Each year, a group of dynamic and enterprising young professionals under the age of 40 are recognized by ENR California and ENR Northwest for their leadership and service. This year, 20 individuals are selected from California and Hawaii while 10 are tapped from Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
A panel of volunteer judges evaluated nominees based on experience, education, career accomplishments and leadership, as well as community service and involvement. They are Mannie Barnes, Guy F. Atkinson Construction; Michael Boomsma, Cordoba Corp.; Ryan Gallagher, MKN; Ginger Kelly, retired - formerly at RIM Architects; 2020 ENR Top Young Profesional Wendy MacLeod, Turner Construction Co.; and 2019 ENR Top Young Profesional Ronny McPherson, HDR; Carly Avery, Howard S. Wright; 2022 ENR Top Young Profesional Diego de Veyga, Flatiron; and Lauren Nunnally, Swinerton.
ENR thanks our judges for their time and hard work and congratulates our regional winners.
This year’s group of 30 up-and-comers found their calling in architecture, construction and engineering by following unique paths. They have ascended in their respective companies, impressing superiors and inspiring peers, and have demonstrated hard work and passion for their chosen fields. Those selected also have have led large teams through multimillion-dollar projects, broken ground with new innovations and delivery methods, championed the growth of women and minorities in construction and helped create a more sustainable future.
They also found time to give back—volunteering for industry activities, contributing to other communities, and displaying a great level of compassion for others.
Sustainability leader is responsible for stakeholder engagement
36, Sustainability Manager
Adams leads Granite’s sustainability program and is responsible for stakeholder engagement, strategy and communication. Since 2019, she has managed the production of Granite’s award-winning annual sustainability reports, which have distinguished the company as an industry leader. Her work in the field includes serving as chair of Granite’s sustainability committee as well as holding leadership positions in industry groups focused on the topic. Adams has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience and a JD with a focus on environmental and natural resources law. In both cases, she was an extremely high achiever, graduating second in her class at Colby College and seventh in her class at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. As an undergraduate, she won awards for leadership and academic achievement, was inducted into PhiBeta Kappa, graduated summa cum laude and was selected to present her honors thesis at the 2008 meeting of Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C.
Emanuel Alvarez has had an active role leading safety programs on more than $3.2 billion in rail transit projects.
Ensures that workers are prepared to work safely
39, Safety Manager
Stacy and Witbeck Inc.
Since 2008, Alvarez has led construction safety programs at Stacy and Witbeck that ensure that team members are educated, confident, and prepared to work safely. He optimizes processes allowing workers to focus on safe work, and has had an active role leading safety programs on more than $3.2 billion in rail transit projects. He has worked throughout the Pacific Northwest on rail transit construction projects and is currently managing the safety program on the $780-million Downtown Redmond Link Light Rail Extension in Redmond, Wash. Alvarez has also been at the forefront of implementing technology to optimize efficient safety reporting. He was an early adopter of HCSS Safety, a web-based safety observation, reporting and compliance tool. He set up a system of QR codes and web-based spreadsheets to perform equipment inspections. Additionally, he developed a new technology-based procedure to more efficiently onboard foremen. His processes have since been adopted on many large Stacy and Witbeck projects.
Specialist in biological permitting and environmental analysis
32, Ecologist; Environmental Permitting Specialist
Anderson specializes in biological permitting, environmental analysis, water quality and public outreach. She also performs biological surveys and construction monitoring. Since joining AECOM in 2019, she has used her varied skill set for a multitude of projects, from pipeline repairs in Portland’s Forest Park to expansion of a metro line in Southern California. After receiving her master’s degree in ecology in 2018, Anderson finished her master’s education in 2.5 years and earned a 3.85 GPA while continuing to work as an environmental scientist. During her studies at San Diego State, she was also a lab instructor for cell and molecular biology and organismal biology, where she discovered her passion for teaching. Anderson is now the lead of AECOM’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach and hiring/recruiting initiative. This program focuses K-12 STEM outreach and recruitment efforts in schools and communities containing high proportions of marginalized groups with the goal of creating a more diverse workforce.
