union of which she's the President. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Women’s Building NYC.

June 2017 she established the nonprofit Tools & Tiaras Inc. The primary goals of this organization are threefold Expose, Inspire, and Mentor young girls and women about the highly lucrative field of construction. Getting young girls excited about working tools fuel her. Judaline was one of the featured speakers at the 2017 Makers Conference, Megan Kelly Show and the BBC The Conversation.

City and State NYC recognized her as one of their 2017 Responsible 100 awards and Women Builders Council named her one of their 2018 Outstanding Women. She was the recipient of the 92nd Street Y Extraordinary Women Award 2018 Raising Star Award.

As a woman working in a traditionally male-dominated field has not always been problem-free, as difficulties, challenges, and barriers often emerge. However, Judaline is extremely passionate about her craft and works assiduously to promote a positive representation of women in Construction, so that the many obstacles, and resistance that she encountered can be eliminated for present and future tradeswomen.

 

Kaitlin Avra

Bio: Kaitlin Avra, Skanska USA Building Inc.

Kaitlin Avra, is an Atlanta native and graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Building Construction. She has been with Skanska for the entire length of her 8 year construction career, starting as an intern in college.

Since being with Skanska, she has traveled to and lived in the San Francisco bay area for two years on a project, and to Boston for a year working on multiple small projects. She then returned to live in Atlanta.

Most of Kaitlin?s project career has been in operations doing corporate commercial projects, and currently in operations doing special projects (projects under $10 mil). She has also spent some time in preconstruction.

Kaitlin is married and has two dogs and a cat, and they all currently reside in Atlanta.

 

Jamey Barbas

Bio: Jamey Barbas, PE is the Project Director, charged with replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York with the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – one of the largest bridge projects in the US, on behalf of the New York State Thruway Authority.

A transformative senior executive with a career in bridge design and construction, she has held leadership positions in several international consulting firms. Her industry experience includes leadership of the strategic, operational and technical aspects for the delivery of major structures projects. A registered professional engineer with 35 years of experience in bridge management, design, construction and inspection, she has special emphasis on complex and long span bridges.

Barbas’ experience includes a number of award winning, domestic and international projects. She has led the inspection, design and construction support services for the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC - one of the largest bridge reconstruction projects ever undertaken in the U.S. and led the design of the major bridges of the AutoRoute 30 project in Montreal, Canada - one of the largest P3 bridge projects in North America.

Barbas is a native New Yorker, graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She has written numerous technical papers and was named by Engineering News Record as one of their top Newsmakers of 2004 for her work in providing an emergency solution to a failing historic suspension bridge.
She also serves on the board of directors for Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit that provides footbridges in rural communities to increase access to schools, health care and market.

 

Doreen Bartoldus, PE, CCM, LEED GA, ENV SP

Bio: Ms. Bartoldus has over 38 years of professional experience as a civil/environmental engineer and construction manager. She has participated in complex, multi-phase, multi-prime construction contracts, involving design, resident engineering, construction management, design liaison, quality control inspection and testing, and project management. Her expertise also encompasses construction management of multi-prime and billion-dollar construction projects incorporating a wide variety of facilities, including water distribution and treatment facilities, tunnels, shafts and distribution chambers, pumping stations, solid waste facilities, storm and sanitary sewers, wastewater treatment facilities, community park and recreation facilities, and highways. These projects ranged from $1 million to $1.4 billion in construction value.

Bartoldus holds a bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (now Tandem School Of Engineering) and a master of business administration in sustainable business from Green Mountain College. She is a registered professional engineer in New York, a certified construction manager, a LEED Green Associate, and an Envision Sustainability Professional. Bartoldus is also an adjunct Professor at Stevens Institute, teaching Project Controls to CM Masters students.

Ms. Bartoldus has served on the CMAA Metro NY/NJ Board of Directors, has served as on Local boards and committees for NAWIC, and nationally as Northeast Regional Director 2016-2018 and Treasurer 2018-2019. She was also Co Chair for the NYBC council of women’s organizations from 2013 - 2015

 

Stevie Dawn Blakely

Introduction Video

Handouts: Engaging New Volunteers, Compass 

Bio:Dr. Stevie Dawn serves as CEO of Orange Compass, a corporate training company dedicated to providing staff and leadership training to organizations. Stevie Dawn brings a variety of experience in the corporate, non-profit, and governmental sectors. She has owned multiple small businesses and specializes in Emotional Intelligence strategies for the workplace. She enjoys challenging people to change their workplace behaviors. Her educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Wichita State University and a doctorate in Leadership from Colorado State University. With over 20 years of teaching and training experience, Dr. Stevie Dawn delivers training sessions with humor and high-energy that leave all participants inspired.

