Speakers

2021 Speakers

 

 

Dave Davlin

Dave Davlin

Opening Keynote Speaker

Bio: Over 25 years ago, Dave Davlin began bringing smiles to faces with a form of entertainment he developed as a young boy. From NBA and major college arenas across America to the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea— and even to the world-famous Branson Strip— “Travelin” Davlin has entertained people of every age and background. His amazing ability with basketballs even landed his name and picture in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records.

Dave began to hone his speaking skills in the early 90’s as a national speaker in the public schools across America. Combining his entertainment ability with a powerful message, he was instrumental in the fight for education and against drugs. At the advice of friends working in corporate America, Dave began to develop presentations for the corporate and association market and the rest is history. He now speaks at numerous corporate and associational conferences each year. From public school students to CEOs, Dave’s message has made a difference in the lives of thousands, and his impact continues to grow each year as he shares his philosophy and wisdom through speaking and writing.

 

 

Stacey Hanke

Stacey Hanke

Closing Keynote Speaker

Bio: Stacey Hanke is author of the book; Influence Redefined…Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday®. She is also co-author of the book; Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A To Z To Influence Others To Take Action.

Stacey is founder of Stacey Hanke Inc. She has trained and presented to thousands to rid business leaders of bad body language habits and to choose words wisely in the financial industry to the healthcare industry to government and everyone in between. Her client list is vast from Coca-Cola, FedEx, Kohl’s, United States Army, Navy and Air Force, McDonald’s, Publicis Media, Nationwide, US Cellular, Discover, GE, General Mills and Abbvie. Her team works with Directors up to the C-Suite. In addition to her client list, she has been the Emcee for Tedx. She has inspired thousands as a featured guest on media outlets including; The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Thrive, SmartMoney magazine, The Economist and Business Week. She is a Certified Speaking Professional—a valuable accreditation earned by less than 10% of speakers worldwide.

 


 

 

 

Carolina Aponte

Carolina Aponte

Bio: Carolina Aponte is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of experience serving clients both large and small. In addition to working as a fractional CFO, Carolina is the owner of Caja Holdings providing outsourced bookkeeping services to multi-million-dollar companies, law firms, and diverse small businesses including local CPA firms and Non-profit organizations.

Carolina began her accounting career working on manual ledgers for a Miami law firm. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in Business Management. Afterward, she climbed the corporate ladder at a thriving accounting software company until she moved to North Carolina with her family. There, she used her extensive understanding of tax code, accounting, and business management to start a boutique consulting firm to provide clients practical and effective internal accounting and tax-reporting solutions.

She holds a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Entrepreneurship certificate. Carolina is the recipient of the Latin American Businesswoman 2012 Award in Charlotte, NC, and the 2017 NAWBO Charlotte Rising Star Award. Also, a recipient of The Mecklenburg Times 2019 Phenoms honoree and 2020 50 Most Influential Women in the Charlotte region. She is also 2020-2021 President of the National Association of Women Business Owners Charlotte and a 2019-2020 Woman Business Owner of the year finalist. She is also an award-winning author of “Pave Your Own Way” Thirteen Skills To Create Your Professional Success.

 

 

Aprille Bell

Aprille Bell, CPA

Bio:  Managing Partner, Construction & Real Estate

  • 29+ years at DHG; works closely with clients and owners on the strategic and operational issues facing their individual businesses
  • Develops and leads DHG’s construction and real estate strategy, including overseeing services for more than 8,000 construction and real estate clients across the firm
  • Focuses on the important industry issues that affect construction and real estate clients, and helps identify solutions-based approaches to meet client needs

 

 

Catherine Brennan

Catherine A. Brennan

Bio: Catherine A. Brennan is a business owner, author, public speaker, blogger, community activist, athlete, mother, grandmother, and most importantly, a depression survivor.

She has lived in Minnesota most of her life and has run a construction and development company with her husband, Mike. Her background is in public accounting and she took the leap to start a construction business in 1994 and a development company in 2000.

