Women Executives in Building: Virtual Leadership Series
Date: September 23, 2020, 1:30-3:00 pm EST

Location: Zoom Virtual Meeting

Women in the built environment must break through what keeps them from advancing. Equality within executive leadership and management is where women across our industry should be headed. For example, nearly half of the engineering classes are women and a larger portion of entry-level spots are being filled by women. The time to work on advancement issues is now.

You're invited to this limited-invitation virtual event with keynote speakers Sandra Benson, WW Head of Engineering, Construction and Real Estate for Amazon Web Services and Nancy Novak, CIO of Compass Datacenters. These monthly virtual meetings will lead up to the second annual Women Executives in Building Summit on May 5-6, in Nashville, TN.

Who Should Attend: All female C-Suite executives in the building industry, from association executives to women–owned and operated trade businesses.

Event format: This month we will have Nancy Novak, Chief Innovation Officer, Compass Datacenters and Sandra Benson, WW Head of Engineering, Construction and Real Estate for Amazon Web Services as the keynote speakers. They will share statistics and their message on how we can move the needle and continue to place more cracks that glass ceiling. This is also an opportunity for conversation with other C-Suite female executives in a safe, thought-provoking environment.

  Free - space is limited


Sandra Benson is the World Wide Head of Engineering and Construction for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Sandra has over 25 years in the E&C industry including the role of VP of IT at SNC-Lavalin, WW Construction GTM Lead at Hexagon, Global Industry Director of E&C for Oracle and has worked with many of the largest Construction companies in the world. She has spent her entire career in the E&C industry and is passionate about transforming its’ productivity through the use of technology. The Construction industry is ripe for disruption and AWS is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role.

With more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Novak brings extensive expertise in oversight and responsibility for Profit and Loss. In her current role as Chief Innovation Officer for Compass Datacenters, her focus is cutting edge technology, lean practices, and innovative culture through diversity of thought to add value, improve return on investment, and disrupt the construction industry. Prior to joining Compass Datacenter’s Novak was National Vice President of Operations for Balfour Beatty Construction. At Balfour Beatty, Novak was a key resource in assessing and strengthening the company’s ability to scale knowledge and bring national consistency to strong, existing operating standards. Previously, her 20 year career as an Operations Executive with Hensel Phelps Construction Company gave her the expertise needed to build complex projects efficiently.

She is heavily involved in organizations that lead the way for technology advancement in the construction industry, and she is an advocate for women’s leadership. Her passion for advancing women in business occurs through organizations like iMasons, Women for Women International, The National Woman’s Party in Washington DC, Women in Government Relations (WGR), Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE), the World Trade Center (WTCI), Fortune Media Most Powerful Women, and Above Glass Ceilings LLC.

Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE is President & CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Woods is responsible for leading the Institute's dedicated team of professionals, enhancing its value and visibility and growing relationships with its members, clients, public agencies and partners. She also leads efforts to expand the organization's programs and markets while growing and strengthening its membership base.

Prior to joining NIBS, she was the Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) where she oversaw a 27-member team responsible for all marketing, revenue-generating programs including sponsorship sales and partnerships with major national companies.

Lakisha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), as Secretary/Treasurer on the Board for the U.S. Green Building Council and has spoken at national and international industry events. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park and lives with her husband and daughter in Howard County Maryland.



Jennifer Hitzke, jhitzke@nibs.org
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
National Institute of Building Sciences

Innovative Solutions for the Built Environment

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