Women in Construction Operations Celebrates Five Years and Installs New Board Members

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Reaching its five-year anniversary, Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS) has grown to more than 600 members in Southern California and recently launched a new chapter in Northern California.

You need this talent in your organization, and you need them engaged, motivated and succeeding. As we go forward, recognize all voices are required to generate change and to help our industry lead the change.

Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS), a professional organization whose mission is aimed at providing a forum to mentor and further the advancement of women in the building industry, is now five years old. WiOPS celebrated this milestone by highlighting its work in mentoring, relationship building and technical training for females in the construction industry during an anniversary party on January 24, 2018. More than 200 WiOPS members and supporters attended the celebration, which was held at Murray Company Mechanical Contractors in Rancho Dominguez, Calif.

With the support of leading construction companies and the interest of females working in construction operations positions, WiOPS has grown from 150 members to nearly 600 since its Southern California Chapter’s first meeting on January 24, 2013. The organization is continuing to expand with 300 prospective members attending its Northern California launch just one week prior to its anniversary event.

“Five years ago, we had no idea if this would be a long journey or a short one, or how many travelers we would meet or take with us as we charted new paths,” said Holly Cindell, WiOPS National Board of Directors President, while addressing the crowd at the anniversary event. “When I stood up here at our launch in 2013, we were a small group of women who had joined together to say, ‘we love what we do, there are things we do not like, and what can we do to lead the conversation on the difference gender plays in the experience of the construction professional. Let’s make a difference.’”

Since that time, Cindell says that WiOPS has accomplished much and the industry has embraced the organization. “We’ve gone from quarterly to monthly meetings and events, with nearly all areas within our industry participating. Our calendar is full for 2018, and we are looking for support [meeting sponsorships] for 2019. With the launch of our Northern California Chapter in San Francisco, we are now a two-chapter organization, and other cities are asking how to sign up,” says Cindell. “Moving forward, we will be participating in the broader conversation and joining with other organizations similar in mission to enhance our industry.”

To prepare for its growth, WiOPS restructured by forming a National Board of Directors to oversee the organization, as well as installing southern and northern California chapters' Board of Directors. The members of the Board of Directors will serve a three-year term with officers holding their positions for one year.

New WiOPS leadership board installations announced at the anniversary event include:

National Board of Directors

  •     President – Holly Cindell, Lendlease Project Executive
  •     Vice President – Kelly Martin, ISEC Vice President
  •     Treasurer – Sarah Carr, McCarthy Building Companies Vice President
  •     Secretary – Emery Molnar, Gilbane Vice President
  •     Board Member - Nancy Goldman, Granitex Operations Manager
  •     Board Member - Dani Paxson, KPFF Associate
  •     Board Member - Erin Volk, AGC of California Vice President, Workforce & Operations

Southern California Chapter Board of Directors

  •     President – Shaabini Alford, Murray Company Vice President
  •     Vice President – Kasie Bowden, Hensel Phelps Project Superintendent
  •     Treasurer – Erin Lawless – ISEC Senior Project Manager
  •     Secretary – Sammi Shepherd, McCarthy Building Companies Project Manager
  •     Director (Events) – Amanda Corbet, McCarthy Building Companies Senior Manager
  •     Director (Fundraising) - Lucy Villanueva, DPR Project Executive
  •     Director (Marketing) – Leah Wimberly, Pacific Wall Systems Estimator

Northern California Chapter Board of Directors

  •     President - Ha Le Khac, ISEC Business Development
  •     Vice President - Kelly Coogan, McCarthy Building Companies Sr. Project Manager
  •     Treasurer - LaDrena Dansby, Vanir Construction Management Project Director/Associate
  •     Secretary - Marie Patterson, Murray Company Preconstruction Manager
  •     Director (Events) - Christina Greystone, ISEC Senior Project Engineer
  •     Director (Fundraising) - Melissa Berg, Dome Construction Associate Director
  •     Director (Membership) - Stacie McConnell, ISEC Operations Manager
  •     Director (Social Media) - Jennifer Lauritzen, Swinerton Project Executive

Cindell concluded her anniversary presentation with this call to action for its members and the construction community: “WiOPS is helping increase the participation of a diverse talent. Yet, there are more reasons than it is the right thing to do. Our industry needs the talent in the worker pool if for no other reason than to achieve the goals set by every company here tonight. You need this talent in your organization, and you need them engaged, motivated and succeeding. As we go forward, recognize all voices are required to generate change and to help our industry lead the change.”

About WiOPS
The mission of WiOPS is to advance women in construction operations positions and mentor future leaders in the industry. Through mentorship, education and networking, WiOPS is dedicated to establishing a platform to share its goals and explore solutions to the unique challenges women encounter. WiOPS promotes hard work, commitment and integrity to maintain a professional network of construction leaders today and tomorrow. Based in in Newport Beach, Calif., the organization has two chapters. Its Southern California Chapter was formed in January 2013 and Northern California Chapter in January 2018. The organization holds free monthly meetings open to both men and women. For more information about WiOPS, or to sign up to attend a WiOPS event, visit https://womeninoperations.com/.

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Laura Mickelson
@WiOPSMentors
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