Proudly working in the construction industryAs the economy improves and the construction is starting to grow again, Amy Brissette remains the only female commercial construction superintendent working in the Southern Nevada region. Spending 18 years in the male-dominated industry, she has earned the respect and admiration of all the men she supervises on the job sites she manages.
“When I was in high school, I really wanted to become a nurse, but working in the field made me realize it might not be for me—it was just too sad. My family had moved to Las Vegas by this time, and I was offered an opportunity to work for a construction company as a secretary in their office, and this is where my true career began. After a short time as a secretary, I was promoted to the owners’ personal assistant, where I learned a lot about the business—especially subcontractor contracts,” she explained.
Brissette worked her way to superintendent, but when she was looking for a job, “I sent my resume to every general contractor in town, and I couldn’t even get an interview. Some people even laughed at me when I told them I was a qualified superintendent. I called persistently and was hung up on for months.”
She stepped back and took a job in billing at TWC Construction. “Then one day, it finally happened. Matt Ryba, TWC’s CEO, and his partner, Mark Wilmer, vice president of construction, gave me a chance in the field. I am currently a field superintendent/project manager for TWC Construction, where I work on building many projects for a variety of clients.”
Her mentor is Michele Robbins (formerly Stalk) who taught Brissette how to construct a building from the ground up, as well as take an old, run-down structure and make it new again. “She inspired me to want to work outside in 115-degree heat, while managing subcontractors to step up their game, while working on 10 other issues all because she said I could. I will forever to grateful to Michele. I’m not sure if she was intentional about what she was doing or if it was by chance and necessity, but she created Amy Brissette, field superintendent.”
Although she has been a mentor to young women in other areas, “I’ve not yet had the opportunity to mentor a woman in construction,” Brissette explained. “This is because there are no women in construction working at the level I risen to, but there should be. This town is in the middle of an economic turnaround, and there are more and more construction jobs created each day. I want to be an inspiration to those women who want to work in the construction field. I want them to know it is possible. It’s a great business as long as you are comfortable bossing men around!”
Brissette also serves as a trustee on the board of The Shade Tree shelter. As a board member, she is on the facilities committee, which is very important work because the Shelter is home to, on average, 350 people a night.
As a single mother of a 20-year-old daughter, who is the love of her life, Brissette is also very thankful to TWC Construction. “I was given the opportunity to grow and learn from some really great men, and I don’t take that for granted. There wasn’t a company in town that would give me a chance as a woman superintendent in the construction field, except for them, and now they wish they had more.” Amy Brissette breaks the mold in construction, helps families and is truly a Fearless Female.