Becky Olson, LEED AP, project manager, Skanska USA (Richmond, Va.)

WHO SHE IS: Born and raised in northeast Nebraska, Olson graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. Now with more than 20 years of construction experience in Nebraska, North Carolina, and Virginia, she currently oversees multiple Virginia-based projects for Skanska, primarily in healthcare and research laboratories. One of her latest accomplishments is the completion of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Children’s Pavilion in Richmond, Va., the largest outpatient facility dedicated to pediatrics in the region. Opened in March 2016, the 640,000-square-foot building features four stories below grade and 11 above, consolidating most of the hospital’s outpatient services under one roof. Olson led the interiors package, cost management, and final financial closeout of the project.

YEAR IN REVIEW: The complexities of the VCU project ran deep, starting with the requirement to demolish an underground parking deck attached to a fully operational existing hospital. Furthermore, the site itself was in a densely populated urban locale: to its left, a bustling college campus with a sensitive research facility; to its right, City Hall; and across the street, the governor’s mansion and state capitol. Olson successfully managed the complex, multiphase guaranteed maximum price project ($140 million total construction cost). This included managing the client’s owner direct purchasing program, which saved $1.7 million on the project, and an early material procurement program, which secured 95 percent of materials by the time construction was 55 percent complete. Olson also worked as a mentor to Lindsey Davis of Davis Brothers Construction, a minority business partner on the project, to help build her knowledge in project management. “Becky took the time to teach me how to read drawings as well as help me gain a better understanding of estimating and scheduling. She has been a great example of how to be professional and authoritative in this male-dominated industry,” Davis says. Olson also gives back to the communities where she lives and works. Over the past year, she’s dedicated her time to the small town of Princeville, N.C., which is rebuilding after devastating flood damage from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Olson has traveled to the town weekly to attend city meetings and planning sessions, providing valuable input on construction activities and helping to outline a clear path forward.

WHAT’S NEXT: Over the next 12 months, Olson will finish the Longwood University Student Center in Farmville, Va., where she’s managing a unique exterior finishes package to blend with the campus’ Jeffersonian architecture. She is also providing program management for the Capitol Crossing Phase 1 project in Washington D.C., developing and managing the bid packages for the Carilion/Virginia Tech Health Science and Technology project. She continues her work as advocate/adviser for the town of Princeville on rebuilding efforts and fundraising opportunities.