ABC Idol Recipients

ABC-Idol-logo2ABC Idol recognizes members that stand out, go above and beyond normal volunteer activities to enhance the reputation of ABC. Members with the highest level of nominations will be named ABC Idol for the month and be presented with the ABC Golden Hammer until a new ABC Idol is named!

ABC Idol – October 2021

Tara Anderson, TDIndustries

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
My current involvement is through LOGIC and helping advance involvement of women in the Houston construction market through ABC.  I really enjoy the How-To events as well as getting to know the women at all the various member companies.

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
My original involvement in ABC started very early in my 20 year career at TD.  I can’t remember what it was called then, but I started on the HR committee.  I was very new to HR and the industry and the resources and connections proved a priceless foundation for my knowledge as HR Coordinator and was a huge part in my advancement as I furthered my career.  I’ve done the PM class through NCCER, the Leadership series with Linda Carter and the gang, the Commercial Committee and now LOGIC.  I also try to stay involved through the PAC events and annual luncheons and breakfasts.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
I think my biggest achievement to date is my career progression over 20 years at TD.  I started as an intern, working as the receptionist and back-up dispatcher.  On through HR, project management, and now I’m doing Business Development and leading the preconstruction team for our Special Projects division.  I would not have been able to tell you what I’d be doing now if you had asked 20 years ago, but it has been a fun and challenging ride!

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
My piece of advice is the same for new folks or veterans of the industry.  Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet.  If you see someone who “got lucky” – whether it’s a project award, a promotion, or making a 3-pointer at the buzzer, remember that you’re only seeing a snapshot in time.  You’re not seeing the years of hard work, studying, practicing, and preparing that person put in prior to the single second in time that they “got lucky.”  Keep up the hard work and the opportunities will come.

ABC Idol – September 2021

Carolina Hernandez, Harvey Builders

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
I am a member of the LOGIC committee, have participated in various ABC industry events such as fishing tournaments and clay shoots, and am a graduate of the ABC Leadership Forum.

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
I became an ABC member when I hired on with Harvey Builders and have become involved with ABC to grow my network in this industry.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
My greatest achievement thus far was starting my mental health journey in 2018. Through therapy, I have gained self-awareness, resilience, and tools to overcome challenges which have all greatly improved my personal and professional life.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
Stay curious, treat every setback as a learning opportunity, and network!

ABC Idol – August 2021

Bill Brown, Austin Commercial

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
My involvement with the ABC dates back to early 2015 when I first called Houston my new home. I have always been active in the construction industry and I was looking for a way to help men and women who were interested in the construction trades. I learned about the CMEF organization first and then the ABC. Although I was not an active member at the time, I still participated in activities where I could over the years. In 2020, I interviewed for the Board of Directors and was chosen to serve a 3 year term beginning in January 2021. I also agreed to be the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. As a Board Member and Chair of the D&I Committee, my involvement includes all aspects of ABC as it relates to Membership, Safety, Education, and Political Advocacy. In my short time I have been involved in the following committees/activities:

  1. The Diversity & Inclusion Committee started with 0 members in January 2021. It now has 61 Members
  2. I helped lead a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Grant Initiative where the Greater Houston Chapter was awarded a $10,000 Grant to support the Diversity and Inclusion Programs for the 2021-2022 year.
  3. I am actively involved in the Diversity ABC Government Affairs Committee
  4. I am actively involved in the Member Services Committee
    1. Minority & Women-Owned Business Membership has increased from 28 to 44 through July 2021. Our goal is to reach 60 MWBE Members by the end of 2021.
    2. Our ultimate goal is to end up with 100 MWBE Members which would end up with a 25% participation rate and be representative of the Greater Houston Market.
  1. The D&I Committee is an extension of the current ABC initiative regarding Membership, Education, and Political Advocacy. We also have a Diversity Resource Group and we are a liaison to colleges and universities.
  2. I am actively involved in CMEF Workforce Initiatives
  3. I am actively involved in the Construction Careers Youth Committee and the CMEF High School Program
  4. I am actively involved in the Certification Committee for the 2022-2025 Board of Directors.
  5. I represent the ABC on the Port of Houston Business Equity Advisory Committee
  6. I represent the ABC as a City of Houston – Office of Business Opportunity Community Partner
  7. We are working with the Harris County Department of Economic Equity & Opportunity to provide best practices

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?

