Employee Spotlight: Kathryn Emtman

Name: Kathryn Emtman
Title: Project Manager
Brief Professional Biography: Kathryn has been in construction since 1997 and joined Lewis in 2005.  She brings a diverse background as an owner representative and mechanical engineer before joining Lewis in 2005.  Kathryn holds a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Management from Washington State University.  She is currently project manager on the Nine Two Nine Office Tower project in Bellevue.
Q: You started your career as a mechanical engineer and also spent some time as an owner representative. How did you end up working for Lewis?
A:  As an owner representative, I would coordinate a project from conceptual design to closeout, and while I enjoyed the design phase, I thrived during the construction. Every day was a new learning experience and I enjoyed the comradery of the project teams in the field.  When the opportunity presented itself to be a project engineer on the Four Seasons hotel project and manage the mechanical and electrical scopes of work it was a perfect match.  I joined Lewis in the fall of 2005 and after some intensive preconstruction we broke ground at the Four Seasons in the spring of 2006.
Q: What do you like most about working in the AEC industry?
A: The thing I like most about this industry is that it is continuously changing and the daily challenges are a constant motivator.  As I progress through my career I am able to use past experiences to tackle new challenges; however every project, every issue, every team is unique.  It is navigating through obstacles and developing solutions with my fellow team members that I find fulfilling.
Q: What organizations are you currently involved with? 
A: Over the last couple of years I have been partnering with the WSU Construction Management faculty to conduct industry presentations for the students.  In May of 2013, I attended a BIM symposium on campus and presented ways that Lease Crutcher Lewis is using BIM to change the way we build projects.  In addition, I recently joined the local chapter of NAWIC, National Association of Women in Construction, to locally build and promote their nationally recognized programs aimed at encouraging the education of women in science, engineering, and construction management. 
Q: As a mom of two young boys, how do you find time to juggle work and organization involvement?
A: As with anything in life you find the time you need to do the things you feel passionate about.  I enjoy my involvement in building iconic projects, am passionate about the advancement of young women in this industry, and have a love and affection for my family that is insurmountable.  My two sons, ages 5 and 3, encourage me more than anyone to be successful, and none of this would be possible without the support of my husband, Casey…and my running shoes.
Q: Do you have any advice for young women looking to get into this field of work?
A: Don’t feel intimidated.  There are no physical barriers that prevent women from excelling in this industry.  Each person brings something unique to this line of work and if you have a desire to be a part of the vertical landscape of a city, I would encourage you to jump in feet first.