Speaker's Information

Siri Lindley

Bio: World Champion Triathlete and High-Performance Coach; Cancer Survivor and Named One of Tony Robbins Favorite Motivational Speakers

It’s never too late to live the life you always dreamed.”  – Siri Lindley

Siri Lindley barely knew how to swim when she began the training regimen that would lead her to conquer prestigious triathlons such as the ITU World Championships. Today, as the world’s former #1 ranked triathlete, an in-demand coach, one of Tony Robbins favorite motivational speakers, and cancer survivor, Siri has made it her business to change lives for the better.

Siri shares fear-shattering strategies for changing the thoughts, habits, and behaviors that hold people and organizations back. With an infectious and authentic passion, she empowers audiences to strive for peak performance, work through and ultimately conquer the demons of fear and self-doubt.

Siri failed early and often before she found her formula for success and shares the story of how her early insecurities caused and controlled much of that failure. At the age of 23, she was disowned by her father after coming out as gay and blamed him for everything bad that went on in her life. She also suffered from chronic performance anxiety that sabotaged her early competitions until she met an eccentric coach who helped transform her into a world champion. In turn, she now coaches many of the world’s top athletes, helping them heighten their performance.

During her pro career, Siri dominated the International Triathlon Union World Rankings; she was the 2001 ITU World Champion, won 13 World Cup races including the World Cup Series in 2001 and 2002, when she was the number one ranked triathlete in the world. As a coach she has mentored and trained numerous #1 ranked triathletes to achieving Olympic medals and World Championship crowns distances.

But performance anxiety, nagging self-doubt and obsessive-compulsive disorder have not been Siri’s only challenges. In late 2019, Siri faced her most difficult battle yet when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Given only a 10% chance of survival at the time of her diagnosis, she was fortunate to become eligible for a new treatment and was pronounced cancer-free by her doctors in May of 2020.

In her book, Surfacing: From the Depths of Self-Doubt to Winning Big and Living Fearlessly, Siri offers an breathtakingly honest and bold account of her journey to self-belief and self-discovery and unlocking the champion within. Siri is currently working on her second book.

Keynote Topic: Winning Big and Living Fearlessly
Fear is either motivating or crippling.  It can start out as either, but without definite action and left to grow in the dark, it will snuff out any chance of becoming truly successful. For the former #1 triathlete in the world, Siri Lindley powered through fear along her path to reach the highest level of this grueling sport. For starters, she barely knew how to swim and w1as deathly afraid of thewater, a rather monumental fear for any triathlete to overcome. With a change of mindset –by deciding to live fearlessly authentic and own every part of who s he is – she created the life of achampion. Now, she is sharing those same painful, joyful and inspiring lessons to help audiences navigate through their own storms and times of uncertainty, disruption and fear. It’s OK to be afraid. It’s what we do about it that’s we  do about it, that make all the difference.

Breakout Topic:  Developing Resilient and Fearlessly Authentic Leaders
Two of the timeless traits of great leaders are resilience and authenticity. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic they are more crucial than ever as entire industries remake their future. After her competitive days as a #1-world-ranked triathlete ended, Siri forged a new path as a mentor, coach and trainer and has gone on to become one of the winningest coaches in triathlon history, training 11 world champions and hundreds of other world class competitors. She brings those same skills to organizations by helping them create a high-performance culture where team members and leaders maintain their authenticity and resilience while learning how to overcome their own inner voices of doubt. She shows how leaders can ignite and then foster a true team where members are encouraged to be bold without fear of embarrassment or rebuke and how to continuously reveal and harness the best abilities in everyone. 


Avery Bang
Bio: Avery Bang believes that every person has a right to safe access, and she built an organization that embraces that belief. Under her leadership, Bridges to Prosperity(B2P) physically connected more than 1.3 million people to essential health care, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges that connect the rural last mile. She remains on the board of B2P and in 2021, joined Gracon, a fast-growing general contractor in markets ranging from renewable hydroelectric energy to complex industrial and heavy mechanical, food manufacturing and processing, and electrical services.

