This year, Women in Construction Week takes place March 5 through March 11. The National Association of Women in Construction established WIC Week™, or Women in Construction Week™, in 1998 to celebrate and promote the role of women in the construction industry. This year’s theme, ‘Many Paths, One Mission,’ celebrates the different journeys women have taken toward the same goal: strengthening and amplifying the success of women in construction. Firms of all sizes and types will take time to recognize the contributions and achievements of women in our industry.
In anticipation of this special week, we would like to shine our staff spotlight on two of our Project Engineers: Sibil Holder and Linda Elben. Sibil and Linda play an invaluable role in our company. They are the hands-on, detailed-oriented, highly knowledgeable professionals who drive construction projects. They work with clients, architects, contractors, subcontractors, and fellow Willow team members to understand the needs of a project. Before projects begin, Sibil and Linda must identify and prioritize all necessary steps, establish timelines, and identify all the contractors, subcontractors, and necessary resources. Once projects are underway, they handle all submittals and change orders and ensure that all parties have the latest construction drawings. Doing this, they help to ensure that projects stay on track and that clients are pleased with our progress.
Please take this opportunity to learn more about Sibil and Linda from their bios below. For more information about WIC Week, please visit https://wicweek.org/
Meet Project Engineer Sibil!
Sibil Holder has worked as a Project Engineer for Willow Construction for over five years. Originally from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Sibil earned a degree in Drafting and Project Management and started her career in Mechanical Design. Upon relocating to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Sibil transitioned to Willow because of its strong reputation within both the construction industry and the community.
Sibil spends a lot of her time taking care of all the required paperwork for a given project. She says that the amount of time she spends in the office versus in the field can vary from project to project. The key is staying on top of changes as they come up and clearly communicating those changes to everyone involved.
Sibil has worked on such notable projects as the Beebe Healthcare Pharmacy Renovation, Cadista RTU Replacement, PHI Millsboro, a maintenance facility at the Talbot Country Club, the Lakeside water treatment facility in Trappe, and the Talbot County Community Center Gym (a recently awarded project). She actively works on about five projects at any given time.
Sibil greatly enjoys being part of the Willow team. She loves what she does, and she takes pride in working with colleagues who treat each other like family and who always present their best selves to clients, the public, and each other. Sibil also values Willow’s ongoing commitment to the community.
For any women who are considering a career in construction, Sibil advises to go for it: “There are a lot of opportunities for women, and there is great need for skilled employees right now across the industry. It’s a great time to enter the field.”
Meet Project Engineer Linda!
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Linda Elben got her early start in the construction industry as a drywall, metal framing, and acoustical ceiling subcontractor. Once Linda decided she wanted to pursue a management role in construction, she completed coursework at a local community college and accepted her first job with another General Contractor.
But Linda’s work in her subcontracting days had familiarized her with the folks at Willow, and she knew Willow would be the perfect environment for her to excel in her career. She eagerly joined the Willow team as a Project Engineer in August 2021 and has been very happy in her new role.
Linda is also grateful for the care and support that Willow gives its employees, their families, and the greater community, and she feels well respected by her colleagues and by the company’s leadership. In fact, when asked what she likes most about working at Willow, Linda replied, “I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like about working for Willow.”
Linda feels that her early hands-on experience as a subcontractor has better enabled her to fulfill her duties now. She has a thorough understanding of every step of the construction process, from planning to completion. She estimates that she spends about 75 percent of her time in the office coordinating submittals, RFIs, RFQs, and change orders between the Owner, Architect, and Subcontractors. She also ensures that everyone involved in a project receives up-to-date drawings. She also spends time outside of the office visiting project sites and meeting with clients, architects, subcontractors, and other Willow team members. These meetings help to ensure that projects run smoothly at every phase.
One of Linda’s recently completed projects was The Narrows Restaurant in Grasonville, Maryland. The project entailed a phased renovation of the existing facility, plus the addition of a large, covered outdoor dining area with a stone fireplace. Linda enjoyed seeing the transformation of the restaurant, which has been in operation for over 40 years and has become a local landmark along the Kent Narrows waterway. Linda appreciates how the finished project changed the landscape of the property and waterway while maintaining a sense of tradition.