 

Lisa Fey

Introduction Video

Bio: The multi-dimensional and memorable Lisa Fey utilizes her Global Fortune 500 expertise to help vision casters and thought leaders tackle and overcome today’s most prevalent corporate business concerns. Armed with an Emory MBA, Lisa elevated into leadership positions and added decades of lessons learned in the global marketplace. Her accomplishments helped seed new technologies and build highly effective sales and marketing teams. Her innovative training and team-building strategies drove significant increases in share, sales, and profit margins for the company across the
globe.

As an accomplished communication expert, her surprising humor has audiences calling her Lisa “Fun” Fey as she seamlessly merges serious subject matters with results-based solutions. Empowering people to more deeply embrace her strategic development and communication tools, enables them to immediately implement what they’ve learned into their team and organizational goals, and expand their professional pursuits. 

Tailored to each company, team, or event’s specific needs, the results of her keynotes, training, and workshops include a noticeably improved company culture, more cohesive and productive teams, and enhanced communication throughout the entire organization. Time spent with Lisa will encourage positive change and growth at every organizational level, including the customer’s experience. Ultimately this will effect and increase your bottom line.

If you are looking to make an organizational shift that will bring greater impact and success to you, your team, and your organization, bring in Lisa Fun Fey – and get ready to learn, laugh, and change the world!

 

Joshua Franklin

Bio: Joshua Franklin is a safety and professional development expert and serves as the Business Growth and Partnership Director at the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Previously, Josh served in the United States Air Force as the Career Field Manager for Air Force Safety where he led 781 military safety professionals worldwide.

 

Nick Graf

Bio: Nick serves as the Assistant Vice President of Information Security for CNA’s Risk Control unit. Nick has more than a decade of information security experience and specializes in data leakage prevention, security policies, incident response, data breach and security awareness.

Prior to re-joining CNA in 2011, Nick served as a Senior Analyst for Information Security Risk Assessment at HSBC. Prior to that role, Nick held roles in CNA’s Information Technology unit.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and a Master’s of Science in Computers, Information & Network Security from DePaul University. Nick holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) designations as well as an Associate in Risk Manager (ARM) certification and a CIPP/E certification, which is focused on the data privacy regulations of the EU and GDPR. Nick is also a Fellow of Information Privacy with the IAPP. He has presented courses on privacy, big data, the cloud and healthcare risks, and has also written and contributed to articles regarding information risks, social engineering, mobile device security, phishing and personal password management.

 

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.

 

Allison Hill

Bio: Allison is a Client Executive at Cobb Strecker Dunphy & Zimmermann (CSDZ), a specialty risk management agency dedicated to serving the needs of contractors. Allison focuses on building deep, trusted relationships by demystifying the insurance-buying process and ensuring proper risk identification and mitigation enterprise-wide. She is passionate about contributing to the success of her clients in ways that reach far beyond the insurance procurement process.

CSDZ’s clients include some of the largest contractors in the country and many best-in-class local and regional contractors nationwide. Each year, CSDZ’s clients complete over $20 billion of construction work in all 50 states and over a dozen countries, allowing for CSDZ’s team to gain unprecedented insight and experience on construction risk trends and market-conditions.

Allison is a graduate of the Risk Management & Insurance program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and has been serving the needs of her clients at CSDZ for over four years. She holds several professional designations, including Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Construction Risk Management Specialist (CRIS), and Management Liability Insurance Specialist (MLIS). Allison is a proud member and director of NAWIC Milwaukee Chapter #105.

 

Lynn Huckabey

Bio: Lynn Huckabey is a Human and Organizational Performance Consultant who works with Georgia Power Company to improve organizational safety success and operational reliability by leveraging perspectives of front-line workers in support of continual improvement. She has worked in the electric utility industry for twenty years in a variety of roles including field engineer, project manager, and leadership roles managing engineering, construction and maintenance of electrical distribution systems.

Lynn knows that safety and operational success in construction industries requires a combination of engineered controls and processes, as well as a strategically developed safety culture.