Rob Best - National Winner
Expands his computational approach to solve problems
34, Associate, Americas Energy and Digital Leader
Best is passionate about understanding the complex urban systems involved in human energy and resource consumption. In his position as associate for Americas energy and digital leader for Arup, he communicates complex technical topics to clients, guiding them to greater energy, water and carbon savings. At Arup, Best has expanded his data-driven, computational approach to solve unique problems. For a city master plan in China, he recognized the need for a rapid approach to sizing infrastructure systems and optimizing collections of neighborhoods to maximize diversity and reduce resource consumption. On a smaller scale, Best modeled pathways for a Whole Foods grocery store to achieve net-zero energy. Best is also an active volunteer who is focused on fighting homelessness. He sits on the board of City Systems and provides a technical review of housing solutions and supports LifeMoves, a local nonprofit, to find solutions for transitional housing by providing engineering and permitting advice.
Kyle Boehnlein’s professional focus has shifted from constructing buildings to developing collaborative teams and mentoring.
Seeks to develop high functioning and collaborative teams
38, Vice President
JE Dunn Construction
While studying at Purdue University, Boehnlein, in collaboration with his professors, developed a curriculum for a health care construction specialty that was adopted by the college. And Boehnlein was the first to graduate with this new health care construction management major. His career began with JE Dunn’s health care group, working on health care campuses before turning to governmental, office and behavioral health projects. Boehnlein was promoted to senior project manager in 2016 and expanded his leadership skills. His professional focus then shifted from constructing buildings to developing high functioning, collaborative teams and mentoring. He has since been promoted to vice president. Being tech savvy, Boehnlein optimizes processes to align with client expectations. Doing this early on a project eliminates rework and wasted time. He currently oversees monthly training for the JE Dunn Northwest division, coordinating presenters to cover timely topics for staff, and he champions an employee resource group for entry level project engineers.
Developed apps to drive innovation
Trunk Tools Inc.
Starting as a carpenter, Buchner went on to obtain an MBA and master’s degrees in architectural engineering and civil engineering. She then received a PhD in civil systems engineering/data science while working full time. She worked her way up from the trades to foreman, superintendent, site manager and project manager. A fatality on a $300-million skyscraper project illustrated the critical need for a health and safety app in the industry, which she then developed and built. She then switched from construction to construction-tech and developed four apps in several roles as an intrapreneur and entrepreneur. Buchner has dedicated herself to bringing innovation, software, BIM and much more to the construction industry. Her current company is Trunk Tools Inc., which was started to put more money back into the pockets of craftworkers.
Mentors younger colleagues
37, Senior Project Manager
Skanska USA Building
After spending a summer working for her structural engineer father, Chaitt discovered a love for the industry. In college she was introduced to Skanska, where she began working as a project engineer after graduation. She rose quickly in the company and today is a senior project manager. A part of Skanska’s young professionals group, Chaitt has become a mentor for younger colleagues looking for more opportunities. In this position, she has helped create internal programming to help Skanska team members socialize in growth settings, from lunch-and-learn events and project tours to group community service endeavors. These efforts have extended to engagements with other industry firms, expanding the communal knowledge base even beyond Skanska. In 2008, Chaitt received LEED AP BD+C certification, and she has continued to pursue further professional development opportunities. For example, the year-long Skanska stretch program in Budapest allowed her to explore Skanska’s commercial development arm.
Jenae Decker manages $600 million of new construction and modernization efforts for school and entertainment industry clients.
Oversees two major bond programs that total $1 billion
37, Project Director
San Fernando, Calif.
