Jul 20

Women of NAWIC – Valinda Krynicki

I first met Valinda Krynicki at a Jacksonville Chapter NAWIC Meeting.  Becoming a member in 2005, she has been the past president of the Volusia Chapter and is the current secretary of the Jacksonville Chapter. She was the speaker at the meeting I attended and delivered a dynamic and informative speech on marketing.

She is the Business Development Representative for Universal Engineering and is responsible for the development of new and existing clients. Her territory covers Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, Duval, Nassau, and Clay County areas.  She works with clients to recognize their individual requirements and provide them with economical and practical solutions.

Valinda came to work as the receptionist at the Daytona Beach location at the young age of 19.  She feels fortunate to work for a company that recognizes hard work and dedication.  Much of her success she credits to learning the value of a strong work ethic from her father.  If the weather was bad and roads icy, her dad would leave for work an hour early just to be sure he arrived on time.  From him, she also learned to show up a few minutes early, so at 8 a.m. she was ready to go, not firing up the computer or getting coffee.

“I am fortunate to work for a company that recognizes hard work and dedication.  I still work with the branch manager, now Vice President, that hired me and I am very grateful that he saw potential in me and I appreciate the doors that he has opened for me over the years.” Says Valinda.

When asked what has been your most interesting project, she had the following to say.   “Universal Engineering has a very diverse project base.  On the environmental side, I was able to walk through the Old Volusia County Courthouse for an asbestos survey.  I was provided access to secret tunnels, hidden rooms and the judges’ chambers.  With respect to geotechnical engineering, there was a sinkhole that opened in Volusia County that was 35 feet wide and 65 feet deep.  I even made the news on that one! However, the most interesting project was with a home builder that was looking to expand the subdivision they were building in. This particular site backed up to an abandoned monastery and there was an old wives tail that 2 monks were buried under an oak tree.  Using Ground Penetrating Radar (the same equipment used to locate Saddam Hussein), Universal was able to determine the ground had never been disturbed in that area and the project moved forward.”

She admits there are both good and bad points to being a woman in a male dominated industry.  After the first time of being passed off as “the skirt”, Valinda says she makes sure to do her homework. She now enjoys the look of surprised faces when contractors realize she knows what she is talking about.  “I think it may be a generational thing” Valinda goes on to explain “the younger project managers seem to be more accepting of women in the construction industry”.

Valinda’s mother has also assisted in her success.  As we know, one downfall to being a female in this industry is that we tend to be more emotional.  Valinda is thankful for the advice her mom has given over the years on how to better handle being a woman in the workplace. “She is the one who taught me to speak with facts and figures, and not emotions.  She also told me never to swear in an argument but I don’t think she expected me to go into construction”.

When asked what the future held for her, she answered,  “Blue skies, happy sailing and a cold refreshing adult beverage….well that is the far distant future.  For now, I am enjoying living in Jacksonville and trying to conquer a new market.  The competition  is  fierce up here compared to Daytona so I hope to spend the next several years turning Jacksonville into Valinda-ville!”




1 ping

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>