Women in Design+Construction Building Together


Zhanina Boyadzhieva
Assoc. AIA, Architectural Designer
Co-founder, Girl UNinterrupted

Zhanina Boyadzhieva, originally from Bulgaria, received her M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2014) and a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College (2010). She joined Leers Weinzapfel Associates in 2014 and has worked on variety of academic and infrastructure projects including the Condorcet Campus Competition (Paris), the John W. Olver Design Building at UMass Amherst, and, currently, the Harvard Allston Energy Facility Plant. In 2017, Zhanina co-founded the Girl UNinterrupted research initative. She has taught at Boston Architectural College and has been a guest critic at Harvard GSD, Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke College, and Kuwait University. Zhanina is also an avid world traveler and an occasional writer whose work has been published by TEDx Bulgaria, Architect Magazine, Metropolis magazine, ArchNewsNow, U-Report, and SciencexArt.

Juliet Chun
Assoc. AIA, Designer, Leers Weinzapfel Associates
Co-founder, Girl UNinterrupted

Juliet Chun holds a B.S. (2009) and M.Arch (2010) from Northeastern University. She joined Leers Weinzapfel Associates in 2008 and has worked on a range of projects including the Ohio State University East Regional Chilled Water Plant and the John W. Olver Design Building at UMass Amherst. She co-founded the Girl Uninterrupted Project in 2017, which has been featured in Architect Magazine and ArchNewsNow. She has taught at the Boston Architectural College as a studio instructor and thesis advisor and has been a guest critic at Northeastern University, the Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Mass Art College of Art and Design, and Pratt University. When she's not at work, Juliet enjoys cooking and eating her way through Boston with her husband and young son.

Abigail Clary, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP
Principal, Director of Health Practice, CannonDesign

Abbie Clary is the co-director of CannonDesign's health practice. Responsible for overseeing more than $2.5 billion in healthcare projects over the last 22 years, she's become an expert at helping organizations rethink their strategies and facility investments to better respond to consumer expectations and achieve new levels of business success. Passionate about women's issues and equality in the profession, Abbie consistently pursues opportunities to encourage diversity in all of its embodiments; she founded the Women's Networking Dinners for working professional women within the healthcare industry, attended the 2017 Forbes Women's Summit, and is dedicated to creating project teams that reflect the diverse organizations we work with. In 2009, Abbie was named to Building Design + Construction magazine's "40 under 40" list of leaders in the industry.

Tricia Esser
CEO, KTGY Architecture + Planning

Tricia Esser is Chief Executive Officer and Principal of KTGY Architecture + Planning, one of the nation's foremost full-service design firms focused on architecture and planning for residential and mixed-use development. As CEO, Esser is responsible for leading the board of directors in setting the vision and strategic direction of KTGY, managing day-to-day operations, marketing, and business development. She created and spearheads the firm's proprietary executive training program, ELEVATE Leadership. Esser has been CEO since 2006 and has navigated KTGY through the highs and lows of the real estate cycle since that time. In 2018, KTGY is ranked as the 15th largest architecture firm in the U.S. by Building Design+Construction's Giants 300 Survey. The firm ranks as the second largest multifamily architecture firm by the same survey. Esser steers the firm with a practice of taking on no debt and has never reported a loss. Her strategic insight, direction, and leadership have grown the firm's strength, stability, depth of resources and dedication to continually searching for better. The evolving firm is attracting and retaining some of the industry's leading architects and planners. Listening and working collaboratively with like-minded national developers and local innovators on new construction and revitalization projects that seek to create a sense of place, KTGY's 400 staff members are located in six offices in growing metropolitan markets in the United States and one office in India.

Laura Freedman
Financial Advisor and Certified Executive Coach, CEO Mindset

Laura is a financial advisor and Certified Executive Coach. Prior to her role as a financial and investment advisor, she was a Senior Human Resource Executive for a Fortune 500 company and Executive Consultant. Laura brings over 25 years of experience advising leaders on business strategy and mitigating risk. She has advised leadership teams on: Rapid growth and scaling of multi-unit operations; Mergers and acquisitions; Operationalizing disruptive technology; Strategies to generate revenue growth. Laura holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business. In addition to her career, Laura is actively involved in the community. She serves on the St. Clair Hospital Board of Directors and is board chair of Strong Women Strong Girls, a multi-generational mentoring program that empowers girls in under-resourced communities through a curriculum focused on strong female role models. Laura also serves on the Pitt Business Alumni Board and is President of the Katz Alumnae Council which supports the professional growth and advancement of women students and alumnae.

