President, Industry Relations Director
Service Manager, Power Systems, Toromont CAT
Lisa Brown has focused her career in the construction and power generation industry, including project management, sales and service of standby and prime power generation projects for Toromont CAT, one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealerships by both revenue and geographic territory. Lisa’s project exposure ranges from system supply to multi-million-dollar, design-build solutions in sectors such as mining, municipal infrastructure, commercial manufacturing and nuclear power.
Graduating from McMaster University with both a Bachelor of Engineering & Management and an MBA, Lisa has successfully progressed through increasingly challenging roles in an industry traditionally underrepresented by women. In 2015, she was honoured as a recipient of McMaster’s Arch Award, which recognizes success in personal or professional endeavours; interesting, unusual or innovative accomplishments, and contributions to society.
An active volunteer in the community, Lisa donates her time as a board director and fundraising participant for various not-for-profit organizations. In addition to the Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC), Lisa is also a director on the board of the Joseph Brant Hospital Auxiliary. She is a past participant in the Habitat for Humanity GTA Women Build, and previously dedicated six years to the United Way of York Region’s annual Dragon Boat Festival. In addition, Lisa enjoys mentoring aspiring youth, and is a regular participant in McMaster Engineering’s Mentor Connection Night, and the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC)’s annual Women as Career Coaches event.
Lisa is an active figure in social media, including as a member and past blogger for the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), best known for the Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100. Always craving the next challenge, Lisa is passionate about employee engagement and innovation.
Co-Vice President, Treasurer
Site Health & Safety Coordinator, Melloul-Blamey Construction Inc.
Clarice Crocker is a Site Health & Safety Coordinator in high-rise construction at Melloul-Blamey, one of Waterloo Region’s largest General Contractors. Clarice has held a number of roles in the industry. She began her career as a labourer in residential construction and went on to complete the General Carpenter Apprenticeship in the ICI sector. At this time, Clarice also took on the role of Health & Safety Representative which ultimately advanced her into the Site Safety Coordinator position. Her efforts earned recognition, and she became the first woman to receive Melloul-Blamey’s Corporate Health & Safety Award in 2014.
A strong believer in giving back, Clarice can be found leading initiatives at many community organizations. Within the construction industry, Clarice has advocated the skilled trades for the duration of her career. She has been a keynote speaker, panelist and mentor with Skills Canada-Ontario, Employment Ontario, and Conestoga College. Beyond the borders of her industry, Clarice supports organizations such as the YMCA and KidsAbility.
Clarice completed both the Women in Skilled Trades program and General Carpenter Apprenticeship at Conestoga College. She obtained the Construction Supervisory Technologies Certificate from San Diego State University and is currently majoring in legal studies at the University of Waterloo.
Her ambition is to see women have the opportunity to experience a lifetime of meaningful careers at all levels of the construction business. She looks forward to continuing to serve CAWIC’s membership and being part of a great team dedicated to advancing women in the Canadian construction industry.
Co-Vice President, Mentorship Director
Alena Tokareva is a Virtual Construction Coordinator at EllisDon Corporation. Alena is a LEED Green Associate, she strongly believes that focus on efficiency and ethical practices is the only way to achieving sustainable future.
Alena sees her life as an adventure: she was born in one country, raised in another one and now builds her career in Canada. On her way she received Masters in Architecture, gained experience in administration, construction management, design, marketing, customer services and as a small business owner.
Alena is proud to be a member and supporter of CAWIC, as it gives women exactly what they need: encouragement and opportunities to network and achieve what they want.
Director, Special Events
As an intern architect working towards accreditation my career has quickly given me introspective into the many aspects of the profession. Predominately I work on design and construction for schools, community centers and most recently the Toronto Housing Community Re-Set project. I enjoy a challenge and taking on a leadership role with all my projects. As a project manager and team leader I like to ensure that the team stays focused, has direction and is excited to see the evolution of an idea.
In my experience, for any project to succeed whether it is architectural or organizing a yearly event, a leader has to recognize the strengths of the team and build relationships with all participants. Not until we succeed on making these connections do we then know we have a project that everyone feels they can get behind and support. My career is dependent on these concepts and I take pride in my strength to be adventurous, build relationships and multi-task.
I support the work that CAWIC and other organizations are doing to educate our communities on the topic of gender equality. With my background and level of experience in Architecture and construction I would be a perfect candidate as a board member to chair a committee. I am honored to be in this position and look forward to speaking with you in the coming weeks.
Joanne's background is actually in Human Resources which she studied at Centennial College. Much of her career was spent in the educational sector as an office manager and she brings those skills to the CAWIC. However, changes in the educational system catapulted her into a new career track and she found her creative abilities being in demand doing marketing for a well known construction company. Her experience has ranged from proposal coordinator to client services to sales & marketing manager. Event planning, proposal coordination and production were the mainstays of her job.
Before working in construction, she was the office manager of a very large secondary school. One of her responsibilities was organizing and managing the "Grade 10 Girls Conference". This conference was initiated by the principal and its main goal was to encourage girls to continue to study math and science. It is a proven fact that by the time girls get to grade 10, they tend to drop out of the sciences. This yearly conference offered the students the opportunity to speak with women who worked in mostly male dominated industries about their career choices and opportunities. Each year, it was ensured that a woman who was in construction was invited to speak to the girls. This conference was such a resounding success that the grade 10 boys demanded their own conference! When you consider that over the next 5-10-15 years, there will be a significant labour shortage in our industry, Joanne feels that it simply makes sense to encourage women to enter the construction industry. That is one of her goals working with the CAWIC.
