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)
2015–2017         Caryn Boisen (Larson King)​
2017–2019         ​​​​​​​Theresa Kern (President, MA Steel Erectors, Inc.)
2019-2021          Sheila A. Ohrenberg (President Sorella Group)