October 3rd, 2018 Naperville, IL Breakfast Panel 7:30 am - 9:00 am; Workshop 9:30 am - 11:00 am $45 for Breakfast, $30 for Workshop option REGISTER NOW

Breakfast Event

Join us October 3rd as we kick off National Careers in Construction Month with a breakfast event that continues our Constructing Your Future series. A panel of successful women in the industry will share why they said Yes to a career in construction and their strategies for achieving career success.

Negotiating Strategies Workshop – Option

Come for the breakfast and stay for  “Negotiating Strategies – Gender Matters” workshop. This interactive workshop explores how gender shapes negotiations and provides practical tips for getting the most out of your next negotiation.

NIU Naperville Conference Center


Melissa Bruce
Dunkin' Brands, Inc.

Melissa Bruce is Regional VP-Midwest Operations/Development & Construction for Dunkin’ Brands, with leadership experience that ranges from leading professionals in Operations, Construction/Real Estate, and Architectural/Engineering/Design.

Melissa began with Dunkin’ Brands as Director of Retail Construction in September 2015, was promoted to VP of Development & Construction two years later, and just added Operations to her purview in early 2018.

Previously, Melissa spent 20 years with McDonald’s, working her way up from facilities design and space planning to Director & US Principal Facilities Designer. She holds undergraduate degrees in interior design and business management, as well as an MBA from Roosevelt University.

Shahara Byford
Power Construction Company, LLC

Vice President of Human Resources, SPHR

Shahara Byford is a Human Resources Executive with over 17 years of industry experience. She joined the Power Construction Team in 2013 and has a diverse background of experience leading HR initiatives. Shahara is the strategic leader of Power's company culture and has been the driver of change on various initiatives including strategic planning, company diversity and community involvement. Prior to joining the Power Construction team, Shahara worked in Project Management in the construction industry and later transitioned into Human Resources. Shahara was a student athlete and earned her Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. She earned her Master's Degree in Human Resource Management from Roosevelt University and is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Shahara is also a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management.

Kristin Evers
Concord Excavating Ent., Inc

Kristin Evers is the founder and President of Concord Excavating Enterprises, Inc. Kristin grew up around the construction industry and initially pursued a business degree at the University of Iowa with the intent on pursuing a management career. She couldn’t resist the pull of the construction industry however and founded Concord Excavating in 1995. Kristin saw the opportunities available for qualified, credible women owned businesses in the greater Chicagoland area and capitalized on this need. Concord was certified a Women Business Enterprise by the City of Chicago in 1996, a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise by IDOT in 2004 and received WBENC certification in 2009.

Since 1995 her team has successfully completed projects in the industrial, utilities, hospital, and commercial industries. Concord has grown their revenue from $1 million to $12 million and currently employs 35 with an office staff almost exclusively female!

Kristin is a board member of the Federation of Women Contractors (FWC) and a member of the Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates. (ASA)

Kristin is a wife, mother of twin boys, loves the water (not the golf course), snow skiing, cabernet sauvignon, and laughing.

Amy Mayer
Related Midwest

Amy Mayer is Vice President of Construction for Related Midwest, leading the preconstruction and construction processes on numerous high-end residential and mixed-use projects and acting as the owner’s representative. During her 20 years with Related Midwest, Ms. Mayer has been integral to the success of award-winning and record-setting developments, whether transforming landmark buildings for new uses or guiding new construction.

Ms. Mayer recently managed the preconstruction of One Bennett Park, a 70-story ultra-luxury condominium and apartment tower designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architect with an adjacent 1.7-acre park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Landmark West Loop, a 30-story luxury apartment building designed by Morris Adjmi. She is currently working on preconstruction for Roosevelt Square, a mixed-income residential development which includes the new Taylor Street branch library, as well as725 West Randolph, a 52-story mixed-use tower in the West Loop that will include luxury apartments, restaurant space, the country’s second Equinox Hotel and a 30,000-square-foot Equinox fitness center. Ms. Mayer is also leading preconstruction for the company’s proposed condominium project at 900 West Randolph St. and its mixed-use proposal for 400 Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. On the site of the former Chicago Spire, Related Midwest’s plan for 400 Lake Shore Drive includes extending the Riverwalk from downtown to Lake Michigan and completing DuSable Park along the lakefront.

Ms. Mayer is a licensed, LEED-certified architect and an alumna of the University of Illinois, where she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in architecture, with a specialization in architectural history and the preservation of historic structures.

Sheryl Van Anne

Construction Executive

With 20 years of experience in the construction industry, Sheryl Van Anne serves as a construction executive in Mortenson’s Chicago office with a primary focus on the higher education market. Since joining Mortenson in 2003, Sheryl has managed numerous large-scale projects throughout the Chicagoland area, including the College of DuPage Berg Instructional Center & Student Resource Center, the nearly-complete Harper College Wellness and Sports Center, and multiple projects for United Airlines.

Sheryl earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla. She is a member of the Society of College and Urban Planning (SCUP) and has presented multiple times at the Illinois Community College Chief Financial Officers (ICCCFO) conference. In 2016, Sheryl was selected as one of Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 and was invited to participate in their inaugural Women in Design + Construction conference. She was also recently named to Constructech magazine’s 2018 Women in Construction.