Revizto Women in Construction Week 2021

NewsMarch 08, 2021

It’s a woman’s world, and we are just lucky to build in it.

Revizto proudly celebrates the Annual Women in Construction Week by supporting and elevating leading women in the industry, sharing their stories to help inspire the next generation of leading ladies. Since its founding, Revizto has focused on equal opportunities for women to give back and help grow our business. Women have continuously held leadership positions on the executive team and are key driving forces leading our business innovations, and industry forward as a whole. 

Throughout the week, Revizto will highlight some of the leading women that we get the privilege to work with and learn from, both internally and externally. The blog series will focus on their stories and what helped them achieve their goals, the women that inspired them, their contributions to the construction industry, and what it means to be a woman in a male-dominated profession. These women are diverse in their roles and industry experience.

The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. It is also a time for local chapters to give back to their communities.

Revizto 2021 Women in Construction

  • Veronica Quintero, KPF, Associate Principal, BIM Practice Manager
  • Emily Herndon, CT Wilson, Marketing Director
  • Firdaus Sunhaji, Resolve Insight, BIM Lead
  • Oralia Cruz, Katerra, Senior VDC Coordinator
  • Revizto Women! (March 12th)

 

Veronica Quintero, KPF (Associate Principal, BIM Practice Manager)

As a New York City resident, Veronica has spent more than the last decade in the AECO industry after receiving her B.Arch from NJIT. Upon getting her degree, she practiced architecture for 4 years before returning to get her Masters in Product Architecture and Engineering. It was then when she decided to pivot in her career to a more technology-focused path, while maximizing her background in architecture to better inform how digital tools can make the design and delivery process more efficient.

In an industry dominated by male voices, Veronica has been able to break through to be heard and respected, leading to her current role as Associate Principal, BIM Practice Manager for KPF. KPF is a unified architectural practice focused on designing buildings of all types and scales in all geographic regions. Their projects include some of the world’s tallest towers, longest spans, most varied programs and inventive forms. 
Revit-projectimage

The goal that binds our work – and what motivates our efforts – is finding the smartest solution for each project. We believe that the best design is the product of an open-minded search, one without preconceptions or stylistic formulae.

With a heavy focus on sustainability, KPF understands that the built environment plays an integral role in the health and performance of both social and ecological systems and consider it their duty to design lasting architectural solutions that mitigate their lifecycle impact on environmental resources and that protect and enhance the wellbeing of the communities they serve. 

Given our escalating climate crisis, we believe it is imperative to design and advocate for resilient architectural solutions that minimize both operational and embodied GHG emissions, and which push the boundaries of their cultural, economic, and political context. For that reason, we have joined AIA, RIBA, and many of our peers in a joint effort to develop the capabilities to design and deliver carbon neutral buildings by 2030, which can embody the goals we need to achieve as a society.” – KPF.com

We asked Veronica a few questions about being a woman in the construction industry and her keys to success – here is what she had to say.

What do you like most about working in construction?
There are so many different facets to the AEC industry. The ability to work with different disciplines in construction, learn from them and then apply it to your design process is interesting to me. In my opinion, the construction industry is one of the most collaborative industries, from design to occupying the building. It allows us to grow and expand our knowledge which can easily support a change in career.

What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced being a woman in your industry?
One of the biggest challenges was being heard and respected in a room full of male peers.

What was/is the key to your success? or specifically in overcoming the challenges mentioned above?
I would say persistence, confidence and having allies. It took a few years to gain the respect and attention of leadership, especially in some of the larger corporate architecture firms. But the more you can speak confidentially amongst your peers, the easier it will be to be heard and respected as a woman in the industry.

Another key factor is getting the support and allies from leadership figures, especially those that are not necessarily in the same department or work with you daily. That was pivotal for me. Once I had their respect and support, it was a lot easier. They were my cheerleaders; they spoke highly of me at meetings; they included me in high-level discussions that I would not necessarily have access.

Was there a female figure that inspired you? If so, who and how?
There isn’t one specific female, but there was always at least one or two females in leadership positions that I would look up to and learn from. It became almost like a mentorship program for me. It was important for me to have professional relationships with key female figures at each company I worked for. It has helped me get to where I am today.

What is one piece of advice that someone gave you that has helped you over the years?
Be more vocal with what you want; don’t be afraid to ask questions.

