Karen Middleton, Project Manager
What do you love about the construction industry?
There are many positive things about having a career in Construction. I enjoy being part of a team that together builds something that will benefit our communities and is something that we can take pride in knowing our work makes a difference. When we complete a project for a client, it’s fulfilling to know we were able to deliver their project for them. On top of this, the construction industry has allowed me to meet many great people while constantly learning new things and being able to earn a great wage to support my family.
Advice you would give other women entering our field?
The construction industry is more than just men swinging hammers and digging trenches. It’s women and men working equally in engineering, manufacturing, material sciences, finance, marketing and construction trades to create something tangible. What we do collectively will be something we can walk into, touch and show our families what we do each day at work. It’s something to take pride in today and years to come.
Your favorite projects to date and why?
Royal Bank of Canada’s Guelph Data Center, Guelph, Ontario
This project allowed me to be a part of a diverse project management team from three distinctly different regions (Michigan, New York and Toronto) while employing Trades from 42 different countries. Not only did we all come together from our different backgrounds to complete the project, but we also enhanced our lives from learning about different backgrounds, learning about new cultures and expanding our view of the world we live in. For example, one Project Manager that I worked closely with grew up in the USSR in a communist society and experienced the fall of the iron curtain before immigrating. Seeing America through his eyes opened our eyes to how we can be so alike yet so different.
Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (Cobo)
As a part of the renovations of Cobo, the project not only remodeled 2 million square feet of building, but was a part of the comeback of Detroit. The DRCFA was an early leader as a successful template for other Authorities helping Detroit rebound, kicked off a new excitement with the construction boom taking place downtown, plus was the catalyst for the North American Auto Show and other large conventions to be hosted in Detroit bringing in revenue and jobs to SE Michigan.
What are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your spare time?
When not working, I enjoy traveling, socializing (normally out of town) and riding my Harley Davidson.
What professional organizations are you a part of or recommend?
Does being a HOG Member count?