Get to Know Account Executive: Gabriela Fierro

Gabriela has been with McKinstry for two years as an account executive where she works with public sector clients, including municipal governments, school districts and universities. In this role, Gabriela enjoys being able to cultivate long-lasting and collaborative relationships with her clients and partners.

In the Q&A below, you can learn more about Gabriela’s experience in the construction industry, her most rewarding moments and her hopes for future generations of women in construction.

Learn More About Gabriela’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry/ how did you get there?

My path was unconventional, but each step prepared me for my current role at McKinstry. I worked with the City of Waco and the Baylor University Sustainability Board. I later documented K-12 student needs across Texas, especially near the border, and reported them to legislators in Austin.

After working with a Retail Energy Supplier consultant and a firm that specializes in telecom, infrastructure and renewable energy, I got a call from a colleague at McKinstry. They said McKinstry would be an incredible fit and that I should apply for an open position, so I did. I have now been with McKinstry for two years as an account executive.

In this role, I work with public sector clients, including municipal governments, school districts and universities. I support them in creating and executing strategic capital improvements plans that turn budget leaks into assets. I love being in this role because I get to cultivate long-lasting and collaborative relationships.

What attracted you to work in the construction industry?

I really enjoy building relationships with channel partners, governmental organizations and clients. Problem solving and customization are aspects of construction that keep me on my toes.

The beauty of this industry is being able to see the end result of months or years of hard work. There are many aspects of construction that are reflected in my previous job experiences whether it’s policy work, microgrid design, materials purchasing or working on environmental projects. This industry brings my skills and passions together!

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

There is a specific memory that comes to mind. My client was a K-12 school district that had recently undergone an extensive legal battle with a previous contractor. Community morale and budgetary flexibility were low. The leader of the district cared about the students and wanted to make things right- he needed an accountable partner to rebuild with.

They chose McKinstry after countless workshops with the school board to coach on enabling legislation, strategies of surrounding districts and their facilities challenges. We are now a trusted ally, working on Phase II.

What does “Women in Construction Week” mean to you?

We build environments that host community dialogue, recreation, policymaking and much more. Our intentionality and impact are compounded when we have diverse voices and ideas at the table.

Women in Construction Week is a celebration of the strides we’ve made. It is a time to take a moment to share stories, share resources and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

What do you hope to see for women in the construction industry in the future?

I hope to see more camaraderie and support. I think we are starting to get better at it, but I think we can always do more.

I would also hope to see better messaging for young women regarding the industry. It is our job to help encourage young women to enter the industry, share the exciting and rewarding parts of the job and be that voice that tells them that they can be successful in this industry.

What does success look like for you?

Success is looking back on the organizations you’ve touched and seeing real change. It looks like superintendents with more resources to pay staff and transform the educational experience for their students. It is seeing judges and mayors empowered to create positive change in their communities after being plagued by shoddy vendors, attrition, limited resources and other stressful headaches. It is seeing citizens with places to work and play that do not damage the air and water their children will inherit.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I started a passion project called “Absolutely Right.” This podcast is meant to foster a community that builds a circular, healthy and regenerative world by having conversations with individuals from all walks of life.

What initially inspired me to start the podcast was being around friends in AI, evolutionary biology, art, tech and conservation science. I found our conversations inspiring and wanted to share them with the world.

Ultimately, I want this podcast to give people a stage to share their stories. Recently, I have gotten the opportunity to speak with artists who had their work featured at Art Basel in Miami, fashion stylists for celebrities, a mechanical engineer focused on AI and data science, and many more to come.

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