To other women: Never stop learning.
If you have a specific topic or area you are passionate about, become that expert in your office.
If you have a chance to present at a conference or event in your office, take it!”
Veronica Quintero, KPF

 

Is there anything particular that excites you most about the future of the industry?
What’s great about the construction industry is that there’s still a lot of room for growth and development. The AEC industry is like a startup company. We’re all still learning and testing new tools, so exciting to think that every year there’s something new. Research and development is a big part of my role at KPF, and it’s exciting knowing that the future of the industry is not set. There are opportunities for any of us to be part of the evolution of our industry, and that’s exciting!

What does collaboration mean to you?
Collaboration to me equals teamwork. Coming together with the same goal/objective in mind and being able to complete tasks.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on and why?
My favorite project was an interiors office building project in New York City, 800k square feet and 4 floors of an existing building. This is a high-profile project in New York City in an existing building in NY. Because of its existing conditions, it was very helpful to have the point cloud inside Revizto for quick coordination within our new design Revit model and the existing conditions model from the previous architect. The project had a lot of complications because of all the current building systems and structure. There was a lot of coordination with the existing contractor and architect, plus all the new design consultants and client requirements.

Through the use of Revizto we were able to bring all of the involved parties into one environment, and utilizing the markup/issue tracking tool allowed us to keep all the design issues organized in one platform.

For more about KPF visit KPF.com.

Emily Herndon, CT Wilson (Marketing Director)

Emily Herndon has spent nearly the last decade in the AEC Industry after receiving her B.Arch from N.C State. While a millennial and part of the “job-hopping” generation, she has spent nearly the past eight years at CT Wilson where she is currently the Marketing Director.

Out of college, she interned for a private commercial developer, where she spent most of her time on a construction site as a field laborer. CT Wilson Construction hired me full-time as a laborer until a Project Engineer/Coordinator position became available. She trained by the owner of the company as a Project Manager while handling an assortment of marketing tasks before transitioned into marketing full-time in 2019.

CT Wilson out of Durham, North Carolina, is a 3rd Generation, Family-Owned commercial general contractor with projects of all types across the region.

“CT Wilson solves complex problems with the financial strength of a large contractor coupled with the availability and creative independence of a small company. We have a 67-year history building relationships with repeat clients across North Carolina and an excellent safety record reinforced by a .72 EMR. From preconstruction through project completion, we provide personalized services for all commercial building types but specialize in complex education, healthcare, religious, and historic redevelopment projects. ”CT Wilson.com

This is not the first time she has been recognized as a leading lady in the AECO industry. In 2019, Emily was honored as one of Construction Business Owner’s (CBO) 20 Outstanding Women in Construction (OWIC).

We asked Emily a few questions about being a woman in the construction industry and her keys to success – here is what she had to say.

What do you like most about working in construction?
I love being outside and I love engineering things. Even though I am not using my hands in the field anymore, I like to think that I am helping these people tell their stories by marketing our company’s services. It’s so gratifying to drive by somewhere and be able to say, “I helped build that,” even if the capacity in which you were helping wasn’t swinging a hammer.

What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced being a woman in your industry?
Fortunately, I work at a company that recognizes the caliber of your work over your gender, ethnicity, or education. As long as you put in the work, you will be rewarded for it. I think the bigger challenge is coming out of school and trying to lead a construction crew of individuals who are much older and experienced. It all comes down to relationships: building trust, encouraging collaboration, and holding people accountable.

What was/is the key to your success? or specifically in overcoming the challenges mentioned above?
I am not trying to minimize the hard work and risk I have taken to get where I am today, but I sincerely owe all of my success to my mentors and supporters: the owners of CT Wilson who trained me and gave me space to fail and succeed; my coworkers who have helped me every step of the way; community organizations like the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), who celebrate and encourage women in this industry to excel in their careers; and my family who is patient and encouraging when I want to pursue more.

Was there a female figure that inspired you? If so, who and how?
I didn’t realize this at the time, but the whole reason I wanted to go into architecture and construction was because of the women like Genevieve Gorder that I watched on HGTV. They were designing remodels and swinging hammers with the guys. They were bringing new life and purpose to forgotten spaces to improve function and add value to people’s lives. I realized over time that architecture and construction impact every aspect of the human experience: how we live, work, create, consume, and play.

What is one piece of advice that someone gave you that has helped you over the years?
Chuck Wilson always used to tell me before we went into a big meeting: “I know you want to call everyone ********, but at least say ‘good morning’ first.” It’s the construction slang equivalent for “we are all in this together” and “relationships matter.”