I decided to become involved in the ABC/CMEF because I have a passion to help those in the industry that consider Construction as a sustainable career and as an alternative career. I also support the Merit Shop philosophy that is present in this part of the United States. I didn’t know what to expect when I took on the role of the Diversity and Inclusion committee but I have received nothing but support from the Executive Leadership, Board of Directors, and the D&I Committee.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?

  1. My greatest personal achievement was the day I graduated from college. I was the 1st in my immediately family to accomplish this milestone and it helped to shape the person I have become today. I chose to go to a college with an attendance that did not look like me and a culture that didn’t match my culture. I learned to adapt and because of that accomplishment, I walked away, prepared for an industry that matched my college experience.
  2. My greatest professional achievement has been as a key member of a team that helped shape a division and a book of business for the Houston Market. It taught me to trust the process when things are not looking so well and to have the confidence in your teammates along your journey.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?

My best piece of advise for someone new to the industry is to find the leader within themselves and apply that leadership to the best of your ability. Find a way to give back to the industry the same way it will do for you. This can be accomplished through your time, your passion, your resources, and your influence in the market.  Be authentically yourself and have fun!

ABC Idol – July 2021

Olga Nicoli, Adaptive Construction Solutions, Inc.

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
I became an active member of ABC in January 2019 as ACS became more involved with committee activities. I immediately went to work on several of the event committees as I have experience in hospitality and event planning. I am also heavily involved with the LOGIC Committee, and I assist other ABC groups as capacity allows.

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
I enjoy helping others, being involved with ABC is an opportunity to network with other member companies and share the mission that ACS has for workforce development and supporting veterans in an effort to serve our communities.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
Through working with ACS, I have been able to help over 700 veterans, opportunity youth, and disabled individuals with their transitions into new debt-free career pathways. I have learned about so many different life experiences, new cultures, and challenges others have to overcome. I have a sense of pride about my work, and I also have a healthy curiosity for learning more about people who come from different walks of life than myself.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
I would say don’t be intimidated by the construction industry. There is ample opportunity to make a difference here, your skills are valuable, and just dive in – your level of participation drives the level of success you can achieve.

ABC Idol – June 2021

Ricardo Gonzalez, 1 Priority Environmental Services, LLC

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?

a. I am currently the Chair for the D&I Education Subcommittee under the leadership of Bill Brown.  We are currently working on several projects to assist minority and underutilized contractors so they have a full understanding of what ABC / CMEF can do to enhance their presence, safety and performance on the current and future business environment.

 i.      Some of the projects we are developing:

  1. ABC Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Initiative Grant
  2. CMEF High Schools Training Programs
  3. Working with ABC Committees and members to promote diversity.

b. 1 Priority Environmental:

i.      Qualifying for STEP Platinum Status

ii.      Qualifying for Excellence in Construction Awards Competition

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?

  1. Initially I got involved mostly for networking with existing clients and new opportunities.  Once I learned more about what ABC stands for I discovered that ABC offers unlimited opportunities for networking as well as business and personal development in all aspects.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?

  1. My greatest personal achievement are my children as I help them achieve their dreams by teaching them to pursue their passion which translated in successful careers.
  2. My greatest professional achievement is that I started sweeping floors for a demolition company and reached very high levels in the industry by learning the system and working with relentless dedication.  I now use my experiences and time to help others achieve their own dreams.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?