Lynn is a professional engineer who possesses expertise in Human and Organizational Performance, OSHA compliance, ISO 9001 Quality Assurance, and is a LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt. She possesses expertise in strategic organizational change management, leadership coaching, and safety culture intervention. Her engineering accomplishments include overseeing the design and construction of the electrical distribution system at Suntrust Stadium and she has facilitated organizational learning sessions for high priority projects including operational reliability at Super Bowl LIII and post storm response for Hurricane Michael.

Lynn holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering as well as a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

 

Stacy Irons

Bio: Stacy Irons is the district sales manager for the United Rentals Trench Safety Region’s Midwest District. As the DSM, Stacy works closely with the district manager and branch managers in the development and management of the sales team members in ten branches across the MW district.

Stacy joined United Rentals in the Trench Safety Region in 2007, and has relocated with the company five times in 12 years. She currently resides in Chicago, IL. She started with the company in Waterloo, Iowa, as an outside sales representative, and has continued to work in sales including holding the position of branch manager, region product development manager and now district sales manager. She earned her BA degree in Marketing and Management from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

,p>She is a member of several associations including NAWIC, ABC, NUCA, Planet Underground, ARA (where she is on the women’s group committee), PEI (where she is the chairperson of the safety committee and a member of PEI Women’s Group) and she was the United Rentals Women United Corporate Leader in 2017. She is a triathlete and has completed over 30 half marathons, along with several full marathons, century bike rides, sprint tri’s, Olympic tri’s, several half Ironman’s (including one in Australia) and an Ironman. She is also a dog lover and shares her free time with her Chocolate Labradoodle Cleo, friends and family.

 

Yeshim Jones

Bio: Yeshim Jones, Turner Construction Company

Yeshim Jones began her career at Turner Construction Company in 2001 as field engineer. Since that time, she has developed a range of professional expertise on both ground-up projects and renovations, having served in various roles such as engineer, project engineer, project manager and procurement manager. She is skilled at managing multiple projects concurrently in markets such as commercial interiors, education, and hospitality. She also served in preconstruction as procurement manager, which honed her understanding of Metro Atlanta?s evolving market conditions. Yeshim is currently managing Turner Atlanta?s Self Perform Operations Division.

She earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Istanbul Technical University and her Masters degree in Construction Science and Management from Clemson University.

Yeshim's entire professional career has been in the Atlanta Area. She is married and has two children and a dog.

 

Peggy Newquist, CIT, ESP

Bio: Peggy is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Construction Engineering and Management. She also holds a master’s degree in Construction Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology She is currently a principal/owner of Constructing Opportunity, LLC a talent development and leadership coaching company geared to the A/E/C industry.

Prior to founding her company, Peggy held the position of Construction Planning Lead for The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She has the distinction of being the first woman engineer hired by Walsh Construction Company and the first woman project manager to be hired by Matocha Associates. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Bank in September 2014 Peggy had a 20+ year career with McDonald’s Corporation. She began in 1992 as a Construction Project Manager and was promoted over the years eventually becoming the Sr. Director, Worldwide Training, Construction and Strategic Sourcing. While at McDonald’s Peggy is most proud of creating the Development Leadership Program, which was designed to accelerate the careers of high potential development staff through a year long program of workshops and business case assignments. She is a 2011 graduate of the prestigious LAMP (Leadership at McDonald’s Program) program.

Peggy has been a member of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) for more than 25 years and was awarded their Woman of the Year award in 1998. She is the current NAWIC national PD&E Chair and serves as a Secretary for the NAWIC Education Foundation. She sits on the Purdue University Construction Engineering School Industry Advisory Board and leads a mentoring program for women students in the construction engineering program.

Peggy has been a volunteer mentor for Women Unlimited for the past four years and a volunteer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure for several years.

 

Kathryn Nichols, CIH, CSP

Bio: Kathryn Nichols has worked with the Corporate Safety and Health Department since joining Georgia Power Company in June of 2008. As the Industrial Hygiene Manager, she has responsibility for Industrial Hygiene and the GPC and SCS Corporate Safety and Health groups.

Before joining Georgia Power, Kate was the Southeast Regional Safety Manager for the for Pilgrim’s Pride, Inc. Responsibilities included managing Corporate HSE programs to include regulatory compliance, accident prevention, and risk management programs for the supply and fresh food service divisions in Georgia and Alabama. She also provided technical direction and leadership to site safety and health staff in developing and implementing these locations.