As an active public speaker, Avery has reached varied audiences ranging from a plenary at the United Nations to the TED stage. She was featured in the IMAX film Dream Big, awarded the coveted President’s Medal by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), was named one of the world’s top 25 most newsworthy engineers by Engineering News Record (ENR), a Best Speaker at the 2018 McKinsey GII Summit, and was honored as a CauseArtist “Top 15 Women CEOs Who Have Impacted the World.” 

Avery is a Distinguished Young Alumni of The University of Iowa, recipient of the Recent Alumni Award from The University of Colorado at Boulderand holds an honorary doctorate degree from Clarkson University.Avery completed an MBA at Säid Business School at the University of Oxford, where she was selected as the Managing Director of the Oxford Seed Fund. She oversaw deal flow, due diligence, and term negotiation for high growth Oxford-led startups. Her work won her the position of peer-selected graduation speaker. She also holds a BSc. in Civil Engineering and a BA in Studio Art from theUniversity of Iowa, and an MSc. in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Kevin Bright, CEM, LEED Fellow, LEED AP BD+C and O+M
Bio: Kevin Bright, CEM, LEED Fellow, LEED AP BD+C and O+M, is the Director of Housing & Sustainability for the DMC EDA and the City of Rochester. His main functions are to ensure the DMC development projects meet the energy and sustainability goals outlined in the DMC Development plan, convene the Energy Integration Committee; a collection of energy-focused stakeholders to discuss and implement high-level energy goals for development, and advocate for sustainability, health, and wellness issues throughout the community. For the City of Rochester, his main functions are to realize the goals outlined in the City’s Climate Action Plan, and organizationally, reduce the City’s environmental impact and support wider community sustainable behavior adoption. Regarding housing, within the downtown core of Rochester there are significant needs for affordable and market rate housing, as well as rental and ownership options. His main function is to lead a housing strategy to reach our downtown housing market needs with options across the affordability and ownership spectrums.
 
Kevin co-owned his own consulting firm for seven years, and still does private consulting across the U.S. on a variety of sustainability consulting services which include the following: Commissioning services for new construction, Sustainable Design Consulting for New Construction, ASHRAE Level II Energy Audits for Existing Buildings, Small Project Management – Energy Project Implementation, Building Controls Systems Review, Green Building Certification Project Management, Green Building Training – Energy Audit Training (How to do audits, tool development, etc.), and Green Building Accreditation Training (LEED GA or other).

Kevin previously worked in promoting energy efficiency and sustainability in higher education, specifically Colby College and Harvard University. At Colby, Kevin supported all facets of sustainability including occupant engagement programs, greenhouse gas accounting, third party certifications, new and existing building performance, renewable project development and demand management activities in the existing building stock. Prior to Colby, Kevin worked as the Assistant Program Manager of the Green Building Services program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The program supported Harvard schools and units in efforts to design, build, and operate their buildings more sustainably.  His team helped identify opportunities for improving building performance and share best practices across the University.  The seven full-time Green Building Service staff also met with project teams to explain Harvard’s Green Building Standards, perform life-cycle costing analyses, facilitate green building trainings, conduct energy audits, commission new construction and commercial interior projects, and manage many of the University’s LEED green building certification efforts. 
 
Kevin holds a Master of Arts in Energy and Environmental Analysis from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College in Environmental Geology.

Breakout Topic: The DMC Project – Overview of the Project and Sustainability Efforts
The Destination Medical Center, Minnesota’s largest economic development project in its history, has several ambitious climate and resource reduction targets to achieve by the project’s completion in 2035. The range of initiatives and programs to reach these targets focuses on new construction, existing building performance, transportation options, reductions in the consumption of natural resources, resilient infrastructure, and human health and well-being. This presentation will provide an overview of the DMC project itself, and the project’s sustainability goals, progress, current initiatives, and path forward to speak to both the activity and promise ahead for the Rochester community.
Shakira Brown
Bio: 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.

