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Professional Women in Construction Showcases New York’s Design Leaders

Professional Women in Construction showcased New York’s creative designers at its first event under newly appointed executive director Chelsea LeMar’s leadership.

Mon October 19, 2015 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Professional Women in Construction showcased New York’s creative designers at its first event under newly appointed executive director Chelsea LeMar’s leadership.

“We will remain true to our core values of advancing opportunities for women while expanding our work in mentorship and scholarship to offer more avenues for women to grow and succeed in the industry,” LeMar said at the “Meet New York’s Innovative Design Professionals” event, held Sept. 15 at Club 101 in NYC. LeMar holds an international background in budgeting and has worked on infrastructure development and with U.S. federal agencies. She was introduced by PWC President and President of Armand Corporation Barbara Armand

Staying on message with LeMar and the evening’s theme, Nancy Goshow, managing partner, Goshow Architects LLP, spoke of the creative paths the firm is taking to integrate work and family life which “helps develop women leaders,” including childcare solutions which prove that “babies are good for business.” Families are welcome at Goshow Architects. She stressed the firm’s dedication to the current mayoral initiative One City: Built to Last, committed to reducing greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050.

Presenter Kiyomi Troemner, Goshow Architects’ Studio leader and senior associate, introduced the firm’s co-founder as a “great mentor” devoted to “innovation and sustainability.”

Katie Devlin, senior project architect, HLW International, the sole female project architect on staff when she first joined the firm more than 20 years ago, said that whether a project involves 300 or one million square feet, remaining open allows you to “learn something new every day.” She spoke of work at 270 Park Avenue, at the new HBO Communications Center, and for Standard & Poor’s new global technology center. Presenter Susan Kaplan, managing director of sustainability and specifications at HLW, praised Devlin’s professionalism, ethics and sense of humor.

Kim Ferguson, managing principal, Robert Derector Telecommunications (RDT), “the only woman in the room” 25 years ago, spoke of RDT’s mission to uncover “creative, robust and innovative design solutions” guided by the firm’s hallmark, “flexibility.” She spoke of the “never-ending change” in IT, security and multimedia and of RDT projects in retail, corporate offices, academic institutions and hospitals — currently Jacobi and Mt. Sinai — and cultural centers such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Presenter Kay Lee, a PWC board member and business development manager at SimplexGrinnell, called the RDT co-founder a “sterling example of a woman who has achieved success in IT and construction.”

Guy Zummo, chief civil engineer, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), discussed the agency’s $27.5B 10-year capital plan noting that consultants now perform 80 percent of construction and related work “allowing us to see other points of view.” He stressed opportunities and the PANYNJ’s “rigorous” WMBE participation policy. Presenter Jennifer Bates, principal engineer, PANYNJ, applauded Zummo’s 30-year career at the agency and his engineering expertise.

Jill Lerner, principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC (KPF), expressed optimism on the “swelling number of talented women” entering the profession. She also praised public/private partnerships and associations that “make us a more creative industry as we move ahead”; noted KPF’s focus on design quality and teamwork and her own concentration on science and tech. Lerner outlined work in transit-oriented development (One Vanderbilt; Port Authority Bus Terminal Master Plan), and in affordable and public housing (NYCHA Red Hook resilience project). Presenter Nancy Czesak, PWC vice president and first vice president Tishman, an AECOM Company, pledged PWC’s ongoing support for all devoted to opening doors for women.

Keith Fitzpatrick, senior principal, Syska Hennessy Group, discussed Syska’s vision to develop and retain a more diverse workforce.

“We have made progress and are committed to keeping the talent with us,” said Fitzpatrick. Presenter Kristin Liu, senior associate business development, Syska Hennessy, spoke of Syska’s contribution to the United Nations Capital Master Plan renovation, a project incorporating many WMBEs and reflecting Fitzpatrick’s passion for “high-performance solutions” and advocacy of energy conservation.

Event sponsors were: HAKS; Syska Hennessy Group and A. Esteban & Company. Exhibitors included Evergreene Architectural Arts; Lizardos Engineering; Minority Business Development Institute; Cole Schotz PC; Grassi & Co.; and Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health.

Celebrating its 35th year in 2015, PWC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1980.

For information, call 212/486-7745 or visit

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