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About NAWIC Detroit 183

NAWIC Builds Detroit
 
  • RITA BROWN
  • President, BCC+   
  • Role within NAWIC/NAWIC Detroit         
Past President. 
Parliamentarian adviser to current Board
Regional Director candidate
  • Why the construction industry?             
  • Opportunity, passion and achievement.  The opportunities in construction are astounding.  I was thrust into the industry while still in high school working in my father's detailing and engineering construction business.  I stayed in the business of building because I recognized the rewards of being involved in construction.  Parity, opportunity and having been able to provide for my family and achieve goals that I didn't even know I had when I started is what has kept me energized and dedicated to this industry.
  • Why NAWIC works for me?                   
  • I joined NAWIC as a small business owner because even looking around my own offices I could see that women were under-represented.  NAWIC is and was a great place to connect with other women in the industry.  I will be honest, NAWIC is what you make of it, like any other organization.  For me, it was a direct conduit to increased relevance in the industry, connecting to new project opportunities and when I brought the concept to the Board, was the first org, along with LTU to support and promote  The Build Initiative Project Accelerate. 

NAWIC Member highlight WIC Week Kathi D

KATHI DOBSON

Safety Director, Alberici Constructors, Inc.

NAWIC Detroit – Member; Co-chair of the Greater Palm Beach Chapter of the OSHA-NAWIC Alliance

What is your role within NAWIC/NAWIC Detroit?
I’ve held every chapter position except treasurer. I’ve been regional and national Safety & Health Committee Chair and am currently co-chair with Schelle Woods of the Greater Palm Beach Chapter of the OSHA-NAWIC Alliance.
 
Why the construction industry?
I’ve always felt the industry chose me. After working in a hospital and in a manufacturing setting, I was in a position where I needed a job. I sent my resume EVERYWHERE, and the only company that I ever connected with was Alberici. When I went to work for them, it was without a promise of anything permanent, and I feel as if I will close out my career in construction and with Alberici. Now that I’m established, I find that my passion for the industry grows all the time, and I feel as if I’ve made a real difference, especially related to the safety and health of women in our industry – something that would not have happened had I not had to make a choice 19 years ago.
 
Why NAWIC works for me:
I joined the association in January 2001 and NAWIC works for me because I try to work for it. I feel that if you belong to an association, you need to support that association in order to get the full benefit of membership. NAWIC has its flaws, but I see it striving to be relevant and pursuing avenues that will advance the success of women in our industry.
 
As a personal “plug” for the association, all the materials sent and shared by the Safety & Health Committee and OSHA-NAWIC Alliance is “worth the cost of admission”. If a company or individual were to have to research everything these chapters provide, take the time to look for (free) industry webinars that are relevant and have to search out tool box talks that we provide, for the most part, the costs would exceed the cost of our NAWIC membership.
 
It also has provided me with friends and colleagues across the country, especially the alliance team, including Schelle; Amy Berg of Fargo-Moorhead; past National Presidents Nancy Eaton – Las Vegas and Jane Williams – Phoenix; the San Antonio Chapter, the St. Louis Chapter, the San Diego Chapter, the Fort Worth and Waco Chapters (all the chapters who’ve welcomed me while I travel), the Northeast region, and especially my “go-to” women from our chapter (both past and present), North Central Region and Board. I really feel connected, regardless of where I go in the country, because of NAWIC.
 
 
 
 BARB BAKER 1

 

BARB BAKER

Transition Remodeling and Forever Builders

NAWIC Detroit – Member

“The construction industry found me. After retiring when my husband did and anticipating years of leisure, that didn’t happen. My husband was diagnosed with brain cancer, and his symptoms required he use a wheelchair. I found that neither the doctors nor anyone at the hospital could offer information or assistance when it came to altering and reconfiguring our home to work with a wheelchair. It was a painful time, made more so by the difficulties of coping with a user-unfriendly house.

After my husband’s death, during a remodeling project, I met Tim Saling who had recently launched a remodeling business with a focus on helping the aging and disabled remain safe at home with modifications that made sense. I hired on as a business consultant in 2011 and believed in the business goals so much, I risked taking money from my retirement savings to accept an offer to become a full-time partner in the business in which I am now President and CEO. We changed the name to Transitions Remodeling because we believe what we do helps people going through all of life’s transitions. With a focus on good design and providing an exceptional client experience with our crews of talented carpenters we have grown from 4 employees to 25 in 5 years. We launched a new venture, Forever Builders, where we are building beautiful, energy efficient, healthy homes where people with mobility issues and those who are able can stay in their homes well into their elder years while living comfortable, complete lives.
 
NAWIC provides me with learning opportunities that truly relate to my career. I didn’t start out with a construction background. I consider myself a building industry professional today and I can truly say that the opportunity to attend Project Accelerate in 2015 contributed to my growth. I also appreciate the many women professionals I can call on for advice and support when I have questions or need a resource.”

 
CHERYL BOWLSON 1
 
CHERYL BOWLSON
Cheryl Bowlson Consulting, LLC
NAWIC Detroit – Board Member and Chairperson, Events Committee

"At the time I entered the construction industry I needed a job. I was offered an opportunity to work as an analyst in the City of Detroit, Contract Compliance Division. My original responsibilities were to certify minority, women-owned, Detroit Headquartered and Detroit Based businesses. However, there was also a position open in the division to monitor all the city’s construction projects to ensure that the trade labor on site included Detroit residents, minorities and females. I was asked to oversee and manage this compliance program in addition to my other duties. Although at the time I was clueless about construction, I looked forwarded to the challenge. Through hard work, and determination to ensure that minorities and women have a fair opportunity in the industry, I was very successful in my efforts and became an expert in business and workforce diversity inclusion area. This year marks my 33rd year in the construction industry and seven of these years as an independent diversity consultant.
 
NAWIC works for me because it provides me an opportunity to network and share my ideals and challenges with other women professionals in the construction industry. Construction in my early years was a male dominated industry and the only roles held by women were administrative/clerical. Today, women are leaders in every aspect of construction including, but not limited to, business owners, project estimators, project managers, architectural design engineers, etc. These are the women that you meet and become friends with at NAWIC Detroit events. That is why NAWIC Detroit works for me. Thank you NAWIC Detroit!"
 
 
 
NAWIC-Detroit
 
NAWIC Detroit 183 is a vibrant S.E. Michigan organization actively promoting the tenets of service to our community, integrity in 
all things and education in our workplaces while assisting our members in our respective construction related careers. Our members come from all levels of the construction related fields and include individual, professional, trades, and corporate members. All are welcome!