- Job Title
- Project Director
- Institute of Technology, Tijuana, Mexico
The road to success isn’t always a clear path. My approach is to turn every challenge into an opportunity and to look at every barrier as one that is destined to be broken.
I became interested in architecture and construction as a child when my parents remodeled our home in Mexico. The same fascination holds true today — I love working with clients and designers and watching ideas turn into viable structures that meet the needs of our clients and the community.
Graduated from high school (preparatoria) Suma Cum Laude and received a medal of honor for dedication and achievements.
Eager to begin a career in architecture and construction, I immersed myself in my studies at the Institute of Technology in Tijuana, Mexico. My interest and talent in structural design evolved into mentoring classmates as a teacher’s aide for structural design 1, 2 and 3.
In addition to architectural studies, I became involved in the performing arts department, specifically “ballet folklórico” and performed at various public events.
My senior year in college, I had the opportunity to intern as a part of a construction management team building a new neighborhood park to serve children in Tijuana. This opportunity not only allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom, but it also helped me acquire practical skills such as subcontractor management, scheduling, inspections, self-perform concrete and general works.
After receiving a B.A. in Architecture, I joined COPROTISA, S.A de C.V in Mexico as a Design Architect. The company primarily focused on construction management for medium scale commercial buildings and multi-family projects. Over six years, I was promoted to Assistant Project Manager and then Project Manager. My responsibilities entailed design review, permitting, contracts and overall construction management of budgets and schedules for the company’s projects.
I moved to the U.S. with my husband who was an American citizen. During the first few years, it was a difficult transition. I had to take a few college classes to familiarize myself with American construction terms and local construction management practices.
My first job in the U.S. was with a small architectural firm in Palo Alto, Calif. Shortly thereafter, I reaffirmed that construction was my true passion, so I began my search for a new career opportunity.
The opportunity I was looking for presented itself when I was hired by the Northern Pacific Division of McCarthy as a Project Engineer for the $53 million Hyundai MaxMedia semi-conductor project in San Jose. Although I was new to the company, my co-workers made me feel right at home. At the end of the project, our team was honored with a McCarthy Melvin Award. Only one large project demonstrating excellence in all aspects of construction receives this annual award in each McCarthy division. Needless to say, it was a memorable start to a great journey with terrific partners, many of whom I still work with and consider friends.
Began work as a Project Engineer on the Bank of America National Compliance Program.
Throughout the two-year long Bank of America project, I was promoted to Senior Project Engineer and then Assistant Project Manager. Having the opportunity to manage a large project with a national banking institution early in my tenure with McCarthy was a terrific experience. The project went on to receive a McCarthy small project Melvin Award.
Although the Bank of America project was a milestone in my career, my biggest achievement in 1999 was giving birth to my baby girl.
Assistant Project Manager for the Cannery seismic renovation and Coudert Brothers tenant improvement project in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The project entailed complex seismic renovations in an occupied three-level masonry building with retail/restaurant and office space. We also conducted a tenant improvement buildout with high-end interiors for a national law firm. It was an excellent client experience, and the project team won a small project Melvin Award in 2001.
Began work on the Mission Bay N2P1/Catellus Glassworks project, located directly across the street from the San Francisco Giant’s ballpark. The $20.6 million, mixed-use project entailed construction of an eight-level, concrete frame building housing 34 residential condominiums with retail, office space and parking. One of the project’s unique features was a terracotta rain screen from Germany that had not been used widely in the West Coast. I was the lucky team member chosen by our client to travel to Germany to complete a quality control check before the terracotta was shipped.
Participated in McCarthy Management 101 Training
Promoted to Project Manager on Phase 1 of the Kaiser Permanente Oakland replacement project. The project included construction of a five-story medical office building, cancer center and an adjacent parking garage.
Work hard, be honest and always believe in yourself.
Served as Treasurer of the National Association of Women in Construction
Joined Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)
Spearheaded an effort over the holiday season to collect truckloads of toys and deliver them to underserved children at Mosswood Park, located next to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center jobsite. We all worked together to do everything we could to make sure these children received presents for Christmas.
