Celebrating Women in Construction Week

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It is Women in Construction Week! Women in Construction (WIC) week was brought to life by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). Since 1955 NAWIC has been aiming to “strengthen and amplify the success of women in the construction industry” This special week is here to highlight all the hard-working women in the industry, their important contributions, and to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in this business.

At McMillen Jacobs, we are proud to have women represent various roles within the Water Resources division including but not limited to project engineers, project managers, site safety officers, administration and project assistants, laborers, equipment operators, and even president! For WIC Week, we are highlighting some of those women to show how vital they are to the success of our organization. Our goal is to inspire young women, show that construction has more to offer than “digging in the dirt” and that it is truly innovative and diverse, and hopefully encourage more women to join the industry.

Mara McMillen is the President of the McMillen Jacobs Construction Division. Since founding the company in 2004 as a woman-owned 8a business, she has served as a Project Manager, Chief Operating Officer, and Manager of Operations for the construction division. Today, she leads the company as a member of the Board of Directors for the corporation and directs the Management Team for the Water Resources Group. “The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself, and shine amongst those who never believed she could.” Author Unknown

Maggie Manning, Construction Field Engineer, has deep roots in construction, she grew up watching her father run a successful construction company and was naturally drawn to the industry. She enjoys all the different aspects of construction from money management, business planning to operating equipment. “Construction is so fun! It has a lot of diversity…you have different project locations and new daily challenges and wins,” says Maggie. Her advice for women heading out to the construction site “You have to be tough enough to have a really bad day and then get back out there in the morning and do it again.” Maggie was recently the Construction Project Manager for the Alviso Pond Levee Rehabilitation at Don Edwards National Wildlife Reserve for USFWS.

McKenna “Mac” Everding is Construction Project Engineer with a BS in Civil Engineering. Mac has a true passion for construction and is currently leading the development of a Project Engineering program for the construction division. Her goal is to solidify the group and connect field and office staff, as well as pre-construction and estimating. When asked what she enjoys about the industry, “construction allows you to take pride in your work and physically see the fruits of your labor,” said Mac. Her drive to continually learn has led her to gain experience on a variety of project types. From closing out concrete work at the Faraday Repower Project in Estacada, OR to job startup and project controls for the Federal Highway Administrations’ NM 152 Bridges Replacement project, Mac is always willing to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work to set the project team up for success.

Melissa Smith, Project Assistant, has her hands in several construction projects, including our Coolidge Dam Outlet Works Rehab project in Peridot, AZ. She helps with draft subcontracts, purchase orders, and helps set up any utility accounts our construction crews need on site. Melissa also grew up with family members working in the construction trade. Her first construction job was working for a flooring subcontractor. Her advice for women considering a career in construction, “Just do it! I love working in construction. I think the stigma of this is a “man’s” industry is fading and we women are proving that we are capable of doing anything and maybe doing it better.”

Lily Perry is serving in an on-site administration role for the Walla Walla Hatchery Design-Build project. She supports the project team with human resources, training and onboarding, site safety, and SWPPP compliance. She is also responsible for overall job office organization, getting meetings running smoothly, completion of PO’s, equipment purchasing, coordinating with vendors and suppliers. “Being a woman in construction is pretty dang empowering,” said Lily. “I have had more opportunities to be heard, respected, and play an active part in this industry than I have in any other. Show up and let your achievements prove your worth.”

Leona “LaRie” Buell is a Project Assistant with 11 years of construction industry experience. She is well versed in contracts, pay applications, and customer service to name a few. Her commitment to the organization with every project is essential and drives the project to completion. She’s currently a project assistant for our Federal Highway Administration’ NM 152 Bridges replacement project.

Jessica Petersen is a construction intern, pursuing a Construction Management degree from Boise State University. Last summer, Jessica was able to get a firsthand look at an active project site, including a 5:00 AM concrete pour at the Faraday site. “Construction became a huge part of my life…to this day, pursuing Construction Management has been the best decision I have made. It has brought me a lifetime of memories, friendship, and endless opportunities,” said Jessica.

Patricia “Trish” Parker is a Site Safety Health Officer at our Faraday project. Parker supports operations by performing on‐site safety and health duties for general construction projects according to contract specifications, and regulatory and company requirements. She has worked on field projects performing safety and health site inspections; identifying site‐specific hazards and developing proper controls.

Julie Doyle is a valued member of our construction administration team. She provides support to construction project managers, field crews, accounting, administration, and corporate leadership. She is always accountable, has a great timely turnaround, and does her work with quality and pride. Julie wants others to succeed and strives for the best outcome every time.

Whether on the Jobsite or in the office, these women put grit, passion, and perseverance into everything they do! McMillen Jacobs is fortunate to have these talented women on the team!