“Find someone you want to be like and observe them or shadow them if possible!”Emily Herndon, CT Wilson

 

 

Is there anything particular that excites you most about the future of the industry?
I think there is a lot of opportunities here. The construction industry has a long way to go to catch up to other industries. Combined with the labor shortage, there is opportunity for fast growth for whoever is just starting out. You can make your own path and shape the industry for what you want it to be.

What does collaboration mean to you?
You can’t have collaboration or teamwork without effective communication. That may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re dealing with a diverse group of people (from field laborers to CEO’s of multi-million dollar companies) you realize quickly that not everyone learns or communicates the same. You need to make a constant effort to make sure that everyone is on the same page or your team will become stagnant or divided.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on and why?
CT Wilson used Revizto recently for a multi-million dollar new construction project on an occupied k-12 campus. Due to the size and complexity of the project, as well as external socio-environmental factors (COVID-19), Revizto helped streamline coordination between the design AND construction management teams to the tradespeople in the field. Quantifying the potential losses that would have been present if Revizto wasn’t being implemented is daunting.

For more about CT Wilson visit CTWilson.com.

Firdaus Sunhaji, Resolve Insight (BIM Lead)

Firdaus is a decade into her career in the AEC Industry and has a B.Arch and Masters in Architecture from Victoria University of Wellington, and has an expert level of knowledge in digital construction and engineering technologies. Alongside her work for the last 13 years, she has also been a teacher at Wellington Somali Council Multi-ethnic Refugee Study Centre, a non-profit organization focused on empowering and supporting Somali community members to integrate and adapt to New Zealand society, systems (i.e. education, work).

Currently, she is the BIM Manager for Resolve Insight after spending nearly 6 years at Honeywell as the BIM Lead working on one of Australia’s most technologically advanced healthcare projects in Adelaide. The first project that she was involved in was as small as 3sqm before reaching beyond 300,000sqm in her career.

Resolve provides dedicated expert services to close this gap and manage projects with more efficiency, collaboration and certainty, creating digital project environments that increase transparency, reduce risk and drive performance.

Our teams use digital tools to streamline and integrate modern design, procurement and construction processes. We create digital project environments that enable clients to increase visibility, reduce risk and drive performance across all project teams.ResolveInsight.com

Resolve Insight’s team has provided digital engineering and digital construction services to major building and infrastructure projects across Australia. Resolve Insight’s team has provided digital engineering and digital construction services to major building and infrastructure projects across Australia from the Melbourne Metro to Icthys Onshore LNG Facilities.

We asked Firdaus a few questions about being a woman in the construction industry and her keys to success – here is what she had to say.

What do you like most about working in construction?
Every construction site brings a new adventure and exciting challenge, and there is always something new, like meeting new people, solving problems, and turning ideas into reality. It is wonderful to understand how each project is set up, delivered and operated. The best moment is when we can see the future before it arrives via construction technologies and fix it before it creates problems. The peak is when the hard work becomes a reality, and the fruit of the work is fully functional and ready to serve the people.

What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced being a woman in your industry?
The biggest challenge for me of course balancing family and work. I am a perfectionist at work because I am passionate about delivering the utmost quality to the client. At the same time, I love my family and want to give my best to them. So it’s about delivering both aspects at the same time. The blessing from COVID pandemic is less traveling time, and more time to spend with my family.

What was/is the key to your success? or specifically in overcoming the challenges mentioned above?
Time management is key, where I prioritize specific things to be present in the moment. This means, when I am at work, I will focus and give 110% to my work because I want the outcome to be outstanding. When I am with my family, I ensure quality time is spent with them by doing activities like hiking, kayaking etc. It’s about creating moments with your loved one because we do not know when it’s going to be our last conversation.

Was there a female figure that inspired you? If so, who and how?
Yes, my amazing Mom, who showed me that she could work while raising the family perfectly. My other family members as well, Ilham Fadilah is a Board Director of 2 Publicly Traded Companies while juggling a full-time job as Head of Corporate Strategy & Research, Nadzratul Iman is a mechanical engineer in Norway, and Shakirah Hanim who mastered the Japanese language works in digital industry while raising 2 babies at the same time. There is absolutely no doubt women can be successful in any field.

I am also truly inspired by my current Boss, Amalia Athanassopulos, who believes in me and provides coaching and mentoring along the way, no matter how busy she is. She gives me workloads that are challenging, taking into account my areas for growth. 

What is one piece of advice that someone gave you that has helped you over the years?
When I was growing up, I liked to take risks and explore new things. Whenever I am afraid to jump into new areas, I can hear my Mom’s voice inside my head saying  “You can do it”, loud and clear. It is just simple advice, but I leverage the strength of those words. Today, whenever I am championing BIM in the construction and facilities management field, and I get stuck, I will sit down in silence and hear those words again. That’s when I gather the strength to go forward.

