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 the company’s quality construction. Some changes that she has observed in the construction industry was that many of her clients tend to make the wrong choices in terms material choices. She also realized that hot plaster and sheet rock usage was becoming more popular, and hardwood floors were less popular. The mentors who have greatly influenced Ms. Vandiver throughout her career include her parents, her husband, and Julia Hopf, the Yakima Valley College dean of women.
A graduate of Washington State University, Ms. Vandiver earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, as well as a Bachelor of Education, in 1948 and 1949, respectively. She was the recipient of scholarship to Yakima Valley Community College and later a recipient of a scholarship to Washington State University. A member of the Woman’s Century Club, Ms. Vandiver maintains affiliation with the American Association of University Women, Pi Lambda Theta, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Theta Kappa. In the past, she served as president of the Yakima Republican Women and president of the Yakima Women’s Century Club.
Civically, Ms. Vandiver remains an active member of the Yakima County Unit Pro-American. Now retired, she enjoys playing classical and modern piano music for groups of people, as well as gardening, in her spare time. In her youth, as an avid tennis player, she won the Girls’ Single Tennis Title, representing Yakima High School in 1944. Later in 1946, she won the Yakima Valley Girls’ Single Title in tennis at Yakima Valley Junior College.
With her late husband, John H. Vandiver, Ms. Vandiver is the proud mother of four adult children and two grandchildren. She now has one great-grandchild with a second great-grandchild due in March 2021. The most important lesson she has learned throughout her career is to find people you can trust. She is rewarded when people recognize quality construction and wants others to know that whatever you sign up to do, do it well.