In celebration of NAWIC’s Women In Construction Week 2021, we caught up with Rebekah Cihocki, Assistant Project Manager and Veronica Kirk, Project Administrator, for W. M. Jordan’s Trinity Landing Project. This large-scale, 516,000 square foot senior living facility features multi-story apartment homes, two-story villas, a waterfront pavilion and boat dock. The facility will also be home to multiple restaurants, a salon and spa, a state of the art wellness center and its very own beer garden!
Q: Please give us a brief history of your time in the construction industry:
Rebekah: When I was little, my mother owned a construction clean up company, so my siblings and I used to go with her and help. It restarted when I started working with a mechanical contractor with their finances and miscellaneous tasks. From there, I worked with a custom home builder with their architectural review board selections and bids. This led me to WMJ where I started as an administrator.
Veronica: I have been in construction for almost three years and it has been such a rewarding career choice. Being relatively new, the people at W. M. Jordan have really taken me under their wing and showed me what it takes to be successful in the construction industry.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about working in the construction industry?
Rebekah: I love that every day is different. You are always learning something new and meeting new people. Each project is such a unique experience.
Veronica: I enjoy watching the progress that our team has made. Watching that progress turn into a completed project, day by day, is one of the most rewarding parts of working in the construction industry.
Q: How do you balance the demands of working in construction while also being a mother (Veronica) or preparing to be a mother (Rebekah)?
Rebekah: For me, not much has changed at this point. Since I have been pregnant while being on site, I am even more conscious about safety on the job site and my surroundings. It has helped that so many things have gone virtual as that has helped keep me safe while allowing me to still actively participate in all aspects of the project. As my pregnancy has progressed, I have seen an increased empathy from trade partners, architects, and owners that was not necessarily there before. I actually think it has made me more relatable as majority of us are parents.
Veronica: I try to be fully present when I’m at home and then present when I am at work. I have an hour or so with my kids in the mornings before taking them to daycare and school and roughly 3 hours after work before they go to bed. I enjoy spending as much with them as I can. It makes me value even more the time I get with them.
Q: Who are the women in your life that you see as role models?
Rebekah: There are several women at W. M. Jordan that serve as great role models. I see (Vice President of Learning and Development) Claire McCleery, (Director of Construction Finance) Amy McCarthy, and (Accounting Project Team Coordinator) Lisa Coughenour all as role models as they have all been here for numerous years and have continued to excel and push boundaries for women at WMJ and in the construction industry in general.
Veronica: My role model is my mom. She is a woman of integrity and she always gives 100% in all things that she is doing.
Q: How do you see the future for women in construction?
Rebekah: I think it is limitless. I believe it is becoming more normalized to see a woman on site. I especially notice when I go to the career fairs. It seems that every year there are more women than the previous year that are in the construction related degree fields and are truly interested and seeking a career within construction. That is very exciting to see!