Courtney Kounkel


Her small start-up company is yielding large returns
38, Partner
Centric Projects
Kansas City, Mo.

With a pair of colleagues, Courtney Kounkel launched contractor Centric Projects in 2010, when average project values in Kansas City had plummeted to $1 million from $20 million. An original five-year growth plan projected $30 million in sales with a staff of 18. Three years later, Centric projects $45 million in sales with a staff of 34, the result of low overhead and an experienced management team. Kounkel is active in all aspects of the business, from operations, finance, sales and marketing to human resources, risk management and technology. Kounkel serves on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities and has been honored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as Woman of the Year.

Theresa Lehman


A career focused on sustainability yields a number of firsts
39, Director of Sustainable Services
Miron Construction Co.
Neenah, Wis.

The youngest of 75 LEED fellows worldwide, Theresa Lehman has worked on no fewer than 75 projects seeking LEED certification and helped grow Miron's LEED portfolio to more than $650 million from $18.5 million. Her career boasts a number of firsts, including the first LEED-certified facility for the state of Wisconsin, the first net-zero LEED-certified building and the first public K-12 project to earn LEED-Platinum certification. As a faculty member for the U.S. Green Building Council, Lehman leads LEED workshops worldwide, including in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Cancun, Mexico. As a member of its curriculum committee, she develops educational frameworks and workshops. Believing that informed people make informed decisions, Lehman volunteers countless hours with nonprofit and industry organizations to advance sustainable design principles.