Melissa, a project manager for the roofing division at W.H.Demmons (located in Portland, Maine), just celebrated her one year anniversary with the company! W.H.Demmons has been in business for 109 years and is one of the only contractors in Maine with a professional engineering division.
When Melissa was hired by W.H.Demmons, this was the first company that looked at her for her skill, education, and ability rather than her gender even with her extensive career (since she was 21 years old) in construction. Melissa holds a degree in Project Management, has held the titles of project engineer for E.S. Boulos, Document Controls Manager for Burns & McDonnell Engineering; where she worked on the 1.4 billion dollar CMP Maine Power Reliability Project as well as the 5 billion dollar Energizing the Future Project with First Energy located in Ohio. Melissa also has a very busy family life with her three children, one grandchild, and husband. Her and her husband love to go fishing every weekend they can on Great Pond and Belgrade lakes.
Surprisingly, even with Melissa’s extensive knowledge and background, she still experiences gender prejudices working as a female project manager in the construction industry. In this day-in-age that might seem surprising to some people; but not to Melissa, who says she is used to it at this point.
In the past year, Melissa has worked on a number of large projects for W.H.Demmons. Managing the installation of a new white TPO roof on the Colby College Schupf Arts Center, an EPDM roofing project at 66 State Street in Portland, and the installation of a new white TPO roof at the South Portland Community Center so that Solar Panels could be installed, are a few projects that stand out to her the most.
As project manager, Melissa is in charge of a number of project aspects that all have to be completed on a particular timeline. These responsibilities include (but are not limited to). ordering the materials for the jobs, handling costs to stay on a budget, invoicing and billing, and scheduling manpower for the job sites to be sure the projects will be completed on time. Before W.H.Demmons, Melissa worked for Burns and McDonnell Engineering, and was on the Maine power reliability program (a 1.4 billion dollar project). She was in program management for 7.5 years, and was one of the project engineers for 5 years with ES Boulos working on the utility side of the industry building substations. Although Melissa’s background, degrees, and experience should prove that she is more than qualified to handle the job, biases within the construction industry still exist and “talking down to women” is an ongoing issue. Shedding light on women that are part of this industry and kickass at what they do is something we would like to highlight. We greatly value Melissa’s expertise here at W.H.Demmons and we know she’s qualified to do the job.