The Women in CEBA initiative is for women in the controlled environment building industry to have a network of support in a male dominated field. The purpose of this initiative is to celebrate, encourage, and promote talent and success of women in the controlled environment building industry.
How To Apply
Recognizing Women in Controlled Environment Building
Do you know a woman in the controlled environment building industry who you believe performs exceptional work and deserves special recognition? We are highlighting women in controlled environment building, from design to building turnover to client, and their achievements on social media. Nominate your colleague for a chance to be spotlighted as #WomenInCEBA Submit nominations, a short explanation, and a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at the 43rd Annual CEBA Conference & Expo in Palm Springs November 11-14, 2023. The annual CEBA Conference & Expo is the only event in the world dedicated to best practices in controlled environment facility construction, design, and maintenance. The event draws over 200 controlled environment facility construction, logistics, and supply chain operations professionals from around the world to gain valuable insight for improving their business. The conference and expo features presentations by industry thought leaders, exceptional networking activities, and an expo with cutting-edge products and technology.
Women In CEBA Recipients in 2023
The Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA) recognizes Lara Schwarz from Controlled Environment Systems as November’s Women in CEBA recipient.
We are thrilled to announce such an inspiring and outstanding female leader in the controlled environment-building industry who has accomplished remarkable professional milestones while bringing a versatile wealth of knowledge and expertise to the CES table.
Lara’s career in Construction started over 20 years ago working for a General Contracting firm. She was involved in every aspect of the business which gave her the tools and knowledge to begin setting greater goals for herself. She made the jump to the Subcontract world 10 years ago which is when she began working for Controlled Environment Systems, one of the biggest IMP companies in the US.
Lara serves as GM for the East Business Unit as well as Vice President of Projects. As the GM for the East BU, Lara is responsible for overseeing approximately 20 projects at a time up and down the East Coast and beyond. Lara participates in every phase of each project from pre-bid to close-out. The projects that she is involved which include food processing plants, commercial and industrial buildings, as well as mission-critical government projects, each ranging from ground up to additions and remodels. Each project comes with its own set of challenges which has allowed Lara to gain the industry knowledge and experience needed not just within the cold storage industry but overall.
As the VP of Projects, Lara is responsible for building a team of future leaders for the business and ensuring they have the tools required to be successful, which is what Lara enjoys most about her role. Each individual that has joined CES has brought his or her own set of knowledge and experience, and each has played an integral role in the growth of the business over the last 5 years. Without their dedication and commitment to the business there would be no CES.
Let’s take a moment to congratulate Lara for her exceptional commitment and contributions to the controlled environment-building industry.
If you know a woman who meets these requirements, submit a nomination that includes a photo and a short explanation to email@example.com
Rebecca Elliott is the Vice President of Marketing at Primus Builders, Inc. Her career in A/E/C marketing began 18 years ago when she moved to Georgia. After working her way up from marketing assistant to marketing director at competing firms, she landed at Primus in 2012 where she has expanded the department to include digital advertising; a strong SEO presence; video; regional and national project awards; and expanded content, among other updates. “That’s what I enjoy about working at Primus,” Elliott said. “They’re very entrepreneurial. If I make a business case for a new idea, I’m encouraged to implement it.” Her strategic approach to reaching customers has yielded real results. “Over the course of a few years, we went from zero inquiries for design-build services through the website to inquiries for substantial projects with significant square footage. It’s been very satisfying to watch our efforts succeed.”
Elliott plans to keep expanding her department. “Primus does a lot more than build buildings,” she said. “We’re problem solvers. We help people achieve their business goals. My job is to convey that message in new and better ways every day.” Upcoming projects include expanding internal and external video, incorporating AI into her digital advertising effort and identifying more public speaking opportunities for the Primus team.
Let’s take a moment to congratulate Rebecca for being an exceptional example of leadership in the controlled environment-building industry.
Amy Pilgrim has been the Executive Assistant at Bonar Engineering, Inc., and Bonar Engineering and Construction Company since 2007. Amy is incredibly talented and a hard worker, earning a B.S. in Art from Jacksonville University while subsequently obtaining general contractor licenses in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, and holding a mechanical contractor license in Colorado.
She has been the prime coordinator on several international projects in the Middle East and Puerto Rico, coordinating materials and equipment shipments for projects for companies such as Nestle and Hershey’s, and was the Contractor of Record for the PortFresh design/build project in Savannah, GA, as well as the Open Water Seafood facility in Orlando, FL.
She is actively involved in parts and equipment sales for industrial refrigeration and has recently developed skills in the OSHA EPA safety programs, performing PHA revalidations and 5-Year Corrosion and Safety Inspections. She is active with the Local Emergency Planning Committee for the Northeast Florida Region, attending all quarterly meetings.
Let’s take a moment to congratulate Ami Pilgrim for being an exceptional example of leadership in the controlled environment-building industry.
Although still in the early stages of her career, Almedina managed to prove and position herself within the cold chain industry in a very short period of time. Within CT Technologies itself, she managed to stand out and quickly became recognizable through her proactivity, wide range of knowledge and desire for advancement.
