July 2017 President's Message

July President’s Message

 

Summer is in full swing and I hope everyone has been enjoying the wonderful weather! Speaking of full swing, the chapter has been kicking things into high gear as well.  

 

The chapter has grown to 55 members. Vicky Elkins from Andersen Construction and Sofia Woods from Convergint Technologies have joined the chapter and we welcomed back Taylor Weller-Kurtz, our former student member now working for Precision Construction Company! Ladies - Welcome to NAWIC!

 

Chapter Elections were held for the 2017-18 Board of Directors. Thank you to the 34 members who took the time and voted for next year’s board and congratulations to our 2017-18 Board!

Vice President: Jeannie Spencer

Recording Secretary: Liz Cowen,

Corresponding Secretary: Jenn Harbick,

Treasurer: Charris Sonne-Phinney

Directors: Jo Doherty, Kelly Neimela, Janelle Markovich, Stephanie Holmberg

In addition, Gloria Bruning has accepted the appointment of Parliamentarian.

 

I am so tremendously grateful and blessed to have these women leading the chapter with me next year – it promises to be a fun and exciting board!

 

In July, we will be touring HPP East project with Turner Construction, sponsoring a hole at the AGC Golf Tournament, hosting a karaoke night social event and will hold a new member orientation for those of you who are new to the chapter or just want to refresh you knowledge of NAWIC 101! Email me if you want more information about any of these events!

 

Coming up: We have an exciting assortment of meetings and events coming up: August is our annual Street of Dreams event with the Professional Women in Building Council and we’ll have representatives attending the National Annual Meeting and Education Conference (AMEC) in Garden Grove, CA. In September we’ll be at the CFMA Golf Tournament, and hold our annual installation meeting. On top of that, we’ll continue to hold a couple of social events to encourage our members to get to know each other even better.

 

With so many exciting events happening in the chapter, I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to come and hang out with your NAWIC sisters.  There are so many ways for you to get involved, make some wonderful connections and have an impact on the industry and our community – jump into the swing of things!

 

I hope you enjoy the summer!

Kelly Aust | LEED®  AP BD+C

Project Manager

Skanska USA Building, Inc.

 

How Homeowners Can "Keep Their Cool" This Summer

 

Summer is just around the corner! Since everyone is ready for fun in the sun, the last thing they would want is problems with their air conditioners. Nobody wants to (literally) lose their cool over an HVAC issue, as it wastes time, money, and fun.

Here is how all homeowners can “keep their cool” these coming months with some AC maintenance:

Stay Cool! AC Maintenance Tips

#1 Cleaning the air filter

Anybody who has ever owned an air conditioning unit knows that neglecting to clean the filter will render the unit useless. A dust-caked filter will prevent fresh air from flowing through and will route dusty air into the evaporator coil. This will make the coil very inefficient at absorbing heat. Once cleaned, you can expect a higher throughput of cool air at up to 15% savings in electricity usage.

#2 Check for damaged wiring
 

Once in a great while, it is a good idea to completely disconnect the unit to have a look on the inside. If there is melted insulation, burn cables or loose connections, then you will need to call in a professional to clean up this mess. Not only do faulty cables decrease the efficiency of the unit, but it is also a fire hazard.
 

#3 Clean the outdoor environment surrounding the AC unit

Air conditioners and especially split AC units are susceptible to getting clogged by outdoor debris. Make sure that leaves are cleared, plants or vines are trimmed, and that dust has been swept away. You may need to clean out the debris stuck in the interior using a hose (after it has been disconnected).

#4 Repair or replace the thermostat
 

The thermostat will dictate that the air conditioner will cool the room to the desired temperature. If the thermostat is damaged in any way, your AC unit will be a power hog and expensive cool air when it is not desired. Mechanical thermostats should be upgraded to digital models for increased accuracy and longevity.

Keep Your Cool! Prevent AC Problems This Summer
 

#1 Prevent Air Leaks

Not only would air leaks cause cool AC air to escape, but it will also cause unwanted hot air to get inside. Cooling your house in the summer accounts for the large majority of your electricity expenditure, so making sure your house is properly sealed will mitigate your losses. This is one of the first things you should check if cooling effect of your unit is underwhelming.

