2021 Women in Construction: Natasha Michelson, Human Resources Administrator, Hutter Construction Corp.

March 26, 2021 - Spotlights

What was your greatest achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? During the last year, my greatest career achievement is becoming the first female president of the NH chapter of the Associated General Contractors in its 72-year history.

How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months? The construction industry has adapted to a dramatically changing atmosphere affecting day-to-day construction operations. First and foremost, safety is and always should be the number one priority –ensuring contractual obligations, naturally, are of the utmost importance while maintaining successful building activities. During the pandemic, the volatility of material pricing, labor shortages, restrictions and the pressures that have been placed on commercial constructions historic customer base has been unprecedented to us all. Adjusting fluidly to these changes is the key to surviving long term, doing it while maintaining character is what keeps loyal customers after the storm passes.

What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic? In this last year we have embraced the fusing of technology (digital versions of ourselves (thru e.g. Zoom, Teams. etc.) as a critical part of our work personas and seeing the value it has. Not so long ago we may not have collectively seen the benefit of providing a fair and balanced meeting experience whether you’re working from the office, at home or a make-shift office while on the road – this convenience will undoubtedly will be staying with us for a long time, maybe forever. Seeing what doors this opens in the future – as technology is exponential – is truly exciting.

What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm? Being ready and willing to work together with the Hutter team! Ultimately being part of a cohesive group with a common goal is the make or break of what makes my participation successful.I have worn many different hats during this last year, as we all have, and I consider it a blessing to be in an office with so many people that have a “can do” attitude where everyone pitches in.

Why should women consider a career in the A/E/C industry? It is now recognized that construction is an essential business, and with any business there are many positions available – traditionally we have seen women in roles such as office services, human resources, marketing, accounting/ finance positions, However, there are successful brilliant women in project management, field engineering, equipment operators, and carpenters et al. There’s nothing more I want to see than us making the most of everyone’s talents and their experiences – in whatever path they choose! Construction requires teamwork and collaboration, and in this team there are many moving parts and you will never be bored if in an industry where there are constant updates to legislation and consumer trends!

Starting out in the A/E/C business, who or what empowered you? Starting out in the construction industry, I embraced the daunting nature of the path less chosen! If it didn’t frighten me in this realistic, healthy way I knew I wasn’t having growing pains. Hutter’s philosophy has always been to promote from within and allow the employee to run with the position- one will either sink or swim.

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