Breakfast Success: Women Who Said Yes to a Construction Career

October is National Careers in Construction Month and to kick off the celebration Constructing Opportunity, LLC held a breakfast event on October 3rd A panel of professional, accomplished women from the construction industry shared their personal stories of success with over 60 attendees from companies representing a cross section of the industry.

The panel included:

Melissa Bruce – Vice President, Operations, Development, & Construction at Dunkin’ Brands

Shahara Byford – Vice President, Human Resources at Power Construction Company, LLC

Kristin Evers – President of Concord Excavating Enterprises, Inc.

Amy Mayer – Vice President Construction at Related Midwest

Sheryl Van Anne – Construction Executive at Mortenson

The panelists share how they came to a career in the construction industry and their various career paths to their current role.. They also answered questions from the audience regarding staying current on industry trends and knowledge, managing career and family, the importance of mentors and sponsors, how professional organizations impact their careers, best career advice they received and networking tips. They all stressed the importance of ‘lifting as you climb’, helping other women to progress in their careers as you progress in yours, and the importance of women supporting each other.

More than 45 women stayed for an optional workshop titled Negotiating – Gender Matters.  The workshop included the research behind gender differences in negotiating, the effect of gender stereotypes, why strong negotiating skills are critical especially for women, and tips and tricks to improve negotiating skills.

The attendees took the time to invest in their professional development and found the morning met their needs as evidenced by their feedback:


“Great seminar, great panel and great discussion! Thank you!” – Tera

“…Not only was I able to learn more about the construction industry and the women in it, but everything the panel spoke about resonated with my own career. When I got back to the office I couldn’t stop talking about how fantastic the event was.” – Shanna

“Great event! I’ve been sharing the panel’s stories as well as the negotiating workshop’s information, a real motivational morning. Thank you!” – Jacquie

“Thank you for a fantastic morning of networking and education!” – Julie

“Great to kick off Careers in Construction Month with an excellent panel of exceptionally talented women in the construction space. Many thanks to Amy Mayer, Teresa Miller, AIA, LEED AP, Melissa Bruce, Shahara Byford, SPHR, Sheryl Van Anne, and Kristin Evers for their incredible insight yesterday morning!” – Grace

We thank all of our panelists, attendees and the companies which supported their employees in attending the event and workshop and look forward to our next Constructing Your Future Women’s Forum in January 2019.