Leading Together

My career has been marked with some incredible opportunities. As a rookie teacher, I was asked to help develop a new curriculum on leading yourself for middle schoolers and then allowed to teach that for the next five years. My tenure at Hewlett Packard showed a small-town girl the world and how people are people everywhere. Leadership is about knowing yourself and allowing others the grace and the space to be themselves to their best ability. Oil and gas gave me time offshore and HUET (Helicopter Underwater Egress Training). Rig life taught me about transparency and authenticity. If you walk in thinking you know everything, don’t expect to learn anything. Ask questions, and you will learn the essential things more quickly. And as women show no fear, men are just people, too. Leadership training happens to me every day. 

Coming into construction, I had a fair amount of experience and many ideas about how to learn the industry best. I returned to my time in over-the-road trucking to remember everyone wants to be seen, heard, and valued. I see this in every event we have at C3. As an industry, we are incredibly proud of our work, contribution to society, and sharing that unique experience with others. You have seen this in action if you have attended any of our #SHEbuildsHouston events. People standing in the blazing heat outside of Alief Center for Advanced Careers talking about their jobs and actively planning for next year’s even better booth demo, others soaked to the bone in wind and rain outside of Aldine’s M. O. Campbell Center doing the same, proves that if you give the industry a platform, we will brag on ourselves. And trust me, I see each of you, and what you do is spectacular. I admire the support we see for bringing our message to the next generation that the built environment is genuinely “the bomb.”

This year, as I got the privilege to board about half the buses and welcome young women into the event, I told them three things needed to happen for them to have a good day. First, they had to understand that nobody (except the Wicked Witch) ever died from the rain. Second, if you want to use a camera around construction equipment, you better have your head up and your hard hat secure. And finally, you have all been told that knowledge is power, but I would contend that knowledge is just knowledge, and power is what you do with it once you possess it. They probably thought this old lady was crazy because maybe I am. However, all the knowledge I gathered over the years is what gave me the power to commit to making that first #SHEbuildsHouston a reality.

Each year, that event has grown, and someone new has shown up and done something extraordinary that inspires another someone to do more the following year. The support and drive of our industry make that event possible. Many of you might not know that the proceeds of that event are split between the NAWIC Houston Construction Scholarship and the C3 Trades Scholarship, established in 2024. We don’t do any of this without your innovation and sponsorship. So, thanks to all of you who sponsored, and a special thanks to Turner Construction Foundation, who presented us with a 20,000 dollar check at the event. Gifts of your creativity, time, and funding make the ripples of our impact bigger. Thank you, construction industry, for teaching me that leadership is selfless, generous, and collaborative. You are each my favorite – shh, don’t tell anyone else 😊.

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