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Construction & Design

PWC renews pledge to crack ‘concrete ceiling’

Barbara Armand, the recently elected president of Professional Women in Construction (PWC), is glad to embrace the challenge that heading a leading industry organization brings.

Says Barbara, “PWC has been firmly committed to advancing professional, managerial and entrepreneurial opportunities for women in construction and related industries for 35 years. Even in 2015, discrimination persists. I am proud to renew my commitment to work vigilantly to fulfill the mission of PWC and crack the concrete ceiling.”

Based in New York, PWC continues to grow with chapters in Connecticut, New Jersey and the DC area.

Newly elected PWC board member Florence Chilton, said: “PWC was founded because the women were treated like second class citizens: told they do not belong, told to wait on the sidewalk and not  enter the jobsite. I know how that feels.

“PWC is an excellent platform for all MWBE’s and I want to stand up and defend their rights along with the other board members.”

Ellen Greiper, Esq., also newly elected, noted, “For the last year, I have had the pleasure of being a member of PWC. I have been continually impressed with the talent, ingenuity, and dedication of the organization’s members as well as its board. Advancing opportunities for women in the construction arena is very important to me. The opportunity to serve PWC [is] truly an honor.”

The following executives have been elected to the PWC board:

President: Barbara Armand, is president and CEO of Armand Corporation (WBE/MBE/DBE), a construction management firm founded in 1991 focused largely on public sector work. Armand Corp. has primed or acted as sub-consultant for such projects as: American Airlines International Terminal, JFK Airport; Brigantine Connector project (Atlantic City); and the Philadelphia School District Capital Improvement Program.

Vice President: Nancy Czesak, RA, membership committee chair, is first vice president of Tishman, an AECOM Company. She has managed such projects as Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall; the Joan Weill Center for Dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Harlem Children’s Zone charter school and community center; office fit-outs for Deloitte & Touche at the World Financial Center; and the 52-story J.P. Morgan world headquarters in downtown Manhattan. She is co-project director on the expansion and renovation of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center project.

Secretary: Nicole Hunter is project manager for HNTB. A construction management professional for multi-million to billion dollar infrastructure projects, she has worked on the Goethals Bridge Modernization Project, World Trade Center Construction, East Side Access, the Skyway-New Bay Bridge Project in Oakland, CA and Central Artery/Tunnel Project in Boston, MA.

Treasurer: Lisa Wilson, chair of the PWC annual Golf Outing, is Chief Information Officer for JRM Construction Management, LLC, a construction management/general contracting firm serving Fortune 500 corporations, major law firms, luxury retailers and financial services firms. In addition to construction, Lisa has extensive knowledge of accounting systems and technology.

Director: Florence Chilton, chair of the M/WBE Compliance Committee, is CEO of Florence Construction Company. One of the first women to join Local Union 138 of the International Brotherhood of Operating Engineers in 1988 – she became qualified and licensed – Florence founded A & F Electrical Testing (A&F) in 1995; then Florence Construction Corporation (FCC) in 1998. FCC provides trucking services for such projects as East Side Access and Kennedy Airport’s runway revitalization.

Director: Andy Frankl, president, CEO and founder of Ibex Construction, which performs general contracting, construction management and design-build projects, is the driving force behind one of “New York’s fastest growing construction companies” as noted in Crain’s. Ibex has completed projects in the corporate, retail, residential, and institutional markets.

Director: Kay Lee, is general sales manager for SimplexGrinnell’s New York City district office. Kay manages a business portfolio of over $25 million and is responsible for the strategic growth of the district’s fire and life-safety protection business in the metro area. She has worked with such clients as the Waldorf-Astoria, Morgan Post Office and Riker’s Island and chairs the NY Fire Alarm Association’s committee supporting children in burn centers.

Director: Maria I. Wilpon, AIA Intl. Assoc., managing principal for architecture in NY with Stantec, is a trusted education advisor. Her areas of expertise include helping and supporting colleagues and universities to identify challenges and develop innovative and sustainable solutions to fiscal planning, campus wide and facility specific challenges.

Director: Ellen Greiper, Esq., a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Garden City office, defends multi-party construction defect cases in the federal and state courts of New York. She has litigated high-exposure construction and labor law cases representing owners and general contractors, been appointed arbitrator for the district courts in Nassau County hearing no-fault and contract claims, and has arbitrated attorney fee disputes brought in the Supreme Court. A frequent speaker on emerging topics in construction, Ellen contributes to many industry publications.

Director Emeritus William Fife, P.E., principal, the Fife Group, continues to support PWC’s Transportation Forum and other programs.

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