In college, Decker was an active member of the Society of Women Engineers and Associated General Contractors student chapters. She received the Anne Marie Muhs Scholarship, which supports women in engineering. During her internship, she worked on the construction of a $117-million, four-story building for Dial Corp. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology with a minor in business administration at Montana State University-Bozeman. Decker began her career as a project engineer on civic, education and hospitality projects. Currently, she has a unique role as the only project director at Bernards, where she specializes in construction management. She has experience in a wide variety of delivery methods and currently oversees two major bond programs that total $1 billion at two large Southern California community colleges. In addition, she manages another $600 million of new construction and modernization efforts for school and entertainment industry clients.
Provides leadership and business planning support
38, Project Executive
Sundt Construction Inc.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Santa Clara University in 2007, Falvey was hired by XL Construction and began building projects for science and technology clients throughout the San Francisco Bay area. In 2010, he transferred to the company’s work on the Google Mountain View Campus. Over the course of four years, he helped lead XL’s growth on the campus from $10 million worth of work per year to more than $150 million per year, making it the firm’s most valuable client. In 2016, Falvey joined Sundt Construction as senior project manager, leading a $91-million design-build science building. Driven to learn more, he then took part in Sundt’s senior leadership development program, LEAP, a year-long leadership training initiative. He also studied for an MBA through an evening program at CSU Sacramento. In 2021, Falvey was promoted to project executive, leading project pursuits, overseeing multiple active projects and providing leadership and business planning support for Sundt’s California district.
Selected to beta test WSP’s project management training program
39, Supervising Civil Engineer
While a student at Manhattan College, Fieser was invited to join Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society. Since then, he graduated with honors and has worked on a number of highly complex infrastructure projects. As a lead civil engineer and project manager at WSP, he led significant design tasks on the Washington Dept. of Transportation’s $3-billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program that consisted of 30 individual projects, including the largest deep-bore tunnel in North America. Fieser’s attention to detail, coupled with strong leadership skills, makes him a valuable asset to WSP and its clients. Because of his strong management skills, he was selected to beta test the new WSP project management training program. In addition to being an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Fieser supports the local Women’s Transportation Seminar chapter and participates in events at the WSDOT/American Council of Engineering Companies to keep apprised of best practices.
Has a passion for teaching and sharing her knowledge
Design With Skill, Develop With Skill
South Pasadena, Calif.
Hill studied architecture at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture in Pittsburgh and at the Architectural Association in London. After college she worked at Gehry Partners in Los Angeles on high-profile projects, including the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Nets Arena and a Santa Monica boutique hotel. After stints with both Arquitectonica and Gensler, she left corporate architecture and founded her own architecture firm, Design With Skill. Hill’s company focuses on designing multifamily and mixed-use projects with a specialization in affordable housing. In 2021, she started her second company, Develop With Skill, in order to further expand her vision by developing affordable housing projects through public entity partnerships. She now both designs and develops affordable and mixed-income projects. She volunteers her time as chair of the design review board in South Pasadena.
Excels in communication between the client and the project team
39, Senior Estimator
San Jose, Calif.
With extensive operations management experience and a background in structural and civil engineering design and consulting, Jensen has a unique ability to effectively work with clients, project managers, design engineers, planners and architects. After joining DPR in 2013 as a project engineer, Jensen quickly progressed to senior project manager and then to her current position as a preconstruction manager and senior estimator. In her role, she excels in communication between the client and the project team. One of Jensen’s passions is teaching and sharing her knowledge. She recently provided opening remarks for the 2022 Women Who Lead in Life Science conference in San Francisco. And while working full time and being a mother of four, Jensen also gives back to the community. Besides volunteering in her kids’ classrooms, she is a member of DPR’s Women in Construction group—a community focused on supporting women in construction—and a mentor for UC Berkeley’s Society of Women Engineers TechTeam.
Kristen Elise Keifer
Project manager for an earthquake response program in Alaska
37, Roadway Business Class Lead
HDR Engineering Inc.
