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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

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Success Story: Women working on the Portland Building Reconstruction project

Women Working on the Portland Building Reconstruction Project

Women working on the project

Hundreds of people, including many women, have contributed to the Portland Building Reconstruction project’s success over the past three years. Even in the planning stages of the project, a group of visionary City of Portland women sought to identify opportunities and set ambitious diversity goals for the project, including a goal of awarding 22 percent of total contract dollars to minority, women-owned, and emerging small businesses. Today, as the project enters its final few months of construction, the Design-Build-Remodel (DBR) project team is proud of the number of women managers, professional service consultants, construction contractors, and apprentice and journey workers that have contributed to the project.

Among the leadership and planning team members who contributed to the project in its early planning days were these women:

  • Kristin Wells, City of Portland Project Manager, Office of Management & Finance
  • Marina Cresswell, former City of Portland Project Manager, Office of Management & Finance
  • Jamie Waltz, former City of Portland Project Manager, Office of Management & Finance
  • Molly Washington, City of Portland Attorney
  • Kelly Ball, formerly of the City of Portland Communications, Office of Management & Finance
  • Jen Clodius, City of Portland Strategic Communications, Office of Management & Finance
  • Michelle Ladd, City of Portland, Office of Management and Finance
  • Christine Moody, former Chief Procurement Officer, Office of Management & Finance
  • Cindy Nichol, formerly of Port of Portland and member of the Portland Building Community Oversight Committee
  • Carla Weinheimer and Erica Ceder, DLR (Design)
  • The DAY CPM-OTAK Owners Representative team, including Jennifer Bouda and Molly Engelbert of DAY CPM, Faye Burch of FM Burch and Associates (diversity and inclusion); Lois Cohen, Amy Higgs and Kristen Bishop of Lois Cohen Associates (community outreach); and Summer Gorder of ecoREAL Solutions (sustainability)

Many of these women were recognized by the Daily Journal of Commerce’s “Women of Vision Program” in 2016. Contracting goals established through their efforts, and the DBR team’s commitment to implementation, have helped to achieve a diverse project design team and construction workforce that has surpassed the 22 percent participation goal. In fact, the project reached 30 percent Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) firms contracted.

Lead architecture and planning consultant Carla Weinheimer assembled a team of amazing women visionaries to work on project design. Whole Building Solutions, Samanta Engineering Works, Convergence Architecture, Carleton Hart Architecture, and Czopek Design Studio were among the firms contributing to the architecture and design of the Portland Building Reconstruction project.

Goals related to equity participation on the construction side of the project also were exceeded thanks in large part to the commitment by lead contractor Howard S. Wright (HSW). HSW, along with its many subcontractors, embraced the women and minority business participation goals and hired dozens of women apprentices and journey workers over the course of the project. Debra Glanbitz, one of the project’s many women contractors, started out as an IBEW Electrical apprentice on this project and completed her apprenticeship training hours in March 2019. Now a journey worker, Debra continues to contribute to the Portland Building Reconstruction project through its final construction stages. Renee Angel, another contractor on the project, is a carpenter working as an apprentice with IES. Renee will reach journey level worker in November 2019, with the bulk of her hours spent working on the project.

Overall, the project has an impressive apprentice utilization rate of 27 percent. The many apprentices in various trades that reached journey level on the project have been an inspiration to other tradespeople across the region. 

As the Portland Building Reconstruction project comes to a close in the next several months, the entire team is proud of achieving many of its goals. We celebrate all of the hard work, training, and opportunities to excel that have existed on this project. 

Pictured above, from left to right:

1 – Beth Warnock, Electrician, Journeyman-Foreman, Key Electrical Construction

2 – Angela Green, Electrician, Journeyman, EC Inc.

3– Debra Glanbitz, Electrician, Journeyman, OEG

4 – Jocelyn Atkins, Electrician, Journeyman, OEG

5 – Marcia Hurd, Electrician, Journeyman, OEG

6 – Bobbie Ellis, Laborer, Journeyman, Howard S. Wright

7 – Molina Weiser, Laborer, Journeyman, Howard S. Wright

8 – Stacy Arelliano, Electrician, Journeyman-General Foreman, ISG

9 – Jessica Hill, Electrician, Journeyman, OEG

10 – Brianna Stanfield, Sheet Metal Worker, Apprentice, GSM

11 – Julie Borley, Electrician, Journeyman-Superintendent, OEG

12 – Chelsea Wilder, Interior/Exterior Specialties Apprentice, FSS

13 – Susanna Edwards, Interior/Exterior Specialties Apprentice, FSS

14 – Kennitha Wade, Electrician, Journeyman-Foreman, OEG