I’m currently focused on building our water practice in New York and growing our portfolio of work and market share. I also collaborate across business lines and sectors to serve as the client manager for the New York Army Corps of Engineers.
One of the benefits of working for such a large organization is our deep pool of experts – all you need to do is reach into the pool and find the talent for your client.
Uplifting Ecosystems and Communities
My goal is to create a personal imprint on the planet for future generations by improving ecological function and protecting communities. What I love about WSP is the amazing range of opportunities here to accomplish that goal.
Over my nearly 25-year career I have worked with so many great clients and projects, from improving flood conditions in Queens, New York to restoring coastal wetlands along the Atlantic Flyway in Cape May.
The Higbee Beach Restoration Project will restore hundreds of acres of salt marshes and transform barren landfills and a former factory site into maritime forest and grasslands supporting butterfly and pollinator habitat. As project manager, I’m tremendously proud of the passionate, dedicated team who advanced this project from the initial concept through design and regulatory approvals.
Located within the narrow peninsula of Cape May County in New Jersey — at the landward side of one of the longest overwater segments along the Atlantic Flyway — the project will restore a foraging habitat at this critical rest stop for birds as they migrate thousands of miles on their twice-a-year journey. That not only benefits the local ecosystem, but also the greater web of habitat connections.
The project also includes a 7,000-linear-foot flood protection levee with massive water control structures, miles of new trails with interpretive signage and multiple wildlife viewing blinds, a bridge over the expanded tidal inlet and a centerpiece observation desk shaded by a roof design inspired by a heron’s outstretched wings.
Inclusivity is one of my core values, and one of my proudest moments in my career was when I received an award for my work promoting gender equality at Louis Berger, prior to its acquisition by WSP.
Inspired by the lack of gender diversity in my cohort as I rose in my career and the stagnation of gender diversity in my field since the 1990s, I started an employee network at a local office that quickly grew around the globe. We created a space to discuss the challenges associated with gender inequities in our organization and ways to address them personally and at a company level. We also hosted numerous events, learning opportunities and a robust mentoring program.
As I rose in my career, I noticed that not only were there fewer and fewer women in the room, but there was also less diversity in ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation. We must embrace and acknowledge diversity of thought, communication styles and personality traits for there to be room at the table for all of us.
I believe we all can impact the culture around us, and it’s my responsibility to make room for diversity as my career unfolds and my scope of influence increases.
Often at meetings, I struggle to be heard or I feel like my own style is at odds with most of the room. It’s a battle between changing my style to match the room and staying authentic. While being a good communicator is grounded in tailoring communication styles to your audience, I am firm that I remain authentic. If I cannot make space for my own communication style, then how will there ever be room at the table for different races, sexual orientations, backgrounds and perspectives?
Another obstacle I face is managing the pressing challenges at hand — protecting life and properties from more frequent flooding and fires or managing our natural resources for equitable distribution — in a way that doesn’t also future-degrade our landscape.
This is difficult because there’s often little room for innovation. There’s a scope that defines the implementation technique, so other than looking for creative ways to infuse sustainable practices without large cost implications, there’s little room to break from tradition.
Our greatest impact is when we’re involved in the planning effort, where we’re educating and advising the client on sustainable implementation techniques. By working with our Climate, Resilience & Sustainability business line, we now have a massive portfolio of examples where we’ve had a tangible impact on the trajectory of progress in working with our clients.
I feel so fortunate when I look at the work I’ve done in my career, at what opportunities lay ahead and see a direct line between my professional portfolio and my personal goal to leave a legacy of positive change.
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