I grew up around an extended family of entrepreneurial tradesmen—everything from brick layers to general contractors for high-rise residential and commercial buildings. After my brother went on to pursue a corporate career, there was no male left in our family to manage my Dad’s construction business. It died with him. That always saddens me to think about it. In those days, as a female, I didn’t feel I could be a contender.
Yet, looking back, it was clear that construction had my attention. On Saturdays, I was the one my Dad took to help him with a variety of clean up tasks on the job site; like picking up loose nails, sorting lumber and removing nails out of the pieces that could be used again. I stacked Quick-set drywall bags and roofing shingles, sorted tools, picked up garbage, coiled electrical wires and cables, and washed trucks. As a teenager, I progressed to demolition and managed work schedules and supply flow during the summer.