Cordoba Celebrates #WomenInConstructionWeek

In honor of Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day, Cordoba Corporation is celebrating the experience, skills and insights from some of our talented women involved in the construction field.  These team members are serving in a wide variety of positions and represent different backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints. They join all of our talented construction management staff in celebrating #WomenInConstructionWeek and Making a Difference for our clients and communities.

Alex McCracken

Alex McCracken is an accomplished professional with significant experience in all aspects of operations, including Human Resources, Business and Financial Management, and Information Technology, including experience on significant construction projects.

Alex has served as a Small Business and Title VI (Civil Rights) Program Manager on the California High-Speed Rail Project in Sacramento since 2015. She partners with the High-Speed Rail Authority’s Small Business Advocate to develop strategic plans and direction for the Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program to ensure the California High-Speed Rail is compliant with the state and Federal Railroad Administration regulations in order to successfully meet the 30 percent small business goal.  Alex is responsible for scope, schedule, and budget for all deliverables pertaining to the High-Speed Rail Program’s Small Business Program.

In her role as Title VI (Civil Rights) Program Manager, Alex partners with the High-Speed Rail Authority’s Chief of Administration/Title VI Coordinator to ensure for a robust, proactive and compliant Title VI program.  She is responsible for scope, schedule, and budget for all deliverables pertaining to the Title VI (Civil Rights) Program.  External efforts include meeting with community stakeholders to educate them regarding the Title VI and Outreach Environmental Justice processes and procedures.

Prior to joining Cordoba Corporation, Alex served as the Director of Corporate Operations and Human Resources for a healthcare corporation in Roseville, California.  In addition, she served as the Project Office Manager for a $8 Billion Joint Venture Team supporting facility program management services for the California Department of Corrections Rehabilitation Adult Prison Facilities in Natomas, California.

Alex also served as a Senior Project Administrator for a professional services firm in Natomas, California that provided Energy, Water and Waste Water consulting services to local government municipalities, Alex’s diverse experience also includes serving as the Statewide Local Government (LG) Contract Manager for the Utah Department of Transportation.  She was the Utah Department of Transportation, Transportation Information Project Manager for the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Alex earned her M.B.A from the University of Phoenix, where she also received a B.S. in Business Management.  She is a member of the Construction Management Association of America, Project Management Institute, Human Capital Institute and Society of Human Resources Management.

Brenda Valencia

Brenda Valencia has over six years of project engineering, mechanical engineering, and project management experience.  She is currently providing leadership as part of Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Technical Services Team at SoCalGas’ Blythe Compressor Station.

Brenda’s work at the SoCalGas Blythe Compressor Station includes serving as the Project Engineer for the station’s Fire Water System Facility Upgrade Project.  Her work has included leading the design and engineering team; completing all pre-construction deliverables; managing the project schedule; coordinating construction activities; securing permits; preparing drawing packages; working with the fire engineer; and reviewing vendor documentation.

In addition to the Fire Water System Facility Upgrade Project at the Blythe Compressor Station, Brenda has also provided project management support for the construction of a new, single story 13,969 square-foot Administration Building.  For this project, Brenda manages the design team; develops the project schedule; reviews and prepares permit packages; coordinates permit submittals; tracks change orders; facilitates project team meetings; and oversees construction activities.

Prior to joining Cordoba Corporation, Brenda provided project management and engineering services for a new Aqueous Ammonia Vaporizer Project in Louisiana, and she also served as a Mechanical Engineer working on a variety of projects for an Orange County based provider of air pollution control equipment serving the utility, refinery and commercial industries.

Brenda earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Fullerton.

Crystal Nussbaum

Crystal Nussbaum is a Project Coordinator with five years of permitting experience with gas and electric utility construction projects.  She is currently providing construction support leadership to Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) on projects in the Inland Empire.

As a Project Coordinator, Crystal serves as an important liaison between project managers, construction coordinators, and city engineers, to ensure all necessary permits obtained prior to construction.  In her role, she supports project managers by obtaining quotes from contractors; contacting local municipalities and other permitting entities to determine potential project impacts and notification requirements; managing project related documents; scheduling site visits to project locations; ordering and receiving materials for pipeline and instrumentation projects; coordinating project meetings and conference calls; and performing other project support functions.