Keifer has amassed more than 15 years of experience designing Alaska’s roadways and leading multidisciplinary teams. In her current position at HDR, Keifer is project manager for the Earthquake Response Program Management Contract. This role came after a 7.1 earthquake shook central Alaska in 2018, devastating the transportation network. Keifer jumped into action and successfully managed multiple teams to complete all work at more than 150 sites that needed repairs. And she did it within strict FHWA and FEMA emergency funding requirements on an aggressive schedule that had statewide attention. Her team developed a database classification system to rank and track project delivery. This system is now a model for multisite management. Keifer was instrumental in the development of a first-of-its-kind manual by the Alaska DOT and Public Facilities that provides important guidance for future navigation of disaster events and also emergency funding information.
Molly Larson Is design manager for the Tacoma Dome Link Extension, a $3.5-billion light rail project and the first one constructed on tribal lands.
Skilled at managing technical conversations with diverse stakeholders
37, Design Manager
Larson was lead civil engineer during conceptual design of Sound Transit’s $3-billion Federal Way Link Extension. On this job, she managed cross-disciplinary design teams to deliver engineering packages under tight timelines and was promoted to project manager. Her success on this project led to her being appointed design manager for the Tacoma Dome Link Extension project, a $3.5-billion light rail project and the first one constructed on Tribal Nation reservation lands. Larson’s ability to support and facilitate technical conversations with diverse stakeholders has been instrumental on the Tacoma Dome Link. Shortly after the job began, the pandemic hit. Just 10% design plans for the project were due, including more than 2,000 pages of design drawings, reports, submittals and cost estimates. Larson and her team of 35 were able to produce a quality deliverable that received accolades from the client. Larson also finds time to mentor young colleagues.
Kevin Laut provides strategic direction, leadership, guidance and training to hundreds of California State University staff across 23 campuses.
Solicits feedback to help California State University evolve its processes
34, Director of Construction Management California State University, Office of the Chancellor
Long Beach, Calif.
Laut began interning with McCarthy Building Cos. while at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and then began working for the firm on major projects. After more than six years with the firm, he moved on to work as a systemwide construction manager for California State University, the largest four-year higher education system in the U.S. He was soon promoted to the systemwide director of construction management, providing strategic direction, leadership, guidance and training to hundreds of CSU staff across 23 campuses on approximately $1 billion of capital spending per year. In his current role, Laut also serves as an industry liaison, collaborating with contractors, designers, engineers, service providers and industry organizations to solicit feedback on how CSU can evolve its processes to meet the ever-evolving needs of the industry. Laut also serves on the board of directors for CMAA as the chair of the owner’s committee, where he hosts events to help owners with professional development, knowledge-sharing and networking.
Kabri Lehrman-Schmid-National Winner
Passionate about driving change in an industry that historically struggles with diversity and inclusion
37, Project Superintendent
As an ENR Top Young Professional national winner, Lehrman-Schmid is an ambassador for Hensel Phelps in the Pacific Northwest. Her leadership and relationship building has helped Hensel Phelps win numerous contracts to support the company’s growth in the region. She was instrumental to the success of the $494-million North Satellite Modernization Project at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. In addition to her field team leadership, her ability to build relationships with the Port of Seattle, the design team and subcontractors contributed to the successful execution of the complex, highly phased project. As a project superintendent, Lehrman-Schmid is passionate about field management’s responsibility and ability to effect change in an industry that historically struggles with diversity and inclusion. Her role on industry committees, with a focus on diversity and mental health awareness, shows her commitment to helping grow the next generation of workers. Lehrman-Schmid also demonstrates her commitment to continuing education through her participation in training programs that push the envelope on topics of inclusion and leadership development, such as psychological safety and neurodiversity awareness as well as technical training.