Cathy is a public speaker on the topic of wellness and has authored a book titled So Now What? A Guide for People Who Feel Stuck. It contains the lessons she learned from a very long battle with depression. The principles will be beneficial for anyone who feels stuck in their life. A companion workbook So Now What? A Guided Workbook to Get Unstuck is due out in April of 2021.

In her 50s, Cathy, found her ‘inner runner’. She has run the Boston Marathon three times, the New York City Marathon, and several other marathons. Cathy is also a triathlete, golfer, and loves to read. She and her husband have two married sons and one grandson.

 

 

Shakira Brown

Shakira M. Brown

Bio: Nationally Recognized Branding & Business Communication Strategist & Professional Keynote Speaker Shakira is a 13 time award-winning public relations, corporate communications and branding professional who uses her over 20 years of experience leading external and internal communications strategies for various small businesses, corporations and professional services firms to captivate and educate audiences. She is the Managing Principal and CEO of SMB Strategic Media, a firm specializing in helping small businesses get to the heart of why customers buy their goods and services by clarifying their message and uncovering their competitive advantage. She is also a leading business adviser and marketing counselor for America’s Small Business Development Center and for the Regional Assistance Business Corporation in New Jersey.

Shakira shares advice on how to “master every moment” in business as a regular contributor to BlackEnterprise.com and has been featured as an expert in PRWeek, BrandWeek, Woman's World, Working Mother, Creditcards.com, Crain's Chicago Business, US 1 Princeton Magazine, Jersey 101.5 FM, MidJersey Business Magazine, AOL Money & Finance, Plastic Surgery Practice Advisor, NJBIZ, Fierce Entrepreneur Podcast, Fridge Magazine and Smartmoney.com among many others. Shakira who is also known as the "Small Biz Whisperer” as she hosts, The "Moment Masters Show" (http://momentmasters.com) a small business focused podcast available on iTunes and Google Play, among others.

View my NAWIC AC promo here.

 

 

Josie Cutts

Josie Cutts

Bio: Josie Cutts is the Director of Customer Success at Touchplan, a collaborative construction planning software that connects the office and the field. She serves the Customer Success team by enabling the group to deliver the immediate and lasting value of Touchplan. She also works cross-functionally with the Sales, Product and Marketing teams in order to advocate on behalf of customers. She has worked at Touchplan since 2016 and is passionate about equipping construction teams with the right software in order to achieve their goals – ahead of schedule, under budget and safely. Before joining Touchplan, Josie worked in corporate finance at RBC Capital Markets before transitioning into Boston’s tech startup scene. Josie holds a BA in Economics from Bates College.

 

 

Kizzy Ferre

Kizzy Ferrer

Bio: Kizzy Ferrer has a passion for leadership, mentorship and team building. She currently holds a Project Manager position for one of the leading luxury residential builders in Central Florida. In 2018, she founded BUILT 4 INSPIRATION, LLC whose sole mission is to inspire, motivate and equip through transformational speaking, leadership training and career mentoring.

She is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds both the NAWIC Education Foundation CIT & CDT Certifications. She is a Past President of the Greater Orlando Chapter where she serves as a Mentor and a Co-Chair on several committees. She is also the SE Regional and National Chair for Professional Development and Education for NAWIC. As an active member, she credits NAWIC for the personal and professional development she has experienced since becoming a member in 2013 and truly enjoys sharing her experiences and lessons with others. She is the recipient of the:

  • Dale Carnegie Leadership Training Highest Achievement Award
  • NAWIC’s National “Shining Light” Executive Spotlight Award
  • Greater Orlando Chapter 73 - Chapter President’s Award

In her spare time, Kizzy loves traveling with her husband Nathan, reading, volunteering, and spending time with her family.

 

 

Zach Forner

Zach Forner

Bio: Zach Forner is a proven sales expert and organizational leader with over 15 years of experience across multiple industries. His personal mission is to inspire leaders and those they lead to renew their minds, take ownership of their personal and professional growth and build something bigger than themselves. Before joining Sales Transformation Group, Zach was a successful high grossing closer in multiple industries and worked internationally for many years. He now uses his experience and skills to isolate problems, provide solutions and establish phenomenal sales cultures among some of the top contracting companies in America.

