2006 Crystal Vision Award Winners, Dale McCormick and Tari Rivera, Pave the Way for Women in the Construction Industry

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NAWIC’s Crystal Vision Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals with vision who helped promote, expand and encourage the role of women in the construction industry.

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is pleased to announce the winners of its 12th annual Crystal Vision Awards. The mission of the Crystal Vision Awards is to recognize individuals who promote, expand and encourage the role of women in the construction industry. Dale McCormick is the recipient of the Crystal Vision Award, which is awarded to a nonmember of NAWIC, and Tari S. Rivera is the recipient of the Crystal Achievement Award, which is awarded to a NAWIC member.

McCormick is Director of Maine State Housing, where she manages 125 employees and an $11 million budget. She works with MSH to finance more than $130 million in affordable housing projects each year. She manages 3,500 Rental Assistance Vouchers and 800 affordable rental properties, and provides low-income heating and energy assistance to 48,000 residents.

Jane L. Gilbert, deputy commissioner of the state of Maine, describes McCormick, “Dale was an early pioneer tradeswoman. She was the first woman to complete the carpentry apprenticeship with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in 1975. She took the knowledge she learned and has spent the last 30 years helping women gain skills and jobs in construction.”

McCormick has sought to establish a path of economic equity for women, and she has focused on helping low-income women gain the skills needed to compete for construction jobs. In 1989, McCormick founded Women Unlimited, a community-based organization that trains women in trade and technical jobs. She co-founded Northeast Women in Transportation, which educated women’s organizations around the country about opportunities for women in the Federal Intermodal Surface Transportation and Efficiency Act. McCormick was the first woman to be elected Treasurer in the state of Maine.

Rivera, a member of the Cleveland, Ohio, Chapter, is founder and president of Regency Construction Services, Inc., a construction management firm located in Lakewood, Ohio, primarily providing services to K-12 and university clients. Rivera oversees all aspects of corporate business planning and financial matters. She has encouraged and empowered women in construction by creating and implementing company policy at Regency Construction Services, Inc., mentoring women inside and outside her company, and establishing university programs that introduce engineering and construction opportunities to female students.

In 1994, after an unexpected lay off, Rivera decided to take a risk and start her own business. She put her house up for collateral and began operating from her home with only three employees. Today, Regency Construction Services, Inc. employs more than 60 employees, and 47 percent of these are women. Rivera provides training and mentoring opportunities to help her female employees reach their full potential. She is also involved in assisting and mentoring women in the business community by sharing information that may open doors still closed to women in business.

Mary J. Brashwitz, project engineer at Regency Construction Services, Inc., says, “In the 15 years I have had the privilege to work with Tari Rivera, I have seen many women promoted within the industry. She not only mentors women within the company but outside it as well … Her work ethic, sense of fairness and personal interest in the growth and development of her employees continue to pave the way for women and men in the construction industry today.”

Rivera and McCormick will be honored on September 9, 2006 for their achievements during the Crystal Vision Awards Gala at NAWIC’s 51st Annual Meeting and Convention in Kansas City, Mo. The recipients of this year’s Crystal Vision Awards were selected by a panel of three judges: Ellyn A. Lester, CPSM, owner, Building Associations; Faye Turner, founder and executive director, Women Helping Women; and Ronald D. Worth, FSMPS, CPC, chief executive officer, Society for Marketing Professional Services.

Each year, the Crystal Vision Awards are sponsored by organizations desiring to support NAWIC and the vision of the awards. Crystal Vision Sponsors receive repeated and prominent recognition at Convention and in press releases and articles leading up to and following the awards. 2005 Crystal Vision Award Sponsors were: Centex Construction Group, Par-3 Landscape & Maintenance, Principal Financial Group, Women Helping Women and NAWIC Region 12.

Companies interested in sponsoring the 2006 Crystal Vision Awards in Kansas City, Mo., may contact the NAWIC Office for sponsorship information, or visit NAWIC’s web site at http://www.nawic.org > About NAWIC > Industry Awards.

The Crystal Vision Awards Program was established by NAWIC Past National President Susan Levy in 1995. The program recognizes individuals who promote the role of women in construction through initiatives, policies or legislation. The Crystal Vision Award recognizes a nonmember of NAWIC, and the Crystal Achievement Award recognizes a member of the Association. Since the first visionaries were selected in 1995, this one-of-a-kind program has not only fulfilled its purpose of recognizing exemplary leaders in the industry, it has developed a reputation for honoring individuals who are committed to building a diverse work force amidst the demanding backdrops of the industry today.

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