Amy Gilbertson
Principal, Trivers

As a Principal at Trivers, Amy bases her leadership on the conviction that successful projects begin with building great relationships.  She brings a focus on creative problem solving to every aspect of the work from developing a vibrant project team to ensuring building systems are fully integrated and supportive of design intent. Amy completed the CORO Women in Leadership program in 2015 and remains a respected mentor for women in architecture. She has had the opportunity to speak at many conferences on topics related to architectural practice as well as her design work in historic preservation and adaptive reuse. Amy serves on the Board of Directors for Healthcare Hospitality Network and recently became one of the first 30 Fitwell Ambassadors in the country. As an adjunct faculty instructor at Washington University's Sam Fox School of Architecture, Amy pushes students to think about relationships as a catalyst and the broader impact and potential of architecture and design.

Sylvie di Giusto
Corporate Trainer, Image Consultant
Executive Image Consulting

People Packaging is what I do"… says Sylvie di Giusto who helps individuals and organizations to explore how people make up their minds very quickly about them, their leadership potential, or their company, and either open the door or slam it shut. Twenty years of corporate experience and her ability to empower people to influence the success of own career has led to her launching Executive Image Consulting, based in New York City. It's where she uses her extensive corporate expertise as a keynote speaker, corporate trainer and image consultant for professionals, politicians, and companies who place great importance on themselves. Sylvie speaks to audiences around the world about the importance of "First Impressions… and everything beyond". She is the Author of "The Image of Leadership," the Co-Owner of the "Studio for Image Professionals" and the Creator of "How You Impress.

Nancy Novak
SVP of Construction, Compass Datacenters
Co-founder, Above Glass Ceilings

Nancy Novak, Compass Datacenters' SVP of Construction, has over 25 years of construction experience and has overseen the delivery of over $3.5 billion in projects during that time. Prior to joining Compass, Nancy was the National Vice President of Operations for Balfour Beatty Construction which she joined after serving in a variety of executive positions for Hensel Phelps Construction Company. Ms. Novak is actively involved in a number of organizations dedicated to the advancement of woman in business including Above the Glass Ceiling (AGC) who are working with Fortune 500 companies to aid in the advancement of women in STEM, Women in Government Relations (WGE), Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE), The World Trade Center Initiative, Fortune Media's Most Powerful Women and the National Women's Party. Nancy is a frequent speaker on the topic and has participated in the White House Womens and Diversity in STEM forums. Nancy holds a degree in Construction Engineering and Management from San Diego State University.

Ann Truair
Co-founder, Above Glass Ceilings

Ann Truair has 18 years of professional experience in marketing, change leadership, knowledge management, strategy and communications. Her experience brings tremendous value to the space of advancing women in the workplace. Ann is an avid teacher and a mentor, working with employees and industry groups to educate and empower professionals to move forward and create lasting cultural shifts in organizations. Her own career journey provides Ann with unique understanding of the needs of women in the workplace, as well as strategies for overcoming the obstacles still present today. Ann began her career as an entry level word processor for one of the world's largest engineering firms. She rose through the ranks and proved herself a marketing leader capable of managing multi-billion dollar deals and a change strategist leading large organizations through complex changes. After 16 years in the AEC industry, Ann co-founded Above Glass Ceilings, a boutique consulting and coaching firm dedicated to advancing women into meaningful leadership roles. The firm works with organizations that want to develop opportunities for qualified and engaged emerging women leaders. In 2015, Ann was selected for a Building Design + Construction's national 40 under 40 award for emerging industry leaders. This honor highlights Ann's commitment to not just her career, but also service to professional organizations, local communities and charitable work.

Angel Tucker
Owner, Personality Profiles

Angel Tucker is an expert personality profiler who has been speaking professionally at venues across North America for over 26 years! Her dynamic presentations empower people with the ability to read personality types within 60 seconds! This valuable insight can give her audience the tools to succeed in self improvement, bettering relationships, effective parenting, and job advancement! As a C.H.B.C. (Certified Human Behavior Consultant) she has helped tens of thousands of people create win/win situations in every aspect of their lives! Her non-fiction book titled "Stop Squatting With Your Spurs On – the power to read people, get what you want, and communicate without pain became a National Best Seller the same month it was released. She is a valuable resource for media as an expert in her field and is regularly featured on National radio/television and internet venues as well as magazines. Angel is a highly sought after speaker who has worked with several well-known organizations to include Wal-Mart and the United States Air Force. Additionally, she has created an Award-Winning children's book series called the "Four Pals" book series that teaches kids how to recognize different personality types and appreciate their differences.

Sarah Wortman
Director of Business Development, GGLO Design

Sarah Wortman, CPSM has over 20 years of experience leading marketing and business development efforts for AEC firms.  Her experience working directly with firm partners and principals developing and executing marketing strategy has given her insight into how to tell truth to power and achieve buy in for key initiatives.  She is currently the Director of Business Development at GGLO Design.  Sarah has a BA in Speech Communications from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and an MFA in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University.  Prior to working in the built environment industry, Sarah was a university communications professor and a radio broadcaster.


Sophia Cavalli
Senior Inclusion and Diversity Director
Balfour Beatty US

Mary Shaffer, AIA, LEED AP
Architect, Project Manager
Self Employed

Sheryl Van Anne
Construction Executive
Mortenson Construction