 

 

Ingrid Golleher

Ingrid Golleher

Bio: I graduated High School in 2010 with a dream to be in musical theatre professionally… so I ended up in Job Corps searching for a trade, thinking “business” (receptionist) would be right for me. When I went in to the business office, it was full of people in the dark sitting on computers. Not my cup of tea. So I walked in to the “Construction Craft Laborer” trade office and a year later graduated with a foot in the door as a laborer in the union. 

 

 

Adam Guyton

Adam Guyton, AINS, CLCS

Bio: Adam Guyton is an Insurance Agent with 15 years’ experience working alongside business owners and executives. Adam is a technician when it comes to commercial insurance and creating risk management strategies for his clients. Adam is a leader in cyber insurance placement and his positive attitude and tireless energy encourage others to work hard and succeed. Adam and his wife live in Boise Idaho with their black lab Hank. In his free time he likes to ski, fish and mountain bike.

 

 

Gerri Harris

Geraldine “Gerri” Harris

Bio: Geraldine “Gerri” Harris is President/Managing Member of G. Harris Consulting, LLC, a professional business management services firm that provides customized training solutions and coaching. She consults on diversity and inclusion, leadership, organizational development, strategic planning, and specializes in business administration and operational processes-all as relates to design and construction. Prior to founding G. Harris Consulting, LLC, Gerri held executive positions in the construction industry for organizations operating in the areas architecture, hospitality, entertainment, gaming, and construction and construction management.

Corporate Experience. Gerri is former Executive Director of Diversity & Contracts for MGM Resorts International Design & Development, a leader in hospitality and entertainment based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is credited with having managed and negotiated design and construction contracts for domestic projects under an annual capital improvement budget of $300M, single contracts ranging from $1M to $500M, and led construction diversity and inclusion efforts for projects up to $1.2B for MGM’s world known luxury resorts-Bellagio, MGM National Harbor, Park MGM, ARIA, Beau Rivage, and others.

Civic Recognitions and Volunteerism. Gerri was named in the “Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity” by Diversity-Plus magazine in 2018. In 2019 she was a finalist for the “Woman of Distinction” award from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Las Vegas Chapter. In 2020, she became the first African American woman to serve on the board of Nevada Contractors Association (NCA) as chair of its Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee. Also, she received the “Collaborator Excellence in Supplier Diversity Award” from the Western Region Minority Supplier Development Council (WRMSDC).

Gerri currently serves on the boards of National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC), is the first African American to hold the position of vice president for National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Las Vegas Chapter #74, and serves on the NAWIC National Diversity & Inclusion Task Force/Committee.

 

 

Angela Highland

Angela Highland, CIT

Bio: Angela Highland, CIT, is a Project Manager for Ironrock Commercial Construction and has been a member of NAWIC for 9 years. She is a very active member of the Greater Orlando chapter and served as President in 2015-2016 and has been elected as an incoming Director for next year’s board. She is past National Chair of the PDE committee in 2015,2016 and 2020 and is currently serving as chair for the Speaker’s Bureau Taskforce. In the latest news, Angela is very excited to be tapped as the host for the NEW NAWIC Podcast, launching this fall. Citing NAWIC as her influence she has found a passion in supporting women in their careers and in 2018 completed her certification as a professional coach. She is committed to the success of women on every level as a thought leader and mentor and can often be found making the rounds on the NAWIC circuit leading workshops and seminars supporting women in their personal and professional growth.

 

 

Valerie Johnston

Valerie Johnston

Bio: Valerie focuses her practice on all matters real estate law, including overseeing the acquisition, financing, development and sale of commercial properties, and providing counsel on accessibility and the Fair Housing Act. She loves working in a legal field where all parties can have a positive outcome, and she works to ensure that each transaction advances the client’s business. Previously, Valerie served as in-house counsel to one of the largest multifamily developers in the country that developed, managed and sold luxury multifamily communities, retail developments and hotels across 24 states. The role gave her the opportunity to work with a variety of projects from groundbreaking to final sale, letting her dive into transactional challenges at all stages of property development. The experience also gave her a solid understanding of the business priorities of property developers and other clients. As in-house counsel, Valerie needed to be as in tune to business concerns as she was to legal ones. She became especially skilled at finding creative solutions to design and entitlement barriers to keep projects on track and profitable.

