Lenore Janis, 86, a New York contractor and forceful and colorful industry advocate since the 1970s for women's equality on jobsites and management, died Jan. 31 in Brookfield, Conn., of COVID-19, according to The New York Times.
Janis, who fought for a management role in her own family’s steel fabrication firm, also founded ERA Steel Construction. She lobbied New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1983 for a 5% goal of women contractors on state-funded projects and co-founded in 1980 the national lobbying group Professional Women in Construction, serving as its president from 1995 until 2015.
Men created a “great interaction” when they were allowed into PWC as members in 1985, Janis said in a 2010 ENR profile. But “we were not invited or really welcome in men’s societies,” she said.
Janis, who later had top roles at two city agencies affecting construction, “moved mountains in breaking barriers and changing rules to benefit women,” a woman industry CEO and former PWC board member told a real estate publication.
Morris Levy, 91, who capped a 43-year Parsons Brinckerhoff career as chairman and led its work on Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel and other major projects, died Feb. 13 in Lincoln, Mass.
WSP, which bought the engineering giant in 2015, did not release a cause of death.
Levy, who retired in 2008, “was the epitome of a skilled engineer with an incredible memory and total understanding of the business of engineering and client management,” says William Gray, an Australia-based technical principal. “When one took a problem or issue to Morris, one got a positive reply. No time was wasted.”
Robert S. “Bob” O’Neil, 85, a former Parsons Transportation Group president and officer-in-charge of the $16-billion English Channel Tunnel when the firm served as its engineering advisor, died on Feb. 3 in Bethesda, Md., after a brief illness, said an online obituary.
A veteran transit megaproject lead on the Washington, D.C., Metrorail subway system, Woodrow Wilson Bridge, also in that city, and rail systems in Shanghai and Taiwan, he also chaired an ASCE study of feasibility and cost to build a large-bore tunnel in Tysons Corner, Va., to extend D.C. subway to Dulles International Airport.