She has more than fifteen years of experience as a Safety and Environmental Manager in the food manufacturing industry. Kate was also a Senior Industrial Hygienist with office management responsibilities at an Atlanta civil and environmental engineering firm. Kate managed environmental remediation and exposure assessment projects for a range of clients.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from the University of Georgia in 1997. Kate has earned the qualification of Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) as awarded by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and Certified Safety Professional by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

 

Suzanna Rea

Bio: Suzanna Rea, PE, is the director of Technical Services for Hilti North America’s Central Market Organization, leading a team of Field Engineers, Fire Protection Specialists, and Project Managers.

Prior to this role, she worked at Hilti Group headquarters in Schaan, Liechtenstein where she was responsible for crafting and steering engineering strategies for markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. She also developed product solutions based on future trends, especially in the digital area.

Suzanna worked in various roles within Hilti North America prior to her global role including product management, building code and product approval manager, field engineering manager, and field engineer.

Before joining Hilti in 2005, Suzanna’s professional experience includes working as a civil and structural design engineer for military and transportation projects at various engineering consulting firms.

Suzanna holds a bachelor of civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has an MBA from Oklahoma State University and has completed post-baccalaureate coursework in structural engineering at North Carolina State University.

In her spare time, Suzanna enjoys reading, rowing, and weightlifting. She also volunteers with the Junior League of Collin County and supports the organization’s mission of developing the potential of women and improving communities.

The international Hilti Group supplies the worldwide construction industry with technologically leading products, services and software that provide construction professionals with innovative solutions and superior added value. Hilti employs more than 29,000 people in over 120 countries who passionately create enthusiastic customers and build a better future. Hilti’s North America operations includes more than 3,700 team members.

 

Molly Schaefer, MS, CIH, CSP

Bio: Molly Schaefer has recently taken on a new role at Georgia Power’s parent company, Southern Company, as the Safety and Health Management System (SHMS) Coordinator. In this role she provides leadership and systemwide support to help ensure the successful implementation of SHMS and related programs. Prior to this role, Molly served as Safety & Health Supervisor for Georgia Power, where she led a team of safety specialists and her responsibilities included developing and implementing safety programs and initiatives. Molly joined Georgia Power in 2011 and also held the roles of safety specialist and industrial hygienist.

Molly has 12 years of experience in environmental, safety and health. She was an industrial hygienist and environmental specialist for a national geotechnical and environmental firm. She managed projects for commercial and banking clients.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Masters of Science in Toxicology from the University of Georgia. Molly earned the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) qualifications.

 

Cheryl Speers

Bio: Cheryl Speers, Senior Learning and Development Manager, Barton Malow

As the Senior Learning and Development Manager, Cheryl is responsible for fostering a learning and strengths-based culture for Barton Malow’s 2,200 team members throughout the company’s 14 regional offices. With a goal of linking talent development to performance and utilizing a variety of learning modalities to best meet the company’s evolving needs, Cheryl has created curriculum-based content linked to team member competencies, leadership programming that transcends role and/or experience, and has established the Barton Malow Reads program, an annual all-company activity that encourages reading and engagement of the same book. Cheryl also established Women in Leadership (WiL), Barton Malow’s first leadership program focused on providing female leaders with specialized training and development to further their careers. Launched in 2018, 30 women team members have already completed the program.

 

Sharon Scharf

Bio: Sharon Scharf is the Executive Risk and Cyber / Network Security and Privacy specialist for Cobb Strecker Dunphy & Zimmermann (CSDZ).

Prior to joining CSDZ, Sharon spent 11 years with a National Brokerage firm as the Practice Leader for the Minneapolis Executive Risk Department as well as SVP and Senior Client Advisor to a diverse group of clients in both the public and private sectors and 14 years with Chubb Group of Insurance Companies as a commercial lines underwriter, management liability underwriter, surety bond underwriter and human resources and employee relations.

Sharon earned her BS degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota, Black Hills and is a Licensed P&C agent and a member of Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS).

In her role as Executive Risk specialist she works closely with clients to identify and manage business and executive risks that could adversely impact their business and them personally; and recommend solutions to manage the risk either through risk mitigation techniques or transferring the risk via insurance.

