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Chaos in Construction – Leading during a Crisis

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Monday, I had the awesome opportunity to learn from four outstanding women in the construction industry. This was a collaborative effort with Mindy Szarowicz, Director of Business Development for Baker Concrete, and Stacey Miller, owner of Landmark Business Services. Together we strategized and planned this event to honor women in our local construction market while providing valuable takeaways to all members of the Construction Executives Association. With a room made up of mostly men, we made sure to consider our audience, presenting these amazing people as leaders instead of focusing primarily on their gender.

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Dodie Keith-Lazowick is a second-generation Professional Surveyor, and the CEO/ Managing Principal of KEITH, a large multi-discipline engineering firm with multiple Florida offices. Dodie shared wonderful insight regarding how to control cash flow and retain talent and how she shifted her efforts through such a challenging time as the COVID pandemic.

Kerri Smith, VP of the Southeast region of Baker Concrete stressed the importance of having an internship program. She has a positive outlook for the next few years but is more concerned about the financial situation of our market in a decade.

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Adriana Jaegerman Korchmar, Vice President of Buildings and Regional Business Leader US North Central and Gulf Regions at Stantec announced the importance of diversification in serving various markets and making sure we as business leaders take into account the mental health of employees.

Robyn Raphael, the new President of RCC & Associates, Florida’s largest women-owned enterprise, shared the importance of relationships with both clients and subcontractors, how picking up the phone and connecting is imperative to move projects forward. She also reiterated the importance of providing confident solutions to clients, thinking outside the box, while establishing trust.

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I had three guests join me at this meeting and it was an incredible way to kick off both the workweek and the wonderful month of March.

The CEA’s board of directors received very positive feedback from membership with a unanimous board rating of more than 5 out of 5 stars. I must admit, it feels wonderful for so many hours of planning and discussions to be wildly successful.