2023 GWIC Conference Agenda

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Exhibitor Set-up
4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Registration: Pre-Conference Check-in
Registration kiosks will be open starting at 4pm. Pick up your badge Wednesday evening, and have a drink on us in the Registration lounge area.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
6:00 AM – 7:00 AM
Registration: Pre-Conference Check-in
7:30 AM – 8:25 AM
Registration, Continental Breakfast & Exhibits
8:25 AM – 8:35 AM
Program Welcome & Introduction
Janice L. Tuchman, Executive Editor, Events, Engineering News-Record
Mindy Gentile, Of Counsel, Peckar & Abramson P.C.
8:35 AM – 8:40 AM
Safety Moment
Erica Berardi, AGC of California
8:40 AM – 9:30 AM
Keynote Building Her Way: "What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?"
Linda Alvarado, President & CEO, Alvarado Construction
Construction firm chief executive and Colorado Rockies co-owner Linda Alvarado has spent her life breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo. As president and CEO of Alvarado Construction, a large commercial general contractor in Denver, and the first woman and first Hispanic owner of a major league baseball team, she will share insights about when women need to go against convention and why risk-taking is worth it.
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Panel From Potential to Progress—New Legislation Creates Opportunities for Construction Professionals
Minelly De Coo, Office of N.Y. Governor
Carol Haddock, City of Houston
Jimmy O'Dea, Caltrans
Kristina Swallow, ASCE
Moderator Maria Lehman, ASCE
This panel will explore how new funding streams from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act are reaching communities, spurring essential infrastructure construction and providing jobs. In addition to IIJA's huge investments, the Inflation Reduction Act offers $30 billion in production tax credits to accelerate U.S. manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and critical minerals processing, as well as up to $20 billion in loans to build new clean vehicle manufacturing facilities and $10 billion in investment tax credits for clean technology production. The CHIPS Act is a $280-billion spending package set to encourage U.S.-based semiconductor industry growth. Our experts from various levels of government will talk about projects and programs in the pipeline spurred by this funding as well as the challenges still ahead.
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Morning Break: Refreshments, Networking, Exhibits
Sponsored by
11:00 – 11:55 AM
Breakout Sessions
Track APathways and Barriers – Journeys of Women Reaching for AEC Leadership
Paul Hickey, University of Maryland
Qingbin Cui, University of Maryland
This investigation explores the career professional journeys of 20 women leaders in AEC leadership. Selected from ENR’s Top 400 firms, these women shared the richness of their stories, discussing successes, challenges, and significant experiences impacting their path up the corporate ladder. Responses offer insight to assess underlying root causes for women’s underrepresentation in the industry. Further, in developing a career roadmap for early and mid-career women, discussions sought best practices for deployment across AEC to improve diversity via initial recruiting and long term career nurturing. Success drivers included a supportive partner, early mentoring, and passion for the project mission. Learning Objectives
Earn: 1 PDH; AIA approval pending; 0.1 IACET CEU
Engineering RCEP AIA Continuing Education Provider Construction Management Certification Institute IACET PDH

Track B Adding Tools to Your Toolbox: Enlightened Construction Dispute Resolution Strategies
Kim Altsuler, Peckar & Abramson P.C.
Melinda Gentile, Peckar & Abramson P.C.
Disputes are inevitable during the design and construction process. Construction is technical, involves multiple parties, is typically document heavy, and can be very complex. This can give rise to disputes involving issues related to design, payment, schedule, delay, impacts, and productivity, just to name a few. This session will go beyond the basics of resolving construction disputes and will provide the audience with enlightened strategies to overcome disputes early, efficiently, and effectively, including the use of technical mediation.
This program is suitable for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Attendees will earn 1.0 California and New York CLE credit, and 1.1 Florida and New Jersey General CLE credits.

Track CWomen Lead Megaprojects: Big Growth, New Challenges
With billions now being invested to propel U.S. and North American manufacturing and energy independence, there is new potential for women to excel in industrial and infrastructure megaproject field management to showcase construction leadership skill. Join this session to learn about challenges and strategies from two veteran Fluor Corp. women project executives of a $14 billion natural gas export terminal in remote British Columbia. It is a Canadian model project for diversity outreach, with women making up 13% of a more than 5,000-person construction workforce—twice the industry average in Canada. Both have used diverse skill sets and field experiences to move their industry careers forward in new and high profile ways and to insure inclusive cutures beyond the office.
12:00 PM – 1:25 PM
Optional Facilitated Conversation tables
Join one of our topic-specific lunch tables for a facilitated conversation.

