Did you ever see yourself having a career in construction?
Ashley Rodriguez: Nope.
Allison Mathews: Not at all. Sometimes it still makes me laugh.
Kara Carreon: Yes – Growing up my Grandfather, my role model, was always a part of some type of construction project and I loved watching the difference he would make in our community.
Sarah Stellor: Growing up construction was a part of my life. My father, grandfather, and uncles were all carpenters, and I was surrounded by their amazing craftsmanship. So, while I never thought I would become a part of the construction industry, I find it ironic that I ended up here. Even though I’m not physically building structures, I have gained an immense appreciation for construction and what the JHL team can do. I’m excited and proud to be here!
Allison Muldowney: Absolutely. I love construction, and everything that comes with it.
Natasha Cantu: I didn’t seek out construction specifically, but I knew I wanted to be part of a community with diverse backgrounds and diverse fields of education that came together to make a vision a reality. I like that construction is a repeat business. We want to keep customers happy, so they want to continue working with us. We have that same mindset in HR. We want our team members to enjoy work, so they continue working with us. I hope people keep the human connection part of construction because it really is a people business through and through.
What was your first introduction/job in the AEC industry?
Allison Mathews: The first time I was exposed to the construction scene was when the ladies of the office were able to do a jobsite tour. It was fascinating to watch our craft team in action, and realize the immense amount of details that go into creating a building.
Kara Carreon: Accounting/Compliance Manager.
Sarah Stellor: My introduction to the AEC industry began nearly two decades ago when I joined JHL as the receptionist. Our founder, John Hachmeister, was an amazing leader who truly believed in investing in his people and creating a work environment that allowed people to make a career out of it and retire with the company. I was fortunate to work closely with John, his confidence in me gave me the opportunity to build a career that I could be proud of. His values, vision and leadership have been instrumental in my career success, and even more importantly, helped to shape who I am today. I am now in the privileged position to be able to pay it forward as the Director of Culture, and I will always cherish this opportunity.
Allison Muldowney: Accounts Payable/Payroll.
What do you love most about your career?
Ashley Rodriguez: I love that there are no limits as long as you work hard.
Allison Mathews: I absolutely love the people that I get to help and work with on a daily basis.
Kara Carreon: Watching the projects from start to finish.
Sarah Stellor: The people I get to work with are the driving force behind my career. They are a team of incredibly talented and experienced professionals who bring enthusiasm and dedication to the industry. Their passion for our company pushes us all to strive for excellence, and I’m honored to be a part of it. We don’t just build physical structures, but strong relationships, a place of belonging and a sense of camaraderie, enduring memories, and successful careers. Together, we work to be the best builder in the industry, and the results speak for themselves.
Allison Muldowney: The people 100%. In my role I get to work with everyone, and all types of personalities and I love it. I get to know them all, help answer their questions, and that makes me happy.
Natasha Cantu: I love studying trends and focusing on data analytics. One thing that continues to grow each year in the construction industry is more women are graduating with degrees in Construction Management and more women with technical skills are joining the craft labor pool. I love seeing women in the industry today, paving the way for the next generation of females.
What is the most surprising thing about being in the industry?
Ashley Rodriguez: It’s never just about the project, when we have a customer we do our best to take care of them as well.
Allison Mathews: The vast amount of details involved in every aspect of the building process.
Sarah Stellor: The construction industry never ceases to amaze me. It’s a field that is constantly evolving and innovating, and every new project brings with it the potential for something unexpected. Whether it’s a new bridge or a simple renovation, I’m always in awe of the creativity and skill that goes into making these projects a reality. The construction industry truly is a force to be reckoned with!
What is your advice for women starting out in the industry?
Ashley Rodriguez: Don’t let anyone dim your light, stand strong, you belong here.
Allison Mathews: Construction can be fast paced, but rewarding. Deep breaths, ask questions, keep an open mind, stay positive, and work hard. You got this!
Kara Carreon: As a woman, we can accomplish anything put in front of us.
Sarah Stellor: Be bold, be confident, have passion! Set the example for your peers and future women in the industry. Women are making strides in the construction field, and it’s up to all of us to keep the momentum going. Have the courage to challenge the status quo and be open to new ideas and perspectives. Build your skills and knowledge and take advantage of opportunities presented to you. Most importantly, have fun. If you’re not having fun, find a new path that will bring you joy and success! With a positive attitude, the possibilities are endless!
Allison Muldowney: Go after what you want. Construction isn’t just for men, there are a lot of great women out there doing great things for this industry.
Natasha Cantu: Find your seat at the table – no really! Sit in meetings, absorb knowledge, be engaged, and ask questions. Be honest with people that you’re still learning. No matter how long someone has been in the industry, we are all still learning, and most people are willing to share their expertise with you so take advantage of that early on. Share your knowledge as well, you are a valuable member of the team even if you’re just starting out.