Northeast Ohio Women Flourishing in the A/E/C Industries Share their Stories at the SMPS 2019 Women's Luncheon


    SMPS Women's Luncheon

    On April 16th SMPS held a Women’s Panel during their monthly luncheon in which seven inspiring women explained their stories navigating through their career and life paths in order to thrive within the A/E/C industries.

    Pamela Neckar, Principal & Project Coach of Bostwick Design Partnership, opened the event with a quote from Michelle Obama’s recent release, Becoming, “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll quickly be defined by others.”

    While each woman had a unique journey, there were major similarities and lessons throughout each story shared. Several of the panelists shared they were told they couldn’t do something based on their gender or math ability and were ill-advised by a teacher to find a different career path. Each person took that negative experience and turned it into a positive by letting it fuel them to reach for greater aspirations and continue to fulfill their dreams.

    The advice shared resonated with those in the room and included finding a mentor who sees your value, spend less time worrying about problems or hurdles, be a problem solver and come to the table with solutions. Another panelist shared, “Quiet that voice within with the negative self-talk. You can do absolutely anything you put your mind to.”

    Another consistent theme amongst the panelists was ensuring their voices were heard within their organizations, even if that meant being uncomfortable and speaking up when they knew something would be difficult but greatly benefit the company in the long run.

    While today there are still “Women Panels” and “Woman-Owned Organizations” we hope in the future, as Sheryl Sandberg said, “There will just be leaders.”

    The seven speakers included moderator Pamela Neckar, Principal & Project Coach of  Bostwick Design Partnership  as well as President and Founding Member of Cogence Alliance, panelists Karen Dethloff, BS, MS, MBA, CHFM, FASHE, Vice President, Facilities Management of  The MetroHealth System, Jennifer Storey, Principal  of Stantec Architecture, Anna Dodson, VP of Business Development with  A.M. Higley, Melissa Fliegel , Associate Principal of  Van Auken Akins LLC, Gina Casalinova, Owner's Representative  at the Cleveland Clinic and Ariane Kirkpatrick, Owner & President of AKA Team.

    Interested in learning how SMPS can benefit you and your organization? Join us at the next complementary member and non-member mixer on April 25th from 4-6 PM within Town Hall.


    View all Event Photos

    Return to list