Associated Builders

Company: Associated Builders and Contractors Women's Council, Jacksonville, FL
Company Division/Group: Breaking Ground Contracting Company
Company Description: ABC Women's Council is a North Florida non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, supporting, and encouraging women in construction through education, professional development, and philathropic endeavors.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Women's Business Association of the Year

Nomination Title: Associated Builders and Contractors Women's Council


  • Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated association
    during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

    Associated Builders and Contractors Women’s Council held its first meeting in 
    1997 to support women in a traditionally male-dominated industry: Construction.
    Their mission has evolved over time to reflect its commitment to promote, support,
    encourage, and provide a voice for women in the construction industry through
    education, professional development, legislative involvement, and philanthropic
    endeavors. From diverse backgrounds, the council’s core group developed it to
    support them as they faced unique challenges and obstacles working in
    construction.

    Growing nearly 70% from their first meeting, ABC Women’s Council has provided
    career development and a support network for female project managers,
    superintendents, estimators, architects, engineers, design professionals, and so
    many others in an industry that is constantly evolving. They are fortunate to find
    so many strong, intelligent, and dedicated women to lead the organization and
    their vision is a model for their parent group, Associated Builders and
    Contractors.

    This year, the Council raised scholarship money for young women pursuing
    careers in Architecture/Engineering/Construction and has organized several events
    for disadvantaged girls in Jacksonville. The girls build social and networking
    skills, gather career contacts, and develop lifelong friendships. They see successful
    women in real-life job situations and use the skills they learn to further their
    own career dreams.

    For example, The Women’s Council recently invited 15 young women from The
    Bridge of Jacksonville, a school for disadvantaged children, to attend a council
    luncheon at one of the top construction law firms in our region. Project managers,
    attorneys, estimators, and others shared how they started their careers and what
    their work and home life are like now. The young women then toured the
    skyscraper facility which was under extensive renovations. They were able to see
    construction and engineering in application and speak with the project managers
    about the process. Lastly, they toured the law firm and asked questions about
    benefits, college requirements, salary expectations, and even spoke to employees
    about parking spots and window offices. Many of the girls still stay in touch with
    the women they met that day.

    The council has made a commitment through Jacksonville’s Blueprint for
    Prosperity partnership to encourage mentorship in North Florida. Blueprint has
    determined that our county is in need of over 40,000 mentors to partner with
    children requiring one, but has less than 4000 available. The ABC Women’s
    Council stepped up and, to date, has sponsored 30% of their members to attend
    mentor training. They participate in one-on-one and group programs and are
    represented as mentors in groups such as Junior Achievement, Child Guidance
    Center, The Bridge, and Lutheran Children’s Service, along with many others.

    ABC Women’s Council has contributed time, money, and valuable resources to a
    number of non-profit organizations such as Quigley House, AngelWorks, and Child
    Guidance Center. Last winter, they raised money, toys, clothing, food, and
    electronics for five families facing a devastating holiday season. Several of the
    families had multiple generations and the Council was able to provide gifts for
    every member. They plan to support more families this year.

  • List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:

    http://www.realtybuilderconnection.com/story.php?story_id=3696
    http://www.abcjax.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=95
    http://www.abcjax.com/user-assets/Documents/2006winternewsltr.pdf
    http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/092207/bum_201782505.shtml

  • Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated association (up to 100 words):

    Michelle Tappouni has been President of ABC Women’s Council for the 2006-2007 
    year. Not only has she built membership by 50% in her first year, but she also
    spearheaded the partnership with Jacksonville’s Blueprint for Prosperity, which
    resulted in the blossoming mentorship program. She promotes legislature that
    supports small or disadvantaged businesses and works closely with City Council
    to ensure women take part in the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business
    Program which provides needed resources for businesses that may face obstacles
    based on ethnicity or gender. Her commitment to philanthropy has resulted in
    substantial scholarships for young women entering the construction industry.