 

 

 

Nikki Larchar

Nikki Larchar, SHRM-CP

Bio: Nikki Larchar, SHRM-CP, is the co-author of a sexual harassment prevention comic book and the co-founder of Define the Line, a company that is on a mission to eliminate workplace sexual harassment by empowering employees to speak up for themselves and each other.

After years of navigating tricky situations and harassing behavior, Nikki wanted to create the sexual harassment training she wished she had early in her career. The Define the Line comic book and training sessions help individuals know what to do or say when faced with inappropriate and harassing behavior in the workplace.

Since their successful crowdfunding campaign in 2018, Define the Line has helped train over 1,800 individuals and continues to help people feel more confident speaking up for themselves and others to create workplaces that are safe and secure for everyone.

Nikki’s work has been featured in NPR, HRCI, HR Dive, and HR Bartender. She has been honored to receive the 2019 Workforce Magazine’s Game Changers Award, 2019 BBB Spark Award, 2020 BizWest Women of Distinction nomination, and the 2019 Tresemme + Vital Voices Fellowship Award.

When Nikki is not inspiring groups, you can find her serenading Disney songs to her dog while her husband tries to escape the beauty of her voice in their Cocoa, FL home.

To learn more about Define the Line visit: www.definethelinecomic.com

 

 

Melanie Myers

Melanie Myers

Bio: Holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from Eastern Michigan University and is a full-time Project Manager of Planning, Design and Construction for St. Joseph Mercy Health System in SE Michigan and part-time Educational Coordinator for NEF. She has fifteen years and counting working in the industry and fifteen years working in higher education. She was an active NAWIC member of the Lansing, Michigan Chapter from 1999-2020. During her time in NAWIC she held several leadership positions within her chapter, regional committees, and was elected Region 4 (now North Central Region) from 2010-2012. She also served ten years on the NEF Board as Trustee and an active member of the Executive Committee serving as Secretary, Vice-President (twice), President-Elect (twice), and President. During her time on the NEF Board, she authored the Construction Industry Specialist (CIS). Currently, she is the President of the Eastern Michigan University Construction Management Alumni Chapter and helped develop the first Alumni Mentoring Program. This program links alumni with current students to support and help them directly connect with alumni working in the construction industry. As a part of the Mentoring Program, she has led an annual Student Alumni Summit that brings students and alumni together for an informative networking event. For her efforts, she was named the 2020 recipient of the Ozzie Pffafman Volunteer Award. Last Fall, she joined the newly formed Michigan Chapter of Women in Healthcare in hopes of connecting with other women working in healthcare positions.

 

 

Megan North

Megan North, RPLU, MBA

Bio: North began her Insurance career as a Risk Management & Insurance major at the University of Mississippi. Since that time, she worked in finance and retail insurance before settling into the wholesale channel where she has worked for the last 10 years focusing exclusively on Cyber, Management and Professional coverage lines.

Most recently, North has developed a heavy emphasis and focus in Cyber & Tech which led to her selection as a “Young Gun” Broker in 2018 with Insurance Business America. She enjoys education in addition to working with her clients, and has industry speaking experience including hosting a panel on Management Liability for the 2013 IRMI Energy Conference and participating as a panelist for a Cyber-focused session at the Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) national conference in 2017. She has authored multiple coverage articles ranging from Cyber, the Energy Sector and Contractors Professional and is part of a team responsible for developing, negotiating, and coordinating enhancement endorsements and cyber policy reviews with partner insurance carriers.

She has also developed a proprietary Cyber coverage solution, and is co-creator of the first modern Cyber Umbrella policy (an AmWINS Exclusive Product – CyberUP) which is an entirely new type of insurance policy designed to address gaps caused by silent cyber throughout an Insured’s program.

