|Winner of 2013 Woman of Distinction Award Announced|
WICA has announced the winner of their third Woman of Distinction award.
Sheryl Meyers, operations manager with KutRite, has been awarded the prestigious Women of Distinction award for her “can-do” spirit and never-ending desire to please the customer.
“Since beginning her career with KutRite in the summer of 2004, two words have summarized everything about Sheryl and those two words are world class,” said Rick Sollars, a partner in KRMC LLC, the owners and operators of KutRite. “Sheryl has been challenged with new product launches, product branding, and complete customer satisfaction. She has always exceeded what was expected of her.”
“I have had the privilege to work with Sheryl for several years now and one of the more impressive skills she has is the way she can communicate with the predominantly male industry,” said Bryon Bruington, Technical Sales Director for KutRite. “Sometimes dealing with the customer in this industry can be tough, especially with the rapid schedules that have been placed on the contractors. Sheryl has the calming ability to talk the customer through the situation and yet have the fierce passion to protect herself and KutRite at any given time. I am really glad Sheryl is on my team.”
In her nine years with the KutRite, Meyers has held various potions and was elevated to operations manager in 2011. She is a key member of a team that transformed the company into a major player in the concrete polishing and scarifying market. To this day, Meyers remains the voice of KutRite when it comes to the scarifying line of equipment.
The Women of Distinction award nominees were submitted to the organization during the fall. The winner was chosen by members of the Women in Concrete Alliance Board of Directors.
Last year’s winner was Rosa Olivia Becerra, owner/president of Cortamex, a diamond blade supplier in Tijuana, Mexico.
According to Kari Moosmann, co-founder of WICA, the Award was created to celebrate women in the industry. “It was so encouraging to see how both men and women were sending in nominations for the award,” said Moosmann. “I believe this award will help reinforce that women are a valued resource in the concrete construction industry.”
WICA co-founder Kimberly Kayler noted that Meyer’s “can-do” spirit truly signifies the soul of the Women in Concrete Alliance. “Sheryl Meyers embodies the true meaning of this award and WICA – working hard for the sake of the customer, while forging the way so other women can follow in her example,” said Kayler. The Woman of Distinction award gives us a chance to celebrate heroes such as Meyers.”
|Women Converse on Jobs and Trends|
Once again, the Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas was an outstanding success last week. The seventh annual event targeted the hot issue of employment trends — discussing the ongoing efforts to support women in traditionally male fields and how to take advantage of new career opportunities. The speakers this year concentrated on how to create job growth for women in the concrete construction industry. Important insights were provided into the challenges specific to women in the concrete industry, and how women can poise themselves for success in an uncertain economy.
The first speaker, Sara Andon, is a graduate assistant in the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Program at Middle Tennessee State University. Andon discussed the new Executive MBA program in concrete and construction management and how this development opportunity benefits women in all stages of their concrete industry careers. Andon is a graduate of the CIM bachelor’s program and is currently pursuing her Executive MBA through the new program. Andon spoke about how CIM can help the female population excel in their concrete careers. “CIM can be the source for women to further themselves in their career,” said Andon. “There’s not a single other MBA that concentrates on concrete and construction.”
Next, Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Concrete Association (PCA) provided an outlook on industry job growth, employment trends, and offered insights to help attendees best position themselves for success. He explained that one in four women in the construction industry lost their job during the recession, yet the industry has kept a constant percentage of 9% women in the construction field. Additionally, he finds that women are stronger in the environmental area, where women make up 1% of the jobs. He expects the environmental field to be a future strong area for job growth.
“This whole movement of sustainability will be fueled not by ‘I want to be nice,’ but by ‘I’m cheap,’” said Sullivan, as he explained how sustainable/environmental solutions will save money. Sullivan predicts, “We won’t see an improvement in the construction job market until late 2013 to 2014.”
Kimberly Kayler, president, Constructive Communication, Inc., rounded up the speakers by representing the U.S. Department of Transportation Roundtable on Women in Blue Collar Transportation Careers. She explained how government-sponsored efforts to create opportunities can benefit women in concrete careers. As co-chair of a task force targeted at young women and girls focused on conducting outreach and awareness about blue-collar transportation careers, many key challenges were discussed that exist for women in the industry. Kayler shared research from an online dialogue held over a four week period this past summer, which outlined a plan of action to build a stronger network for women in and interested in the transportation industry.
“Several barriers exist for women entering the industry such as difficult work culture, lack of basic skills and information about opportunities,” said Kayler. “As women in the concrete industry, we know that there is a tremendous opportunity for blue- and white-collar jobs in our market. That is why an industry-wide effort is needed.”
The luncheon crowd provided many spirited questions during the final Q & A. In particular, attendees were interested in how they can target their business to respond to the economy and how they can get involved in Roundtable on Women in Blue Collar Transportation Careers.
At the end of the luncheon, attendees were asked to vote for the 2012 Woman of Distinction Award winner, which honors a woman of influence in the concrete industry. Last year’s winner, Rosa Olivia Becerra Blancarte, was recognized at the luncheon. The award was established by the Women in Concrete Alliance (WICA) — a networking organization for women in the concrete industry.
The Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum is sponsored by Concrete Construction magazine and The Concrete Producer magazine and held each year at the World of Concrete in Las Vegas.
|Results Announced for the National Online Dialogues on Women in Blue-Collar Transportation|
On June 3rd, Kimberly Kayler from the Women in Concrete Alliance had the opportunity to participate in an inaugural roundtable for women working in skilled, blue-collar transportation careers at the US Department of Transportation. During this roundtable, we joined approximately 25 other national organizations to identify unique challenges and opportunities for women working in skilled transportation-related jobs.
This is a non-partisan effort centered on conducting outreach and awareness about careers in the transportation industry, introduce skills training, creating a healthy and respectful work environment, as well as coordinate efforts throughout the industry. Why is this important?
However, there are five barriers to women entering the trades:
Following the success of the roundtable, two online dialogues were held that focused on the image, recruitment and retention of women in blue-collar transportation jobs. On Oct. 13, the roundtable members gathered again at the U.S. Department of Transportation to review the results and discuss next steps. The results of this effort can be downloaded here.
We will continue to post updated information about this effort and welcome your participation.
Good Read! One woman's part in building the Alaskan Pipeline
In Pipe Dream: An Alaskan Adventure, D.B. Brownlow brings along on a modern day "gold rush" as she provides an insightful and often humorous look into her role in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System construction project in the 1970s. Not content with living a comfortable life in suburban Michigan, Brownlow recounts her quest for unknown horizons and unchartered land while providing insight into the challenging project, complicated by extreme cold and isolated terrain. More
A Blueprint for Change
Women in the Economy – an Executive Task Force
The Women in the Economy conference is uniquely interactive: in sessions facilitated by the Journal's editors, the invitation-only membership creates the content via working groups, voting and vigorous discussions. After hearing from experts in a range of fields and reviewing original research on top Fortune 500 companies provided by McKinsey & Company exclusively for the Task Force, the members develop innovative recommendations for maximizing the potential of women in the workforce.
The conference convenes from April 30 to May 2, 2012 at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Participation is by invitation only. Applications are welcome. Find more information or request an invitation here.
Resources about women in the U. S. economy
Women in the Economy, Selected Exhibits An addendum to the special report "Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy". Link
|Winner of 2012 Woman of Distinction Award Announced|
WICA has announced the winner of their second Woman of Distinction award.
Kilah Engelke, apprenticeship coordinator for Milwaukee OPCMIA Local 599, was voted the winner of the award for her dedication to her craft and her commitment to her crew. She has been a cement finisher with the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association for the past 11 years. “Winning this award is truly an honor for me, as it is proof that hard work and determination does not go unrecognized,” said Engelke.
“For well over a decade, I have literally shed blood, sweat, and even sometimes tears in my ongoing quest to gain and maintain the respect of my crew and to be successful in this nontraditional position,” said Engelke. “Part of the beauty of the construction industry is that a little heart goes a long way, and I am so thankful that I have had the chance to prove myself and what's in my heart through my passion for concrete.”
In her nomination, it was noted that, as a woman in a predominantly male industry, Engelke exemplifies what it means to work and succeed in construction and that quality is proven by her day-to-day commitment to her crew and to her trade. She is highly respected by the people she works with and for, as she has worked very hard to be a valuable and important part of her crew.
In October 2011, Engelke was hired as the first ever apprenticeship coordinator for the Milwaukee OPCMIA Local 599. Her passion for concrete and for her job was recognized as a needed catalyst for the future success of the growing and respected program.
“I look forward to continuing to share my love for my work through my position as apprenticeship coordinator in Milwaukee,” said Engelke. “I am truly excited for the challenge I have ahead of me now to uphold the title of Woman of Distinction in Concrete 2012, and to continue to prove that women can succeed in the world of concrete.”
The Women of Distinction Award was voted on by the participants of the Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum at the World of Concrete in January. Honorees of this year’s award include Kimberly Corwin, president, A.H. Harris & Sons, Inc.; Amy Miller, senior resource director, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; Sherri Casilio, president, 4 Winds Concrete, Inc.; Kari Yuers, CEO and president, Kryton International, Inc.; Dana Horstmeier, customer service coordinator, Champion Precast, Inc.; and Kristen Braden, PE, construction project manager, H. R. Gray, Inc.
Last year’s winner was Rosa Olivia Becerra, owner/president of Cortamex, a diamond blade supplier in Tijuana, Mexico. Becerra was present at the Women in Concrete luncheon to greet women with questions on doing business in Mexico.
According to Kari Moosmann, co-founder of WICA, the Award was created to celebrate women in the industry.
“It was so encouraging to see how involved the women were with choosing the recipient of the award,” said Moosmann. “This award really means a lot to the women who voted and the nominees. I believe it will help reinforce that women are a valued resource in the concrete construction industry.”
WICA co-founder Kimberly Kayler noted that Engelke truly signifies the spirit of the Women in Concrete Alliance.
“Kilah Engelke embodies the true meaning of this award and WICA – forging the way so other women will have opportunities and sharing the experiences to make a better marketplace for us all,” said Kayler. “The Woman of Distinction award gives us a chance to celebrate heroes such as Engelke.”
For a complete overview of the 2012 nominees, click here.