  1. Find what are you passionate about, do your research in the field and get fully involved.  Contrary to what many people think, compensation will come on its own if you show passion and dedication to what you do.  There is always someone watching and if you show dedication, they will help you in your career.
  2. Many years ago, I had 3 jobs to make ends meet.  I supervised a remodeling crew during the day, cleaned a library at night and attempted to sell water filters in my spare time (never sold one).  One day the owner of a building we were remodeling noticed that our work was above standard and invited me to do some repairs at his private home in an expensive gated community, so I started going to do small repairs and would take with me a helper that had a car because I didn’t.  So one day this gentleman asked me how come I always came in different vehicles and when I explained my lack of transportation he invited me to his garage and handed me the keys of a car that belonged to his wife since he had bought her a new one.  I was in awe as he told me that he had been observing me and wanted to help.  We started a friendship and eventually became partners in a company that ultimately led me to start in the demolition business and the rest is history (a very successful one)

ABC Idol – May 2021

Darryl Samuels, D. Samuels & Associates LLC.

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
I serve as co-chair of the ABC Diversity & Inclusion Committee and a member of the ABC Commercial Committee. My involvement with both committees is to build relationships between different ethnic and cultural groups encouraging them to work together for their benefit, for their companies, and for the construction industry. I also teach the ABC’s Frontline Supervisor class on a quarterly basis and enjoy helping field workers making the transition into a supervisory leadership role.

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
I’ve always admired the ABC.  Having worked as a business consultant specializing in construction management I worked with and encouraged my clients to join the ABC to take advantage of the safety, training, membership services, and PAC opportunities which provided growth opportunities for their firms.  When I started my own company, I practiced what I preached and joined myself where over the years my profile and company has gained a tremendous about of credibility in the industry.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
Besides getting married, my greatest accomplishment occurred when I was in undergrad at Iowa State University. I received a full-ride scholarship plus benefits to attend graduate school where I later earned a Masters’ degree in Community Regional Planning and Public Administration.  The significance was that I fortified my potential, applied my skills, and voice to initiate, facilitate, and captivate change in the arenas I work in today.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
Be nice to people because you don’t know what they’re going through. Construction has a lot of moving pieces in which professionals, tradeworkers, and workers endure tremendous pressure due to time constraints the industry invokes. Being conscienceous and helpful at the same time always pays off.

ABC Idol – April 2021

Peyton Burns, Holes Incorporated

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
I have been actively involved with ABC for almost 3 years. I have joined various committees along the way and make my best efforts to attend as many functions as possible. Currently, I sit as the Chair for the Elite Committee, Vice-Chair for the Spring Golf Committee, Committee Member of the College Scholarship Committee and Committee Member of the PAC. Involvement in these committees has allowed me to meet and expand my personal network.

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
The running joke around our office is that they just threw me to the wolves. Basically, when I first started at Holes Inc. I would get signed up and told to go to the various function’s ABC was having that week. From attending such events I found a culture that allowed me to develop relationships and industry knowledge in a comfortable environment. My involvement has allowed me the opportunity to meet many great industry professionals that pushed me to continue my participation with ABC and the various committees.  

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
The achievements I have accomplished in my young career have allowed me the opportunity to develop into the person I am today. I had the opportunity to attend and graduate from the best college around, University of Texas A&M; I was lucky to marry my wife, a person who loves me unconditionally, pushes me to be a better person, motivates and supports me to be all that I can be; and started my career with a pronounced construction company, Holes Inc., which has allowed me the opportunity to develop in my professional career. All these things have helped shaped the person I am today both personally and professionally.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
The best advice I have for someone new to the industry is to jump right in. Get involved. If you do not know how, ask. What you put into the industry is what you will get out of it. 

ABC Idol – March 2021

Kara Przybyl, Action Gypsum Supply

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
I am currently the Co-Chair of LOGIC (Ladies Operating for Growth in Construction). I was one of the first members of LOGIC when it was founded by Nancy Cagle. Our objective in the women’s peer group is to provide an environment where women can seek out encouragement, factual confirmation, learn about career opportunities, and information in regards to best practices within the industry. We strive to encourage women into leadership roles while also inspiring future women into the industry. LOGIC also finds ways to pay-it-forward through charitable resources. I am very proud of how far we have come in the past three years but the best is yet to come!