Crystal has experience obtaining permits from such agencies as Caltrans, municipalities, county agencies, local flood control agencies, water agencies, and the US Army Corp of Engineers, as well as coordinating with other utilities.

Prior to joining Cordoba Corporation, Crystal supported electric transmission line projects at Southern California Edison (SCE), where she gained experience reviewing construction field related drawing packages, securing permits and providing other project support functions.

Elisa De La Pena

Elisa De La Pena is a registered Engineer in Training (EIT) is currently serving as a Project Engineer at Cordoba Corporation supporting several Energy Infrastructure projects.

Prior to joining Cordoba Corporation, Elisa served as a Project Engineer Intern at a construction management company, where she maintained “as-built” contract documents; prepared and reviewed submittals and RFIs; maintained the change order log; and distributed updated change order information to company and subcontractor personnel.  She compiled close out requirements, including operation and maintenance manuals, warranties, and other job-specific items required by the specifications.

Elisa also participated in an internship for a large grocery store corporation as a Project Manager Intern, where she assisted project managers in the execution of all aspects of store remodel projects.  Responsibilities included assisting in the execution of the contractor bid process; preparing and executing equipment orders; tracking equipment orders and scheduling deliveries in accordance with the construction schedule; managing store fixture installation; conducting project closeout; inspecting capital projects for compliance with specifications and quality control; coordinating reviews of refrigeration and electrical/mechanical plans with technician staff; reviewing proposed change orders; completing cost estimates; and reviewing architect plans for completeness.

Elisa earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering from California State University, Fullerton, and her A.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Santa Ana College.  She is member of the Orange County Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Emilie Valadez

Emilie Valadez is a Project Coordinator supporting Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).  Emilie serves as an important liaison between project managers, construction coordinators, and city engineers, to ensure all necessary permits are obtained prior to construction.

She supports project managers by obtaining quotes from contractors; contacting local municipalities and other permitting entities to determine potential project impacts and notification requirements; managing project related documents; scheduling site visits to project locations; ordering and receiving materials for pipeline and instrumentation projects; coordinating project meetings and conference calls; and performing other project support functions.

Emilie began her career at Cordoba Corporation as an Administrative Assistant and quickly demonstrated her expertise at multi-tasking.   She was later promoted to serve as Office Manager for Cordoba’s Long Beach Community College District Project Office.  While serving as Office Manager, Emilie logged and routed invoices, purchase orders and payment applications.  She represented the team at campus job fairs and assisted construction teams with job walks and handled numerous administrative duties in support of key construction projects on campus, including the Building GG Student Service Center, Building P Renovation, Building QQ/RR Renovation, Kinesiology Lab & Aquatics Center Project, and the Building D Level 1 Renovation.

Emilie later moved into an Executive Assistant position supporting Cordoba Corporation’s team that previously provided Capital Improvement Program support at the City of Industry.  In this role, she assisted project managers with bid packages, staff reports, reference checks, job walks and prep-construction meetings.  She was also tasked with tracking and maintaining company vehicles.

Emilie is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Kim Koeppen

Kim Koeppen has over 30 years of combined experience in public and private sector project and program management, strategic policy planning and analysis, and process and program development.  She has proven success in planning, developing and managing multi-year capital infrastructure projects, schedules, budget development and management, risk assessment and management.  Kim takes a strong leadership and collaboration building approach to developing, directing and managing cross-functional teams and processes to achieve optimal results.  She is a creative, strategic problem solver dedicated to finding the solutions to challenging situations.

Kim is currently serving as a Senior Project Manager supporting San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Fire Risk Mitigation (FiRM) Program. She is responsible for prioritizing projects and team efforts based on key business drivers, identification of aggregate portfolio risks, identification and application of necessary process improvements to a workflow process, application of accountability metrics, as well as forecasting and coordinating key resources types. She fosters an open, inclusive and collaborative working environment with multiple stakeholders to develop the most efficient and effective path to achieving construction goals for this important program.

Kim joined Cordoba Corporation after working for several years at Southern California Edison (SCE).  As a Senior Project Manager working on SCE Generation projects, Kim executed multiple Hydroelectric and other Generation-related capital infrastructure projects from planning through construction and close-out.  She formed, led and directed multidisciplinary cross-functional DBB (Design, Bid and Build) project teams of subject matter experts from engineering, construction, public affairs, environmental and regulatory compliance, project controls, and transmission and distribution business units to achieve successful project development, regulatory review and approvals, permitting, procurement and construction.