No One Here Looks Like Me
Emell Adolphus
Engineering News-Record

Influencing from the Entry Level
Emily Brown
McCownGordon Construction

Career Growth Circus
Kaylen Bushell

Mentoring Women on the Go
Nora Casanova
Karsten Interior Services

How to be a Roofing Contractor by Day and Mermaid by Night
Tamara Chase
Chase Roofing & Contracting

Designing the Balance: Motherhood & Leadership
Cecilia Chouhy
Mogavero Architects

Bursting at the Seams: Organizing Fast-Growing Companies for Inclusion and Diversity
Vera Galvez
, Maspeth Welding

The Hardest Worker on a Construction Project: A Working Mom
Arundhati Ghosh

Ask a Construction Lawyer
Melinda Gentile
Peckar & Abramson P.C.

Tiffany Harrod
Peckar & Abramson P.C.

Building & Fostering Relationships in the Construction Industry
Jennifer Harris
Peckar & Abramson

Building Community and Careers for Women in Construction
Dr. Irish Horsey

Book Your Tee Time for Career Advancement
Dana Kimble
The Pro Shop Seattle

Culture Correction: Fixing the Problems That Drive Women Out
Alice Leung
Brick & Mortar Ventures

People at the Center: How Focusing on Team Member Development Leads to Success
Emily Mathis
Gray Construction

Creating a Company Culture That Works for Women
Shannon McElveen
AIA Contract Docs

Self-Care in the Construction Industry
Denise Muth

Why AEC Women Need to Seek Sponsors
Theodora Oyie, Mindful Integration of Construction Services

Best Practices for Launching an Employee Resource Group
Laura Register

Intentionally Developing Women Leaders
Leslie Reyes
Zachry Construction Corp.

Fostering Collaboration among All Sides of a Construction Project
Yessy Rojas
PENTA Building Group

Let's Talk: Mental Health & Suicide in Construction
Ayah Rub
Penn State University

Empower Yourself Now - How to Mute That Inner Critic!
Ale Spray

Compelling, Impactful Content for a Women’s Employee Resource Group
Rebecca Zakowicz

1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
Breakout Sessions
Track A Life-Changing, Career-Making:
Two Non Profits Build Solutions and Industry Skill
Nivi Sharma, Bridges to Prosperity
Clare Haas Claveau, Engineers Without Borders USA
Over the last two decades, non-profits Bridges to Prosperity and Engineers without Borders have worked to reduce global poverty, rural isolation and climate change risk in providing critical infrastructure, life services and innovative technology through collective action and community-led efforts. Two women executives of these groups will share their dramatic successes and the mission still ahead—with a key focus on how the work has honed project management and leadership skills for thousands of industry professionals who have joined their efforts.

Track BTech Talk: From AEC to AI
Sandra Manninger, NY Institute of Technology
Saurabh Ladha, Doxel
Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a secret weapon among construction managers for its ability to help contractors reduce waste, risk and manage project skills. In this session, learn how AI innovations can help your firm work smarter, innovate and create a positive impact on your projects by giving your team some extra brain power.