Breakout Topic: Living Your Values: Leading with Integrity to Inspire Loyalty and Build Trust 
Industry leaders at all levels are expected to be human, share what’s on their minds and listen more than they speak to build trust and fuel innovation. However, this may be easier said than done when the soft skills necessary to display these critical traits are not present. In this presentation, Awarding-Winning Leadership Communication Strategist and National Soft Skills Maven, Shakira M. Brown, will share the skills necessary to exhibit the behaviors of a leader with integrity. She will reveal how to establish a stronger rapport with staff, internal stakeholders and external partners by leading authentically and communicating your vision with confidence and charisma to transform profits, performance and team culture. 
Dr. Stevie Dawn Carter
Bio: As a motivational speaker and coach, Dr. Stevie Dawn Carter is focused on helping people to unleash unstoppable success in their lives both personally and professionally. Her educational background includes a master’s degree in sociology from Wichita State University and a doctorate in leadership from Colorado State University. Her experience as a 4-time business owner, along with her work in the private and public sector, allows her to enhance her presentations with real life stories and examples that are applicable to every audience. With over 20 years of teaching and training experience, Dr. Stevie Dawn Carter approaches every engagement with humor, inspiration, and energy to get people moving towards their best lives.
  • 4-Time Business owner
  • Author of Best-Selling book, Always Be The Shark
  • President of The Fleetwood Project (non-profit theatre company)
  • PhD in Leadership (studied Emotional Intelligence)
  • Addicted to Sharks, Coffee, and Red Wine
  • Lives with her husband and family in Mansfield, TX
Breakout Topic: Emotional Intelligence
Whether you are having conversations face-to-face, over the phone, or via e-mail, it is not just about what you say, but also how you say it. Emotional Intelligence is the learned ability to manage emotions effectively and interpret messages correctly. This workshop will explore the process of utilizing emotional intelligence daily. Through engaging activities and discussions participants will learn how to be more empathetic towards others and leave with tips that are immediately applicable to improve their communication.
Steve Demetriou
Keynote Topic: Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou will be the Industry Keynote. Mr. Demetriou will share how Jacobs has instituted action plans including “Together Beyond “ to address diversity and inclusion.
Angela Donahue
Bio: Over 30 years ago, Angela was an aspiring structural engineering graduate from The Ohio State University. She spent the next 15 years learning and absorbing as a structural designer, a construction manager for a commercial developer and a commercial bank and a management consultant in litigation services. In recent years, Angela has focused on learning and applying lean tools while managing the design and construction of UCSF’s research and academic building located on the campus of SFGH.
Kizzy Ferrer, CIT, CDT
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.

Breakout Topic: Talk to Anyone, about Anything, Anywhere! Want to overcome your anxiety of speaking in public? Well, you can! Whether it's walking into a room full of strangers to network or maximizing the opportunity to share your ideas in front of a group, we all need to learn how to communicate with more confidence. In this highly interactive session, you will learn practical skills that you can use right away to network and communicate with more confidence, clarity and credibility.   
Karissa George - Meritage Homes
BIO: Karissa George is a Vice President of People Operations for Meritage Homes, providing strategic leadership to our Florida and South Regions. Karissa has worked in homebuilding for over 20 years in both operations and human resources roles and understands the inner workings of homebuilding inside and out. She is a strategic, results-driven HR leader accountable for managing the design and implementation of structures that improve individual and organizational performance. Karissa possesses a strong business acumen and is an inspiring leader, skillful relationship manager, effective facilitator, coach and mentor.  She successfully launched a formal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion effort at a Regional Builder back in the early 2000s and continues to demonstrate her passion for this work both at her organization and in her community. Karissa graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Emory University and obtained her M.S. in Policy Studies from Georgia State University.

