Women in Construction Week Employee Spotlight: Valentina Lopez

We’re wrapping up our Women in Construction Week series by highlighting another exceptional Vanir team member – Sr. Project Manager Valentina Lopez. Part of our Sacramento team, Valentina has more than 20 years of experience providing construction management services to public and private sector clients in the healthcare, higher education and commercial markets. Her expertise includes new construction, renovations, risk management, competitive bidding, project planning and execution,  contract negotiations and more. Read on to learn more about Valentina, including the most interesting project she’s worked on and her biggest career accomplishment to date.

What is your favorite thing about working at Vanir?

The pride I feel working for such a distinguished and philanthropic organization. Out of all the companies I’ve worked for, Vanir is the only one truly committed to bettering the communities in which we work and live. Community giving, outreach and enhancement are key aspects of Vanir’s culture. The Dominguez Dream, which was founded by Vanir Chairwoman and CEO Dorene C. Dominguez in 2004, is a perfect example of this. My daughter attended one of The Dominguez Dream’s partner schools, so I was actually able to experience firsthand the incredible work they do. Their efforts go far beyond simply supplying students with Chromebooks. The Dominguez Dream is a much-needed lifeline and blessing for many.

 Could you tell us a little about your current role? 

I am working on the UC Davis Health campus and it’s exciting! Our team is completing Parking Structure IV, managing the Eye Center and managing approximately 25 special projects throughout the campus. Our team is growing. We’ve hired three additional team members over the last six months. My role has been focused on leading and integrating our growing team to perform exceptional PMCM services during this challenging time of COVID-19.

 What advice do you have for women looking to get into the construction industry?

It’s dynamic, ever-changing and challenging. If you’re a problem solver and enjoy working on a team to create the built environment, then this is the profession for you!

In terms of your career, what has been your biggest accomplishment?

For me, my biggest achievement was moving from Phoenix to Sacramento after my graduation from ASU to start my career. I didn’t know anyone in California and left Arizona with nothing more than a suitcase. That move took a lot of courage and a lot of sacrifice, as I had to leave my family, childhood friends and everything that was familiar to me behind. It was difficult, but even then, I knew that I was doing what needed to be done to start my career and accomplish all of my goals. That decision is what brought me to Vanir all these years later. This is it for me. This is my dream job. Dream company. Twenty years ago, when I left Phoenix, I knew I would eventually get here. I’m so happy I made it.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

The most interesting project is the UC Davis Eye Center; it’s special to me. Ernest Tschannen, 97, received glaucoma treatment at UC Davis, which prevented further vision loss. As a gift of gratitude, he donated $38.5 million to expand research, teaching and patient care services on the Eye Center project. I had the honor of meeting him on his 97th birthday. It was a meaningful moment that reinforces my dedication to healthcare projects.