by Erick R. Schmidt // Spring 2013
When did you know this was the career for you?
When I was 16 or 17, I had conversations with my dad about the utility sector. I wasn’t sure what my career path would be, but I knew I wanted to do something that required an entrepreneurial spirit and I could make a contribution.
How has your law degree helped in the construction business?
My legal education has been invaluable in the military sector when it comes to understanding and negotiating contracts. I came from the business side of the construction industry, so I’ve surrounded myself with brilliant people who have field knowledge.
What gets you through your busiest days?
I want to say a good night’s sleep, but that doesn’t happen. I practice yoga, drink green tea and love what I do.
How do you balance business success with a personal life?
It’s often tough to balance relationships, life and business. I try to make good decisions and work honestly and with integrity. Knowing you’ve done your best and kept your word with people makes any difficulties worth it.
How important is urban planning and development to Kansas City?
Development is essential for the city’s tax base. And a good infrastructure and good schools are imperative to helping the city grow. A lot has been done to revitalize downtown, but I wish we were more bike-friendly as a city instead of being so auto-dependent.
What’s your proudest career accomplishment?
Putting people to work by providing employment. Also, I’m proud to operate a small business that’s woman-owned. There are not many women in the construction industry, so I think it’s an accomplishment for women in business—not just construction—because it’s not easy owning a business.
What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?
I love flying, and I’ve worked toward my pilot’s license, so working on the runway at Whiteman Air Force Base is meaningful to me. Every time I’m out there, I can’t believe it.