Kim also served as a Senior Project Manager in SCE’s Major Projects Organization, where she led multiple major multi-year complex Transmission and Substation capital infrastructure projects through siting, project development, engineering, CPUC application document preparation and filings, licensing, permitting, and execution up to construction.  Earlier in her career at SCE, Kim served as a Strategic Policy Project Manager in the Local Public Affairs Department.

Prior to joining SCE, Kim was a Project Manager at the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission, a Senior Policy & Media Relations Advisor to a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and a Senior Program Manager at the State of Washington’s Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

Kim earned her B.A. in Sociology and Community Development at Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington, and her Project Management Certification at the University of California, Irvine.

Michelle Chariton

Michelle Chariton is an experienced Project Director and Construction Manager with 16 years of proven project/program management success in construction, renovation, facility management, and modernization of over 74 urban K-12 educational facilities. As a result of the significant number of projects she has completed, she has established a wide-ranging background in all aspects of project management and construction management.

Michelle is currently overseeing two projects with a combined budget of $38.9 million at the Long Beach Unified School District involving the replacement of the HVAC systems in Mann Elementary School and Jefferson Academy.

Prior to joining Cordoba Corporation, in 2013, while working as a Senior Project Manager for Portland Public Schools in Portland Oregon, Michelle was asked to take on a highly sensitive project to convert staff restrooms into student single use restrooms for transgender students.  This type of inclusivity through design and programming was the first of its kind.  The project drew significant national media attention.

Michelle considers the Grant High School inclusive restroom project to be the most important project of her life, noting that  “gendered bathrooms present an issue for any gender nonconforming person, whether or not they identify as transgender.” Although this project put her LBGTQ community center stage regarding the need of inclusivity for restrooms, it also directly helped all students understand the need for social equality in their schools as it specifically applied to themselves and their fellow classmates.

Later in 2015, while serving as a Project Director for Grant High School’s $143 million modernization project, Michelle led efforts to design and program the first fully inclusive high school with nongendered restroom and locker room facilities.  Michelle and her team also focused on the important effort of how thoughtful design and signage for such facilities can create policy changes, as well as result in building codes to be more inclusive to celebrate communities’ diversity.  In Portland, where Grant High School is located, city officials were inspired to change their policies for public buildings and parks.

Because of her trailblazing work at Grant High School, Michelle and her design team were often contacted by other school districts and colleges seeking input on how to design and implement inclusive restrooms. Michelle’s previous employers at San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) contacted her for input on the district’s reprogramming of its restrooms and facilities, which resulted in policy changes at SFUSD, and later changes at the Division of State Architect’s office for single-use restrooms, locker and shower facilities in Community Colleges and K-12 schools.

Michelle earned her B.S. in Business Administration, with Minor in Construction Engineering Management (CEM) at Oregon State University, where she was a 4-year PAC 12 Women’s Softball participant who received a full athletic scholarship.

Natasha Godoy

Natasha Godoy is a Move Management Manager managing a team of move specialists in support of Long Beach Unified School District’s Bond Program.  She rejoined Cordoba Corporation in December 2018 after originally working for Cordoba between 2006 and 2014 in various positions including Summer Intern, Project Administrator, Project Coordinator, and Relocation Project Manager.

In her previous role as Project Administrator at Cordoba Corporation, Natasha provided administrative and move management support to Cordoba’s Long Beach Community College District’s Bond Management Team. She assisted with meeting documentation, field measurements, inventory plans, FF&E deliveries, and day-of move support.

Natasha then moved to a Project Coordinator role where she provided support to Quality Control Managers and Engineers on the LAX Terminal 3 Baggage Screening System Project.  She drafted daily construction reports and field observation logs, and established a secure document control system to maintain department correspondence and photo documentation.

Upon completion of her project at LAX, Natasha spent nine years providing Relocation Project Management leadership to the Los Angeles Community College District’s Build LACCD Bond Program. In this role, she managed FF&E planning, procurement, and installation as well as the relocation efforts for multiple multi-million dollar projects around the District. She utilized her creativity and strong relationships with campus leadership, vendors, and user groups to execute a wide variety of complex projects on schedule and under budget.

Prior to rejoining Cordoba Corporation in late 2018, Natasha served as a Senior Project Manager for a relocation project management company where she led a team that provided project management/construction management services to numerous creative, commercial and education clients such as Red Light Management, Brookfield Properties, and Occidental College.

Natasha earned her B.S. in Public Policy, Management, and Planning from the University of Southern California and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Construction Management from UCLA Extension.

Nicole Soria-Velarde

Nicole Soria-Velarde is a Project Coordinator who is embarking on her eleventh year with Cordoba Corporation. She is an experienced project coordinator and administrator who has supported significant educational facility programs. She is skilled in working with the needs of simultaneous construction projects and maintaining critical documentation for each process.

As Project Coordinator for the Bond Management Team at (BMT) at the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD), Nicole is involved on all design projects and helps keep design consistency including incorporation of the District Standards. She works with Construction Managers to push the progress of the design drawings including meeting milestones, schedules and deliverable deadlines. Nicole reviews all projects throughout the programming and design phases; and meets with users to understand their programming requirements, growth projections and specialty needs. She simultaneously works on the swing space needs and program requirements throughout each design phase.  Nicole is knowledgeable of the design schedules for Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build delivery methods and is experienced with the requirements and deliverables for State funded projects.

Prior to her role as Project Coordinator, Nicole provided administrative support to the BMT at LBCCD for 10 years.  Nicole created construction update presentations; attended and took meeting minutes at the owner’s bi-monthly update meetings; organized all scheduled events and meetings; prepared all documents for litigation; and prepared documents for all Public Information Requests.  She supported design and construction teams by taking meeting minutes; issuing drawings for review; collecting design review comments; soliciting proposals for purchase orders; and tracking invoice and payment applications.

Nicole also served as a liaison between LBCCD and BMT personnel. She provided support to many college activities, including bond construction project events and celebrations; assisted LBCCD’s Contract Department with the issuance of projects out to bid; and worked directly with key personnel in Administrative Services and Facilities Departments. Nicole maintained the Bond Program and Citizens Oversight Committee websites; provided construction photographs for all presentations; issued construction alerts; and provided information for all annual reports and presentations.

Nicole worked with all employees to maintain a cohesive and friendly work environment, organized employee events, provided new employee orientation, answered personnel questions, and kept the BMT office running daily supporting 20 employees.

Nicole earned in B.A. in Communications at California State University, Fullerton and is proficient in Oracle Unifier and Bluebeam.

Shante Jordan

Shante Jordan is an organized and detail-oriented construction administrative professional. She is adept at document imaging and archiving, and has been responsible for maintaining electronic and physical documents for significant construction projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Shante is currently serving as a Document Control Specialist for the Construction Management Oversight Team for the Salesforce Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. Shante is responsible for ongoing maintenance of the project database to improve communication and the flow of information among team members including receiving documents, controlling the distribution of documents, and organizing the master copies in storage for control.   She maintains and updates documents such as drawings, specifications, submittals, and RFIs in project SharePoint site. She is responsible for downloading inspection reports from subcontractor websites, entering data into logs, and uploading to Constructware (an online collaboration site).  Shante also assists the Quality Assurance Manager with assigning and sending inspection requests to subcontractors and public agencies through Vela Systems.

Prior to joining Cordoba Corporation, Shante served as a Field Monitor Trainee for the San Francisco Metro Transportation Authority (SFMTA) on the Central Subway construction project in downtown San Francisco. In this position, she interacted with  construction foremen, superintendents, and labor workforce in order to ensure reported statistics were correct, and she monitored and recorded workforce activities to ensure Equal Employment Opportunity compliance. She was responsible for inspecting contractor sign-in lists to ensure accuracy of workforce on the project and for interviewing employees for verification of job classification, prevailing wage rate and other data associated with employment.

Shante also served as an Executive Assistant Intern for a large construction company in San Francisco, where she supported project managers, construction managers, and other project team members with submittals, RFIs, drawings, specifications and other project documents.  She performed a full range of administrative duties, including data entry, document retrieval, and archiving project documentation. She effectively converted a primarily paper-based office environment into a more efficient electronic operation.   Shante’s experience also includes working as an Office Manager for a property management firm in San Francisco.

Shante has completed coursework in Construction Administration at City College of San Francisco.  In 2016, Shante successfully completed the Turner Construction Management Training Program and earned a Certificate of Completion.