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Jamie Vanek 
Vice President 
Turner Strategic Technologies 
Norfolk, Virginia

What qualities make a woman in construction successful? 
Clear communication and grit are essential to make it in this industry. Women have to work harder to gain the respect of their peers, so it is imperative that a woman is able to communicate her expertise clearly and have the grit to stick with it.

When traveling, if you had to pick one: fancy hotel or fine dining?
Fine dining. When I travel for work it’s usually to reinforce relationships with customers, coworkers or partners, so a shared delicious meal would far outweigh the hotel room.

If you were castaway, what one thing would you bring with you to the desert island?
A knife. I’d love to say I have a survival instinct for choosing a knife, but the first thing I thought of was versatility and chiseling a writing utensil. 

What is your favorite construction skill/trade?
Electrical. The science and technology related to the design, equipment and installation of electrical systems is fascinating. There is a lot to learn, and the technology keeps the subject relevant and interesting as construction systems evolve. 

Which superpower would you choose?
Flying. It just seems like fun. I’m also nervous on an airplane, so the ability to fly would ease my mind.

How do you define success?
Success for me looks like:

  • Having children who are kind and think independently;
  • Financial stability to keep me afloat for a little while if my job disappeared;
  • A healthy body that gets eight hours of sleep each night;
  • A healthy mind that stays sharp, but restful at the end of the day; and
  • Having a community of people who genuinely care and share enjoyable experiences together.

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