Get to Know Operations Manager: Alison Schwabe

This Earth Day we celebrate the men and women who make our Action for Impact and decarbonization of the built environment goals possible. Alison Schwabe has been with McKinstry for over a decade and serves as a proud steward of our mission, vision and values in the Mountain region.

In the Q&A below, Alison shares her McKinstry experience as well as what we can learn from Earth Day traditions.

Learn More About Alison’s Experience

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

I am an operations manager for Mountain Technical Services. I started at McKinstry over 12 years ago working as a program manager for sustainability planning and powerED.

Why is Earth Day meaningful to McKinstry and to the construction industry?

Earth Day is a good reminder of why our vision, mission and Action for Impact plan are important. It is easy to get lost in the details of our daily work and projects; Earth Day honors the history of the environmental movement and brings us back to what we are all working toward in a larger context: to ensure we are providing a healthy and clean earth for future generations.

What do you feel is the best way to encourage climate literacy and civic engagement?

I truly believe this all starts with our youth. Having worked on our powerED program for many years I can attest first-hand to how small changes can make a big difference to impact the next generation. I have seen students benefit tremendously from a variety of interactions – whether that’s a lesson on energy and sustainability or taking a building tour and helping with a classroom energy audit – and then bringing those ideas home with them to share with family and friends!

Now that we’re a few years in, what inspires you most about McKinstry’s 2025 Action for Impact Plan?

I am really inspired and excited about decarbonizing the built environment and driving the waste out of our buildings and processes. I am also thrilled that McKinstry is walking the talk through our climate commitment and that we are tracking our own internal operations so we can improve alongside our clients and communities.  

Can you tell us about a time that you were proud to support clients in their sustainability goals?

Where do I begin? Something I am currently proud of is supporting the sustainability of our City of Golden community, where I both live and work, through participating as a board member on the Community Sustainability Advisory Board. The City of Golden has also been a longstanding McKinstry client, and it is exciting to see our collective efforts come to fruition including a community solar garden, net-zero building energy codes and community-wide and municipal electric vehicle master plans. 

What change do you hope to inspire through your work at McKinstry?

Now that I have kids of my own, I hope I inspire them to do what they love and to make a positive impact on our environment and communities. It has also been a privilege to help educate and expose students to STEM careers and the limitless potential in working to improve our built environment. Finally, I am proud to be a woman leader at McKinstry and in this industry and am working to support a more inclusive and diverse leadership approach and workforce.

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