Panel Discussion With Professional Women in Construction (PWC)




Kaplan Institute 3137 South Federal Street Chicago, Illinois 60616
Kaplan Institute Event

Professional Women in Construction (PWC) is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to support, advance, and connect women and promote diversity within the architecture, engineering, construction, (AEC) and related industries. The Kaplan Institute will host PWC for a panel discussion on Thursday, March 30, 2023 from noon to 2 p.m.

The panel discussion will explore the following topics/themes:

  • A day in HER work boots
  • The infrastructure of women in architecture, engineering, and construction
  • Women paving the way in architecture, engineering, and construction
  • Inspiring, empowering, and connecting women
Meet The Panelists:
Shaylyn Cullen, Founder and President of Cullen Construction Management

Shaylyn Cullen has over 20 years of experience as a General Contractor and Owner's Representative. Cullen graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and DePaul University with a Master of Business Administration. Shay has led apartment projects, interior build outs, airport renovations, LEED certified outdoor classrooms, and luxury high rise residences. She is a founding member of the Professional Women in Construction Chicago Chapter, Future Engineers Club, a board member/mentor for Steel Bronco Robotics, a Goldie Initiative Mentor, and serves on the Marquette University Civil Engineering Advisory Board. She is a 2022 Woman of Influence honoree by the Chicago Business Journal, and a 2022 Influential Women in Business Award winner by the Daily Herald.

Kasie Mathena, Vice President and General Manager of AECOM Hunt

Kasie Mathena is a 20-year veteran of the industry and a Chicago-based vice president and general manager at AECOM Hunt Construction overseeing projects in the Chicago area and beyond. She has grown through the construction ranks developing a strong skill set to ensure the successful outcome of a wide range of product types and sizes including healthcare, high/mid-rise, higher education, multifamily, hospitality, federal/local government, sports, and science labs. Mathena is adept in P3, Design-Build, Design-Bid-Build, CM at Risk, and Owner Representative deliveries as well as the nuances of ground-up, renovation, horizontal/vertical expansion construction. Priding herself on being well-rounded, listening is a big part of Mathena’s success. With this skill, she is able to bring solutions to some of the most complex challenges. Some of her favorite projects include Trienens Performance Center at Northwestern University, Fermi IARC, McCormick Place (ACF) Alternate Care Facility, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, Joint Public Safety Training Campus with the City of Chicago, and Mudd Hall Library and Physics Lab at Northwestern University. Mathena is a degreed engineer and holds an MBA.

Ta Juana Tang, Founder and President of Tandem Ventures

Ta Juana Tang is the founder and president of Tandem Ventures, an economic development consulting firm based in Chicago. Through the firm and a number of other initiatives, she’s on a mission to create the economic opportunities and sustainability required to elevate businesses, anchor communities, and champion underrepresented groups in Chicago and beyond.
With 21 years of industry expertise, Tang oversees many of the most prominent and high-profile projects in the city. She holds a dual undergraduate degree from Lewis University, where she studied organizational leadership and business administration. She currently serves as board chair for One On One and is a founding board member for the Chicago chapter of Professional Women in Construction, where she is a member of the DEI committee.

She’s also a board member and government relations committee member for the Illinois Housing Council and Urban Gateways. She previously served as a youth mentor and advisory board member for SOS Children’s Villages. In 2022, she was honored as a Crain’s Black Leader for her work to lift up and open opportunities for Chicago’s Black community.

Tang looks forward to continuing to relentlessly advocate for her clients and invest in a more inclusive future for Chicago and its residents.

Julianna Kovacs, Customer Success Manager of Dalux

Julianna Kovacs has over 12 years of experience in building information modeling (BIM) and engineering software and services. Kovacs graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management, specializing in materials science and engineering. She started her career as a sales engineer at a CFD software company, focusing on the North and South American Oil and Gas Industry. She found and established a distributor in Brazil which led her to receiving a President’s Club Award. For the last seven years, Kovacs has been leading BIM project services and custom software solutions in the Midwest. Currently, she has helped to open the first US office, located in Chicago, for Dalux so they can be closer and support their customers. She is a member of the Professional Women in Construction (PWC) and is on their Mentorship Committee.

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