Editorial: 03.10.2022

Celebrating Women Leaders during Women in Construction Week

woman working on a jobsite

McCarthy is home to some of the industry’s most talented women. Every day these experts are leading the way to help McCarthy deliver exceptional results for our clients and communities. This Women in Construction Week we are shining a light on just a few of the many McCarthy women making an impact on jobsites and offices across the company, as well as in their local communities. 

Women in Construction Week Leader Spotlight

Meet Adriana Garcia

McCarthy Design Integration Manager

I manage and help our teams to ensure our medical equipment drawings are delivered with quality and fully coordinated during design and construction. This includes managing constructability reviews and collaborating closely with the entire team on other changes.

How did you develop a passion for construction?

My passion is high quality and coordination. My previous experience as a healthcare designer and medical equipment consultant taught me to look for every single detail in drawings to make sure the medical equipment is coordinated with all disciplines. Many medical equipment consultants have an active role during design, but I always was curious about what happens during construction, what happens when the equipment is procured and, if there are changes, how can we mitigate the risk in construction and be a client’s advocate? I believe that equipment drawings must be part of the design and construction process.

How are leading at McCarthy?

My passion for quality and coordination have put me in a situation to innovate and write the requirements for an application that is exclusive to McCarthy. This application has improved our efficiency, enhanced coordination and help to produce a set of documents with high quality.

Why is your leadership in this area important to you?

My role in EQUIP has helped to identify our services as unique in the industry — and a key differentiator to fill the gap we see in medical equipment coordination. Our proactive approach during design and construction as medical equipment planners is different from other medical equipment planners. We put on our contractor hat when we are producing drawings and reviewing documents. By having this role, I am fulfilling a desire that I have carried for many years to have a smoother transition between design and construction and deliver excellence to our clients.

What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be an industry leader?

Five words come to my mind when I think about leadership: Passion, vision, execution, sharing and advocating. When you find your passion – follow it. When you have a vision, make a plan and execute it, share your knowledge with others to help them grow and be an advocate for your team.  Find a champion and share your ideas. Remember to look for the opportunity. Don’t wait for the opportunity to come to you.

Meet Janelle Tod

McCarthy Senior Preconstruction Manager

I am currently responsible for leading project teams during the pursuit phase of a project and for the transition to construction.  I am also the lead for the McCarthy Peer Group Training for estimators and senior estimators, regional wellness champion and manage direct reports.  

How did you develop a passion for construction?

My dad was a carpenter, so I have been around construction since I was very little. One of my earliest memories is building the house that I remember growing up in. I had a strong desire to design and began my educational career in architecture. I struggled with the concept of designing something that I could never see being constructed (like seriously, how do you build that amazing picture, does it float?). During one of our ‘introduction to the industry’ classes, the construction management degree was introduced to me – and I remember thinking – this is EXACTLY what I want to do.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

What type of leadership role(s) have you developed within McCarthy, the construction industry or your community? 

Beyond leading the teams through the pursuit process, I also have a passion for helping the estimator and senior estimator group develop the skills necessary for them to have a successful career at McCarthy.  I am deeply passionate about finding best practices and processes for continuous improvement within our department and am actively involved in leveraging new system capabilities, as well as leveraging other tools to their full capacity.   

Why is your leadership in these areas important to you? 

I believe it is important to develop the future leaders of our company with the necessary tools and skillsets. We all have taken different paths in our careers and have different perspectives, which make us collectively better. If we can define and refine those skillsets from our lessons learned —and share these with the future leaders of this company and industry — we cannot help but to set ourselves all up for long-term success.

What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be a construction industry leader?  

I’ve come to realize that you can be a leader in so many facets of what we do. While you may not manage a team of 30-plus people, you can still be a leader of a piece of that team, the part that you have ownership of. Practice being a leader of your trade, your scope, your team. The more you practice, the better you will become. Take ownership and pride in everything you do. While you may not think that people see or take notice, they will and do. I would also advise our future leaders to remember when you are deep in the weeds, step back, take a look at the big picture, regain perspective, breathe – then dive back in.  As employee-owners, we owe it to ourselves to gain perspective on the big picture from time to time as this will help align our long-term goals as leaders.

Meet Courtney Kelly

Project Manager, Civil

In my role, I assist in the pursuit of new civil construction projects by writing detailed plans of action, estimating job cost and building preliminary schedules.

How did you develop a passion for construction?

After evacuating from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, I started attending math, science and engineering camps. From these experiences, I began to see civil engineering as a way of finding a solution that could mitigate the impact of another major hurricane. This led to my desire to work in construction. Later in my career, I realized that many members of my family had been building things for decades, so maybe the passion was there all along.

What type of leadership role(s) have you developed within McCarthy, the construction industry or your community?

I’ve had the opportunity to lead in a number of different ways. This has varied from facilitating trainings for McCarthy’s Employee Manager Connection Workshops to being a board member for SOSMC USA, a nonprofit with a mission to renovate flood-prone buildings at a school in India. Each new experience has built upon every prior experience, and I’ve used the skills learned as leverage for further growth and development.

