• Women in Project Development & Construction
  • June 15, 2015 | Authors: Asha Echeverria; Meredith Eilers; Emily L. Kahn
  • Law Firm: Bernstein Shur - Portland Office
  • Earlier this month, over 50 women in the project development and construction industries from across the state gathered together for a networking event and panel discussion in Falmouth, sponsored by Bernstein Shur. The event provided a unique opportunity for women in the field to make connections, get to know one another, build community, and share experience and knowledge about the industry. A panel featuring leaders in the industry discussed recent trends and opportunities for growth in project development and construction in Maine:
    • Roxane Cole (Principal, Roxane Cole Commercial Real Estate)
    • Erin Cooperrider (Development Director, Community Housing of Maine)
    • Vera Rand Roberts (Senior Vice President, Regional Commercial Manager, Camden National Bank)
    • Lita Semrau (Architect, Port City Architecture)
    • Beth Sturtevant (President, CCB, Inc.)
    Various topics, including the challenges that poor infrastructure and regulatory barriers present to towns and developers led to a lively discussion among the larger group covering areas as diverse as public-private partnerships, opportunities and challenges in training and developing skilled talent and labor, and changing the perception of “development” in the larger Maine community. Among the panelists, and the group as a whole, there was a general consensus that things are improving, but that we are still coming out of the economic downturn, and there is more interest in investing in new construction here in Maine, as compared to a few years ago. However, the rate of improvement is regional, with more happening in southern Maine and the greater Portland area than in the north and Down East regions, where progress is moving more slowly. This and many other areas for opportunity throughout the discussion proved enlightening and engaging amongst such a diverse group of professionals.

    Inspired by the terrific group and the excellent discussion, planning for the Second Annual Women in Project Development & Construction Event is well underway for next spring!