2019 Women in Construction: Julie Toland, Assistant Project Manager at Lee Kennedy

March 29, 2019 - Spotlights

How many years have you been in your current field?

What are you doing differently in 2019 that has had a positive impact on your career? I was recently deployed to the Middle East for the majority of 2018. I am extremely grateful to be home and grateful for the support from Lee Kennedy upon my return. While overseas, I assumed a similar role to that of an owner’s project manager. This experience gave a completely different perspective of the industry, involving a very lengthy process of bringing a project together before it even breaks ground. I plan to bring this experience with me into 2019. To better help me understand the larger picture of a development, rather than the previous narrow focus of individual projects. 

What was your first job and what did you learn from it? South Bay Parking Garage – This was a 600-car pre-cast parking garage and my first experience on a ground-up project. Having previously came from the interior fit-out world, I felt as if I was learning construction all over again. There are so many aspects of construction that you are not concerned with when building tenant fit-out projects in comparison to a ground up project. It is exciting and intimidating all at the same time. 

Which project, deal or transaction was the “game changer” in the advancement of your career during the last 10 years? OSRAM North American Headquarters – Wilmington, MA: This project had a very extensive lighting package, one of the biggest in the country at the time. The complexity of this project was very intimidating, but we had a great team and developed a great product. This project ultimately was recognized for several awards and the customers were extremely happy with the results. Overall it taught me a lot and I am very grateful for the experience and the team we had. 

Who are three women – living or dead – that you would like to have drinks with and why? 
1. Ann E. Dunwoody – As a female Army Officer, I can only imagine the sacrifice, ambition and respect it took to be the first woman in US history to achieve a Four-Star General Status. 
2. Amelia Earhart – During the 1930’s planes and radars were in their infancy and unreliable, it took courage to get into a plane with plans to circle the world. 
3. Cynthia Keliher – Since my CoreNet Young Leaders experience in 2016, I have always been inspired by Cynthia, her career, and her accomplishments. I would love the opportunity to receive career mentoring & advice from her. 

What were your biggest fears when you started out in your profession? Making a Mistake! Although everyone makes them, and people say that “its ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them,” the truth is that mistakes in our industry come with costly consequences. It is a gut-wrenching feeling to recognize a mistake caused by your actions or lack thereof, as well as knowing the cost associated with it. The best thing you can do is take time to focus on the details and proper research, no matter how busy you are, a mistake will always take up more of your time than doing it right the first time. 



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