JE Dunn Construction
Current job: Senior Lean Specialist at JE Dunn Construction
Summary of your role in the company: I train and coach our employees and partners on the implementation of lean principles and tools. It is all about helping our people identify where we want and need to be and mapping out a plan to get there. My primary focus is supporting the implementation of the Last Planner System® on our projects; but my reach extends into other areas like facilitating structured problem solving, measuring and improving team health and culture.
How I chose my occupation: It chose me? My educational background is Architecture and Business, and I have spent the bulk of my career as a construction project manager at ENR Top 25 firms in the DC and Charlotte markets. An opportunity presented itself 2.5 years ago to transition into my current role as Senior Lean Specialist. The role has allowed me to better leverage my strengths, broaden my reach and impact, and keeps me engaged with the industry on all levels.
Years in the business: 14
My specialization is: Fostering collaboration and process improvement, predominantly tied to commercial, healthcare, and advanced industry construction markets.
A good lead for me is: Someone looking for a partner in problem solving. I love to roll up my sleeves and I work with passionate people that are always looking for how they can push boundaries to meet clients needs. I am always looking to deepen and help build new relationships with our partners and clients in and around the Charlotte community.
The most satisfying part of my job is: Seeing others learn, grow and improve. You can see it in the “old school” superintendent who is pushing himself out of his comfort zone to be a collaborative team player, in the trade partner who finds their voice and brings issues and solutions to the table for the good of the project, in the project engineer who continues to tweak an agenda and visuals to foster a more effective meeting…
Best leadership advice I have been given: “You don’t always have to be right.” There is beauty and power in listening, coaching and helping others get there. Buy-in from others is far more powerful than the momentary victory of being right.
Greatest professional achievement: Being a driver of culture change. Our Carolinas office did not widely embrace lean management principles and tools back in 2016 when I was tasked with starting a weekly 15-minute lean learning series, while still working in a project management capacity. Today, those meetings are still held every Friday with rotating facilitators, I have been in a full-time training and coaching role for over 2.5 years and I can honestly say lean is a huge part of who we are and how we operate.
Number of years with CREW: 1
Most significant CREW connection: All the graduates of the CREW’s 2019 Authentic Leadership Program! If it were not for them, I would not be a member!
Place of birth/hometown: I was born in a small-town north of Boston, Massachusetts, but spend the bulk of my childhood living in New City, NY, a suburb of the city, bordering New Jersey.
Number of years in Charlotte: 6.5 years!
Family: Husband: Andrew (works for Grubb Properties); Kids: London (7); Harper (4); Harrison (18 months).
My ideal vacation spot: Anywhere outside my four walls! Generally, I like a spot where I can do a little bit of everything – be active; relax; enjoy some local art, history and food! In and around Charleston has been a go-to for us since moving to Charlotte.
Hobbies/Interests: Reading (I have read/listened to 14 books so far this year!), running and/or exercise, doing something creative.
Other professional organizations I belong to: Lean Construction Institute
I wish I could: My go to wish is to have the power to Teleport – just think of all you could do and experience in a day! But, in the current climate, I wish I could personally thank everyone in our industry who is tirelessly working to keep projects moving forward, buildings being built, and workers employed.
First American Title Insurance Company
Current job: Agency Sales Representative, First American Title Insurance Company
Summary of your role in the company: I handle business development and support for a large part of South Carolina and cross over into parts of North Carolina and Georgia.
How I chose my occupation: I was approached by First American almost 20 years ago while working for a large law firm’s commercial real estate title agency. I accepted the offer and have been with the company since.
Years in the business: 24
My specialization is: My specialty is customer service. My job is sales, but I train, support and help my accounts streamline their business long after the relationship begins.
A good lead for me is: A lead for me would be a real estate attorney, title agent or anyone needing assistance with title insurance.
The most satisfying part of my job is: I love meeting new people, developing those relationships and helping my clients find advantageous business solutions.
Best leadership advice I have been given: Listen and be kind.
Greatest professional achievement: 2018 DPK Circle of Excellence Award (First American Title Insurance Company) I received this award for having the highest percentage of revenue growth for the South Atlantic Region in 2018.
Number of years with CREW: 10
Most significant CREW connection: Holly Alexander was one of the first people I met with CREW Charlotte. She was tremendously helpful in answering questions and offering guidance to a group of us starting the CREW Midlands Chapter in Columbia, SC. She showed me that CREW Charlotte is an amazing group.
Place of birth/hometown: Camden, SC
Number of years in Charlotte: I have been working in the Charlotte area for 14 years.
Family: Husband: Scott Shaffer, Daughter: Sydnie (12) and Son: Weston (12), Dogs: Phoebe and Cash, Cats: Sassy, Thor and Cutie Rockstar
My ideal vacation spot: Somewhere with a great mountain view or a nice ocean breeze.
Hobbies/Interests: traveling, hiking, yoga, reading
Other professional organizations I belong to: CREW Midlands, South Carolina
I wish I could: Spend one day a week volunteering my time to somewhere in need.