Insurance specializations include Directors & Officers Liability, Fiduciary Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Crime/Fidelity, Network Security/Cyber and Errors & omissions liability insurance.

 

Debbie 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
  •  

    Robin Fulton Meyer, CBT, CIT

    Bio:  Robin Fulton-Meyer was born and raised in North Carolina and received her BS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Masters from UCLA. Fulton-Meyer became involved in the construction industry as an owner of a rough grading company along with another female. The company enjoyed success as a female-owned company and worked throughout Southern California and Las Vegas.

    After selling her interest in the company, Robin started her own business, On Your Case, and began servicing clients throughout the US. Her specialty is construction defect litigation and insurance defense work for contractors and sub-contractors. In addition, Robin provides accounting support for her clients.

    Robin Fulton-Meyer became a charter member of the NAWIC Temecula Valley #338 chapter and continued her involvement through the Coachella Valley #212 chapter, Region 12. Robin served two terms as National Secretary, Vice President, President-Elect and then National NAWIC President for the 2009 – 10 year. She is currently serving as the NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF) Treasurer, and was President of NEF. Fulton-Meyer credits her success in her professional life to her mentors and contacts through NAWIC.

     

    Cindy Johnsen, CBT, CDS, CIT

    Bio:  Cindy is the daughter of a central coast California farmer where she continues to be involved in the family farm. Cindy has a B.S. in Textile Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and upon graduation was employed by an active sportswear manufacturer. During this time, she developed her work philosophy that you have to start at the bottom to get to the top. This philosophy provides a better understanding of the internal processes of a company to aid in the research and design of new products. Her success in product development in the clothing industry reflected that philosophy.

    Cindy has over 30 years in the construction industry starting with a major residential builder in the 1980’s as the administrative manager. In addition to her administrative duties, she was active in the escrow, subcontract, and customer service departments. She is a real estate broker and notary public. Since 1995, she has been employed with Granite Construction Company, one of the nation’s largest heavy civil contractors and construction materials producers and is best known for transportation infrastructure projects. Cindy has served as the Estimating Administrator, Construction Administrator/Trainer working with young engineers and is currently a Project Controls Specialist in job cost accounting and job setup.

    Having been with Granite for 24 years, Cindy continues to utilize her work philosophy. She has substituted in most positions within her office to learn about transportation infrastructure construction which has helped her to be a better trainer and troubleshooter. Cindy feels that this experience enables her to better connect with people and understand their point of view since she has been there.

    Cindy has been a member of NAWIC since 1997 serving as national president for the year 2012-2013. Believing that education enhances your personal success, she has served on the NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF) and NAWIC Founders Scholarship Foundation (NFSF).

     

    Nancy Eaton

    Bio:  Nancy joined NAWIC in 1984. She served as NAWIC President 2004-05 and as NEF president in 2009-10. She retired as the CFO for a large commercial landscape contractor in Las Vegas after 40 years of service. Now living on her ranch in Utah with husband Pete, her dogs, cats, chickens, and horses, she volunteers her time working in an equine program for "at risk teens". The leadership skills learned in NAWIC helped her be a better employee, supervisor, friend...and now mentor to 32 teen women.

     

    Sandy Field, CBT, CIT

    Bio: A native Texan, born in Dallas and raised in Amarillo, Sandy currently resides in Tomball, TX and is the Office/HR Manager for Meridian Constructors, LLC. Meridian Constructors is a commercial general contractor specializing in interiors and general construction with extensive experience in corporate interiors and healthcare industries.

    Her career in the construction industry began in Victoria, Texas, as an accountant for a homebuilder. For the next 20+ years she worked for 3 different homebuilding firms holding positions of accountant/office manager, construction supervisor, Vice President/Financial Officer and ultimately became a custom homebuilder in the Corpus Christi area. In 1997 she was named the Builder of the Year by the Builders Association of the Corpus Christi Area. She served on the BACC Board for several years and was elected President of the Builders Association in 1999.

    While living in Corpus Christi she served on the Building Standards Board of the City of Corpus for six years, three of which she served as the Board Chair.

    In 2002, Sandy made a career move from residential construction to commercial construction, where she has had responsibilities of office management, human resources, marketing, accounting and project management.

     

    Connie Leipard, CIT

    Bio: Ms. Leipard began working in the construction industry in 1979 with her partner and husband, Mike Leipard. Together, they founded Quality Drywall Construction, which specializes in commercial light gauge metal framing, drywall, acoustical ceiling systems as well as exterior insulation finish systems. Both Mike and Connie credit NAWIC membership as an instrumental resource for personal and professional development leading to increased business success.

