Colorado Public Works Journal, Fall / Winter 2020

Fall/Winter 2020 13 When you were in high school what subjects did you most enjoy? What were you good at? I really enjoyed Physics and Math and was actually very good at languages. So I studied Russian as a third language. Spanish is my second language as I started speaking it when I was three years old as I went to a preschool that was led by Spanish speaking staff What would have been your dream job back then? I enjoyed engineering and was always fascinated with construc- tion sites and had my father who was an engineer take me and show me around at every opportunity. I knew I wanted to do something with engineering, but I wasn’t sure what. Did you have a summer or part-time job, what was that? I was a cross country skiing coach for kids, and worked at a Hockey equipment store. Sports were my passion and I still play today. How did you get started in this industry? While I was at CSU I attended the CSU Career Fair where Brannan had a booth. I gave them my resume. What happened next? Brannan invited me for an interview and offered me an internship the following summer. The internship gave me the opportunity to learn the three core areas of work that Brannan offer: Pipe, Ready Mix and Asphalt. During the 13 weeks I worked in all areas, but focused mainly in the asphalt division Did your parents/family influence you at all? My parents were very supportive they just wanted me to do something that I enjoy and is a stable career path. How long have you been in the industry? Just over four years. Did any of your peers in CSU follow your footsteps? I have many friends that I graduated with from CSU also in the industry here in Denver, it is always fun to run into them on projects. Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently? No, not really. Everything I have done has led me to a place where I want to be. This Summer I employed an intern from CSU so it really has gone full circle. Do you think you would you have got this far without a college degree? Probaby not as quickly as I have, but if you have the drive and desire the transportation industry is a great career to get into for the growth opportunities, but it might take you longer to get here. Do you think it’s a difficult industry for women to establish a career in? It is still a very male oriented industry, which I think is why women shy away from these type of jobs, but they shouldn’t. Females are excellent star performers and I know many successful women in the industry. Who do you admire in the industry? Look up to? Do you have a mentor? Who is it? My mentor would be Grant Cruseturner who has been very sup- portive of me and helped me grow with the company. Also, Jeff Langan a superintendent here at Brannan has been my go to for help. I admire women owned businesses and have recently worked with a female owned company that are relatively new to the industry, she saw a need for a reliable environmental contractor and started a business to do just that. I admire that. Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years time? I like that I work for a solid company (Brannan was established in 1906) with a good reputation that gives their teams full support. I would like to continue to grow with Brannan. Does your career choice get in the way of your social life? Very much! The summer hours are insane and working nights interferes with any plans to go out as my friends are just making plans to go out when I have to go to work. It’s exhausting at times and I am very tired. However, I do get to have most weekends off and working nights there is less traffic, so less dangerous and it is not as hot. In the winters things calm down a lot and I am thankful that my favorite activities (hockey and skiing) are winter sports. I’ve heard you say you like problem solving, has there ever been a time when you haven’t been able to solve a problem on site? Yes, but when that happens I talk it through with my superintendent and we come up with a plan. It may not be the ideal situation and we would prefer not to do it that way again but I always learn from the problems and how we solve them. I have always come up with a solution that I will then talk through with my supervisor before executing if it is something more complex. Can you ever see yourself doing anything else? No. I am never bored in this job and I love the challenges it gives me. It is very physical and tiring at times, but to think of sitting in an office behind a computer every day is not something I want to do at this time. Who would you like to see us interview in CPWJ? Send your suggestions to us at: When I was invited to be a board member of Women of Asphalt Colorado I knew I was going to meet some amazing women in this industry. Many of them have impressed me with what they do and how they have progressed in what has historically been seen as a ‘mans world’. Meeting Kelly French is proof that if you want it enough, women can succeed too.