Currently in the position of Assistant Design Manager, today she independently manages the design of complex cold chain facilities throughout Africa and SEA region. Her leadership skills, project management capabilities, and problem-solving driven way of communication make her a respected professional among her colleagues and other project collaborators and specialists. Concurrently with her professional career, Almedina is actively involved in academic work, where she transfers her knowledge to students as a Teaching assistant at the University of Sarajevo Faculty of Architecture.
In the past three years, she participated in the implementation of several projects out of which the projects in Benin and Burundi stand out, and on which she worked as a lead architect responsible for the overall architectural design and coordination with all other design specialists, as well as for the monitoring of the entire construction process and providing necessary design support. Both projects, in addition to the standard technical requirements of the cold chain industry facilities, also had to meet the specific requirements of their sites since they are located within the areas of international airports.
The construction of both buildings is ongoing, and the completion of the works and commissioning is expected during this year. Currently, she is actively involved in a project in Morocco which is in early design stage and where she has a leading role in design. This project should further broaden her experience and profile her as one of industry experts for the projects in Africa.
Join us in congratulating Almedina for her outstanding performance and being recognized as this month’s Women in CEBA recipient.
A Professional Engineer, Kristin joined GAF in 2020 from the structural engineering consulting industry. At GAF, she specializes in cold storage roofing assemblies where she provides insight, education, and best practices as it relates to cold storage roofing. She works with designers, owners, and contractors to review project design considerations including assisting in roof assembly selection, proper roof detailing, and considerations related to energy-efficient roofing.
She is involved with GCCA including being a participant on the CEBA Construction/Codes Committee and the CEBA Education & Training committee. She is also involved in other industry organizations including IIBEC, AIA, and USGBC where she regularly attends conferences and presents on various building enclosure topics.
Kristin is a strong proponent of women in the industry including achieving their full potential in their careers and was previously on the Board of the Baltimore-Washington Section Society of Women Engineers and is currently a General Board member of the National Women in Roofing DC Metro Council.
Join us in congratulating Kristin for another win under her belt as this month’s Women in CEBA recipient.
With nearly 20 years of experience successfully working on construction projects of different types and complexities, Keziah Folarin-Babatunde brings her passion for construction to every project. As a dedicated and driven construction professional, Keziah’s breadth of knowledge and understanding of the built environment is actively informed by leveraging her two university graduate degrees in Construction Project Management (MSc) and Building Science (MBSc).
In her current role as a Project Manager at Coldbox, Keziah is eager to create value on each project by consistently delivering on project goals, mitigating challenges, crafting solutions, and identifying efficiencies. Her passion and commitment to each project is evidenced by her solution-driven approach and unrelenting promotion of communication and collaboration between clients, consultants, regulatory bodies as well as subcontractors and suppliers.
A strong advocate for women in construction, Keziah champions the many female contributions in the industry and welcomes any opportunity to support and collaborate with other female construction professionals. She eagerly encourages women considering and those actively involved in the industry to embrace the opportunity to contribute and make an impact that has the potential to cumulatively improve the built environment and the collective standard of living for everyone.
Over the last 6 years at United Insulated Structures (UIS), Crystal has seen and been involved in many industrial and food processing projects. UIS has given her the opportunity to experience over a span of different projects from the ground up, building additions, self-perform work, and remodels of existing warehouse and/or food processing plants. Two recent projects that She had the opportunity to be on and have found most impressive are Project C and Lombard Cold Storage.
Crystal served as project manager in Project C located in Matteson, IL. The project consisted of over 200,000 SF of IMP that ranged between five (5) different colored panels and two (2) different type widths for each colored panel. This was a horizontal panel project which was the first of UIS. The level of detail was new and challenging for our team but Crystal together with her team were able to complete the work in a timely manner for WT.
In 2022, Crystal also worked on the Lombard Cold Storage located in Lombard, IL. A new Refrigerated Warehouse for a repeat client of UIS. The project had tight site constraints making the install work of different trades more difficult, but with the help of our project team and all our subcontractors we were able to build out this warehouse in time for the Owner to start operations this month!
As a licensed architect, Kate brings over 18 years of architectural experience to the Ware Malcomb team specializing in complex project types including cold storage, food processing and manufacturing.
Kate joined Ware Malcomb in 2019 as Senior Project Architect, was promoted to Studio Manager, Industrial Cold & Food in 2020 and to Director, Industrial Cold & Food in 2021.
This past January, Kate was elected to CEBA’s new Board of Directors roster. Kate’s architectural expertise, continued involvement with CEBA Committees and leadership in the cold chain industry have set her apart and an excellent addition to an amazing cohort of cold chain leaders in CEBA.
As President of AWIP, Natalia has overseen great changes in her team and company, very similar to her career experiences. Each department has its own creativity and agility, and keeping that innovative spirit while guiding the company into its current size and market presence has been a real privilege for Natalia.
This past January, together with nine other industry leaders, Natalia joined the CEBA’s new Board of Directors roster. Natalia’s global executive leadership experience, fiscal acumen, and robust expertise in the controlled environment-building industry made her a strong addition to the CEBA Board of Directors’ 2023 roster.
A few words Natalia would like to leave with all the women in construction is: “You can do it: don’t let anything hold you back. If there’s something you want to do, have the courage to go after it. There’s never going to be a perfect time, or the perfect business scenario, so don’t wait: take the step and jump in. Together, we can provide opportunities for future generations of women in construction.”