About AmWINS:

  • Largest wholesaler in the United States with over $20B in annual written premium
  • Specific industry vertical dedicated to Construction which writes several billion in annual premium for coverage solutions tailored to the design/ construction/ and contracting space
  • Offers many proprietary cyber programs including:
  • CyberUP: silent cyber solution and cyber-triggered umbrella product
  • Contractors’ BluePrint which is a combination E&O, Pollution, EPLI and Cyber product designed to meet the specific needs of Insureds operating as General Contractors to Artisan Sub-Contractors and everything in between

 

 

Mark Pace

Mark Pace

Bio: Mark Pace, a 4th generation of a 96-year-old, family-owned heavy highway construction company in Virginia. Mark has 36 years of experience as well as owner of several other complementary companies that vary from blasting to physical fitness. He also serves on multiple boards throughout Virginia. Mark is married to his wife Amy of 25 years and has two children in college, Nicholas 22 and Megan 20 (GO HOKIES). When he isn’t digging ditches, he enjoys snow skiing, kiteboarding and painting.

 

 

Tobias Pagel

Tobias Pagel

Bio: Tobias Pagel is the Founder & CEO of LIBAERTY, a company that manufactures workwear exclusively for women in “heavy-duty” industries such as the construction sector. The new collections include high-visibility safety apparel which oftentimes still remains impossible to find. Before commencing his entrepreneurial journey, Tobias had a successful international career in heavy construction materials at CEMEX – one of the field’s largest multi-national corporations - where he held numerous executive positions and managed aggregates business units in Germany and the U.S. Tobias was also the head of an international car logistics company, served on the Advisory Board of, and later in a leadership role at, a heavy equipment training school. Tobias grew up 10 minutes from the Berlin Wall. After attending a bi-lingual high school he studied and worked in Germany, England, France, Mexico, Canada and all over the United States. He currently resides with his wife and two young children in Chicago and in his increasingly rare leisure time enjoys baseball, basketball, photography, jazz music, practicing the trumpet and above all playing with his kids.

 

 

Nesha Pai

Nesha Pai

Bio: Nesha Pai is the founder of Pai CPA, PLLC in Charlotte, NC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from NC State University and has held her CPA license since 1996, after passing her first attempt at the exam as a senior. She began her career and cultivated her passion for helping businesses within the world-renowned accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and later within multiple, privately held Fortune 500 companies as a business consultant, relationship facilitator, and accounting analyst. She realized she had a strong pull towards the small business and entrepreneurial sector.

Since starting her own firm in 2011, Nesha has continued nourishing her vision and the business growth of the Queen City by creating Pai Networking Group in 2017, and launching a podcast series, ‘Piece of the Pai,’ that focuses on successful Charlotte entrepreneurs sharing their business insight. In January 2020, Nesha published her book “Overcoming Ordinary Obstacles”, which won the award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category by the American Book Fest. She has been a Charlotte resident since 1993, and recently was named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women of 2020 in the Mecklenburg Times. Nesha is a proud mom of a son, graduating in Engineering, from her alma mater, NC State University.

 

 

Charles Renner

Charles Renner

Bio: Charles Renner has played a leading role in facilitating significant public-private partnerships (P3) across the United States. He conducts an annual survey and analysis on P3 projects nationwide and continuously evaluates trends and best practices for the unique financing tool. Charles applies his findings when advising clients and communities on projects that serve the lasting interests of businesses, government, and people.

Charles is the chair of the firm’s Public-Private Partnership team, and has a broad experience working with complex development incentives such as community improvement districts and tax increment financing. His approach is collaborative, seeking true long-term partnerships with mutually beneficial outcomes for all public and private stakeholders.

 

 

Michael Riegel

Michael Riegel, ACC PMP

NAWIC Partner

Bio: With over 30 years of experience building and leading cross functional teams to deliver critical projects, Michael now partners with organizations and leaders to develop practical solutions and exceed their goals by embracing the philosophy of “what got you here won’t get you there.”