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
I joined ABC as soon as I came on board with Action Gypsum Supply. Although Action Gypsum has a strong female owner and mentor, I was surprised at how few women were involved in the construction industry. ABC and LOGIC allowed me a professional environment to learn and share with other women.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
My biggest achievement is adapting and being able to see opportunities while implementing solutions in an industry I had limited experience in. In my short time at Action Gypsum, I have spearheaded programs that enrich workers and in turn, provide additional value for the company.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?

Educate yourself and ask questions!  You would be surprised at the generosity and willingness of people to share their expertise.

ABC Idol – February 2021

Kimberly White, Stewart Organization

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
I have been actively involved in ABC/CMEF for a little over a year. I started by attending a few  Member Mixers to get a feel of the association. It didn’t take long to realized the quality of the members and the ease of networking with them.  Soon after, I attended two LOGIC committee meetings. I was so impressed by this organization and the women of the committee , I decided to dig my heels in and ABC.  I currently Chair the Marketing Committee, working closely with ABC members interested in personal development and growing their companies presence. I also serve as Chair of the  Community Outreach Sub-Committee with LOGIC. We a great time last year, planting an organic community garden and look forward to more fun ways of giving back in 2021!

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
The Stewart Organization is a strong technology supporter of the Construction and GC industry. I became involved with ABC to deepen my understanding of the industry and clients we serve, while building strong relationships within it.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
Honestly, my greatest achievement is making it through 2020!! LOL. That is, with peace of mind, love in my heart, and a spirit of perseverance.  I believe you learn the most about yourself in the tough moments of life.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
Get involved with an association.  There is a full landscape of support and opportunities within the industry that can be easily missed if you’re not plugged in.

ABC Idol – January 2021

Alicia Kyle, ABGi

Tell us about your involvement with ABC/CMEF?
We are fairly new members of the ABC of Greater Houston Chapter and I must say, I am very proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.  Since the start of our membership with ABC, I joined a few committees in order to get more involved and get acquainted with other members of the organization and its staff.  I am currently an active member of the Commercial Committee, Political Action Committee and most recently joined the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

 

Why did you decide to become involved with ABC/CMEF?
I am always looking for ways to help others and like to get more involved with our community and the industry.  I enjoy working with people and am willing and able to help out when and where I can.  My Mentor and Leader, Craig La Grappe, saw a great opportunity for me to do this with the ABC organization, so, he encouraged me to join and get involved.  Everyone that we have met at ABC has been very helpful, cordial and very welcoming…it feels good to be a part of such a great organization. I am also very fortunate to be able to work with a company like ABGi, a company that understands the value of providing sponsorship, helping the community and the industry alike, and who affords me the opportunity to get more involved with this organization. My new role as Business Development Manager for ABGi USA, along with the many years experience as a Director of Human Resources and Safety, and Consulting, in the Construction, Fabrication, and Oil & Gas industries will be very helpful in my personal goals to grow with this organization and be able to mentor others and those young adults coming into the industry.

 

What’s your greatest achievement (personal or professional) and how has it shaped the person you are today?
I feel that my greatest achievement thus far, both personal and professional, is where I am in life today.  I have a great new Sales career in the Finance industry, I am a proud member of the ABC organization, and my husband, Mike, and I have a big beautiful family to boast about.  I have faced head-on many adversities and hurdles along the way in my career path and in life, in general, that have made me the person I am today.  Growing up in the industry, a Latina, I worked very hard…put in many late nights, weekends, and holidays to grow professionally…and successfully balanced that with my family and home life as well.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you have to offer for someone new to the industry?
Get involved as much as possible…whether it be by joining committees, attending events and providing sponsorship whenever and for whomever you can, etc.!