Listee Features — Construction


With a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems, Amber Lee Pappas has commenced her career as the director of operations for Aspen Construction Incorporated, where she remained for nearly 20 years before co-founding Safety Help Today with her partner, Jim Anderson. She and Mr. Anderson developed their company in order to make a difference and change the way safety was handled in the construction industry, especially for small and midsize contractors. After Ms. Pappas experienced a fatal event with one of her employees, she dedicated her career to safety policies and culture. Today, her company develops and dispenses customized safety awareness and prevention strategies, helping contractors, municipalities and other organizations spanning across the United States. As a qualified professional, Ms. Pappas

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An expert in construction, Belva Ann Nelson has excelled as the president and chief executive officer of R.L. Nelson Construction & Foundation Repair, Inc., since 1979. R.L. Nelson Construction & Foundation Repair, Inc., notably fixes the structural foundations on many residential and commercial buildings. A company she started initially with her husband, Ms. Nelson is currently responsible for managing three crews of contractors who provide a number of home improvement services in the Houston area. Additionally, she inspects structural damage due to foundation movements that is caused by tree roots, rotting wood or drainage. More often than not, she will advise her clients to perform general maintenance on their properties to avoid an array of issues. She has become very

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Geraldine Vandiver


An expert in construction, Geraldine M. Vandiver excelled as a partner of John H. Vandiver Construction from 1951 until her retirement in 2015. Prior to this appointment, she taught at the Franklin School in Yakima, Washington, for a year, having previously served as the dean of women for the faculty of physical and health education at Yakima Valley College from 1949 to 1950. Initially, Ms. Vandiver chose to pursue a career in teaching because she was looking to do something to help shape the minds of young people. However, when she got married, her husband was a building contractor and she became very involved with construction. One of the most rewarding aspects of Ms. Vandiver’s profession was having people recognize

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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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