Meeting/Event Information

Creating Diverse and Inclusive Project Teams Beyond Enterprise Goals

March 03, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Virtual Meeting

We have all been there: a project RFP has goals for disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, or other targeted business participation; or you are the certified businesses striving to create partnerships with other firms. How can we build teams that fill these gaps? The answer is to build partnerships and trust before any specific RFP comes out, building teams to not just to meet targets, but to enhance project and professional performance for all involved. Join a diverse panel made up of both small and large businesses across the AEC spectrum to hear their experience, success stories, and tips on building diverse and high-performing teams.

Who Should Attend:
Firm Principals
Marketing Director
Marketing Manager
Marketing Coordinators/Staff
Business Development Director
Business Development Staff

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the benefits of having diversity on project teams, as part of your win strategy.
  2. Tips to engage leadership in creating equitable teams before the RFP arrives.
  3. Learn about resources, organizations, and events that are available to expand your partnerships.

SMPS Domains of Practice (for CPSM)
2 - Marketing Plan
3 - Client and Business Development
4 - SOQs | Proposals
6 - Information, Resource, and Organizational Management

About the Panelists


Stephanie Lee, Vice President at Carlson Partners and Managing Partner and Corporate Development at Marabek (MODERATOR)
Stephanie was recognized as the 2020 Advisor of the Year by Carlson Partners; the 2018 Top Women in Finance by Finance and Commerce, and the 2017 Top Women in Business by the Twin Cities Business Journal for good reasons. She has the unique big picture ability to help her clients to create alignment between real estate strategies and business strategies and pull the greatest value out of a significant leverageable financial asset. Stephanie has over 15 years of executive leadership experience in corporate America with Cargill and Courage Center. Her career’s work has involved all aspects of global M&A, strategic planning, sourcing, selecting, and leading a turnaround acquisition; leveraging commercial real estate to position an organization for growth. She has completed over $1 billion worth of M&A and real estate transactions in 3 continents.

Stephanie is a visible proponent for minority and women business owners and leads the commercial real estate diversity collaborative, whose mission is to increase diversity in the commercial real estate industry. She is also active on the Strategic Board of Advisors at the University of Thomas.


Elizabeth Campbell, Director of Emerging Business Inclusion at Ryan Companies
As Director of Emerging Business Inclusion, at Ryan Companies US, Inc., Elizabeth works to increase the number BIPOC and women-owned subcontractors and suppliers working on Ryan construction projects.  She works closely with business owners and project managers to increase opportunities to bid, win work and develop lasting relationships. Elizabeth excels at creating an environment where all parties can share different points-of-view with respect, resulting in clear expectations and successful results. 


Willow Nichols, Founding Partner at Victus Engineering
Willow Nichols is a founding partner of Victus Engineering, a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering firm that helps architects and building owners to design thoughtful, efficient, and sustainable building systems. Willow is a licensed Professional Engineer in many states and holds a Class A Master Electrician license in Minnesota. Prior to founding Victus Engineering, she designed electrical systems for a variety of award-winning, complex, and just-plain-cool projects throughout the country. Willow is an MBA candidate at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas. Prior to college, she was named a National Merit Scholar and earned the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts (back when she was a boy). She now lives in the Seven Corners neighborhood of Minneapolis where she enjoys gardening on the balcony, cooking with her fiancé, and playing the guitar … poorly.


Kristine Hutera, Chief Executive Officer at Empirehouse Inc.
Kristine Hutera is Chief Executive Officer for Empirehouse Inc. Kristine is a graduate from the University of Minnesota Majoring in Communication with a Minor in Business Administration and Psychology. Beginning work with Empirehouse in 2005, Kristine’s major focus was to understand not only the business itself but to understand the industry as a whole. Kristine worked in many different facets of the business to achieve this primary goal including, Architectural sales, Marketing, Risk Management, Human Resources, and Accounting. Kristine has truly been able to gain a wealth of knowledge and gain that business focus that was so desired from the start of her career. In 2017, Kristine was titled Chief Executive Officer and directed her attention on the development and implementation of the generational transition and to drive policy and procedures.  Each day she continues to work hard with the Empirehouse Team to implement new plans and procedures into the future of Empirehouse Inc.


Alicia Belton, AIA, NOMA Principal at Urban Design Perspectives
With over 30 years of experience, Alicia Belton is a Founding Principal and Chief Creative Officer of Urban Design Perspectives (UDP). She leads this African American women-owned firm committed to environmental stewardship, client advocacy, and equitable practices. As an AIA 2030 signatory firm, UDP's vision is to design wellness in the world. Using the framework of architecture, project management, and community engagement, the firm creates equitable and sustainable spaces where people work, live, and worship with a specialty focus on adaptive reuse. A University of Illinois graduate, Ms. Belton has served as President and Treasurer of the Minnesota Architectural Foundation, Chair of the Wigington Committee, and Co-Chair of the Small Firms Committee. One of her passions is to mentor and develop the next generation about the field of architecture. She hosts a STEM camp for girls of color and participates in the mentorship programs at the University of Minnesota and Dunwoody College. She currently serves on the Capital Area Architectural Planning Board, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, and is President-Elect for AIA MN. She resides in Minneapolis with her husband and two children and loves to cook, travel, and rollerblade.


$30.00 Member Registration

$45.00 Non-Member Registration