Top Young Professionals 2021 Virtual Agenda

All times are listed in Eastern Time
11:00am

Welcome Remarks


11:00am - 12:15pm

OPENING KEYNOTE

In an ever-evolving industry with ever-changing career paths and corporate hierarchies, making yourself not only memorable, but indispensable, makes strengthening your personal brand more essential than ever. Raising your personal profile will create leadership opportunities both within and outside of your company. Les Hiscoe, CEO at Shawmut Design and Construction, will discuss his path to CEO in an opening keynote, before moderating a session called Building Your Brand.

Les Hiscoe, CEO, Shawmut Design and Construction


PANEL: Build Your Brand

In this session panelists will unpack how to become one of your firm’s most valuable assets by building your network and developing business in the pandemic era. The panel will cover how to outline and expand your responsibilities, add value to your projects and develop strong relationships. Learning to create a “brand story” with blogs, social media and video will also help shape your talents, values and purpose.

Moderator

Les Hiscoe, CEO, Shawmut Design and Construction

Panelists

Kim Scott, Vice President, Business Development & Marketing, Blach Construction
Danielle Feroleto, President/Owner, Small Giants
Maisha Hagan, Owner and Head Coach, Beauty & the Boss, LLC


12:15pm - 12:30pm

Networking Break


12:30pm - 1:30pm

WORKSHOPS

Workshops will be interactive sessions with smaller groups of around 20 to 50 attendees, focused on building skills and advancing know-how in topic areas.

Workshop 1: Apply Winning Strategies from Allegiant Stadium to Your Own Project

Paul will discuss how the Mortenson-McCarthy joint venture successfully led a team of more than 200 firms—including designers, engineers, trade contractors, vendors and over 12,000 workers—to complete Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in under 31 months. Attendees will learn best practices on ways to align company cultures, leadership and talent to ensure cohesive communication and successful management of their own projects. Joel will discuss the development and implementation of interactive dashboards that visually translated the project’s 3D model information into actionable data that was easy to digest and share in a manner that was accessible, reliable, and intuitive to deploy. He’ll demonstrate how similar technology can be used to benefit other projects.
Paul Dudzinski, Project Executive, McCarthy Building Cos.
Joel Jacobson, Senior Integrated Construction Manager, Mortenson

Workshop 2: Storytelling 101

Storytelling 101 focuses on providing participants a base-level understanding of storytelling as a practice and its value for the AEC industry, then introduces a foundational three-step approach to crafting a successful story, which participants will explore in a “hands-on” breakout room. This virtual workshop provides an introduction to storytelling and a simple, replicable process for developing content from presentations to thought leadership articles to design documents and reports, leading them to outstanding and impactful results.
Seth Gamble, Knowledge Manager, Arup


1:30pm - 1:45pm

Networking Break


1:45pm - 2:30pm

PANEL: Listening is Overrated: Communication that Influences

With opening remarks by moderator Tim Klabunde, this session will be a myth buster. For the majority of our lives we’ve been told that listening is the key to great communication, and while it is an important element, it’s not alone. Influencing is another essential aspect of communication. Come and hear from an esteemed group of panelists who will challenge your mindset, leaving you with new tools for winning work, creating winning projects, getting invoices paid, and motivating your team to get on the same page. Communication is the most important tool that you use every day. This discussion will show you how to improve your communication style to make a positive impact on the people around you and get things accomplished.

Moderator

Tim Klabunde, FSMPS, CPSM, Principal, Timmons Group

Panelists

John Burke, Downtown Westminster Development & Construction Manager
Kimberly Davids, Vice President – Southwest, The Weitz Company
Sarah Terry, Construction Program Assistant, Oregon Department of Transportation


2:30pm - 2:45pm

Networking Break


2:45pm - 3:45pm

KEYNOTE: Inclusive Leadership in a Distributed Workforce

Jacobs’ drive toward diversity and inclusion focused first on gender, but for its 55,000-person global workforce, the events of this summer put a sharper focus on its efforts around people of color. While in the U.S., that may mean African Americans, Hispanic American and others, it can encompass an even wider range of backgrounds throughout Jacobs’ offices in 50 countries. The board, executive leadership and senior leaders as well as younger leaders have embraced the need to draw in underrepresented parts of society. In his Top Young Professionals Conference keynote, Pragada will share Jacobs’ journey to build teams that don’t look alike or think alike but are the most innovative and productive and identify solutions that could help firms of all sizes develop more inclusive thinking.

Bob Pragada, President and Chief Operating Officer, Jacobs


3:45pm-4:30pm

Networking Reception

Catch up with your peers for a virtual "cheers!" and continue to learn and collaborate with each other over video networking.


