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Lisa Bagshaw and Danica Woo Featured in NEREJ’s Women in Construction Spotlight

March 2024

Lisa Bagshaw and Danica Woo, two of Northstar’s talented project managers, were recently highlighted in the Women in Construction Spotlight issue of the New England Real Estate Journal.

Below are snippets of their perspectives on what has been the driving force behind their success, a standout project from the past year and who inspired them to pursue a careers in the A/E/C industry.

Lisa Bagshaw, Senior Project Manager

What has been the driving force behind your success in the AEC industry?  Although I began my career in the A/E/C industry, my natural career growth resulted in being repositioned as a consultant on business profitability improvement, organizational structure, and business expansion, including acquisition and site development.  I chose to pause and consider my inspirations. Upon reflection I recognized that my natural curiosity, detailed level engagement and desire to never stop learning needed to be fulfilled. It became clear the uniqueness of each project and fulfillment upon delivery of a successfully completed project experience in the A/E/C industry was my passion. A/E/C offers me constant unique challenges to conquer and the continual growth I need. 

Who or what inspired you to join the A/E/C industry?  
My father was a Civil Engineer’s engineer. He spent a period of his career in site development and construction. Every new project and construction technology became dinner table conversation. I relished the times on weekends when he would take me to job sites as part of our typical time spent together. I enjoyed walking around the job site, discussing the job status, reviewing the plans, asking questions, and gaining an understanding of the complexities of site development. Civil engineering was clearly my path. It was always conveyed to me at a young age that I could accomplish anything with hard work and dedication.

Lisa has 20 years of applicable professional experience.  Her proficiencies include strategic planning, project management, operations management, facilities maintenance and construction management.  She spent a significant portion of her career functioning in an advisory role providing consultation on profitability improvement, organizational structure, business expansion including acquisitions and site development.

Danica Woo, Assistant Project Manager

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months?  
My most notable project is with Dartmouth College’s new housing initiative. As their Owner’s Rep, I support the college’s 10-year vision of bringing 1,000 new beds to students, faculty, and staff. The team and I are managing a ground-up, multi-family residential building, a new housing format for Dartmouth College students. This first of several new structures will have approximately 290 beds in a mix of two, three, and four-bedroom apartment-style units. Through this project, I work with a highly talented female executive team whose skill and expertise help drive this high-profile and technically challenging project and set an example for women in construction at all levels.

What has been the driving force behind your success in the A/E/C industry?  
I think something as simple as my confidence has been the driving force in my success. As a young professional in the industry, my voice can be easily overlooked in such an intense, technical, and male-dominated industry. To have confidence does not require expertise but rather an eagerness to lend a different point of view, an eagerness to learn from my mentors and peers, and to have purpose within my team. My ability to confidently communicate has set me apart and helped open doors to new projects, experiences, and successes.

What is your favorite / most beneficial part of Women in Construction week?
My favorite part about WIC Week is that it provides a spotlight for project managers like me who are working hard to build their careers. Stories and articles like this help to highlight the smaller successes that can reach audiences of other young professionals who may be starting out in the AEC industry or thinking about joining the industry. While it is inspiring to read about award winners and top female executives in the industry, it is also encouraging to read about my peers with whom I can connect and celebrate.  

Danica has three years of design and construction management experience. She is currently working on the higher education client team, managing portfolio wide capital improvement projects for graduate residential housing. She also holds a B.S. in Architecture and Experience Design from Northeastern University. Additional relevant experience includes real estate strategy and planning, design research and tenant relations and operations management.