You will need to check multiple facets of the house in order to determine where the air leaks are. Floors, walls, air ducts and ceilings are the primary culprits. Make sure the sealant in these parts of the house are renewed and that there are no unexpected cracks.

Windows and doors also need special attention to prevent air leaks. Make sure window AC units are properly installed without any gaps. Put sweeps under every door for every room receiving air conditioning.  An HVAC professional will be able to examine the weak points of your house during a consultation.

#2 Tripped Breaker Switches
 

When your AC unit will not turn on, your first reaction would be to call in an HVAC expert to repair your broken machine. One of the biggest causes of AC units failing to turn on is tripped breakers. Air conditioners use massive amounts of electricity that may overload the electrical grid of your house. Check your breaker box to see if any of the switches appear to be abnormal in comparison to the others. If so, turn off that abnormal switch and turn it back on.  You should consider hiring an electrician to evaluate whether or not your fuses are sufficient for your AC unit. Always make sure to unplug essential electronics before messing around in that box.

#3 Unclog Drain Line or Plumbing
 

When the air conditioner absorbs moisture, it will expel the excess water through your plumbing system. If water build up gets too intense, you will have to clean out either your plumbing line or drainage line. Additional drain pans should be placed to collect additional overflow of water. If you leave the drain line unchecked, nasty algae will clog the lines and create buildup in parts you don't want to be filled up with liquid.

#4 Reduce Heat Sources Around The House
 

Aside from body heat and the Sun, there are factors within your home that contribute to the temperature. Seek out the most heat-generating appliances (like desktop computers) and switch them off during peak heat conditions. Switch off or replace incandescent light bulbs as they put off more heat than LED lights. You may also close the drapes to block direct sunlight.

 

Ashley Morse is with The Cooling Company which has provided the absolute best comfort in heating and air conditioning for Southern Nevada homes since 2011.

Tips to Hide that Air Conditioner in Your Yard

 

As summer heats up, people want to stay cool. In fact, you probably can’t imagine surviving the summer without the comforts of air conditioning in your home. At the same time, people tend to spend much more time enjoying their outdoor living spaces in the summer, too—patios, yards, decks, outdoor dining areas, and more. But let’s face it: most outdoor AC units are just plain ugly. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to conceal it while allowing it to safely cool your home? Good news, there are some fairly simple ways to do just that.

 

Before we get into these easy tips, please remember these important cautions. You may think your air conditioning unit is an eyesore, but it’s a pretty important one, so make sure you keep it accessible. At some point you or a service technician will have a very urgent need to access the unit. If you’ve blocked all access to the unit, you could have a very serious problem on your hands. Second, your outdoor AC unit needs plenty of ventilation. It won’t do its job well if it can’t breathe, and this could even lead to an AC repair.

4 Clever Ways to Conceal Your AC Unit

Tip #1: Hide It with Plants

If you have a green thumb or know someone who does, consider building out a garden or green space around your outdoor air conditioner unit. Some well placed bushes, small leafy trees or evergreens, or some species of tall wild grasses could all do a good job of hiding (or at least distracting from) your unsightly AC unit. Depending on how your property is situated, especially if people will often walk past the unit, consider creating an attractive green space on the opposite side of the path. Lead your guests’ eyes away from the air conditioning unit and toward something more attractive.

Tip #2: Build a Fence around It

For the handymen and women out there, building a fence or structure around your outdoor air conditioning unit could be an enjoyable weekend project. This could take dozens of forms: wooden fences range from plain, simple options such as straightforward cedar planks or a lattice screen all the way up to luxurious stained woods intricately crafted together. Or take another popular approach and repurpose some old pallets or shutters into an attractive fence-like structure. And why stop with just wood? People have built structures out of cinder blocks or stone pavers of all sorts. Maybe you have some old bricks lying around. A patchwork brick wall could be a great way to conceal your air conditioning unit.