Breakout Topic: Leveling Up Leadership through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Meritage Homes has grounded their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) journey in an intentional way to both invite difference in and level-up our leadership capability to meet the complex challenges in today’s business world. During this session you will learn the approach Meritage is taking to embrace DE&I and enhance organizational effectiveness.
Jessica T. Graziano - United Rentals
BIO: Ms. Graziano was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in October 2018, after previously serving as senior vice president—controller and principal accounting officer since March 2017, with responsibility for oversight of the Company’s accounting, risk management and financial planning and analysis departments, and vice president—controller and principal accounting officer since joining the Company in December 2014. Before joining the Company, Ms. Graziano served as senior vice president—chief accounting officer, corporate controller and treasurer of Revlon, Inc. since April 2013. Prior to that, she served as Revlon’s senior vice president—global operations finance from December 2010 through March 2013 and as Revlon’s vice president and controller—U.S. customer finance from July 2009 to December 2010. Prior to Revlon, Ms. Graziano held other financial positions with UST Inc. (Altria Group) and KPMG LLP. Ms. Graziano holds a Bachelor’s degree from Villanova in Accountancy and an MBA in Finance from Fairfield University and is a certified public accountant.
Angela Highland, CIT, CPC
Bio: Angela Highland, CIT, CPC is a Program Manager for Systems Innovation by LMG, and has been a member of NAWIC for 10 years. She is a very active member of the Greater Orlando chapter, serving as President in 2015-2016, is currently a Director on the Board and has been elected the same for 2022-2023.   She is past National Chair of the PDE committee in 2015,2016 and 2020, and is currently the host for NAWICs Official Podcast- Build, Lead, Succeed.  She was the recipient of last year’s Presidents Award and this past spring was honored as Member of the Year for the Southeast Region.  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 and with Dale Carnegie. 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.

Breakout Topic: Talk to Anyone, about Anything, Anywhere! Want to overcome your anxiety of speaking in public? Well, you can! Whether it's walking into a room full of strangers to network or maximizing the opportunity to share your ideas in front of a group, we all need to learn how to communicate with more confidence. In this highly interactive session, you will learn practical skills that you can use right away to network and communicate with more confidence, clarity and credibility.   

Jessica Jacobsen, MSPM 
BIO: Jessica Jacobsen, MSPM born and raised in Alaska. Involved in the Alaskan construction industry since 2009. Graduated with her first degree in Construction Management in 2013, as one of the only 4 girls in the program at that time. Most recently, obtaining her master’s in Project Management with honors in December 2019. This makes her a part of the 1% of Alaska natives with a master’s degree. Her current role is a Construction Manager at Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, where her primary responsibilities include monitoring the performance of maintenance contractors, vendors and other groups involved in the field implementation. Previously, she worked for ANTHC, where she held the position of the only female construction manager bringing water and wastewater infrastructure to some of the most rural places in Alaska.

In her free time, Jessica likes to spend time in nature golfing, hiking, or cycling, trying new recipes, and traveling to scenic places. She stays connected to her university and is a Mentor to multiple students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. She serves on multiple professional boards including President and Cofounder of Alaska Indigenous Exchange, Chapter President for Engineers Without Boarders, Treasurer for the National Association of Women in Construction, Alaska Chapter #197, and Director on the Board for University of Alaska Alumni Association. She is part of many committees including UAA Systems Governance, UAA Legislative Advocacy, 2021-2022 NAWIC D, E, & I National Committee | Education Pillar, Region Chair for NAWIC PNW 2021-2022 PD&E Committee. NAWIC Alaska WIC Week Committee, 2022 Alaska NAWIC Golf Tournament Co-Chair.
Allison "Ally" Jencson
Bio: Allison “Ally” Jencson, President and CEO of Frontline Floor Coatings, is fiercely passionate about helping women be successful in the construction and trades industries. Raised as a military BRAT, Ally has never been far from the construction industry. Her father served 28 years in the Air Force as a Civil Engineer and was a devoted member of the Society of American Military Engineers throughout his career, even after the Air Force. Ally was raised to be in service to others and work hard. She has spent her entire professional career in maledominated industries. Ally has over 17 years of experience in specialty trades. She knows ittakes more than hard work and dedication to run a family and a business at the same time. Ittakes being a rebel and doing things differently!

As a female business owner in the construction trades, Ally has been on both sides of the proverbial fence. She’s been in the trenches doing the dirty work as well as the “behind the scenes” challenges of running a business as the CEO. She had to learn on her own how to be brave and embrace her leadership abilities. Through overcoming business and personal challenges, Ally has aligned with her “inner rebel” AND built a bad ass business.