Her passion has inspired dozens of aspiring engineers to pursue a transit career
36, Rail Transit Section Manager
After graduating from University of Wisconsin in 2007, Magee began her career as an engineer in designing single family homes in San Diego. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, she landed an internship with a civil engineering firm and was given the opportunity to begin a career in rail design. Since then, she has worked on more than four high-profile projects directly benefiting her community. During Magee’s seven-year tenure at HDR, she has risen from project engineer to deputy project manager to rail transit section manager, where she oversees a transit team of 20 professionals and manages one of the city’s largest rail projects. In addition, Magee manages junior engineers who, like herself, began their career with no rail background—as very few colleges offer rail engineering courses. Her passion has inspired dozens of aspiring engineers to pursue a career in transit.
Ellen Mair helped grow Skanska’s Southern California footprint by winning new work in key markets such as health care, aviation, education and commercial construction.
Helps win new work in key markets
35, Vice President of Business Development
Skanska USA Building
Mair began her career as a business analyst at Skanska, and she has progressed to prominent leadership positions in the firm. She rose to director of research and analysis, where she led national business planning efforts before becoming director of business development for Los Angeles. She is currently vice president of business development for Southern California. In this role, she helped grow Skanska’s Southern California footprint by winning new work in key markets such as health care, aviation, education and commercial construction. Mair provides leadership for the Los Angeles chapter of the Skanska women’s network, an employee resource group focused on retaining and developing women in the industry. She is also the executive sponsor for Skanska LA’s corporate community involvement, working with nonprofits such as the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, City of Hope Walk for Hope and the Downtown Women’s Center.
Jared Malapit started out as an estimator and then formed his own full-service construction company where he now oversees preconstruction planning.
His skills as a cost estimator have helped double company revenue
Precision Construction Services
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Malapit grew up in a contractor family on Hawaii’s Big Island. He studied landscape architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He co-founded Precision Construction Services in 2013 as a construction consultancy. With the encouragement of numerous clients, the company pivoted to a full-service construction firm and began to experience phenomenal growth. Today, he oversees its preconstruction planning division. With the help of Malapit’s skills as a cost estimator, Precision has roughly doubled in size and revenue every year, becoming one of the fastest-growing construction firms on California’s Central Coast. Precision has built rocket launch pads at Vandenberg Space Force Base, the world’s first hyperloop tunnel for SpaceX, the first steel fiber-reinforced concrete transit tunnel in the U.S. for The Boring Co., a 3D printing lab for the Centers for Disease Control, the Pad Climbing gym and completed restoration work that included the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.
Allison McCue - National Winner
Expanding her construction knowledge has helped fuel career advancement
39, Senior Vice President, Project Planning
While in college, McCue worked summers as a Webcor intern before joining the company in 2006 as a project engineer. She steadily worked her way up the leadership ladder, becoming project director in 2017. In May 2019, she joined the leadership team of Webcor Drywall as a director, transforming the division into a self-sufficient, profitable and thriving entity. She is currently transitioning into the position of senior vice president for project planning. In this role, she oversees Webcor’s estimating and preconstruction activities, along with design management, project support, virtual design construction (VDC) planning and contract compliance. Throughout her career, McCue’s focus on expanding her construction knowledge and leadership skills has fueled her steady rise from project engineer intern to senior vice president. Along the way she has led Webcor’s self-perform divisions and managed various teams.
Helps provide safe, reliable and efficient power systems
39, Transmission & Distribution Operations Director and Principal
Burns & McDonnell
Nye serves as transmission and distribution operations director and principal for Burns & McDonnell in the Pacific Northwest, leading a team of nearly 50 electrical engineers, designers and construction professionals and project staff. In this role, he coordinates and oversees project management practices, including the execution of plans, budgets, procurement, sales and construction to provide communities and utilities with safe, reliable and efficient power systems. In the past year, Nye has helped his Vancouver office, which has historically been focused on delivering power infrastructure, grow to include the environmental, energy and water markets in the region. Whether coaching youth sports or promoting STEM education, Nye enjoys giving back to the community. He often speaks to students at local colleges, highlighting job opportunities in engineering fields. He has a passion for providing industry insights to assist students in determining a career path that best suits their skills and interests.