Michael Riegel is a coach, consultant, author, speaker and project management expert with 30 years of experience working across industries delivering projects and programs for internal and external clients. He has developed and expertise in managing technical professionals and creating teams to deliver projects and meet organizational goals. Michael began and built his career on the ability to develop practical solutions to complex projects. Michael implemented and managed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Small Business Development Program where he delivered coaching and mentoring services to emerging companies and small business owners in the construction industry. Michael provides coaching, training, mentoring, and consulting services to multiple organizations including Amazon, Apple, Fox Home Team Sports, Columbia University, NYC Small Business Services, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Washington Gas and Light, Railroad Construction Company, National Association of Women in Construction, and Professional Women in Construction.

Michael’s approach to coaching, consulting, and mentoring combines his natural intellectual curiosity (to fully understand the “what” and the “why”), analytical skills (to accelerate development of options and develop a framework for goal attainment), and his ability to personally connect with his clients. Michael tailors his approach to each client’s individual needs and set of circumstances and lives by the motto “what got here won’t get you there” both personally and professionally.

His book, Build Like the Big Primes – A Contractor’s Guide to Building Your Business While Balancing Your Life, focuses on helping construction professionals make the transition from “contractor” to “business owner”. The book takes the reader through the core elements of the business end of the business with usable tips, techniques, and approaches that help the business owner reach their potential and learn from the experience of similar companies. His latest writing project is Half Baked: A to Z Lessons from a Professional Coach and Amateur Baker and it can be found on LinkedIn.

Michael earned his MBA at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College and is a certified Project Management Professional. He is a certified coach through the International Coach Federation and completed the Master Trainer program through the Association of Talent Development. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Deborah and their rescue dog Nash. If he was not supporting leaders and organizations, Michael would be chasing natural disasters and helping communities recover – essentially creating order out of chaos– similar to helping his clients create order in their personal and professional lives.

 

 

Debbie Rodriguez

Debbie Rodriguez

Bio: At the age of 12, Debbie embarked on her first business venture providing lawn care services in her neighborhood. She embraced a strong work ethic at an early age, thanks to parents she describes as hardworking and generous. She has always been an advocate for providing opportunities so that people can help themselves. Her work to be of service has been threaded through the construction industry. Today she has a solid reputation as a minority business owner. Her motto – In it to Win it!

Debbie began her career assisting day laborers in finding work, which also allowed for businesses to get the job done. Her passion led her to become a franchisee for Quality Labor Management, today she holds the distinction of being the largest franchise in the country.

The work and her clients inspired Debbie to found her own venture in Competitive Edge Partners & Consultants LLC. The services provided by CEP&C ensure a powerful contribution to support a client’s goals, addressing requirements and exceeding expectations. CEP&C is a prime subcontractor providing services in the areas of Division I-general requirements, electrical, professional painting and OSHA safety consulting.

Debbie will be quick to tell you, there is never a problem that cannot be solved. She goes to work each day expecting those around her to have the same drive for excellence. With determination and continued innovation, Debbie thrives on people. It is this spirit in which she founded her non-profit, iBuild Central Florida. iBuild is a unique organization building partnerships between education and the construction industry to promote and provide pathways to careers in the skilled trades. She continues to thrive in supporting people who have drive and talent to build our futures.

 

 

Mitch Savoie Hill, CPC

Mitch Savoie Hill, CPC

Bio: Mitch Savoie Hill, CPC is the CEO and founder of SavHill Consulting LLC where she delivers Leadership Coaching, Corporate Training and Keynote speeches that help her clients and audiences clarify their goals, map out strategies and stretch their horizons.

Mitch Savoie Hill is a Certified Professional Coach, TEDx Speaker and Corporate Trainer with over 25 years of Hospitality and Leadership experience. She started in the hospitality industry as a Singing Waitress in New York City when she was 18 years old. She later went on to manage teams for international companies in the restaurant, hotel and community association management and construction industries.

Mitch uses her charismatic personality and her contagious laugh to help executives and teams learn about important topics such as conflict management, how to inspire cooperation, and working with diversity.

Mitch is a first generation American, born of Cuban exiled parents. As a woman who overcame a multitude of adversities such as childhood poverty, abuse, work-place discrimination and even homelessness, she has made it her life’s work now to help others turn their roadblocks into runways to success. She is currently authoring a book on this subject. Mitch will be sharing a dynamic and interactive workshop about identity, diversity and how to rise above the limiting “boxes” we place ourselves and others in.

