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Drees Homes celebrates Women in Construction Week 2024

Posted on Mar 03, 2024 by dreeshomes

This Women in Construction Week, Drees Homes honors its female employees for their exceptional work in the field, in the office and everywhere in between. Since its inception in 1998, Women in Construction Week has celebrated and promoted the role of women in the construction industry. Nationwide, women make up just 11% of the construction workforce, according to 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


At Drees, 45% of the company’s employees are women. Additionally, Drees places emphasis on cross training, encourages employees to explore different job roles and promotes employees from within. 


Although the Drees team members featured in this piece are just a snapshot of our women employees, we are proud to share what they love about working in construction, how they’ve overcome adversity and why they believe diversifying the industry is vital.


Amanda Puckett - Construction Administrator, Midwest




Although she has worked in the construction industry for nearly two decades, Amanda Puckett says her career came about partially by happenstance. In the early 2000s, she worked as an assistant builder, renovating large, multi-family apartment buildings until she was asked to serve as an interim Project Manager. Ultimately, the company named her Project Manager, and she worked in that capacity until coming to Drees in 2018.


As Construction Administrator, Amanda manages the contract-to-start goals for Drees Homes’ Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky divisions. She completes all Custom Design Requests (CDRs), and she serves as the liaison between Architecture and Builders, vendors and Market Managers.


When she was first hired as a Builder, she was instrumental in rolling out a brand new condo product at Preston Oaks in Northern Kentucky. Since then, Amanda has moved from the field to the office to work in her current role, and she has graduated from the company’s Management Development Program (a two-year program that identifies employees who have strong growth potential within the organization). 


Having worked in the field in capacities that are traditionally male-dominated, Amanda believes diversity is important in not just the construction industry, but across the board, as it allows everyone to have a seat at the table and bring their own unique opinions and problem-solving abilities to the forefront. 


“When we limit ourselves to a particular race, gender or educational threshold, we take opportunities away to expand the company,” Amanda said. 

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Amanda has her sight set on advancing her career at Drees. She is hopeful that she will be able to go back into the field to work as a Construction Manager. She could also see herself working in production.


“At the end of the day if you are a hard worker, people will respect you,” she said. “I have always worked with the mindset of showing the people around me that I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.” 


Until Amanda came to Drees, she always considered her work to be just a job. Now, she feels fortunate to work alongside coworkers who are as passionate as she is about bringing value to their roles.


“Thanks to Drees and the investment that they have made in me, I do feel that this is my career and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else,” Amanda said.


Jennifer Roseberry - Builder, Northern Kentucky 



Jennifer Roseberry’s career path was natural – she grew up around construction, and she always envisioned herself doing that line of work. Her construction career began in the commercial sector, but she quickly realized she wanted something more personal. 


Jennifer started her Drees career in 2015 as an Estimator, but her goal was to eventually work in the field managing builds. She completed the Builder Trainee Program in 2017 and earned a promotion to Builder. She’s been working her dream job since.  


“I wanted a career that didn’t feel like a job. This is the one … I wanted something more personal, and residential building gives that personal aspect – I am building someone’s dream home,” Jennifer said. 


The Northern Kentucky Builder oversees the build of several homes from start to finish – dig to close. She is responsible for scheduling contractors and ensuring their work is to the highest of Drees Homes standards; a portion of her job she takes very seriously. 


“Drees has standards of quality that really make them stand out from other home builders, and that is something I can put my name behind,” Jennifer said. 


Those high standards have made it easy for Jennifer to stay with Drees for the past eight years. The company’s values help her achieve her goal of delivering a home to the customer that “shows the quality we stand for and in a timeframe that customers really appreciate.” 


For Jennifer, it’s that personal element, the relationships she builds with each homebuyer, that is her favorite part of the job. She also values the camaraderie that exists between her co-workers. If she’s ever in a crunch, if she ever needs anything, all she has to do is call. 


“My co-workers are outstanding people – friends,” she said. 


As for her long-term career goals, one thing’s for sure: she plans to stay at Drees and would love to move up in the company … one day. 


“My biggest struggle is that I am not ready to leave behind the field and being onsite everyday for the home builds. I really enjoy what I do and the feeling of accomplishment when I meet customers for the last time in their home prior to closing – it’s a great feeling,” Jennifer said. 


Chantée Adams - Purchasing Manager, WDC



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Chantée Adams is proof that the construction industry offers opportunities far beyond nailing, drilling and building. For Chantée, operations is her “happy place.” The WDC Purchasing Manager has been at Drees for more than a decade, having started her career as a receptionist in the early 2000s.


She transitioned to Estimator in 2014 and learned the ins and outs of new home construction. Since then, she has earned two more promotions, and now, Chantée is instrumental in monitoring the construction process for the division’s condo units.


In order to thrive in her role today, Chantée had to get scrappy when it came to learning. She didn’t have prior construction knowledge, so she invested in herself and bought books, taught herself by watching YouTube videos and learned from her colleagues who had decades of experience. 


Lastly - Chantée wasn’t afraid of making mistakes, as she used each one as an opportunity. 


“I believe my attitude, passion, optimism and work ethic created opportunities for advancement,” Chantée said. “I’m not shy to admit ignorance. If there is something I do not know or understand, I research and ask questions. I’m resourceful. I want to know what is being done wrong or, ‘How can we do what we do better?’ I believe I am operating within my gift.”


