Trailblazers in the Industry: Hensel Phelps Celebrates their Award-Winning Women Leaders

Tuesday March 5, 2024

The dynamic architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry increasingly recognizes women as top professionals in their field. Engineering News Record (ENR) recognized several of Hensel Phelps’ female leaders as leaders and innovators in their respective fields. These women exhibit qualities such as management, career progress, community involvement and creating landmark projects.

Allie Ackerman

Engineering News-Record (ENR) California recognized Allie Ackerman, operations manager for Hensel Phelps, as one of their 2024 Top Young Professionals.

Allie joined Hensel Phelps in 2011 as a field engineer on the $72.8 million Armed Forces Retirement Home New Commons and Healthcare Center in Washington, D.C. She continued to build her experience in the Mid Atlantic Region, working on a data center and research center/laboratory before transferring to the Pacific Region in 2016. She worked as a project engineer on the Building 40 renovation at Tripler Army Medical Center before being promoted to area superintendent on the Mauka Concourse Extension at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

At the age of 30, Hensel Phelps promoted Allie to project manager on the $157 Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Tunnel Influent Pump Station and Headworks Facility. It was the region’s first wastewater project and opened the doors to future work and training in the specialized sector.

“Allie immediately set the tone from my first day at Waianae WWTP,” Project Engineer Maile Tufele said. “I had no previous construction experience and she coached me every step of the way. She would come out into the field and review my layout and check my takeoffs before concrete placement. Even when I moved to another project, she always called to check in on me.”

Training the next generation of leaders is as important as the projects she manages. She currently oversees the $428 million Sand Island WWTP Secondary Treatment Phase 1 project. Despite having more than 100 salaried and craft workers on staff, Allie takes time to get to know everyone. When she sees someone struggling, she works with them to get to the root of the problem and to get through obstacles.

For Allie, commitment to others goes beyond her day-to-day duties. From 2022 to 2023, she served as president of the Rotary Club of Windward Oahu Sunrise. During her time as president, she spearheaded donation drives for Windward Oahu schools and other youth organizations, supported the organization’s scholarship program and assisted with Adventist Health Castle’s Christmas tree lighting event. Allie has also led several outreach and volunteer programs for Hensel Phelps, such as raising funds for Helping Hands Hawaii Adopt a Family Program and building showers and sinks facilities for the Girl Scouts of Hawaii’s Camp Paumalu on Oahu’s North Shore.

“Allie’s exceptional problem-solving abilities truly shine when working on large and complex projects. Her professionalism and unwavering confidence are contagious, inspiring her team to reach new heights. What sets Allie apart is her extraordinary talent for motivating others and her genuine passion for continuous self-improvement. She never fails to bring her team along on the journey of success. Allie’s remarkable achievements both in life and on various projects make her an outstanding exemplar of a young professional deserving of this prestigious award.”   

Thomas J. Diersbock, Executive Vice President, Hensel Phelps

Kasie Bowden

Engineering News-Record (ENR) California recognized Kasie Bowden, general superintendent for Hensel Phelps, as one of their 2024 Top 20 Under 40 Young Professionals.

Kasie joined Hensel Phelps in 2006 as a field engineer on the $101.5 million Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) West Adams Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, California. She continued to build her experience throughout Southern California, working on the LAUSD Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center Inpatient Tower Renovation and multiple terminal renovation programs at Los Angeles International Airport, totaling more than $2 billion.

Kasie’s current project, valued at more than $750 million, is the UCI Health – Irvine Medical Complex; major highlights include a first-of-its-kind all-electric CUP, a five-story outpatient tower, a seven-story hospital tower with 144 beds and a 1,300-space parking structure. Last fall, Kasie’s team managed more than 120 Hensel Phelps craftspeople working on concrete packages for self-performed structural, site and parking structure concrete. Her personal record includes managing more than 125,000 self-performed craftspeople hours with no lost-time accidents.

Although Kasie’s contributions in the field are considerable, her most significant contribution to the construction community includes co-founding the non-profit organization Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS) in 2013, which is geared towards growing a community for female leaders in the operational side of construction. This year, Kasie is the Governing Board President of WiOPS; she has met one-on-one with executives of several construction companies to discuss management’s approach to identifying, growing and promoting women in construction.

“I’ve known Kasie in various capacities, from volunteer to on-the-job duties. Kasie is a professional that doesn’t come around often. Kasie uplifts others around her and can motivate others in situations of large resistance to complete tasks in large capital programs. Kasie has continued her professional progression while giving back to the industry, which has given her so much, by taking on various leadership opportunities throughout multiple organizations. She is helping to foster the next group of leaders into exemplary professionals like herself in these organizations.”

Lauren Weinbaum, President, WMG Construction

Aligned with her efforts to support women in construction, Kasie has paved the way for mothers in construction. While she was pregnant with her first child in 2016, Kasie created a maternity leave roadmap with advice on how much time to take off and how to navigate state and federal laws regarding parental leave. In the following years, dozens of female Hensel Phelps employees referenced this roadmap to help them transition into motherhood and communicate their maternity leave plan to their teams. Kasie has since helped launch an unofficial employee resource group where moms can reach one another across the country and share ideas to thrive in the construction industry as working moms.

Callie Hepler

In 2023, Engineering News Record (ENR) Southeast recognized Operations Manager Callie Hepler as one of their Top 20 under 40 Young Professionals.

Callie joined Hensel Phelps 14 years ago as a field engineer and began her career working on the $300 million San Diego United States Courthouse in Southern California. Since then, she has worked on numerous projects in the aviation, hospitality and federal markets.

Callie quickly rose among the ranks at Hensel Phelps, working on projects including the $262 million Orlando International Airport (MCO) Automated People Mover Complex, the $445 million Terminal Lobby and International Arrivals Facility at Nashville International Airport and is currently working on the $1.5 billion New Terminal project at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Throughout her career, Callie spearheaded Hensel Phelps’ summer internship program in their Southeast region, has grown Hensel Phelps’ presence in Nashville, and has presented at their national Women’s Leadership Seminar (WLS). Her commitment, knowledge and grit stand as a foundation for her new leadership role on the New Terminal Project at Columbus International Airport. Her passion for developing the next generation of builders motivates her to be a strong mentor to her project team—especially women joining the industry.

“Being a minority in any industry isn’t a handicap, it’s an opportunity. Be proud of your individuality and use your unique strengths to your advantage. People will always be respected where respect is deserved. You’re the only person who can limit your capacity to excel. And always know that there is an ever-growing group of accomplished women in this industry who will offer support and guidance whenever necessary.”

Callie Hepler, Operations Manager, Hensel Phelps

As a prominent leader at Hensel Phelps, Callie has become a subject matter expert in managing complex, large-scale aviation projects. As Operations Manager, Callie will be responsible to Hensel Phelps’ clients for providing the leadership, vision and execution needed for the success of each project.

In 2024, Hensel Phelps promoted Allie Ackerman and Callie Hepler to operations manager, and Kasie Bowden to general superintendent. Recognized for their individual expertise, mentorship and leadership within the industry, these women epitomize excellence, reshaping the AEC landscape with their visionary contributions. Their journey inspires and catalyzes progress, propelling the industry towards greater diversity and inclusivity. Indeed, celebrating their achievements is not merely a recognition of individual success but a testament to the collective advancement of the AEC community towards a brighter, more equitable future.