If you are already in or new in the construction industry, be like a sponge; absorb as much as you can when it comes to a new experience such as technologies and approaches. Every construction project has their own approaches. If you want to express it later in your next construction projects, you must first be able to soak up endless drops of knowledge you gain in each project!”Firdaus Sunhaji, Resolve Insights

Is there anything particular that excites you most about the future of the industry?
Given that we are in the era of Industrial Revolution 4.0, digitalization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will shape the industry’s direction. In this regard, I can foresee that Digital Twins will be part of BIM innovation where one can operate a building virtually. This means, in the event a pandemic occurs, there will be less disruption to the existing operation. I am excited to be part of the journey as BIM technology mature and creates more value in the construction industry.

What does collaboration mean to you?
In a team, people will have different weaknesses and strengths. It is about figuring which strengths complement each other. As such, in delivering the work that I do, collaboration with people who have diverse strengths will ensure a successful outcome. For example, I am really good at coming up with innovative solutions to address the client’s issue. Therefore I will collaborate with another person who is good at adopting innovative solutions to apply to new clients. All in all, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. The clients will get the best deal out of the collaboration, and that is the most important.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on and why?
One of my favorite building that I have worked on is standing in the heart of Adelaide, New Royal Adelaide Hospital, a $1 Billion PPP health care facility with 130 000 sqm. It is very fulfilling to work on this project which benefits society.

We used Revizto on the Richmond Quarter, a medium-size commercial project in Richmond. The benefit we got from using Revizto was that it provided us with greater transparency when we overlaid multiple information in different formats, enabling us to find and solve issues faster. For example, when reviewing penetrations to core drawings in Revizto, you can check the depth and validate it with point cloud in a single platform, providing less room for error.

For more about the Resolve Insight visit ResolveInsight.com

Oralia Cruz, Katerra (Senior VDC Coordinator)

Oralia Cruz knows a thing or two about making a mark and being heard in a male-dominated environment. Prior to her career in construction, she served nearly 4 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

After her service, she went back to school to get an Associate’s Degree in Architectural Engineering Drafting and a Certificate in Construction Management. While working on her certificate, she was hired by a local G.C. as a BIM Detailer and then promoted to a VDC Coordinator. After a few years in that position, she moved to Katerra and is now Senior VDC Coordinator.

Katerra is an American technology-driven offsite construction company founded in 2015 by Michael Marks, former CEO of Flextronics and former Tesla interim CEO. The company manufactures large building components off-site, particularly for multifamily housing. The technique allows lower cost, and a higher-quality quality product.

For a range of developer clients, Katerra is the architect, material supplier, manufacturer, general contractor, trade contractor, and project manager. By taking responsibility for the entire project life cycle and integrating every product and service necessary to design and assemble buildings allows us to optimize for speed and efficiency.Katerra.com

Katerra is putting modern technology to work at all levels of building design and construction to help address some of the industry’s most entrenched challenges, developing and delivering sustainable building solutions that are scalable to all projects and economically viable without adding outsized cost burdens. As an integrated renovation services team, Katerra supports everything from sourcing and installation of products to full-scope renovation programs. 

We asked Oralia a few questions about being a woman in the construction industry and her keys to success – here is what she had to say.

What do you like most about working in construction?
I love the variety of projects. I have had the opportunity to work on very complex Tenant Improvement projects, schools, highrises, and a couple of very technical and highly collaborative projects. It keeps life interesting.

What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced being a woman in your industry?
Ensuring that I’m being heard and that my ideas/actions are not being owned by others.

What was/is the key to your success? or specifically in overcoming the challenges mentioned above?
There are a lot of great people in the construction industry. It’s always good to find people who are willing to advocate for you. Who are confident in their own abilities and willing to point you out as the owner of an idea. Also, if I learned anything from the Navy, it has been to speak up and be vocal about things that are happening to me, others, and how I’m feeling.

Was there a female figure that inspired you? If so, who and how?
How many do I get to list? I have been very fortunate to have so many strong females that have helped shape my life and career. My mother June Cruz was a single parent who raised 4 children worked her way up from a Mail Clerk to a GS-11 with the Social Security Administration where she worked for 33 years. Captain Jillian Richards, a Naval Officer who mentored me through the NROTC program at the University of Utah and has been there for me ever since. Gerda Saunders-Writer, Professor and Director of the Gender Studies program at the UofU: She is one of the most brilliant minds I know.