You can learn more about Mitch and watch her TEDx Talk, “Which Box Do I Check?” on her website https://www.savhillconsulting.com/about-us

Mitch is excited to speak at the NAWIC 66th Annual Conference, you can hear her announcement here!

 

 

Andy Sterlen

Andy Sterlen, MESH, C-MESH, IH-MESH, OCSS

Bio: Andy has over 20 years of experience in industrial hygiene in the chemical industry. In his role as a health education specialist for NC OSH, he instructs many widely varied topics from chemical hygiene and PSM to crane inspections and steel erection. He began his career as a R&D and process chemist in the field of polymer chemistry. After graduate school at NCSU in Pulp and Paper and Chemical Engineering, he returned to industry as a plant manager and lead engineer where he managed chemical production, plant construction, as well as Process Safety Management and chemical hygiene.

He has authored several published papers, holds 7 US patents in polymer chemistry and has MESH certifications in General Industry, Construction and Industrial Hygiene as well as being a certified OSHA Construction Safety Specialist. For fun, Andy enjoys traveling across the United States playing Australian Rules football for the North Carolina Tigers in the USAFL.

 

 

JOLSNA THOMAS

Jolsna Thomas, ESQ

Bio: Mrs. Jolsna Thomas is reformed attorney, recent Texas business development professional turned nonprofit leader. This past April, Rosendin’s CEO requested that she work fulltime as President of The Rosendin Foundation, the charitable arm of Rosendin Holdings, the parent company of Rosendin and Modular Power Solutions. Jolsna also continues to serve on Rosendin’s DEI Advisory Council to the Executive Committee. Prior to her recent promotion, she had worked as Rosendin’s Texas Business Development Manager.

Jolsna started her career in the construction industry in 2007 with the largest local construction labor organization in the nation (Operating Engineers Local 3) where she represented the interest of ~45,000 workers as its legal counsel.

She is civically engaged through a variety of leadership roles locally and nationally. She currently sits on AGC Americas Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. Jolsna chaired the National Association of Women in Construction Austin Chapter (NAWIC) first camp for middle school girls to get hands on exposure to the construction industry locally.

In 2019, NAWIC Austin named Jolsna the Women In Construction of the Year and the Luna Awards named her Austin’s Business Advocate of the Year. In 2020, Travis County Women Lawyers Association awarded her with the Advancement of Women’s Interests Attorney Award. Jolsna is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (2000) and American University Washington College of Law (2005) and maintains licenses in California and Texas.

 

 

Sarah Windham

Sarah Windham, CCIFP, CPA

Bio:  Tax Partner, Construction & Real Estate

  • More than 20+ years of extensive experience in several financial areas, including tax planning, business consultation, and generational wealth planning/succession planning, as well as tax research and compliance for corporations, partnerships, limited-liability entities, and individuals with high net worth
  • Vast industry knowledge includes construction and real estate, and has served as a speaker and CPE presenter at a variety of industry association conferences and events
  • Holds a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional designation, granted by the Institute of Certified Construction Industry Financial Professionals, Inc.

     

     

Piljo Yae

Piljo Yae

Bio: Piljo Yae started in the construction industry as an Interior Designer; however, she quickly learned that her structural steel knowledge was minimal, so she decided to take a position with a structural steel company to acquire technical knowledge and business skills. She worked her way into a Sr. Project Manager position in the structural steel industry and then into Construction Management as a Project Manager/Superintendent.

She has been involved in projects, such as the Philadelphia Convention Center Expansion Project, The Barns Foundation, The Triborough Bridge (now called RFK Bridge), The Erie Canal Locks and Gates, The Champlain Canal Locks and Gates, and many more.

She also is serving as the NAWIC Northeast Regional marketing co-chair and is responsible for updating the NAWIC Northeast Regional websites. Currently, she is taking a sabbatical and plans to finish hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in summer 2021.

Piljo studied Architectural Interior Design at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.