Tip #3: Hide It with a Decorative Cover

OK, so plants and fences and gardening and building are all fine and good, but maybe you’re not up for a weekend project. For those who don't have a green thumb and don't want to build a DIY project, good news, there’s hope! You could also hide your unsightly air conditioning unit using a premade or repurposed decorative cover. Prefabricated privacy screens (you know, the ones you might see by the pool) could easily be repurposed for air conditioner concealment. These are easy to find at most hardware store chains. In fact, quite a number of items for sale at the hardware store might easily be used for this purpose. You’ll find pre made sections of decorative fencing— yes, this is similar to Tip #1, but without having to build it yourself. Any number of decorative garden items in the right combination could do a great cover up job. What about a metal trellis or two, a couple potted bushes, and maybe even a bird feeder? Use your creativity and imagination to find a solution that works well for you.

Tip #4: Don’t Forget the Big Picture

Remember to consider the overall look of your home and yard. Whatever solution you choose for concealing your AC unit needs to add to the overall look and flow, not detract from it. Choose a solution that has a similar feel to or pairs well with your home’s existing style. Now what are you waiting for? Go make your AC beautiful!

 

May 2017 Newsletter

I can’t believe it’s May already, the year is hurrying by. Welcome to Spring! I think Spring is a time of possibilities and opportunity. We see the world around us come alive and get busy and we can’t help but want to do the same. Spring is motivating and inspiring. As we start planning for the latter half of the NAWICkian Year, and even into the events of next year, I just wanted to let everyone know where we are as a chapter – hopefully you will find it equally stimulating. Robin Williams said that “Spring is nature’s way of saying Let’s Party!” I want to encourage all of you to come party with us!

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Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland® Highlights The Crucial Role of National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland® Highlights The Crucial Role of National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)

Tune in to Fox Business Network as sponsored programming and Bloomberg International on Sunday, April 2, 2017. See market-by-market listings below.  Or you can watch it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu76sUCQ6oI

Los Angeles, CA – March 28, 2017 — Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland® announces an exclusive interview with Connie Leipard, President of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), an association for women working in the field of construction.

Leipard will discuss the important role NAWIC plays for women in an industry that is still primarily dominated by men.

The construction industry is typically thought of as a male-dominated career field. This makes sense because statistics show only 9.1% of workers in the field are women. NAWIC wants to see this change.

Barbara Allen, a construction project executive with The Cordish Companies, says, “You are used to being the only woman around the table or in a meeting in the construction industry. Sometimes, you forget that you aren’t alone in the field. NAWIC allows you, as a woman, to connect with other women in the construction industry, showing you that you aren’t alone.”

During the interview, Kathy Ireland asked Leipard how NAWIC enhances the success of women who work in the construction field. Leipard says “It allows women to enhance their success by honing those leadership skills that are really necessary to be successful in the industry. [NAWIC] is a great place for that to happen.”

Ireland shared the fact that diminishing numbers of skilled workers are creating a gap in the construction industry. Since the construction industry is vital to the well being of the country, this uncertainty in the field is problematic. Thankfully, NAWIC is doing its part to encourage women to enter the field of construction. This organization encourages women to step out in a field where they may have felt less than welcome in years past. Women are becoming a more visible force in the industry and NAWIC is helping make this happen.

Today, more than ever, women are needed in the construction industry. Leipard is hopeful that this interview leads more women to become part of this vitally important industry, which is crucial to the health of America.

For more information about the National Association of Women In Construction, visit www.nawic.org and tune in to Fox Business Network as sponsored programming on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. EST and at 7 a.m. GMT, 10 a.m. D.F. and 2:30 p.m. HKT on Bloomberg International.

About Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland®

Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland® is a weekly business television program featuring real world insights from corporate executives from all over the globe which can be viewed on Fox Business Network as part of their sponsored programming lineup, as well as internationally to over 50 countries on Bloomberg International.

Visit www.tvwwb.com for detailed airing schedules or check local listings.  You can also watch it here

 

WIC Week In the News!