Although statistical data is low in regard to women working in construction, Chantée feels encouraged that the number continues to climb each year. 


“When we embrace diversity, we not only offer inclusion, but we also develop a well-rounded view of the world in which we live,” Chantée said. “Through diversity, we can design a product that speaks to the demographics.” 


Over the years, Chantée’s most memorable experiences have been attending estimating college as well as graduating from the company’s Management Development Program (MDP). Chantée describes herself as a lifelong learner; she values the knowledge she has acquired in her time at Drees, and she looks forward to what she will learn in the future.


Asked what her favorite part of her job is, Chantée said it is not any one thing. “Every aspect of my role offers work that is meaningful,” she said.


And Chantée is excited to continue that meaningful work. Next August will mark her 10-year anniversary in operations, and she is looking toward her future at Drees, with the Operations Manager position on her horizon.


Danyelle Jernigan - Customer Care Manager, Raleigh


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Danyelle Jernigan started her Drees career as a Customer Care Coordinator but quickly moved into a Warranty Manager Trainee role. Within several months, Danyelle earned a promotion and began working in her current role, Customer Care Manager. 


Danyelle oversees the Raleigh Customer Care team, walks customers’ homes ahead of New Home Presentations and meets with homeowners who have concerns that need to be escalated. While Danyelle admits that customers don’t often call her with positive notes or thank yous – she recognizes that her position requires a don’t-take-it-personally mentality, something she has mastered. Despite the sometimes difficult conversations, Danyelle said she truly enjoys meeting the customers and utilizing her problem-solving abilities. She also enjoys hiring and training members of her team. 


“It brings me pride watching them learn and excel in their positions,” Danyelle said. “Raleigh’s Customer Care success is all due to their efforts of learning through errors, continuing their home building education and constantly trying to execute at a high level. We’re a great team, and I’m thankful for each person on it.”


Across the company, Danyelle is the only woman who serves as Customer Care Manager. Despite working in a male-dominated role, she said it’s something she doesn’t think about too much. Although, she said she agrees more women should feel empowered to work in the construction industry. 


“I’m not hesitant to hire a woman or someone from a diverse background … I am thankful for the diversity because it ensures we are providing our customers with a well-rounded background and skillset. It widens the amount of customers that Drees is able to relate to and reach,” Danyelle said. 


One thing she has noticed in her management role - sometimes customers address her differently than her male counterparts. In these situations, she feels her intuitiveness serves her and the homebuyer well. 


“Homeowners may be matter of fact and direct when speaking to him [Construction Manager], but to me, they share more of their emotions and look for empathy. The situation turns out the same regardless of if they were talking to Ryan or me, but they intrinsically feel as if they’ve been ‘heard.’ At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is what it’s all about,” Danyelle said. 


In addition to her fast-tracked career trajectory, Danyelle has also graduated from the company’s Management Development Program. For Danyelle, these accolades at Drees have been so much more than just career moves. 


“It’s the first company I work for that I feel truly valued as not just an employee, but as a person,” Danyelle said.


Lisa Najpaver - Customer Care Representative, Cleveland


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Lisa Najpaver has been dabbling in home repair projects for as long as she can remember. Perhaps it was her father’s “jack of all trades, master of none” philosophy that sparked an interest in construction. 


Lisa started her career in construction as a Property Manager for a company that built apartment buildings before coming to Drees to work in Customer Care in 2022. 


As a Customer Care Representative, performs Home Quality Inspections (HQI) and New Home Presentations (NHP), serves as an emergency on-call representative and completes any follow-up work orders. 


Lisa’s most memorable inspection happened one late afternoon on a Friday before a long holiday weekend, when she noticed a door handle had been installed backwards. She thought she had unlocked the door, but alas, Lisa found herself locked in to what she calls “possibly the most sturdy build in the Cleveland division.” The powder room didn’t have any windows, and she had left her phone on the kitchen island. Thanks to a little quick thinking and modern technology, Lisa was able to call the Builder from her Apple Watch, who sent a concrete technician to unlock the door. 


“Needless to say, the concrete crew and I had a good laugh,” Lisa said. “I now test all doors from outside of the room.” Although, most of the HQIs Lisa conducts aren’t that eventful.


“My work involves extensive customer and contractor follow up and follow through,” Lisa said. “Developing rapport with the homeowners is probably the most important responsibility that can make or break our working relationships.” 


Thoroughly inspecting new homes is a task that takes many eyes, and Lisa said she’s glad she can add value to that process with her unique perspective. 


“A female view, thought patterns and processes, and general interaction can be strong traits we can utilize,” Lisa said. 


“Oftentimes, the tried and true methods or thoughts can be dismissive of a homeowner's observations. Listening to and hearing the homeowner's concerns - they are valid and need to be approached with compassion in this extremely large investment where their children and furry family members live.” 


For Lisa, there are two components of her job that she enjoys in particular – the support she receives from her co-workers, from Builders to managers and witnessing the joy that customers experience when moving into their new home. 


“I enjoy walking a home before and after the homeowners make it their own. How they decorate, what they see as important to them, settling in with their children or furry family members – I find it exciting and rewarding,” Lisa said.