Well-Oiled Workforce

Landing on one’s feet in

today’s complex,

competitive business climate

requires improvisation, adaptability and the wherewithal to overcome adverse conditions.  Such a fluid environment demands a correctly choreographed workforce.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Soda Shop, Downtown Disney, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Emergency repair job turned fast-track, round-the-clock, 3,500 sq. ft. remodel with two additions. Pictured: Client’s theming crew, artists, worked alongside Conquest Contracting’s construction crews — an exercise in choreography and diplomacy.

As co-owner of a family owned commercial contracting business, I oversaw a collaborative effort of office staff, field employees, subcontractors, and vendors, at times in dangerous environments that required mitigation while performing under deadline pressure and within the realm of inspectors and clients.  How did I blend these backgrounds, egos, abilities and agendas to formulate a focused team effort that functioned at peak performance in the risky business of fast-track construction?


Employment Application.  My line of employment forms covered the process from new hire to separation.  With each form, I instilled my company’s ethics, safety culture, and drug-free workforce.

General Vendor Information List:  I included explanatory notes in this list of state required documentation to ease compliance.  It is one of two such lists to meet stringent Florida requirements.












Leading by example: I maintained an open door policy, and built a winning team by hiring persons and organizations for their diverse skills, expertise and product offerings.  Across the board, I urged good character and a solid work ethic to benefit the individual, team, and operation; and I issued bonuses for completing jobs on time and within budget.

Employees underwent my background checks, substance testing, skill tests, and in-depth interviews.  I empowered them with industry-recognized training, challenging assignments, accommodating work schedules, team-building company functions, and thoughtful performance appraisals.  Meritorious performance was encouraged and rewarded, and discipline was discreet and focused on constructive problem solving.

I screened my subcontractors for reputation, proficiency, longevity and proper insurance coverage, and my vendors were required to deliver quality products on time, in accordance with the specs.


My field office facilitated scheduling, compliance, communications, and accounts payable.

Safety Table: In addition to OSHA forms, this space included my Site-Specific Safety and Hazard Communication Program, Material Safety Data Sheet Log, and Insurance Certificates Binder.

In the field, where situational complexity and deadline pressure was elevated, it was my job to make sure my team was thinking safety, working smart and making timely and orderly progress.  I set up stations for safety items, management activities and refreshments, where I worked in tandem with the General Contractor, my husband, to conduct safety meetings and daily planning sessions, gather and process paperwork, engage team members and hold pep talks, and host stakeholders.

I oversaw the progress of oftentimes overlapping trades, conducted routine safety and quality inspections, directed punch-out and performed supportive Project Management.  Laborers supplemented my skilled help and I kept a close eye on their contributions to the team effort.  When necessary, I assisted with training team members to bring work up to standard, reorganized teams to increase output, bolstered manpower, and replaced unproductive workers.

Pausing with some of my carpenters after opening the newly renovated Ghirardelli gift shop just a week into the project.  Getting the shop on-line provided cash flow for the client and kept his employees busy.


Quality Control: Stepping through the multi-stage punch-out process with my painters.