Hi! I am Barb.
Music lover. Dog lover. Problem Solver. Divergent Thinker. World traveler. Adventurist. Team Builder. Hiker. Ambivert. Unstoppable dancer to Footloose. Avid Learner. Challenge Seeker. Lover of the outdoors and avocados.
Although my dad owned an HVAC company, and I worked at a Building Materials retailer all through high school and college, a career in construction never crossed my mind. Lucky for me, prior to my junior year of college, I stumbled across the Construction Management Bachelor’s degree program...and the rest became history. After graduation from UCM in 1996, I joined a large General Contractor as their first female hire from college specifically training to become a Superintendent. My climb started as a Carpenter Apprentice learning HOW to build, and progressed through the rungs of JourneyPerson Carpenter, ForePerson, Assistant Superintendent and then to Superintendent managing my own jobsites. Although the company itself was progressive, not everyone I encountered had a progressive mindset and therefore as a woman in such a strongly male dominated industry, I faced adversity and challenges on each rung of my climb. Looking back now, it is interesting to see how each of the challenges shaped who I became as a person, team member, mentor, and leader.
After a couple successful decades in the field, I decided it was time to take on a new challenge and requested a move into the Pre-Construction department. This had not been done before and I think upper management thought I had lost my mind. I learned a lot about what went into winning projects and clients, but I also learned that sitting behind a desk with limited interaction with humans was not my jam.
When contacted by a recruiter regarding an opportunity for an owner’s representative position, I was intrigued. As Project Executive for a large nationwide developer, I was able to utilize both my pre-construction and field experience to manage the design and construction teams for $100M+ projects from napkin sketch to punchlist. After decades of being one of the, if not the only woman on jobsites, one of the most unexpected challenges in this new role was re-learning traditionally female communication styles in order to successfully collaborate with the incredible women that marketed, leased and managed the properties that we built. Owner's Rep was truly a fantastic role but after several years, I missed managing and mentoring direct reports.
In 2020, I started a new role as Operations Director with a young General Contracting firm. This was an opportunity to not only mentor and manage multiple teams across Kansas City, but also to help shape a small company. Holding a position with the ability to initiate changes that could propel both people and a company forward was exciting.
At some point, I began to take a studied look around the industry and it became clear to me that women entering the industry today are facing many of the same challenges I had faced 25+ years ago. Why isn’t change happening faster? Why are the challenges for women at the top just as difficult as those starting out? What can I do to accelerate change? How can I make a notable difference? The answers to these questions culminated into the start of my venture... Levocity...and my mission to Increase the Success of Women in Male Dominated Industries.
Levocity...Leveraging Curiosity to Drive Change.