Rising star developed in-house visualization services
Biggs Cardosa Associates Inc.
Pheifer has built a strong résumé of unique projects ranging from arch bridges to movable railroad bridges. His experience included design-bid-build and design-build projects along with bridge inspection, engineering support during construction and other aspects of the industry. At his previous company, he started an in-house design visualization group. He then began building projects in three-dimensional space to further his understanding of the many disciplines involved in transportation projects. Pheifer joined Biggs Cardosa Associates in 2013 and has been a rising star ever since. He initiated and developed the company’s impressive in-house visualization services and utilized new tools to optimize the firm’s ability to successfully deliver projects. He started managing some of the firm’s most complex, multidisciplinary projects in 2015 and has been a key driver in meeting schedule and budget demands while maintaining exceptional quality. His specialties include bridge rehabilitation/replacement projects and grade separation projects.
Mentors and supports LGBTQIA STEM students
38, Chief Estimator
Shawmut Design and Construction
Rabinovich’s love of construction began at five years old as she helped her dad color I-beams on a set of drawings. Fascinated by his job, she pursued a career in construction while also obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in political science to round out her education. Today, she is chief estimator for Shawmut’s West region. In addition to her project portfolio and business achievements, Rabinovich is a leader. Within just one year as chief estimator, she has become a mentor and resource to a 10-person estimating team, dedicating her free time to help accelerate the unit’s growth. Throughout her career, she has created processes and systems to make her department run smoother and has put programs in place to track and leverage historical data to inform the bid process. Michelle has worked to mentor and support LGBTQIA STEM students by sharing her experiences as a queer woman in the construction industry.
Carla Aguilar Rivera
Manages diverse rail/transit projects for transit agencies
32, Project Manager
Rivera holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a specialization in structural engineering from the University of California Irvine and a master’s in engineering and project management from UC Berkeley. As a first-generation undocumented Latina, Rivera was denied the opportunity to pursue internships and office jobs because of her immigration status. But after years of perseverance and dedication, she made her way to the position of rail and transit infrastructure project manager at AECOM. Rivera began her career at Jacobs as a structural and transportation engineer and quickly found her attention focused on the transportation sector. She is engineer of record for several large infrastructure projects around the world in areas such as highway/interchange, bus rapid transit, bicycle/pedestrian trails and high-speed rail. At AECOM, Rivera manages diverse rail/transit projects like operation control centers and bike master plans for transit agencies.
Brian Sorenson has revamped the company safety training program, developed an interactive safety manual and helped create an electronic platform for safety inspections and incident reporting.
Has grown the company safety team by 200%
39, Director of Safety
Exxel Pacific, Inc.
Sorenson began building custom homes with his father when he was 15. H earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health management at Central Washington University. He followed this with certifications as a Construction Health and Safety Technician (BCSP) and OSHA Outreach Instructor. By 29, he was leading large, experienced and highly effective safety teams, overseeing complex megaprojects in tight, congested sites and remote, rural areas. Since joining Exxel Pacific two years ago, he has grown the safety team by 200% while revamping the safety training program, developing an interactive company safety manual and helping develop an electronic platform for safety inspections and incident reporting. With his guidance, Exxel Pacific has won three AGC Build Washington Awards for Safety Excellence and two Grand Awards. He also volunteers with the Washington Construction Design and Entrepreneurs nonprofit association to educate minority and women-owned businesses on safety.
Plays an integral role within the company’s quality management system
37, Principal/Materials Department Manager
Terracon Consultants Inc.