Project Manager, Vestacon Limited
Julie has over 8 years’ experience in the construction industry, having started with an internship at Pivotal Projects, and subsequent to graduation was hired at Vestacon Limited, a construction management and general contracting firm specializing in corporate tenant improvements. She’s gained a wealth of experience and knowledge, working collaboratively with a resourceful team of professionals, learning different stages of the construction business as she’s been a part of the company since its preliminary stages, and has gained an understanding of the needs and issues related to this sector.
She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Architectural Science, majoring in Project Management, and shortly thereafter obtained the LEED Green Associate designation, to further her knowledge on building resource efficient and environmentally responsible solutions. After a few years’ experience at Vestacon, she then acquired the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. On top of the responsibility of overseeing construction projects, she’s also the designated Health and Safety Management Representative, committed to enhancing the workplace environment, and ensuring employees follow safe work procedures.
Julie is an advocate for women building careers in construction, as they are an extremely valuable resource and make a positive contribution to the field. In collaboration with a group of female leaders from different sectors, she has participated in organizing and hosting seminars at Construct Canada with topics on addressing key strategies to help employers obtain, train and retain skilled women in Canada’s construction industry, as well as discussions on how to effectively implement a mentorship program and its key benefits to career and business development. She has also contributed annually at the Habitat for Humanity GTA Women Build, where she most recently gained the title of Women Build Ambassador based on her commitment to this organization and her fundraising efforts. Her goal is to reach out to young women, who haven’t yet decided on their career choice, and enlighten them on the variety of opportunities that the construction field has to offer.
Kate is a Project Services Manager and Project Management Professional (PMP) with over ten years of experience in the construction industry. In her current role, Kate oversees both capital and Ministry-funded projects in the Real Estate Management Division. She is an active member of the PMI Southern Ontario Chapter and is diligent in her application of best practices in project budgeting, scheduling, procurement, and contract administration.
Kate has managed the delivery of various large-scale renovation projects for some of the most prominent property portfolios in downtown Toronto. As a proud Torontonian, she takes great pleasure in adding value and integrity to the city’s real estate assets.
Kate believes that mentorship and networking are vital in the development of a successful career in the construction industry, and is always willing to provide counselling and mentorship to peers and protégées. As a longtime member and advocate, Kate credits CAWIC with giving her the opportunity to create valuable and meaningful industry relationships. She is honoured by the opportunity to give back and support the association by acting as an ambassador for CAWIC’s mission of facilitating the success of women in the Canadian construction industry through sponsorship, partnership, and leadership.
In her spare time, Kate is an avid outdoorsperson who enjoys backcountry camping, hiking, portaging, and scuba diving, and applies her project management skills to planning adventure-filled trips throughout Ontario and abroad.
Plan Review Manager (Acting)
Toronto Building Division for the City of Toronto.
With over a decade of experience with the City of Toronto in the Toronto Building, City Planning and Municipal Licensing & Standards Divisions, Natasha has extensive knowledge of the overall development approval process within the construction industry.
As a Building Official, Natasha is qualified as an Inspector under the Building Code Act. She holds a degree in Business Administration from York University with a Major in Human Resources. Natasha chose to enter the construction industry to be a part of city building and contribute in a positive way to the development industry. With the support of great mentors and her passion for Public Service, it naturally became the industry that she wanted to pursue her career in.
As a woman in the industry she is a strong believer in mentorship that encourages ambition and empowers confidence in young women. In order for women to be successful in the construction and development industry and continue to break barriers and open doors for other women, Natasha believes that women in the industry must seek to develop senior mentoring relationships early in their career. They must also develop networks and share best practices with one another.
North American Architectural Sales and Product Coordinator for Northern Facades Limited
Luana Buratynski, is the North American Architectural Sales and Product Coordinator for Northern Facades Limited, a division of Flynn Group of Companies. She obtained her Bachelor of Business Degree, Majoring in Marketing from Griffith University, in Queensland, Australia.
Her career has over 8 years’ of experience in the ICI sector. She sharpened her skills as an organized and detail minded coordinator with significant experience in operations, design development and variation changes for P3 projects while working at Vanbots / Carillion Canada from 2009-2013. She was involved in several key P3 Bid Projects, which led to her job site experience for document control and project coordination. Notable projects include Center for Addiction and Mental Health and Forensics Services and Corners Complex. She then was recruited to the heavy equipment rental division at Toromont Cat, supporting the machine sales team, for rental sales of large earth moving Caterpillar equipment to major companies, in land development, mining, solar farms, and civil infrastructure projects. Once her contract ended in 2015, Luana was recruited once again step back into the building side with Ontario Panelization, to take on a Architectual Sales position working with Architects, Specification Writers, & Engineers on providing preconstruction building envelope cladding material selection. Luana has now moved forward to expand her career with the Northern Facades Team, and has the privilege to work with many diverse and talented people planning the future of our building landscape.
Luana is also a huge supporter of promoting women within the construction industry, and has been a major part of the Women In Construction, Construct Canada Seminar Group for quite a few years. She is a passionate advocate for helping others grow their business within the construction industry, and is involved with several industry organizations, currently the active Vice Chair for the Toronto Construction Association Membership & Retention Team.
All CAWIC Board Members may be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org.