Volunteered as a speaker and student mentor for the Cypress Mandel Pre-Apprentice Program. This is a six-to-eight-week workshop designed to reach out to at-risk youth with a history of small crimes or minor drug use in an effort to show them a better way. Participants of the program work on a mini-construction site to learn basic electrical, carpentry, plumbing and other building skills. We also taught them life skills like budget management and how to interview for a job.
Making a difference in our industry and the community in which I build is one of the most gratifying experiences of my career. Even better, is to work for a company like McCarthy that not only supports but also encourages such participation.
Attended Lean Construction Institute Last Planner Training
Helped institute the Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) Project Mentor Protégé Program on the Kaiser Permanente Oakland project. The program provided project management training, including technical, financial and administrative assistance to SLBE subcontractors on the project. This effort not only enhanced local subcontractor participation on the project, but it also gave these small businesses valuable construction management knowledge they could apply on future projects.
Participated in McCarthy Management 201 Training
What keeps me motivated is having the opportunity to influence and mentor teams, and to participate in company initiatives that will impact McCarthy’s culture and growth.
Began mentoring high school students in the ACE Mentor Program. It is wonderful to engage with the students and enlighten them on the many opportunities available in the construction industry.
Promoted to Senior Project Manager while working on Phase 2 of the Kaiser Permanente Oakland replacement project. This phase entailed construction on over one-million square feet of new facilities at Kaiser Permanente’s flagship campus in downtown Oakland. The program included a new 319-bed replacement hospital, a five-level specialty medical office building, an administrative building and a central utility plant.
As a project team, we accomplished what many thought could not be done. We delivered this massive project for Kaiser Permanente on-time and on-budget while implementing a phased occupancy and providing significant enhancements to the project scope. Our team received several company and industry awards, including a 3 CETI Award for Technology among others.
A positive attitude, strong work ethic, high standards and going the extra mile are values that have guided me throughout my career.
Completed OSHA 10-Hour Training
Lead McCarthy Heart Hats team to renovate the tot lot at Mosswood Park in Oakland. A three-year long effort, McCarthy donated all preconstruction and construction management services for the project, including underground utilities, irrigation, landscaping, turf grasses, chain link fencing, existing tree protection, site concrete, playground structures and furnishings.
Worked with underserved high school students in a summer construction internship program. Many of these teens had no idea what would happen to them after high school, but through guidance and mentorship, we introduced them to viable career options in construction giving them encouragement and a bright outlook for their future.
Attended McCarthy Emotional Intelligence Training
Promoted to Project Director/Executive during Phase 2 of the Kaiser Permanente replacement project.
Working in a male-dominated industry can be challenging at times, but I don’t let my gender or race define me. My work and results speak for themselves, and I truly believe that hard work and exceptional performance will lead to recognition and reward. I hope my achievements inspire other women to pursue an executive role in construction.
Responsible for project oversight and start-up on the University of California, San Francisco Seismic Clinical Science Building and UC Hall renovation program. This endeavor included a total of twelve separate projects ranging from $500,000 to $70 million.
Participated with McCarthy Heart Hats on home renovations for one of our subcontractor’s employees whose young son was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Called “Squish out Cancer,” because the boy’s nickname is Squish, the project helped create a safe and healthy environment while he was undergoing treatment. Some of the work included lighting and flooring upgrades, an outdoor play area, a dog run for his new Seeing Eye Dog, and a bath modification.
My husband is a cancer survivor, and I was deeply touched when the family saw the final reveal of the home.
Participated in Crane Rigging and Safety Training
Completed McCarthy BIM 360 Training
Celebrated the opening of the new Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.
When I work on a project, I’m motivated not only by the work itself, but by the impact it will have on others who inhabit the space once it is completed and long after I retire.
Helped pursue and oversee start-up on the Santa Clara Square Campus Phase 1 Parking Structure project. McCarthy’s previous work with this client on the Catellus Glassworks mixed-use project helped secure the $31 million, 1608-car parking structure project.
Building relationships based on trust and respect are crucial to rise above the competition in our business.
Attended Associated General Contractors Advanced Management Training
Participated in McCarthy Interviewing Skills and Power Speaking Training
Speaker on Co-creators of Excellence, The Future of Project Delivery at two Kaiser Permanente Preferred Provider Symposiums
I’ve worked with great partners and mentors at McCarthy, forming long-lasting friendships along the way. Together, we have built projects that will have an enduring impact on the community in which we live. How amazing is that?