Women in Construction Week: Q&A

National Association of Women in Construction

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, and public service. Women in Construction (WIC) Week, March 4-10, is the organization’s largest event of the quarter. It will consist of many exciting events and activities to celebrate and highlight women in construction.

Missy Gallagher is the Business Development and Marketing Manager at JR Hayes Corporation in Maple Valley, Washington. Missy is a member of the NAWIC Puget Sound Chapter and Chair of the WIC Week planning committee.

Melody Olson is a Principal at Parker, Smith & Feek in Bellevue, Washington. Melody also serves on the NAWIC Puget Sound Chapter’s Board of Directors. This role has allowed her to be part of an outstanding group of women who are striving to raise the bar on what an association can offer for professional and personal development.

Melody sat down with Missy Gallagher to discuss how NAWIC has influenced her and discuss the upcoming WIC week.

MELODY: How did you get involved with NAWIC?

MISSY: I came across NAWIC through my business development and marketing role at JR Hayes Corporation. I was discussing a project with a client, Kathryn Emtman, and during that conversation, Kathryn suggested I look into the organization. I attended my first NAWIC event, the annual hike to Poo Poo Point, and had such a wonderful time; I knew I wanted to get involved with the organization. I met Melody at the following event at the Flatstick Pub.

The network and connections built through our activities lead to great relationships, help you in your career, and challenge you to grow as a woman.

MELODY: How did you get involved in the WIC week committee?

MISSY: At the Flatstick event, one of the board members, Liz Evans, said to me, – “Why don’t you head up the WIC Week committee?” and Kathryn Emtman encouraged me to as well. I agreed to it before I fully understood what was involved with the event, but I was up for the challenge! I met with Liz Evans and Jenny Browne and learned how to communicate our vision and mission into the events, as well as how to lead a successful committee. Things unfolded naturally and the rest was history. The WIC Week planning and committee blossomed into something amazing thanks to Lisa Ford, Melanie Deitch, and Jennifer Nelson. This was my first experience chairing a committee; the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of NAWIC was a big reason why I enjoyed this role so much.

MELODY: What surprised you most about taking on a leadership role with the committee?

MISSY: I built great relationships with the committee members, and the interactions I had with potential sponsors have been invaluable. The connections made will be fantastic from both a business and social perspective. I grew professionally and was surprised by how much I was able to achieve outside of my workday.

MELODY: You have a family, are a part of NAWIC, and run the WIC week committee assist, how does that impact the balancing act of work and life?

MISSY: The balancing act wasn’t as complicated as I anticipated; I always had a lot going on. I knew when to say “no” so I could fully dedicate my efforts to the commitments I made. The balancing act was manageable.

MELODY: What activity are you most looking forward to during WIC week?

MISSY: I’m really looking forward to the job site tour at the Bel-Red corridor in the Spring District. A huge thanks to Elizabeth Rinehart from Walsh Construction for coordinating the event. We will be meeting at two pm at the Walsh Construction trailers.

MELODY: If you had to provide one piece of advice for anyone interested in NAWIC, what would it be?

MISSY: The key feature to NAWIC is the approachability to women; NAWIC is a community that is receptive to both introverts and extroverts. The network and connections built through our activities lead to great relationships, help you in your career, and challenge you to grow as a woman. NAWIC has enhanced my life both professionally and personally.

We look forward to the WIC Week festivities
and series of events; we hope you can join in!

NAWIC Board Members:

Jenny Browne (Convergint Technologies)

Annie Lombroia (Ashbaugh Beal)

Courtney Price (Clark Construction)

Melody Olson (Parker, Smith & Feek)

Holly Erickson (Performance Contracting)

Jackie Lacktorin (Holmes Electric)

Jessie Bresnahan (Pacific Project Mgmt)

Kathryn Emtman (Lease Crutcher Lewis)

Susan McCants (Osborne Construction Co)

Kristina Westgard (Propel Insurance)

Liz Evans (AGC of Washington)

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