Women in Residential Construction

 Conference Agenda

Wednesday, September 25



Denise Dersin, Editorial Director, Professional Builder

Erika Taylor, Director of Content, Pro Remodeler




Reception/Dinner/Team Building

Thursday, September 26




Introduction to the Conference

Tony Mancini, Group Director/Principal, SGC Horizon
Denise Dersin, Editorial Director, Professional Builder
Erika Taylor, Editorial Director, Pro Remodeler


Keynote: Amy Sandler, Chief Marketing Officer and Coach, Radical Candor

Radical Candor: The Secret to Being a Great Boss

To be a great boss and create high-performing, happy teams, the single most important thing you can do is focus on feedback: giving it, receiving it, and encouraging it. Radical Candor is a simple framework developed to help you build a culture of great feedback. It provides the ability to give feedback in a way that challenges people directly and shows you care about them personally. It will help you and all the people you work with do the best work of your careers and build stronger working relationships. Radical Candor really just means, "say what you think." But people rarely do this. Why is it so rare that such a simple thing feels radical? Radical Candor will introduce you to concepts, vocabulary, and tactics you can put into practice immediately.




Barbara Miller, Portland Design Director, Neil Kelly Co.

Five Purposeful Steps Toward Stronger Performance

Being mindful and intentional in the moment is the key to success when working with clients. By paying attention to the small details of a sales interaction you can construct a plan for growth. As Design Director and Sales Manager at the Neil Kelly Co. Barbara miller coached her sales team to nearly 40% growth in her first year by evaluating her sales team one on one and mindfully watching for small applicable, actionable items to implement. Learn the 5 keys to evaluating performance and creating an easy to implement plan that is customized to help each person reach their maximum potential.


Chelsea Collyer, Business Development Lead for Home Services Clients, Google

Curious, Demanding, & Impatient: Understanding Today's Millennial Consumer

For years Millennials got a bad rap — they live in their parents' basements, don't buy cars, are delaying marriage, yada, yada, yada. But in the past few years Millennials have started to flex their purchasing power in real ways and are on track to be the recipients of the greatest wealth transfer in history. Millennials expect all companies, even those that are not tech-first/tech-forward to provide seamless, frictionless experiences online and offline. As Millennials begin to buy homes, remodel their homes, and use home services in a real way, there will be a need to adjust business models to better meet these expectations.



1pm - 3pm

Remodeling Breakout Session

Hosted by Erika Taylor with:

Dee Bailey, Project Manager, Harrell Remodeling

Hiring the Best Employees

Hiring a new employee is one of the most stressful tasks any company has to face. And when it comes to remodeling, the stakes are even higher. A tight labor market combined with the fact that many team members will be in people's homes, means that every hire comes with significant effort and risk. Finding the right person to join your team requires a combination of strategy, marketing skill, science, and magic. This presentation focuses on actionable tips for smart hiring.

Sarah Henry, Owner, Gaspar's Construction and Handyman

Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

Company culture is one of the most important tools for attracting and retaining top talent. In some cases, a positive workplace even beats out a higher salary when looking at why people choose their employers. This is especially true for Millennials. In this presentation, remodelers will gain expert tips for improving teamwork, raising morale, and increasing productivity.

Allison Iantosca, Owner and President, F.H. Perry Builder

Women Remodelers in Leadership Roles

One challenge faced by many leaders is that over time they get further and further away from the actual work being done by the people they are leading. Knowing how to oversee a project is different from understanding how to build a trust-based relationship with your team and support their personal development. True leadership skills are especially helpful when managing Millennials, who are often less concerned with hierarchy, and more invested in feeling heard. But what practical steps can leaders take to create this environment? This presentation will provide valuable insights for helping every member of a team reach their full potential.

Melissa Kennedy, Sales and Design Manager, Meadowlark Design+Build

Overcoming Resistance to Change

The remodeling industry is changing more quickly and dramatically than ever before. Emerging technologies, new consumer behaviors, and large generational shifts have created a constant state of adjustment. Yet many employees resist these changes. Requiring people to adopt an unfamiliar way of doing things can create fear and uncertainty, and many employees throw up roadblocks in response to new procedures. With that in mind, it's critical for a leader to know how to drive necessary change, obtain buy-in and protect the company culture. Here, we'll learn what leaders in a remodeling firm can do to help smooth those transitions.


Main Session

Carol Morgan, President, Denim Marketing

Embrace Change: Leadership, Passion and Inspiration

Carol Morgan will share her inspirations and passions as a leader, and discuss how throughout her career she has innovated, reinvented and focused on not just surviving but growing and being successful. Like many women in business today, Carol has adapted to meet family needs while still excelling at running a successful marketing company. Carol is a Past National Professional Women in Building Chair and President of Denim Marketing.


Rachel Brown, Owner and CEO, Rachel Brown Homes

Heels and Hammers: Confidence in Construction for Women

Do you find yourself struggling to gain respect from men in the field, both customers and tradesmen? Do you feel like you are struggling to compete against your male peers? Rachel Brown, owner and CEO of Rachel Brown Homes, an award-winning custom home builder, will share how deep mindful awareness, as well as personal acceptance of the fact that she is female, has helped her to calibrate, or set her personal thermostat, before going to job sites, meetings, conferences, etc. Learn from Rachel how to align your expectations with reality regarding how minority groups like women are sometimes treated. This earnest talk will inspire you to dominate your work day, (while wearing lipstick).




Jillian Pritchard Cooke, Founder, Wellness Within Your Walls

Designing and Building Healthy Homes

Wellness Within Your Walls is an informational resource group created to provide education and guidance on chemicals commonly found in living and working spaces. The group serves as a bridge between consumers and the building and design communities with the goal of providing education on building and designing healthier interior environments. Founder Jillian Pritchard Cooke will share the story of how it came to be, and will moderate a panel discussion on health and wellness in housing.


Ann Blake, Ph.D.
Environmental and Public Health Consulting
Shannon Harris
President & Co-founder, Fuse Living
Adriana Hayward
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, HaywardScore.com


Mollie Elkman, Owner and President, Group Two

Building Perspective

It is not only fascinating to witness how two people can look at the same thing and see something completely different, it is empowering. Tapping into the diverse points of view that surround us can challenge us to be better marketers and more thoughtful collaborators. Mollie Elkman will guide you through her obsession with how the human mind works and how she has creatively embraced the unique viewpoints that surround her to build a successful business with a thriving culture.




Friday, September 27




Keynote: Leyah Valgardson, Founder and Executive Coach, Leader's Voice

Achieving a Leader's Voice

We've all experienced it. You're mistaken for the secretary, asked to take notes in a meeting, and interrupted when speaking. But today, there is a new voice. A new wave of leadership. And it is feminine. Our world desperately needs your feminine leadership. Now is the time to understand your power so you can show up, speak up, and be heard. In this workshop, Leyah Valgardson will discuss three things: The need for a new type of leadership, why voice is essential to effective leadership, and, most importantly, why your voice matters. Learn how to identify your innate leadership skills and build upon them for success. Grow your confidence and discover a way to develop your voice to become a more valued and valuable leader.

Five Minutes of Wisdom: Hear From Your Peers

Conference Adjourns