Connectivity can be defined as the measure of the extent to which the components of a network are connected to one another, and the ease and speed with which they can converse. In essence, the connectivity of a network is an important measure of its productivity and resilience.

For networks to become powerful, they must be interconnected, and for women in construction across the state of Louisiana, this is no different. The level of connectivity within our professional and personal networks is what creates diversity, innovation, and resilience. In addition, we must be deliberate about connecting regional networks so that maximum value is realized

During the 2019 Women in Construction Convening learn about the networks that exist to support and promote women in construction across the state of Louisiana. Special topics and networks introduced include:

From Myths to Mitigation: Risk Management in Construction

Hosted by: National Association of Women in Construction – New Orleans Chapter

Time: 9:00am-10:00am

As the construction industry continues to evolve, women leaders must continue to develop and adjust their risk management strategies to protect their business interests. This includes understanding changes in contract law, the evolution of procurement methods, and how to prepare for negotiations and dispute resolution.

During this session, we will hear from three attorneys that will provide insights on risk mitigation, contract law, and best practices in contract development and negotiations. Special topics also include payment terms, partnering agreements, and dispute resolution.

Moderated by: Jeanine Norra, Branch Manager, United Rentals – Houma; President, NAWIC-New Orleans


  • Betsy Gordon, Partner, Shields | Mott, L.L.P.
  • Denise Puente, Partner, Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, L.L.P.
  • Maura Pelletri, Special Partner, Pugh Accardo Attorneys at Law

The New World Order of Green Building Practices: What You Should Be Doing Now

Hosted by: American Institute of Architects – New Orleans, Women in Architecture

Time: 10:00am-11:00am

Growing global populations and the increased need for sustainable construction, renewable materials, and green buildings are changing the construction industry for the better. Those firms that wish to remain relevant and compete must understand what green products, services, and technologies impact them and how business models can be shifted to incorporate innovative green practices.

During this session, hear from local and regional stakeholders in the green construction space. Panelists will provide information on the latest trends in green building and what women in construction should be doing now to prepare for the era of green buildings.

Moderated By: Terri Hogan Dreyer, LSBID, Founding Partner, NANO, LLC; President-Elect, AIA-New Orleans


  • Lorey Flick, PE, HBDP, LEED AP, Principal, Flick Engineering Professionals
  • Camille Pollan, LEED GA, City Energy Advisor, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, Office of Resilience and Sustainability, City of New Orleans
  • Kristin McKee, Program Director, APTIM Energy Solutions / Energy Smart
  • Jackie Dadakis, Chief Operating Office, Green Coast Enterprises

 Money Matters: Financial Planning and Wealth Building Strategies for Women in Construction

Hosted by: National Association of Women Business Owners – New Orleans Chapter

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

While women in construction are steadfast at building scalable businesses, managing teams, and gaining new clients, deliberate efforts must also be made to hone in on one’s personal financial plan. It is imperative that women seek the guidance of professionals when creating wealth building strategies that will ensure financial independence and sustainable, long-term financial growth.

During this session, participants will meet and hear from three wealth management experts that will provide insights into the importance of financial planning and having a solid strategy for building wealth. Topics include: investments, retirement planning, succession planning, etc.

 Moderated by: Gina N. Rachel, CPA, Tax Director, Postlethwaite & Netterville

  • Becky Gustafson, Financial Advisor, Gustafson Wealth Management, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
  • Amanda Peavy-Kennedy, Senior Financial Advisor/Senior Portfolio Advisor, Peavy Group, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.
  • Belinda Lewis Batiste, Financial Advisor, Vice President, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Women in Leadership Luncheon and Power Networking

Hosted by:  WBEC-South

Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

People at Work: Effective HR Management for Women Leaders in Construction

Hosted by: Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans – Professional Women in Building Council

Time: 1:30pm-2:30pm

Managing teams is one of the biggest challenges for leaders in construction management. Getting collaboration and productivity from all team members at each phase of the project takes careful coordination, team building, and effective communication and management. In addition, it is vitally important that leaders in construction are aware of and are in compliance with employment laws that are relevant to the industry.

 During this panel, attendees will learn about best practices in building solid teams in construction management and how to best manage those teams towards meeting project goals. Panelists will also help to dispel the many employment law myths that exist, particularly relating to contractors vs. employees, and overtime and minimum wage laws.

 Moderated by: Terri Thompson, Membership & Marketing Director, Home Builders Association, Greater New Orleans

  • Amy B. Bakay, SHRM-SCP, Principal/Consultant, HR Nola, LLC
  • Patricia E. Pannell, J.D., HR Consultant/Mediator, Gotcha Covered HR, LLC
  • Lakeisha Robichaux, MBA, CEO, Chief of Minds


During this convening, you will have the opportunity to –
  • CONNECT with industry influencers.
  • BE INSPIRED by intimate conversations about stories of collaboration and growth.
  • ENGAGE in a comprehensive discussion on JV and partnering agreements, contractual obligations, and risk mitigation – the science of collaboration.
In addition, this convening seeks to influence participants by inspiring them to align and act in the best interest of all women in construction.
Conversations will focus on jointly addressing issues and how women in construction can better advocate for and collaborate with one another.