Ally Jencson created Girder Skirts™, Tradeswomen Supporting Tradeswomen, an organization designed to support women in the trades through video casts, mastermind groups and personal coaching. Additionally, Ally is the current President of NAWIC Pikes Peak Chapter 356 and is the Chair for NAWIC’s National Special Industry Council for Tradeswomen. Ally is married to her husband, Barry, of 14+ years. She is a mother to 3 sons and 1 daughter and holds a Black Belt in Taekwondo. When she is not working, Ally enjoys camping, riding ATV’s on the trails of the Rocky Mountains, gardening and hanging out with her fur babies (2 dogs and 2 cats).
Kiki L'Italien

Bio: Part strategist, part story-collector, part dot-connector, KiKi L’Italien helps organizations develop stronger ties between their mission and their members. She has honed her approach to communications and strategy for many organizations – nonprofits and corporate alike – including Optica, American Red Cross National Headquarters, QVC, and the American Insititute of Architects, among others.
 
KiKi is a senior consultant with Tecker International and speaks regularly about communications strategy and cultivating communities of trust. KiKi is the creator and host of Association Chat, an online community, blog, and podcast reaching 72k individuals every month. She was also featured in 2021 by Cvent as one of the ‘20 Event Professionals You Should be Following’, and in August 2021 as ‘30 Nonprofit IT Influencers to Follow in 2021’ by BizTech Magazine.   
 
KiKi has served on the membership and component relations section councils for ASAE, and was recognized in 2019 at IMEX as a Hall of Fame recipient for Organizational Leadership by the Association for Women in Events. Other awards include BizBash Top 1000 People in the U.S. Event Industry (2019) and SURGE Innovation Pioneer (2018).
 
She enjoys gardening, and philosophy and is the current president of the Woman’s Club of Wenonah.

Breakout Topic: “The Accidental Leader”
At the heart of leadership lies one (almost) secret truth: most of our leaders become leaders “by accident.” Thankfully, these accidental leaders often rise to the occasion and help create stronger connections, initiatives, and associations, leaving a legacy that paves the way for a brighter future.
 
What are the actions and attitudes of leadership that will help us be successful as leaders in our associations and our professional lives? How can we get more value from our experience while giving back to our industry? There’s a surprisingly simple answer, and it lies in why we join in the first place.

Christa Mardaus, ICRA Instructional Coordinator - Carpenters Training Institute

Bio: Christa Mardaus started her career as a field carpenter in 2001. She has experience working on large commercial projects, multi-family residential wood frame sites and occupied healthcare construction jobs.
Fall of 2013, Christa accepted a new role at the Carpenters Training Institute as a shop instructor working with apprentice groups. Her role on the shop floor was everything from basics to advance carpentry skill classes. Her primary responsibilities today are delivering ICRA Healthcare Best Practice Training to healthcare professionals and contractor groups across 6 states.
As a seasoned Instructor she is passionate about improving effective communications with industry professionals to improve work standards for all groups involved. In addition to training, she is also involved in committees such as Curriculum Development and Women in the Work Force.

Outside of the office Christa enjoys hockey games, horse shows and family time.

Breakout Topic: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - "Gang Box Talk" Jobsite Culture Focused on Making a Difference
Leadership teams committed to new developments or special consideration that drive a needed change with a shift of attitudes, behaviors and values that contribute to an environment that allows harassment to occur. Teams increasing their focus on culture, not compliance. Committed to training with a platform that is relevant and engaging that will provide better results for a safer and more productive worksite.


Karli Meisinger
Bio: Karli is a seasoned construction management professional who leverages her experience and passion for renewable energy to create a positive impact through the built environment. A strong leader, she excels at seeing the big picture and distilling it into achievable milestones that guide project teams to success. In her role, she works with owners and project teams to understand goals and ensure the team is set up for success from the beginning with accurate estimates and pathways to utilize a variety of renewable energy opportunities.  


Amanda McKernan
Bio: Amanda has been a member of the Touchplan go-to-market team for the past five years. She is dedicated to helping project teams across the country increase collaboration and task completion, shorten weekly meetings, and finish projects on or ahead of schedule and under budget.


