subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
careers careers
events events
subscriber login subscriber service
ENR Logo
Subscribe to ENR Magazine for only
$82 a year (includes full web access)
Emerging Woman Project Coordinator, 24 , Makes a Mark in Detroit Construction Circles

Kelley Fischer, a 24-year-old project coordinator for the F.H. Martin Construction Co., Eastpointe, Mich., was recently appointed chair of the Young Constructor Associates, the first woman committee chair in the 88-year history of the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. In between her duties as chair, Fischer finds time to teach Tae Kwon Do, serve as a middle school youth advisor to her church, and volunteer for the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction.

Fischer doesn't sound like your typical project coordinator, and she's not. She was never formally trained in contracting. In fact, Fischer was hired by F. H. Martin Construction Co., which mostly does commercial and health care projects, to do data entry while pursuing her B.A. in English Literature at Wayne State University.

Hired as F. H. Martin's full-time project coordinator in 2000, she writes engineering manuals, coordinates safety classes, and is aiding in the company's strategic planning stages. Fischer credits the company president, Andy Martin, with her decision to continue in the engineering field and to get involved in the Detroit chapter of AGC.

"The president has a very open-door policy, which has been crucial for me growing up in this company," says Fischer. "Andy Martin is very supportive of industry affiliations. He's also very supportive of education."

Although Fischer is the first woman chair in AGC's Greater Detroit chapter, she doesn't see her gender as the principal issue. "I don't see it so much as a ‘female thing,' " she says. "I see being a young professional as more of a challenge than being a woman."

Fischer is particularly interested in helping young professionals to make contacts in the community, beyond their usual network of co-workers. On May 20, her committee will sponsor a fundraising and volunteer venture between the Young Constructor's Forum and the Ronald McDonald House. Fischer sees the partnership with this charity as both a way to increase attendance numbers and a "low-pressure" effort to get the young people in construction more involved in their local communities.

Fischer is also spearheading a seminar on leadership development for local engineers. She hopes to invite speakers with very different engineering backgrounds, from an engineer who started out in the mailroom of his company and is currently its vice president, to an engineer who decided to start his own company.

"[These seminars] are something I want to carry on," says Fischer, who stresses that such different perspectives are the key to success, both on a committee and in the job world. She cites her involvement in the Young Constructor Associates Committee as an example. "There are five to six of us on the committee. One is a conceptual engineer, another is from the concrete division in his company, and another is the civil engineer," says Fischer. "We bring such a diverse background to the committee and we're doing great things. It's not just any one person who is making it happen."


----- Advertising -----

----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Other Voices: Highly opinionated industry observers offer commentary from around he world.
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »