Listee Features — Construction


With a desire to become a business owner from a young age, Sunshine Ray would dedicate her attention to her father as he worked and became knowledgeable about the food and beverage industry. She subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Science in business marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ms. Ray later became licensed as a business broker, a real estate broker and a salesperson. Ms. Ray eventually utilized her valuable knowledge in her position at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for more than 20 years. As a result of her expertise in marketing and business, her family approached her to join Atlas Plumbing to develop a marketing campaign while assisting in the business office in 2015.

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After working as a physical therapy technician at a hospital for many years, Angelica Munoz Mercado shifted her mindset toward preventative actions, especially as it pertained to injuries and accidents. Subsequently, she received an opportunity to become a safety coordinator, which allowed her to witness how people could prevent injuries at the workplace. Since 2016, Ms. Mercado has excelled as a safety specialist for Plains All American Pipeline, where she conducts quarterly safety training, supervises meetings, facilitates contractor orientations, spot checks employees’ work and liaises with workers’ compensation experts. In order to remain aware of changes in the field, Ms. Mercado is affiliated with the National Society of Leadership and Success and Phi Beta Kappa. During her spare time, she

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Meredith Hafer


Having worked on behalf of the Armstrong Flooring Corporation since 2012, Meredith L. Hafer distinguished herself as a residential channel marketing manager. She is likewise the chairperson of Armstrong’s Women’s Initiative Network, one of their diversity and infinity networks, a position which she regards as one of the highlights of her career. In her role at the Armstrong Flooring Corporation, Ms. Hafer’s responsibilities include leading her team to develop and execute channel strategies for all customers, as well as creating the three-year product roadmap, managing customer product line reviews, designing promotional calendars and market research. Having been with the Armstrong Flooring Corporation for numerous years, she has previously served as a finance business analyst, a procurement manager and a supply

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Debra McHenry


With more than a decade of professional experience, Debra C. McHenry has excelled as an ironworker for the Ironworker Union Local 433 since 2007. She has been an ironworker for 13 years and, for nine of those 13 years, she has worked for John Allard with Anning-Johnson. Constantly inspired by her daughter, Miss McHenry also attributes her success to her fellow union members and people such as John Burkhart, Jim Baer and Eddie Gray, who all are or were foreman for the company. As a woman of the trade, Miss McHenry had encountered various moments where she felt could not complete her apprenticeship. However, she was able to push through and utilized the necessary tools to continue moving forward. Holding

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Ashlee Groves


Having accrued more than a decade of excellence in her industry, Ashlee Groves has garnered a laudable reputation as an entrepreneur and sales executive of construction equipment. Inspired by her father, who owned a utility construction company, she began interning at a Ditch Witch manufacturing plant while completing college at the Rawls College of Business of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Ms. Groves graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in finance and earned her Master of Business Administration at Oklahoma City University in 2009. From 2007 until 2009, Ms. Groves served as the Platinum Plus manager of the finance department at Charles Machine Works Incorporated. After completing a master’s degree, she returned to Ditch Witch with the aspiration

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Having accrued more than 55 years of expertise in all elements of business development, Theresa L. Lovato Blair has distinguished herself as an electrical contractor and records manager. She began working as an office secretary at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1964 and knew that she wanted to attend college. While working full-time, she attended the University of Albuquerque, where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1979. Ms. Blair completed a Master of Business Administration at Highlands University in Las Vegas in 1982. Ms. Blair rose from the position of secretary to that of a records manager at Sandia National Laboratory in 1980. She would remain with the lab until 1987. In 1981,

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Lena Graham-Morris


Having produced over 50 events, workshops and seminars dedicated to the economic development and sustainability of entrepreneurs and small businesses, Lena Graham-Morris was raised by entrepreneurs when people were still trying to figure out what “entrepreneur” meant. During this time, she started to see the way that different people were treated. When she had her own studio, she would see different obstacles that she went through from being an entrepreneur. Ms. Graham-Morris was in the hospital for 45 days experiencing three surgeries, and her show was canceled. After that, she had the opportunity to work for the African American Chamber of Commerce. It was then that she saw all of her experiences come together. She had a passion inside of

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Melissa Russell


An experienced underground utility contractor, working with horizontal drilling and pipes, Melissa Russell was ready for a change and a new challenge for herself. She is the co-founder and president of Cannon Utility Services, LLC in Belleville, Illinois, since 2016. Having been in the business for 30 combined years of experience, the company has grown to a size that has allowed her to build and/or upgrade miles of plant over the past year. They are a diversified HDD contractor that has done work to include CATV, telephone, sewer, water, fiber, HDPE pipe and casing placement for commercial and residential customers. In January 2017, Cannon Utility Services, LLC expanded their services once again to include forestry work for Ameren. This work

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Colette M. Herrin has loved the Lord all of her life, and has completed intense studying and taught 18 years of Bible study. She had the opportunity to take all of her studies and turn it into credentials, and she is now a pastor. Through this post, she gets to preach and speak on what she loves, which she hopes will help others. Ms. Herrin owns Warranty Enterprises LLC, a family business, where they are painting contractors that paint residential and commercial buildings inside and out; they will paint essentially anything. She is also the bookkeeper of the company and tries to do everything else that she can. Her son is the general manager, and he goes out and gets

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C.L. Wales


Starting off in architecture in the community development department, C.L. Wales was the total sum project manager on each project. She began her professional career in the 1980s when she worked for a city community development department in for the city of College Station, Texas. She was project manager to assist those in poverty to get indoor plumbing, hot/cold running water, wall heaters, patched holes in walls and floors, reframed walls and roofs, carpeting, vinyl floors, insulated, sheet rock and painted walls at no cost to the individual. Later on, Ms. Wales was the project design manager of Actus Lend Lease Development in Fort Hood, Texas, from 2002 to 2005, also serving the company’s Beaufort, South Carolina, branch as project

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