Best Person for the Job: Rhonda Nebgen

Rhonda Nebgen

Twenty years after Rhonda Nebgen discovered her passion for a career in construction, she learned both her parents had had careers in the industry, too.

Growing up, she didn’t know much about her parents’ early careers. Until Nebgen was in high school, neither parent worked much. Her parents were older when they met. After Nebgen and her brother were born, their mother stopped working. Their father retired from the U.S. Army at age 48.

In 2014, her father was diagnosed with dementia. When he was placed in a memory care unit a few years later, Nebgen and her mother reviewed his military papers. “This is when I learned my dad’s military career was building roads and bridges, and leading men in masonry and site utilities projects when he was stationed in Germany. My mom then told me that she worked for the US Corps of Engineers as a German civilian and that is how they met. It seems I should have looked for this career path from the start as it is in my blood.”

Instead, Nebgen’s entry into construction happened by chance when she was working for a temp agency while attending college to become a CPA. She was sent on assignment as an administrative assistant for the estimating department of a large general contractor. “All my tasks seemed to come easy for me and I started to realize that this field was my passion.”

Today, Nebgen is senior project manager and corporate secretary for Emerson Construction, a commercial general contractor in Temple, Texas that specializes in government and municipal projects. Their work includes heavy civil construction, federal, state, and local government contracts, city and school renovations, and new construction.

“The part I love most about my career is being a part of a team that builds amazing parks, buildings, and landmarks within the community,” she says. “I also love how no day is the same and I am challenged each day.”

A highlight of Nebgen’s career has been training others and watching them grow into leaders. Her future goals are to strengthen her leadership skills and to serve as the NAWIC National Vice President. A member of the Waco Chapter, Nebgen has already served in many roles for NAWIC, including National Board Member, South Central Region Director, and Chapter President, Vice President, and Board Member, as well as chairing committees at all levels.

“I think the greatest challenge as a woman in the industry is gender bias. By being a NAWIC member I have received confidence, knowledge, and support to ask for and obtain promotions, and pay raises. NAWIC members are the best, as most want you to succeed and those members will gently push you to be a better, stronger you.”

“The construction industry has rewarding opportunities for you and NAWIC is a great resource to lean on when you are met with daily challenges.” she says.

If you know of a NAWIC member who deserves to be recognized as a Best Person for the Job, contact us today!