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February 1, 2016

Munro is first woman to head local AGC chapter

  • The AGC of Washington is working to attract younger members.
  • By BENJAMIN MINNICK
    Journal Construction Editor

    It has taken 94 years, but finally a woman will guide the AGC of Washington as its chapter president.

    That distinction goes to Nancy Munro of Kirkland’s MidMountain Contractors.

    “I think it’s important (to note) that women have always been involved in the AGC,” she said.

    Munro

    Munro said her goal as president is to advance strategic initiatives such as the Future Leadership Forum, which provides education, professional development and networking for the up-and-coming leaders of member firms.

    Munro said the local chapter is also working to get younger members on the board of trustees and government affairs committee.

    One of those new board members is Jessica Scarsella of heavy-civil contractor Scarsella Brothers. Scarsella is the fifth woman on the 19-member board, and is also on the Future Leadership Forum’s steering committee.

    “You would be surprised at how many women are coming into the industry,” Munro said. “You will see more change in the next five to 10 years. I believe the construction industry is evolving and will continue to do so.”

    Other areas that Munro will focus on this year are:

    • Finding funds for capital construction and restoring the Public Works Trust Fund

    • Promoting the local AGC Safety Team program on a national level

    • Investing in IT programs

    Munro said the Safety Team program is highly regarded by local contractors, and the chapter could present it as early as September to the AGC of America for a future national roll-out.

    Locally, there are 299 members in the 25-year-old program and their recordable injury rates, severity rates and EMRs are 25 percent below the industry average.

    To keep those numbers down, the Safety Team audits members’ jobsites to uncover potential problems before they lead to accidents.

    For IT upgrades, the local chapter will soon add video conferencing for education and meetings. Munro said video conferencing could be the ticket to increase participation by busy AGC members. She said they are also looking at archiving meetings so they are available on demand.

    Munro said she is concerned about workforce development in the construction industry, a problem that is also faced by manufacturing and marine industries. She said the construction industry can attract the next generation by educating parents about the benefits, promoting STEM education and by getting vocational classes back into schools.

    Munro got into the construction industry in 1988, joining a start-up contracting business called Volker Stevin Pacific that did a $750,000 sewer rehab for the city of Kent. She initially handled administrative tasks and was the firm’s third employee.

    Volker Stevin Pacific later merged with MidMountain Contractors and Munro moved into operations. She said she “evolved” into her current role as executive manager at MidMountain, a heavy-civil contractor. MidMountain is working on demolition, utility and hardscape subcontracts for the Elliott Bay seawall project in Seattle.

    At MidMountain, Munro started a program called Giving Back to the Community, which has helped several schools and backed charity events such as Pierce County Hunger Walk. One of the school projects donated labor and equipment to rehab Lawton Elementary’s playground in Seattle.

    “The opportunity for me to give back to my community is very rewarding because I want to make a difference,” she said.

    Munro said she spends her spare time with her husband, Rod, and her children and grandchildren. She and Rod recently built a waterfront home in Edmonds.


     

    Benjamin Minnick can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.


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