Melanie Myers
Bio: Melanie A. Myers holds a Master of Science in Construction Management from Eastern Michigan  University and isa full-time Project Manager of Planning, Design and Construction for St. Joseph Mercy Healt hSystem in SE Michigan and part-time Educational Coordinator for N EF. She has f ifteen years andcounting working in the industry and fifteen years working in higher education. She was anactive NAWIC member of the Lansing, Michigan Chapter from 1999-2020. During her time inNAWIC she held several leadership positions within her chapter, regional committees, and waselected Region 4 (now North Central Region) from 2010-2012. She also served ten years on theNEF Board as Trustee and an active member of th e Executive Committee serving as Secretary,Vice-President (twice), President-Elect (twice), and President. During her time on the NEFBoard, she authored the Construction Industry Specialist (CIS). Currently, she is the President ofthe Eastern Michigan University Construction Management Alumni Chapter and helped developthe first Alumni Mentoring Program. This program links alumni with current students to supportand help them directly connect with alumni working in the construction industry. As a part oft he Mentoring Program, she leads the an annual Student Alumni Summit that brings studentsand alumni together for an informative networking event. For her efforts, she was named the2020 recipient of the EMU Construction Management Ozzie Pffafman Volunteer Award. In Fall2021, she was named a Woman of Impact during  the NAWIC  Lansing Chapter’s 50th anniversary celebration. In March 2022, she was named a Construction Champion: Mentor by the industrypublication Construction Dive. Out of 651 submissions, she was one of 35 chosen as aConst ruction Champion. She has recently joined the newly formed Michigan Chapter of Womenin Health care and is currently serving on the Programs Committee.


Dr. Amy Narishkin, Ph.D 
Bio: To achieve true return on investment and an engaging place to work, leaders must create a culture of safety and belonging. With a PhD in Adult Education and 30 years’ experience in teaching, consulting, managing and research, Dr. Amy Narishkin is a thought leader, strategist and consultant helping organizations make the shift to Cultural Intelligence. Dr. Amy works with CEOs, management teams and those who take the lead in organizations to effectively implement the tools for CI, collaboration and innovation for growth. Dr. Amy is also a Certified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®). As a cross-cultural talk leader and successful entrepreneur, she coaches both leaders and organizational teams creating exciting, culturally intelligent places to work and interact. To jump start your CI, you can contact Dr. Amy and read her latest blog post at: https://www.EmpoweringPartners.com/

Breakout Topic: Awkward to Awesome: How to Boost Diversity and Engagement with Cultural Intelligence
Does Having Diversity in Your Workplace Feel More Like Drama and Less Like Productivity? Research has found that diverse teams typically perform worse than homogeneous teams do. Why? Because it’s harder to get things done when people don’t see eye-to eye. Thankfully, this same body of research found there’s more to the story. Diverse teams with moderate to high levels of cultural intelligence (CI) outperform homogenous teams on a number of outcomes—productivity, cost-savings, innovation, safety and the list keeps going. In this interactive Workshop, learn why and how diversity and safety work when cultural intelligence is present. 

Breakout Topic: What is Cultural Intelligence?
Cultural intelligence is what enables us to be in conversation with a person who has a different perspective or background. As a person develops the skills to show compassion for others who have a different context or experience, they’ll be able to speak and act in ways that shows genuine respect.

Why Build Cultural Intelligence?
At home this creates more genuine productive relationships; at work this creates more collaboration, innovation and productivity because people can bring their whole selves to the office. Companies with the most ethnic and gender diversity on their executive team are 43% more likely to experience higher profitability. (McKinsey & Co., 2017)
In this Introductory Workshop, participants will:
  1. Discover the value of creating a diverse organization where everyone feels valued & seen
  2. Explore the stages of CI that helps and hinders genuine productive relationships
  3. Learn three tools to increase colleague & client engagement and what to do to start today
Breakout Topic: Taskmaster to Trust-builder: How Leaders Use Cultural Intelligence to Build Genuine, Productive Relationships
Bogged Down by Being a Taskmaster?

Is there an inability to talk and work effectively with people who are different? If your team is stifled by suspicion and mistrust, that can impact your organization’s productivity, collaboration, safety and innovation. In this interactive workshop, explore the cultural characteristics that can hinder engagement and productivity, and discover how cultural intelligence can help improve your team’s outcomes. 