While there are more than 1 million women employed in the construction industry, women only comprise approximately 10 percent of the construction workforce.

Women in Construction (WIC) Week, March 5 to 11, is an annual celebration highlighting women as a visible component of the construction industry.

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March 2017 Newsletter

 

As we approach the mid-year mark of our NAWIC year, I hope everyone has had a chance to get involved and participate in some of the fabulous activities and meetings that we’ve been holding.
Block Kids and the Oregon Coast Retreat were awesome events, and the speakers, venue and quality of the chapter meetings has been great.

 

The committees organizing these events have done a wonderful job and the ladies stepping up to volunteer their time and participate have really made a difference. A huge thank you goes out to the following:
Block Kids Committee: Kelly Aust (c), Gloria Bruning, Charris Sonne-Phinney and Nicole Fronk and to our
Judges: Yasmine Branden, Kelly Niemala, Toni Pinkston, Jennifer Olszewski, Emily Miller, Liz Cowen, Bridget
Dooney, Jo Doherty, Linda Spongberg, Aja Devore, Michelle Derting, Maddy Stolowicz, Lisa Paul, Amber Lewey, Mel Jones, Gloria Bruning and Charris Sonne-Phinney and also a big thank you to our corporate sponsors.

 

Oregon Coast Retreat Committee: Charris Sonne-Phinney (c), Aryn Ferguson and Speaker: Yasmine Branden
 

PD&E (Chapter Meeting Speakers) Committee: Elizabeth Rhoads (c), Liz Cowen.
I can’t say enough about how grateful I am to these impressive women. The feedback I’ve received from those we’ve impacted has been remarkable and really very touching. Thank you so much for all of your hard work.

 

If you haven’t found time to join us this year, it is definitely not too late! And I’d like to take this moment to encourage our members to make the most out of their membership and engage in the chapter this year. We have an exciting range of activities coming up in March; which I’m sure you’ve noticed with the emails that have been flying out from my computer! First among them is Women In Construction Week. WIC Week is coming up March 5th –11th with an exciting slate of events including our 5th annual clothing drive for Dress for Success. The WIC Week committee has done a great job of obtaining the governor’s proclamation for this event (Thank you, Marilyn Morrison!) and putting together events to promote and celebrate the women in our industry.
 

I encourage everyone to try and make the jobsite tour and networking event on Thursday, March 9th!
We also have our regular chapter meeting on March 16th with presenter Scott Chandler talking about Creative Conflict Solutions.


We all lead busy lives, and taking the time away from everything else we have going on to make room for a NAWIC event or meeting might seem like the easiest thing to cross off of our list. I promise you that we have a great group of women engaged in the chapter and we would love to expand our network and welcome new faces. Sometimes it’s hard to realize how much we need the interaction, communication and support of other women in our industry but I encourage you to make the effort – you won’t be disappointed.
 

I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!
Kelly Aust – President, Portland Chapter 54
Skanska Construction

 

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2017-2018 Scholarships

The Portland Chapter will be awarding $2,000 in scholarships to local students for the 2017-2018 academic year.  If you know any participants meeting the eligibility requirements below, that are studying in a construction related field, please let them know this scholarship is available.  Applications can be completed at http://nfsf.nawic.org.  The deadline to apply is February 28th, 2017.

 2017 NAWIC Founder’s Scholarship Foundation Award - Undergraduate Scholarship: $1,500

Eligibility: 

  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a construction-related degree program at a school in the United States and must have a least one term remaining in a course of study leading to a degree or an associate degree in a construction-related field. High school seniors are not eligible.
  • Applicant must desire a career in a construction-related field. 
  • Applicant must be enrolled full-time.
  • Applicant must have a current cumulative GPA or 3.0 or higher to be considered for awards

2017 NAWIC Founder’s Scholarship Foundation Award - Construction Trades Scholarship: $500

Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a construction-related training program which is approved by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training, community college, technical school or equivalent.
  • Applicant must be obtaining training in a construction-related craft or trade.