A native Texan, Erin joined the firm in 2013. As a mother of two with a busy transactional practice, her free time is a precious commodity. Still, she makes time to get involved with industry organizations that promote the advancement of women and improve the lives of children.
It’s not easy balancing a family and career, but Erin found her niche with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association’s (NVBIA) Women in the Building Industry Committee (WBI). WBI’s mission is to promote career advancement and leadership skills of women in the building industry to ultimately increase the number of women in leadership. Next year, Erin will serve as president of the committee.
“I am always looking for a way to drill down to a core group of people I can connect with on a more substantive level,” explains Erin, when asked how she decided to focus her philanthropic energies with the WBI. “I look at an organization’s goals and if I identify with them, I know there are opportunities. That’s how I know I will find like-minded people and be able to connect with them on a more in-depth basis.”
WBI is one of NVBIA’s newest committees. When she attended her first WBI meeting, Erin did not know what to expect, but she was extremely impressed by the energy in the room and the number of women who have joined. Recently, U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Comstock was the keynote speaker at a WBI event that featured a discussion on family life/work balance and offered panels on best practices for résumé preparation, interview tips, and negotiating upward career mobility. Lorri Holland, the firm’s administrator, served as a panelist.
Back in Texas, Erin’s brothers and father are the fifth and fourth generations running a family-owned construction business. Having been immersed in the building industry her whole life gives Erin a good perspective on how difficult it can be for women to find their way in the male-dominated building industry. Her advice to women is to get out there and believe in yourself. “If you know what you’re doing,” she maintains, “it doesn’t matter what gender you are.”
As the committee’s president, Erin will seek to continue to find ways to advance WBI’s mission of teaching women how to become leaders in the industry and build confidence through connections. Erin will also continue her annual tradition of coordinating the firm’s participation in HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Backpack Challenge. She was introduced to this annual event through her involvement with NVBIA. Thanks to Erin’s efforts, the firm donated 49 backpacks to children in need in the D.C. metro area in 2016.
What advice does Erin have for those looking to get involved? “Choose an organization with a purpose you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid to say no if it isn’t the right fit because when you do find your niche, it will fit in nicely with your professional and personal goals.”