What is Cultural Intelligence?
Cultural intelligence is what enables us to be in conversation with a person who has a different perspective or background. As a person develops the skills to show compassion for others who have a different context or experience, they’ll be able to speak and act in ways that shows genuine respect.

Why Build Cultural Intelligence?
At home this creates more genuine productive relationships; at work this creates more collaboration, innovation and productivity because people can bring their whole selves to the office. Companies with the most ethnic and gender diversity on their executive team are 43% more likely to experience higher profitability. (McKinsey & Co., 2017)

In this Introductory Workshop, participants will:
  1. Understand the definition—and importance—of cultural intelligence.
  2. Discover how to build trust across diverse cultures and perspectives.
  3. Learn three tools to increase colleague and client engagement and trust and what you can do start today.
 
Corrie Neuens
Bio: Corrie Neuens has worked in the AEC industry for the past 21 years. She believes that commitment to collaboration, innovation, and problem solving are the core components of a successful project. She applies lean business principles to help achieve cost, quality, and scheduling efficiencies for clients as well as facilitating a collaborative approach to innovative project delivery.
Michael Riegel - A/E/C Business Strategies
Michael Riegel is a business consultant and project management expert with 25 years of experience working with public agencies, regulated utilities, contractors, and design/engineering firms while leading teams through the planning, design and construction phases of large scale construction projects and construction management programs. He now utilizes his background and expertise to assist emerging A/E/C companies chart their desired growth, identify opportunities, and overcome challenges.
 
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 to emerging companies and small business owners, including women-, minority- and service disabled-owned companies. He also provides coaching, training, and consulting services through the NYC Small Business Services mentor program, Columbia University Growth Program, and TruFund’s mentorship program.
 
Michael combines his expertise in coaching, business leadership, project and program management, as well as staff and organizational development to help leaders and teams navigate obstacles to achieve personal and professional success. In his coaching and consulting practice, he works with both technical and non-technical professionals to help them become more effective business owners, communicators, relationship-builders, problem-solvers, people managers, and a range of other development goals. 
 
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. He and his wife Deborah (also a coach) are the proud parents of teen twins, Jacob and Sophie – who have declared their home a “no coaching zone”.

Breakout Topic: Interpersonal Management Skills
If it weren’t for people, the job would be easy!  If this resonates for you in managing your projects, communicating with clients, colleagues, and managers, or giving and receiving effective feedback then this will be the session for you.  Learn about the challenges of communicating effectively and fostering productive relationships.  Prepare yourself for some fun and laughs along with tips and techniques to manage your connections for greater success.
Sarah Tenpas
Bio: Sarah started working in project and field engineering roles through college and then began full-time as a Production Engineer, focused in scheduling and achieving flow. Field coordination led Sarah to push her career into the field, and now is a superintendent working to implement Lean principles. At the end of the day her goal is to make construction activities and schedules crystal clear, and make sure issues are transparent and resolved quickly.
 
Patricia Zugibe 
Bio: As the Chief Executive Officer of Holt Construction, Patricia is responsible for overseeing over three hundred staff members, and three hundred million dollars’ worth of work annually across the firm’s nine business units. Founded in 1919, Holt Construction has built a legacy of outstanding construction performance for their clients across the country. Patricia leads this family run organization based upon the firm’s founding core values of trust, honestly, integrity and transparency.

Prior to joining Holt Construction, Patricia was a partner in PVZ Development a residential rental property company, owner of North Rockland Developers Inc., a residential construction company and owner of Zugibe Construction, Inc., a commercial construction company. Patricia began her career at Holt Construction in 2014 as in-house Counsel overseeing all transactional legal matters including litigation, ethics and compliance, corporate governance, and risk management. Since 2014, Patricia has worked to create a culture of caring within the Holt organization, and on all their jobsites. She has continued to foster a culture of empowerment among all staff, while developing strategic growth initiatives and ensuring operational excellence for the company. Patricia spearheaded Holt’s diversity and inclusion goals and initiatives including the Women of Holt employee resource group and continues to be a pillar and role model for women in construction across New York.