4:30pm - 5:30pm

National Top 20 Under 40 Awards Presentation

Meet our Top 20 under 40 National recipients and join us in celebrating this group of self-starting construction trendsetters and how they've pushed the industry’s new normal to unexpected places.

Sponsored by: Holt Construction Company

 

11am-12pm

PANEL: Achieving Diversity in Times of Crisis: Lessons Learned from New Orleans' Response to COVID-19 and Katrina

This panel discussion will focus on lessons learned for recruiting, mentoring and advancing diverse viewpoints in the workplace, even in times of major change and crisis. Speakers from underrepresented communities in AEC will examine diversity through the lens of how New Orleans overcame the challenges to reconstruct the city after hurricanes, and then the community had to rapidly adjust work protocols while suffering the highest COVID-19 death rate per capita in the U.S. Data will be presented on the success of diverse teams and beneficial effects on employee turnover and safety culture, as well as concrete strategies for teaming with minority-owned businesses.

Panelists

Mary Kincaid, PE, Sustainable Infrastructure Program Manager, City of New Orleans Project Delivery Unit
Sunae Villavaso , Director, Mayor's Office of Workforce Development, Office of Business and External Services (OBES)
Sonji White, Construction Manager for Vanir Construction Management
Angelica Rivera, President, Colmex Construction, LLC


12pm-12:15pm

Networking Break


12:15pm-1:15pm

PANEL: Stay Balanced, Work Smarter: Successful Work-life Integration

Balancing a family and career is a perennial struggle. Keeping work in one hand and life in the other is a challenge that throws many young professionals off balance, feeling that they don’t have enough time for either. Technology and the modern workplace make the lines between office and home blur even more, especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic as many feel pressured to be responsive in an “always on” culture. This session will focus on strategies to achieve an integration of work and life that will support success in both worlds. Panelists will offer real-life examples of what works and what doesn’t, strategies in time management, communication, planning and more.

Panelists

Angela Cotie, Project Executive, Gilbane Building Co.
Nicole McElroy, Project Executive, Leopardo Cos.
Kelly Brewer, COO, Tilson Technology Management, Inc.
Tim Pach, Senior Project Manager, Stanley Consultants


1:15pm-1:30pm

Networking Break


1:30pm-2:30pm

WORKSHOPS

Workshops will be interactive sessions with smaller groups of around 20 to 50 attendees, focused on building skills and advancing know-how in topic areas.

Workshop 3: Public Policy Leadership to Tackle the Engineering Challenges of the 21st Century

The world is facing an unprecedented wave of change. Accelerating technological progress, rapidly evolving societal needs and growing environmental imperatives, including climate change, all present significant, existential challenges and opportunities. Maintaining the status quo is not an option. This session will provide highlight the vision/mission and key learnings about the future of engineering from ECL – USA, a catalyst for change within the engineering community, helping it reach its highest potential on behalf of society in addressing the engineering challenges of the 21st century. The session will also include interactive discussions on public policy priorities to solve these challenges and the responsibility of the construction community to offer leadership in the realm of public policy. Screen reader support enabled.
Michael McMeekin, Executive Director, Engineering Change Lab – USA (ECL-USA)

Workshop 4: Unlocking the Mysteries of Marketing & Business Development in the Construction Industry

Most architecture, engineering and construction professionals have a general understanding of marketing and business development. You’ve learned the ins and outs through bosses, mentors and mostly from the school of hard knocks, but the big picture is a bit fuzzy. If you knew exactly what to do, you would do it—but you don’t, and so you feel stuck. Meanwhile, your firm’s backlog is lagging. Technical colleagues are unsure about networking. Your hit rate on key wins isn’t budging. And worst of all, you feel discouraged. Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. In this innovative presentation, A/E/C industry veteran Barbara Shuck, shares the 29,000-foot view of marketing and business development principles proven to engage newbies, mid-careerists and even veterans. Attendees will walk away with fresh insights about this dynamic industry, ready to take on new M/BD assignments with gusto!
Barbara Shuck, President, Everest Marketing Services


2:30pm-3:00pm

Networking Break


3:00pm-4:00pm

PANEL: Two-Way Street: How Traditional and Reverse Mentorships Increase Understanding and Knowledge Transfer

Tackling the idea of reverse mentorship--or the concept of members of a firm’s junior ranks tutoring top lieutenants--this panel discusses the value of such relationships, as well as mentorship at large. The panel will help you navigate these mentorships in order to best exchange skills, knowledge and understanding. This session will cover how to establish the proper foundation for a mentor/mentee relationship to thrive, including finding common ground and building trust. It will also show how mentoring will hone your skills and clarify your thinking in your chosen field, which is especially helpful for first-time managers. Finally, our panel will also discuss how mentoring can improve recruitment and retention in your organization.