    Connie served as NAWIC President 2016-2017, currently serves as the national Strategic Plan Chair as well as other volunteer duties in NAWIC and the Columbia, MO community.

     

    Riki Lovejoy, CBT, CIT

    Bio: Ms. Lovejoy entered the construction industry in 1985 as a receptionist for a national general contractor. While continuing her education in Construction Technology and Business Management, Ms. Lovejoy knew she wanted to continue in this industry because of the work itself but didn’t realize how the obstacles of being in this male-dominated industry would slow achieving her goals.

    After being laid off from a major general contracting firm as they were closing their doors in the Florida market, in 1990, along with a partner, Ms. Lovejoy owned and operated a small carpentry subcontracting business for two years. As a field worker learning carpentry, concrete, and masonry skills by day and being President of her company by night, Ms. Lovejoy realized that each step to success was just a matter of hard work and a will to achieve. Since 2001, Ms. Lovejoy has been the President of RFL Consulting Solutions, Inc., a construction management consulting firm, with contracts on projects throughout the country, Ms. Lovejoy’s career has also taken her to other parts of the world including BeiJing, People’s Republic of China, Europe and the Caribbean. Riki is a certified Minority and Woman Business Enterprise and has been named to the Cambridge Who’s Who of Business and Professional Executives. Ms. Lovejoy was President of the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC) in 2015/2016, has served on the National Board of the NAWIC Education Foundation (NEF) and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Professional Woman Network (PWN). Ms. Lovejoy is currently a trustee on the NAWIC Founders Scholarship Foundation.

    In addition, Ms. Lovejoy has co-authored ten books for the PWN Library of women’s issues and business strategies for women books. One of her favorite works was a chapter entitled Construction By Others in the book entitled Creating a Blueprint for Inner Change, Ms. Lovejoy uses her experience in the construction industry to offer insight into how we must consider all of the influences and relationships we have had in our lives to be the person we are today… and more importantly, who we can be tomorrow.

     

    Tamie Taylor, CDS, CDT, CIT, MPM

    Bio: Tamie Taylor, CDS, CDT, CIT, MPM is the Owner and Managing Partner of Taylored Business Solutions, LLC (TBS) providing quality construction and operations management. Ms. Taylor has 30+ years of construction, project management and government contracting experience. Before starting TBS, Ms. Taylor started working with the Alaska Native community in 1992 and has worked for Native Corporations for more than 27 years. Ms. Taylor has honed her professional management and government contracting skills as an executive officer or manager for various Alaska Native corporations such as Tatitlek Contractors, Bering Straits Native Corporation, NANA Pacific, and Chugach Alaska Corporation. Prior to that, Ms. Taylor worked as a project manager for various construction companies in Alaska as well as Colorado.

    Ms. Taylor has a Masters Certificate in Project Management and an Bachelor of Science as well as receiving the certification accreditations from NEF and CSI. Ms. Taylor was appointed to the Alaska Safety and Advisory Council by former Governor Walker in 2017 and has been a member of the UAA Construction Management Advisory Committee since 2005. She is a former national president of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and has been president of the Alaska NAWIC chapter several times. Ms. Taylor has served volunteer boards throughout the years.

    In 2019, Ms. Taylor was recognized by the Associated General Contractors of Alaska (AGC) with the esteemed Hot Hard award. She is a 2008 Athena Society Inductee, received the Alaska Top 40 under 40 in 2002 and 2005 Alaska Constructive Women.

     

    Christie Wigginton, CIT

    Bio:  Professionally, Chris was Business Manager/Controller in the finance department for a large materials company in Spokane, WA. When the company was acquired by Oldcastle Architectural Products Group, she turned her leadership and analytical skills to ERP training and development for Oldcastle’s Western Division in Phoenix, AZ. Promoted to their corporate office headquartered in Atlanta, GA, she held the positions of Business Analyst and Project Manager in the IT department, focusing primarily in finance and data analysis and traveling extensively for its US acquisitions.

    Chris is semi-retired occasionally consulting for IT on acquisitions for Oldcastle APG.

    Chris has been a member of the National Association of Women in Construction since 1994, with Spokane Chapter and was NAWIC President, 2006-2007.