More recently, Sara Angus – She was one of my instructors while I was getting the certificate at the University of Washington. She became my mentor and advocated for me at the GC she was working for to help me get my first job after leaving the Navy. She has been my career sounding board ever since. 

All women working construction, especially in the field. They are such strong-willed and hard workers. They put up with a lot, and they just keep going. I have been fortunate to have them all in my life.

What is one piece of advice that someone gave you that has helped you over the years?
I am not sure I can say it…lol “Don’t let the ….[them] get you down” 

“ To other women: This is the place for you. As our numbers grow stronger in this industry, our voices get louder, and our working conditions get better. We need your ideas, your thoughts, and your experiences to help shape construction projects and the industry as a whole.Oralia Cruz, Katerra

 

Is there anything particular that excites you most about the future of the industry?
Bringing technology to the field so that our projects are built better, faster, and more economically. I am in the right place to see the future unfolding.

What does collaboration mean to you?
People coming together to discuss an issue and work together to come up with a solution. When it’s happening, it is a beautiful sight to see.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on and why?
I’ve been working on apartment buildings on the design side of construction. The goals being to create constructible, scalable, and replicable building structures/ options.

There are a few projects that I have really enjoyed being part of. Where Revizto is concerned, the project I am working on now is my favorite. The amount of people working in and with Revizto to accomplish the mission is awesome. It just became part of the circulatory system of these projects. We have solved over 2,000 issues/questions on one building alone. It has been amazing to be a part of it. We are getting ready to hand off to construction. They will be using Revizto as well, and I am excited to see the processes unfold.

For more about Katerra visit Katerra.com

The Revizto Women!

As we wrap-up a great Women in Construction Week, we had to go out with a bang and give a huge shout-out to some of the Revizto Women. The individuals in this group each play such a critical part in our company’s continued progress and innovation – from customer success, sales, marketing, and finance. With that – here is a bit about Revizto’s Power 5 Women!

Laura Sharpe is the Implementation Service Manager for Canada. Laura will oversee and support Revizto Implementation to help ensure seamless transitions into the software and any issues that may arise. She is the Revizto Expert for Canada. After getting her Architectural Technology degree, she has spent the next 14 years working in virtual and digital construction, including time at Stantec, Ledcor and Bird Construction, before joining Revizto in 2021. Outside of work, she and her dog get out into nature whenever possible and currently resides in Calgary.“ Virtual design and construction have facilitated a more integrated project by way of technology, but I believe we also need to create an inclusive atmosphere among all team members, outside of the technology. Creating a collaborative environment is critical in today’s construction industry.”– Laura Sharpe

Rennee Perri is the ANZ Territory Manager for Revizto. She has over two decades in IT sales and running a family business for concrete construction, so needless to say; she has a passion for technology and construction. She loves how every project is different and seeing the way clients use technology. Rennee also loves animals and fur friends and has been a volunteer dog walker for more than a decade. She currently resides in New South Wales.“Keep your eye on your goal, be kind and never change who you are to fit in around other people – eventually you will find the right crew who value and respect your work.”– Rennee Perri

 

Maria Konyagina is the Head of Global Marketing and leads a global team that spans across multiple continents. Prior to joining Revizto, she was the Marketing Manager at NVIDIA. Maria was also one of the first employees of Revizto 10 years ago and helped take it from an idea to being leveraged in over 150 countries and used by 20 of the top 25 ENR firms. She is currently getting her Executive MBA at Stockholm School of Economics and has two daughters.

 

Elena Arshukova is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Revizto and runs global internal and external events, as well as user group relations and a variety of additional projects. She has been with Revizto for nearly seven years, back to the earlier stages of the business. Prior to Revizto, she ran internal communications for a large investment bank and spent four years at the Sochi-2014 Olympics Organising Committee as a Communications Manager.

 

Iren Bagdasaryan has been running the Accounts Team for Revizto for over three years. She was a part of the early stages of Revizto and handled the implementation of Salesforce for the company. Before rejoining Revizto, she spent 6 years managing CRM for an Investment and Asset Management firm. Iren has her MBA from the American University of Armenia. She has three kids, based in Switzerland.

Revizto Women in Construction Week 2021 Revizto proudly celebrates the Annual Women in Construction Week by supporting and elevating leading women in the industry, sharing their stories to help inspire the next generation of leading ladies. Since its founding, Revizto has focused on equal opportunities for women to give back and help grow our business. 2021-03-08
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