Why is your leadership in these areas important to you?

As a Black female, I am acutely aware of the impact that my presence in leadership roles has on those around me. With every leadership position that I take, the perception of who can be a leader is shifted into a more diverse and inclusive direction. Additionally, it is important that people can see someone who looks like them represented so that they have confidence in being able to one day do the same.

What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be a construction industry leader?

If you see an opportunity, big or small, go for it! Don’t worry about whether you know everything you think you need to know in order to be successful in the role. There are people around you who can help bridge any gaps you may have.

Meet Blue Coble

McCarthy Quality Manager

In my current role, I provide support via our policies and procedures for teams before and after potential quality hurdles are introduced.

How did you develop a passion for construction?

I joined the ironworkers union over 10 years ago and fell in love with the trade.

What type of leadership role(s) have you developed within McCarthy, the construction industry or your community?

I mentor women who want to work in construction, and I participate at events in the hopes of recruiting and retaining women in the industry. I still have a hard time considering myself as a leader because when it comes to the end of the day, I just want to help and support people.

Why is your leadership important to you personally and to the people with whom you working?

When I got into construction, I didn’t know anything about it. My learning curve was steep, and many days were spent questioning my life choices. As time went on, I met a lot of people who provided good advice, knowledge or even helped commiserate. If it weren’t for all those people, I wouldn’t have survived, so I want to be someone that will be there when someone else needs a hand. Regardless of whether the impact is big or small, I know every little moment can help, and I’d love to be a part of someone’s success story.

We have many opportunities, both small and large, to be a leader. What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be a construction industry leader?

I would tell them that their experience is valid and should be shared. My story may not resonate with everyone, but it will with someone. There are so many possibilities, that taking any chance can pay off in the long run.

 

Meet Andrea Guillory

Learning & Solutions Manager

I work with McCarthy leaders and managers to help assess the need for Learning & Development solutions, and then design highly engaging solutions that help partners learn in a way that increases both knowledge retention and on-the-job application.

How did you develop a passion for construction?

While I’m new to the construction industry, I’ve always been very interested in organizations that create practical solutions for living.  McCarthy was attractive to me both for the amazing construction projects we take on and the way we support all types of projects to help underserved communities.

What type of leadership role have you developed within McCarthy, the construction industry or your community? 

At McCarthy I’m a strong influencer and subject matter expert in learning and development, helping leaders and managers understand how to close performance gaps and/or increase capabilities.  In my community, I lead ministries in my church, including co-founding and leading an organization that mentors teen girls.

Why is your leadership in these areas important to you? 

I have a strong desire to help those around me thrive. I truly believe that anyone can learn and grow in whatever they put their mind to. My husband and I have two children on the autism spectrum, and I’ve seen firsthand that providing someone with the right tools — no matter their situation or environment — can allow them to achieve their full potential.

What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be a construction industry leader?

Don’t ever accept someone else’s limitations on what you can achieve – and don’t set limits on yourself!  Always be yourself, and constantly look for opportunities to learn and grow. Listen more than you speak, and practice the highest levels of integrity and empathy. Finally, speak with confidence and power.

Meet Rosni Pann

Project Manager
Northern Pacific Region 

As a McCarthy Project Manager and Construction Manager, I provide my technical expertise in real estate, architecture and construction. For me, the stages of a project begin at conception and end at the transition, when the client finally settles into the building. Therefore, even more than most, balancing the relationships at each stage is even more critical.

How did you develop a passion for construction?

My parents were educated in Ecuador, where they fought to build schools and hospitals for low-income and indigenous people at a time when this was viewed as political. When I was three, we came to the U.S. seeking refuge, and once again, I saw how critical schools and hospitals were. A concrete contractor gave my dad a job, a teacher taught my parents English, and a doctor helped me get healthy again. Those three and my parents are the ones who made me decide I wanted to help others. By building schools and hospitals, our McCarthy partners are helping our communities.

What type of leadership role(s) have you developed within McCarthy, the construction industry or your community?

At McCarthy, I am our regional sustainability leader and co-championing on the Administrator Pathway Program. In the industry, I am a part of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) in Northern California as a board member of its Education Committee and a part of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), specifically a board member of the Sacramento Young Professionals.

Why is leadership in these areas important to you?

I have been told everything under the sun – from "stop speaking up" to "you belong in a kitchen" (not at McCarthy). For me, being a leader is more than just saying I'm leading XX committee/club. It's an opportunity to change an industry, give a platform to others, and speak up for others. And more importantly, to show that there is nothing wrong with looking and being different – that you too can still thrive no matter what the industry may currently look like.

What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be a construction industry leader?

Say yes to all opportunities, especially when you are beginning your career. Join a committee or create one if there isn't one you feel should exist. But be passionate about the group that you join. If you're still figuring it out, then volunteer to help here and there. Being a leader isn't easy. You may have to put in a lot of work after hours or on the weekends, but if you want to be a leader, that's because you are ambitious. Just don't forget ambition requires hard work. 

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