Dynamic teams are integral to successful and profitable outcomes on projects on construction sites around the world. With women currently making up 9% of the industry’s workforce, Nordic PCL is taking an active role in shaking it up. This means staffing projects with driven and tenacious women like superintendent Emberly Valgardson and project manager Claire Thompson.
Emberly Valgardson, superintendent
As the youngest and first female superintendent in the 80-year history of Nordic PCL Construction, Inc., and recognized on Pacific Business News’ 2018 list of Top 40 Under 40, Emberly has propelled herself in six short years through the ranks from field engineer to her current role overseeing construction of a multimillion-dollar high-rise condominium in Honolulu. The construction industry fascinated her from an early age and guided her career aspirations. Emberly has worked on complex high-rise, hospitality, and residential developments, where she’s applied and perfected her Building Information Modeling (BIM) skill set and management style.
Emberly’s motto, “One team,” underlines her passion for mentorship and holding herself accountable for the team’s wins while gaining support from those who work for, with, and above her. The highest accolades for Emberly’s accomplishments come from her team. Construction manager Brian Van Deventer states, “As a leader on Nordic PCL’s jobsites, Emberly’s engaging personality, extensive construction knowledge, and strong communication skills enable her to seamlessly manage complex projects, improve safety, and build teams focused on a common goal—successful building.” Emberly has an amazing presence with people and a natural ability to match skill sets with project needs. Her work ethic of “no stone un-turned” drives her to find solutions to every challenge. In addition to mentoring young professionals, her volunteer work extends into the community through Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics Hawaii, and Mormon Helping Hands.
SMALL STEPS TO SUCCESS
Claire Thompson, project manager
As a project manager for Nordic PCL, Claire Thompson embodies excellence in the construction industry, based not on just one striking occurrence but hundreds of smaller actions. Claire’s aptitude for self-management, as well as for building strong relationships, effective communication, and conflict resolution, and her never-ending pursuit of continuous improvement in the profession as well as the community, culminated in the distinction in 2017 of Pacific Business News’ magazine recognizing her as one of the Top 40 Under 40. In a complex, dynamic industry often seen as being dominated by men, Claire consistently stands out. Since joining Nordic PCL in 2014 as a field engineer, she’s been promoted three times. When asked what she enjoys about working in the Hawaiian construction industry, Claire stated, “I enjoy working with owners and designers: everyone has a unique story and has made many contributions to the islands, and all are working to make Hawaii a better place for everyone.” Her unique perspective and ways of thinking continually propel her team forward.
Claire is viewed not only as an exceptional business woman but also as a leader throughout her community. She lives by the phrase, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.” She strives for excellence throughout her life and works daily to be an example to those around her. Claire volunteers her time to the Special Olympics Hawaii along with Aloha United Way and the Punahou Alumni Association Board, the school she graduated from. Her tenacity and continuous drive for success have made her an asset to those at all levels of the organization, from tradespeople in the field to executives in the boardroom.