Track C Helping Women Win: Careers in the Field
Maria Inlow, Skanska USA Buildings
Saria Gwin-Maye, Ironworkers Local 44, Cincinnati
This one-on-one, on-stage interview between two women with decades of experience in the field will feature an inside look at the personal journey of a woman ironworker explaining the challenges she’s faced as well as her accomplishments and pride in her career. The discussion will include balancing the essential on-site nature of construction with the needs of the workforce, and it will tell the story of how this ironworker found herself at the State of the Union address on national TV talking to President Biden.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
PanelFrom Intention to Impact—Partnering to Drive Change in Advancing Women
Melissa Berg, Dome Construction
Zylah Doria, WSP
Brian Dowd, Granite Construction
Sarah Narjes, Mortenson
Moderator Jorge Quezada, Granite Construction
How can companies move beyond hiring women to including and advancing them? This panel will explore how, similar to collaborating to make jobsites safer, success in engaging women is too big an issue for companies to solve on their own. It will take industry partnerships. How do we get more women to stay, and how do we ensure they are advancing within our companies at the right time (vs. being overqualified and having to leave to find opportunity)? How do we partner with our peer companies to become better together? The session will discuss successful strategies, how to operationalize them, and provide specific and actionable steps that we can all take to drive change within our organizations. Learning Objectives
Earn: 1 PDH; AIA approval pending; 0.1 IACET CEU
Engineering RCEP AIA Continuing Education Provider Construction Management Certification Institute IACET PDH
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Afternoon Break: Refreshments, Networking, Exhibits
Sponsored by
4:00 PM – 4:50 PM
Panel Strategic Thinkers—Women Make an Impact through Setting Direction
Denise Berger, AECOM
Susie Henderson, GHD
Fawn Radmanich, PCL
Moderator Tracey Smith, FMI
From senior executives setting a company’s course to the future to managers setting direction in pursuing major project awards, women’s strengths in strategy are being recognized and tested across the construction industry. Panelists will discuss the trend in women leading in these roles, bringing diversity that provides new ways of looking at a problems and the ability to sense market needs and deploy resources in the right direction.
4:50 PM – 5:30 PM
Closing Keynote Racial Justice at Work: Unlearning to Relearn
Thamara Subramanian, Equity Audit & Strategy Manager, The Winters Group Inc.
What is racial justice and how do we actualize organizational cultures that truly value a diverse workplace? Thamara Subramanian, Equity Audit and Strategy Manager at The Winters Group, Inc., and one of the co-authors of Racial Justice at Work: Practical Solutions for Systemic Change, will share strategic advice on how to bring justice to the forefront of existing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to create lasting, sustainable change. She will introduce behavioral science theories on culture, and then apply these frameworks to the workplace to offer practical ways of incorporating multicultural values and disrupting harmful norms for ourselves, our communities, and our workplaces.
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Refreshments, Networking, Exhibits
Friday, May 12, 2023
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Registration, Continental Breakfast & Exhibits
8:30 AM – 8:35 AM
Welcome to Day Two
Janice L. Tuchman, Executive Editor, Events, Engineering News-Record
Mindy Gentile, Of Counsel, Peckar & Abramson P.C.
8:35 AM – 9:35 AM
Panel Future Shock is Now—Women Lead Through New Levels of Project Risk
Sandy Hamby, MOCA Systems
Alicia Fowler, California High Speed Rail Authority
Beverly Hill, Balfour Beatty
Michele Luster, Swinerton
Moderator Seyran Celik, HKA
Construction sector professionals are facing what many say are unprecedented risks for projects, and their teams—from supply-chain bottlenecks to interest rate hikes and historic inflation. The impacts are already happening as project prices shift dramatically, contender bid lists shrink and work is scaled back or delayed. Will growing pressures, which come just as industry readies for a massive influx of federal funding, change the “Golden Age” for U.S. infrastructure into the “Great Repricing?” Women risk management experts across the project spectrum outline what’s happening, and how industry participants should prepare to insure the best possible outcomes now and ahead.
9:35 AM – 9:40 AM
Safety Moment
9:40 AM – 10:35 AM
Panel Groundbreaking Green Innovations
Melissa Gunter, San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board
Yayu Lin, Sares Regis of Northern California
Deepa Poduval, Black & Veatch
Erin McConahey, Arup
Moderator Scott Blair, Engineering News-Record
As the climate mitigation window shrinks and funding grows to ramp up sustainability and decarbonization efforts, green innovations around the world are setting a standard for success, allowing AEC firms to make the most of government and owner investments. In this panel, industry sustainability experts will present project case studies and business strategies on how developing green goals can be tied to tangible construction plans and more environmentally impactful projects.
10:35 AM – 11:20 AM
Closing Keynote Transforming Tomorrow: How Carey Smith Leads Change at Parsons and for Women in AEC's Future
Carey Smith, Chair & CEO, Parsons Corp.
Carey Smith has been instrumental in leading Parsons Corp. founded in 1944, to leverage its legacy engineering and technology skill to meet new and changing global needs—reshaping the firm’s culture under her watch and propelling it into a $4.2 billion hi-tech giant with 17,000 global employees. Smith will share key perspectives on how AEC firms can achieve success in transitioning for the future and why women must ignite needed transformation in seeking leadership roles at all levels.
11:20 AM – 11:35 AM
Closing Remarks
Janice L. Tuchman, Executive Editor, Events, Engineering News-Record
Mindy Gentile, Of Counsel, Peckar & Abramson P.C.


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