On July 2, 1983, eleven women came together from across the nation to discuss the formation of a new organization to serve women construction owners and executives.
The women were all members of various construction-related groups and organizations. But the feeling among them was unanimous. The organizations to which they belonged were all valuable in some way. Yet none filled the single need to further the goals of women owners and executives in construction.
At that meeting and the next one, the eleven women came together and developed these principles:
- To promote the role of Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) in the construction industry
- To assist women in executive management positions within the industry
- To provide resources to enhance the professional development of every member
- To create a legislative network to monitor and pursue legislation advantageous to the business community and the construction industry
- To encourage professional standards and member responsibility within the industry
On January 20, 1984, the Articles of Incorporation of WCOE, USA, a non-profit organization, were filed in the state of Washington.
Less than one month later, the new WCOE, USA Executive Board held its first meeting, where the organization’s Bylaws were approved and adopted, and its officers were elected.
At the Charter Meeting and Conference in October 1984, 69 women signed the WCOE, USA charter. Representatives from the White House, Department of Transportation, Department of Housing & Urban Development, Department of Energy and many successful business owners attended the program.
- Joanne Blystone, CEO, Blystone Equipment, Spokane, WA
- Barbara Bryant
- Jan Burger
- Carol Burhoe, CEO, DW Burhoe Construction, Santa Paula, CA
- Dorothy Erickson (deceased), President, Nationwide Construction, Inc., San Francisco, CA
- Marjorie Herter, President, VeeSee Construction, Oak Lawn, IL
- Donna Meidling, CEO, Meidling Concrete, Spokane, WA
- Judy Schuh
- Nina Tate, President, NCCI, Paramount, CA
- Myrtle Willey, President, TW Dick Company, Gardiner, ME
- Michelle Zoerner
1984–1986 Nina Tate (President, NCCI, Paramount, CA)
1986–1988 Dorothy A. Erickson (deceased)
1988–1989 Marjorie L. Herter (President, Vee See Construction Company, Inc.)
1989–1991 Judy Grammer (Retired CEO, Grammer Construction)
1991–1993 Carolyn A. Stradley (President, C & S Paving, Inc.)
1993–1995 Rebecca Llewellyn (President, Payco Specialties, Inc.)
1995–1996 Rosemary Breiner (Retired CEO, Breiner Construction Company, Inc.)
1996–1999 Patricia Magill
1999–2001 Carole Bionda (Vice President, Nova Group)
2001–2002 Rose Girard
2002–2003 Marjorie Herter (President, Vee See Construction Company, Inc.)
2003–2005 Karen Husky
2005–2007 Ida Brooker (Supplier Management & Procurement, Boeing Shared Services Group)
2007–2009 Deborah Wilder (Owner, CCMI)
2009–2011 Theresa Kern (President, MA Steel Erectors, Inc.)
2011–2013 Rosana Privitera Biondo (President, Mark One Electric Company, Inc.)
2013–2015 Lee Cunningham (President, BT Metal Sales)