Moderator

Somik Ghosh, Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma

Panelists

Elias Brooks, Senior Safety Manager, The PENTA Building Group
Ben Markham, Director, Architectural Acoustics, Acentech
Ryan Van Dyke, Senior Superintendent, Robins & Morton
Emily Brown, Director, Talent Development, McCownGordon Construction


4:00pm-4:15pm

Networking Break


4:15pm - 5:15pm

KEYNOTE PANEL: Construction’s Data-Driven Future

During this closing keynote by Suffolk’s chief data and innovation officer Jit Kee Chin and in a panel discussion to follow, this session will discuss harnessing the power of data analytics to arm construction professionals with the best possible information to build a project. Chin will share thoughts on how disciplined use of data analytics can drive process improvements, and what skill sets construction professionals should look to acquire in order to best leverage these new tools. By addressing people, process and technology, the panel will cover the major pillars needed to prepare construction for a data-driven future.

Keynote & Moderator:

Jit Kee Chin, EVP, Chief Data and Innovation Officer, Suffolk

Panelists

Matt Pappas, Chief Data Officer, Kiewit
Anna Jacobson, Senior Preconstruction Manager, Morley Builders
Sam Holden, Project Executive, Skanska USA Building Inc.


11:00am-12pm

PANEL: Reimagining Post-Pandemic Jobsites, Workspaces and Remote Collaboration

COVID-19 has ushered in rapid transformation of workplaces and work sites throughout the industry, from adopting tech tools that enable remote collaboration to rethinking hygiene and safety. Which of these changes will stay with us long term, and how do experts envision the workplace of the future as we emerge from the current pandemic and consider potential upcoming hazards?

Panelists

Danielle Dy Buncio, LEED AP, CEO, VIATechnik
Alexandre L’Heureux, President and CEO, WSP Global
Carl Heinlein, Sr. Safety Consultant, American Contractors Insurance Group
Stephen Harris, Associate, Pickard Chilton


12:00pm-12:15pm

Networking Break


12:15pm-1:15pm

PANEL: Safe and Sound in the Field

Cultivating and maintaining a safe job site requires project team leaders to balance complex psychological, cultural, emotional and social forces that can determine a project’s success—variables that have only been amplified in the COVID-19 era. Our panel of safety experts will discuss how ‘tough guy’ culture erodes safety and teamwork on the job site, how ‘emotional bank accounts’ build trusting relationships with team members and how young professionals can effectively engage craft workers. The panel will also talk about how to set expectations, remove barriers and hold people accountable to create a balance of safe production and strong repeatable actions.

Moderator

Abby Ferri, Senior Risk Control Consultant, Arthur J. Gallagher

Panelists

S. Murphy, Assistant Superintendent, Webcor Drywall
Reese Fortin, Area HSE Manager, Sundt Construction
David Madaras, President, Chesapeake Region Safety Council
Mitch Transtrum, Safety Director, Mortenson


1:15pm-1:30pm

Networking Break


1:30pm - 2:15pm

WORKSHOPS

Workshops will be interactive sessions with smaller groups of around 20 to 50 attendees, focused on building skills and advancing know-how in topic areas.

Workshop 5: Engage Employees, Recruit Talent, and Drive Company Culture Through NGO Partnerships

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Business with a Purpose programs are on the rise across the construction industry. In this workshop you will learn how companies are using CSR programs to provide team building opportunities, improve recruitment and retention, and further drive their own mission forward. We will discuss how young leaders are often the drivers behind CSR programs and what attendees can do to help create or advance programs in their companies. Attendees will explore how they can use their professional skills to support a range of development projects both from a local and international lens.
Devin Connell, Corporate Program Director, Bridges to Prosperity


2:15pm-3:00pm

Workshop 6: Innovation in Construction – Leveraging Emerging Technology in the Field

Brasfield & Gorrie is a leader in construction, an industry that benefits from long-held expertise. Thanks to more than 55 years in the business, we bring significant experience to the table. With innovation as one of our core values, we are constantly exploring new technology to improve our processes for the sake of both safety and efficiency. That exploration isn’t theoretical—we constantly use technology to solve real-world construction problems on our jobsites. Innovation and Operational Technology Manager Hunter Cole will share how Brasfield & Gorrie uses 3D modeling, virtual and augmented reality, laser scanning, drones, robotics, and wearable tech every day. He will also share insight from his own experience as a young professional leading some of these initiatives for one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms.
Hunter Cole, Innovation and Operational Technology Manager, Brasfield & Gorrie