As a 15-year veteran in the industry, Tickner’s experience ranges from performing laboratory testing at the office and mobile lab locations, field inspections, complex site-specific investigations and observation for industrial, commercial, government and residential developments. He joined Terracon in 2015 and within a year was promoted to the materials department manager for the Portland, Ore., office. In his current role, he is responsible for the leadership and development of more than 30 special inspectors, technicians, administrative professionals and managers. Tickner helps mentor and develop younger staff members. At Terracon, he participates in safety leadership teams, serves as a coach for the emerging leaders program and plays an integral role within the firm’s quality management system. Tickner is also a member of the Oregon Society of Health Engineers, which assists in the modernization of health care systems. He also volunteers with a local youth rodeo, a parent’s club and youth sports clubs.
Plays a vital role in working with multiple community stakeholders
39, Senior Director, Local Business Leader
A professional engineer and certified planner, Way brings a well-rounded perspective to projects and leadership roles. After studying engineering, she earned dual master’s degrees in both transportation engineering and urban planning at UC Berkley. That background has helped greatly with her interdisciplinary work on infrastructure projects. Way has held leadership roles on multiple large, complex projects, including currently serving as project manager for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Crenshaw North Extension Environmental Clearance. On this project, she leads a technical team and plays a vital role in working with multiple community stakeholders. Before this, she served as Southern California director of projects for the California high-speed rail project. At WSP, she has held leadership roles such as operations manager, responsible for reviewing business performance. She has since taken on responsibility as senior director and local business leader, working across business lines to respond to staff needs and help implement WSP’s business strategy.
Helps shape strategy for high-profile clients
32, Project Manager & Program Advisory Consultant (Supervisor)
After receiving a master’s degree, Wong solidified his technical experience in civil and rail design with AECOM and soon progressed into his current roles in project management and program delivery. His proactive pursuit of opportunities led his career to multiple continents, ranging from Asia, Europe and the Middle East to California, where he currently practices. These experiences have allowed him insight into different industry systems, project delivery practices and organizational and business operations. Wong now sits on multiple client account management teams, helping shape strategies for AECOM’s high-profile clients. As part of AECOM’s early careers recruitment and development process, he contributed to the West region transportation group graduate onboarding and development program and is a founding member of the global young professional forum, which connects staff worldwide. To continue his growth in the industry, he is currently studying for an MBA.
His love of building help led him to co-found his own company
Precision Construction Services
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Wright co-founded Precision Construction Services with two rock climbing friends in 2013. He oversees the construction division and has been project executive on the first rocket-landing facility on the West Coast at Vandenberg Space Force Base, the world’s first hyperloop tunnel for SpaceX, the 880-acre Pismo Preserve in San Luis Obispo County, the first steel fiber-reinforced concrete transit tunnel in the U.S. for The Boring Co. and many other projects. In March 2022, Precision was named onsite contractor for the Missile Defense Agency at Vandenberg. With his love for building, he used the state of California’s Horatio Alger scholarship for disadvantaged students to study construction management at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. After building a school, a stadium and a factory in South and East Africa, he returned to California and became a lecturer on sustainable development and a vice president at Hilyard Concrete Construction before founding Precision.
Abdul Aziz Zoua started Giroux’s innovation committee, implementing 360-degree photo documentation, creating a labor hour database and using artificial intelligence to create a custom model to detect scratches on framing of glass systems.
Abdul Aziz Zoua
Responsible for the planning and execution of major glazing projects
38, Project Executive for California
Giroux Glass Inc.
As a young boy in Syria, Zoua’s love for construction grew as he worked for his father’s construction company, which focused on glass systems and architectural metal. Zoua’s professional path started in Saudi Arabia with ARTIC as a precast production engineer. He then worked for Seele group GmbH as a QA/QC senior engineer, supervising glazing, curtain wall and skylight installations. When he came to the U.S., his dedication paid off when he became a citizen and began working in his new country. In 2015, he joined Giroux Glass as project manager, responsible for planning and execution of major glazing projects, including Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Donald Dungan Library (named a 2021 ENR Best Project). Zoua is also forward thinking and started Giroux’s innovation committee, where he implemented 360-degree photo documentation, created a labor hour database and is using artificial intelligence to create a custom model to detect scratches on framing of glass systems.