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From engineers to designers to marketers, we’re celebrating Women in Construction Week. Meet some of Coffman’s talented women and learn what it is they love about our industry.

Alexandra Nenahlo  |  Civil Engineer  |  Anchorage  “I love contributing to the forward momentum of Alaska. Working as a civil engineer has allowed me to help with the development of Alaska’s infrastructure and I love getting to see the revitalization that can come from a new project. Anchorage is the perfect combination of living in a thriving city but still being only minutes away from wild places.”

Deanna Nielson  |  Electrical Engineering  |  Anchorage  “I enjoy working in engineering because the field never gets stagnant – we are continually challenged to learn and grow to be competitive in our field and encouraged to expand our skill sets to keep up with the latest in technology and design.”

Julie Dicus, PE  |  Fire Protection Engineer  |  D.C. Metro  “I enjoy working in the construction industry because it constantly challenges me to find unique solutions to client and owner needs while also gaining a better appreciation for all trades contributing to the success of a project. Working with large design teams and other Coffman employees allows me to understand different perspectives and build relations along the way.”

Michelle Ross  |  Fire Protection Engineer  |  Bozeman  “I enjoy engineering because although it is challenging, it is rewarding. The opportunity always exists to learn new things and I get to work with a great team of people.”

Group of women engineers.

Sara Kerr, PE  | Fire Protection Engineer  |  D.C. Metro  “The best part of my job is working through design challenges with clients and developing a code-compliant or code equivalent solution. I enjoy helping the client and/or owner bring their vision to life while ensuring building and life safety are not compromised. Connecting with the younger generation of future engineers and getting them excited to join the construction industry is something I truly enjoy.”

Soo Loewen, PE, LEED AP |  Senior Electrical Engineer  |  Denver “Engineering isn’t only about design drawings, specifications, and compliance with codes; it’s about listening to end users’ needs, collaborating with the design and construction teams, and finding solutions that meet their expectations.”

Kiley Fonseca  |  Civil Engineer  |  Honolulu “The construction industry is so diverse. There are so many opportunities and specialties to pursue. I entered our industry because I enjoy problem-solving. My job challenges me to think creatively and critically every day. The best part of my job is seeing my community using and benefiting from projects I have worked on.”

Latrice Celio, PE, RCDD  |  Senior Electrical Engineer  |  Raleigh “My path to engineering started when I was in second or third grade and my mom checked out a science book at our local library. It was filled with experiments and the one she chose was “how to light a light bulb with a battery.” It consisted of a C battery, a small incandescent light bulb, wire, and electrical tape from my dad’s workbench. I was amazed! It was the beginning of my fascination with all things electrical. One thing I love about being an engineer is that it never gets boring. There are always interesting projects to work on and fun people to work with. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge with young engineers. I was very fortunate to have great mentors and so I do my best to pay it forward.”

Group of women engineers.Chelsea Kemmerrer  |  Structural Engineer  |  San Diego  “I love the collaborative aspect of our industry! It’s neat that so many people from different disciplines work as a team to puzzle piece together the projects we work on. Though we may have differing opinions along the way, we all agree that the quality of our finished product is the top priority.”

Karen Gray  |  Senior Designer, Mechanical Engineering  |  San Diego  “From helmets to hardhats. Transitioning from the military to the civilian construction workforce was the best decision I ever made. Both industries require the same set of skills to succeed–attention to detail, teamwork, communication, and leadership. This familiarity has allowed me to seamlessly fit in and thrive in this new environment. The opportunities are endless in this industry, and I love the feeling of accomplishment seeing a project come to fruition.”

Luvelyn Benitez  |  Senior Structural Engineer  |  San Diego “One of the things I love about being a structural engineer is that it requires you to be analytical yet creative and I love that challenge. I also enjoy the teamwork within the construction industry between architects, engineers, and contractors and I have fostered many great partnerships. Over the years, I’m seeing a lot more women involved in the construction industry and I hope we can continue to foster a welcoming environment for all.”

Rae Ferriolo, PE  |  Senior Electrical Engineer  |  San Diego “What I love about this industry is that I am able to design projects that support the community I live in. I have the opportunity to design projects that support our veterans, give our children places to learn and to play, support the men and women in the military and bring sustainable energy to our city. I love the engineering and consulting part of my job, but my favorite part is mentoring the younger engineers and guiding them to become well rounded and knowledgeable consultants. I also love that I still learn something new all the time, especially from the engineers I mentor.”

Group of women engineers.

Sarah Johnson  |  Marketing Manager  |  San Diego  “My favorite thing about my job and this industry is being part of a team that creates something from the ground up. We often take a vision and work together to give it life, and that’s pretty amazing.”

Stacy Nation  |  Marketing Coordinator |  San Diego  “I love the collaborative approach that everyone on the team takes to make a project come together. The sense of pride I feel when driving by a Coffman project is such a cool feeling! Coffman’s drive to help our communities is another reason that I love this industry. From the Red Cross donation match program to our local San Diego campaign to get our team to donate blood, it makes me happy to be a part of a team with big hearts.”

Laura Zuill  |  Civil Engineer  |  San Diego “I love building projects that positively impact people’s lives. I also love building relationships and serving my clients and industry partners well.“

Calley Janson, PE  |  Civil Engineer  |  Spokane  “Growing up on a farm, I developed an appreciation for innovation, engineering, and environmental conservation at an early age. Civil engineering seemed like the natural path for me, combining innovation with stewardship of the environment. Beyond that, the simple love for math, science, and wanting to have a positive impact with my career. I love that civil engineers have the unique opportunity to improve the quality of life for the general public.”

Group of women engineers.

Leslie Hebert  |  Corporate Business Systems Manager  |  Spokane  “I grew up in a family of engineers and contractors, which made my choice to join the industry a natural fit. In 2005, right out of college, I joined Coffman as a marketing assistant, and now I am honored to be leading our Corporate Business Systems group. I love working in the AEC industry because we do work that matters. Our staff designs projects that impact society in so many ways. Places like hospitals, schools, recreation facilities, transit infrastructure – all critical to our lives. I see the impact our company makes all around me every day, and I am grateful to be a part of that.”

Traci Hanegan, PE, FASHRAE  |  Principal, Mechanical Engineer  |  Spokane  “Considering that I still have my original rejection letter from Dave Coffman, I consider myself blessed to have made it into the Coffman family. Persistence pays off! I enjoy the cool projects and talented people I get to work with.”