2021 Women in Construction: Urshula Patel, President and CEO, Lake Contracting, Inc.

March 26, 2021 - Spotlights

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? We recently completed a project in a building that is under full construction. We were able to go in and renovate for the incoming tenant, working closely with the other GC and landlord to seamlessly complete the project on time and on budget. In addition, we were able to learn quite a bit from the experience as the project involved installing a new chilled beam system, that is not yet running in the building as it is still under construction. A lot of coordination, but in the end, we made it happen and with great success.

What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic? I am most looking forward to being able to see clients, projects, and being able to interact with everyone on the teams we work with on a day in and day out basis.

How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months? We have learned a lot about technology and how it can help us even when the shutdown is over. We have finished projects without having to have weekly meetings on site, but still found ways to share progress with the entire team. I think we all have in one way or another realized how valuable we ourselves are and that we should take care of ourselves over everything else.

What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm? The success of our firm is based on our relationships with our clients and subcontractors/suppliers, our incredible team members within our firm and basically making sure that every job we do is the best job we ever did. We have built our company on this philosophy and each one of us lives by this day in and day out. We take great pride in our work and our projects and we are not satisfied until we know our client is happy with their new home.

Why should women consider a career in construction? Women should consider a career in construction because you can learn so much and meet so many people from all walks of life. Our projects are ever changing, which keeps things exciting I feel. We are also always learning something new, which helps us grow in our field on a regular basis. Women were meant to be working in this field and the more of us that are, the better the industry is.

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? My boss and mentor empowered me. He allowed me to learn from the ground up and offered opportunities for me to grow within the organization. His door was always open when it came to questions or me needing help and I have the same policy now for those that work with me. He also taught me that our subcontractors are an integral part of our team, always treat them with the utmost respect and they will reciprocate. Following this advice has empowered me listen, learn and be successful in my chosen career path-Construction.

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