Name:  Jessica Ely

Company: CCI Mechanical, Inc.

Position: Vice President – Design Build Services

What does your company do? CCI is a design-build mechanical contractor focused on helping our clients navigate through all stages of a building’s lifecycle. From design and construction through the long-term operation and maintenance of their facilities, our goal is to help owner’s make informed decisions about the built environment.

What do you do for your company?  I lead our business and project development groups as well as our estimating and engineering teams. Together we tackle all preconstruction activities before kicking off a project to our downstream teams which include construction, automation/controls, commissioning and service.

What are you working on right now?  In the last two years we have experienced a surge in the multifamily and hospitality sectors, we are now starting to see those projects evolve from the design phase to the construction phase. Most notable would be the West Quarter project rising in downtown Salt Lake City. Aerospace, defense and data centers continue to be strong sectors in Utah for CCI.

Best career advice you’ve received?  There is a quote by Marianne Williamson that contains the line “…and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same…” the best advice I was ever given was to embrace my seat at the table and understand the significant value I can bring to the industry not simply through individual contribution, but by inspiring young women who are pursuing STEM careers.

Best career advice you’ve given?  Be relentlessly curious. By nature, engineers tend to be curious, but we can also get hung up on needing to be the expert and needing to be seen as having all of the answers. I’ve told my engineers as they head to project meetings, be the three year old in the room: ask why, ask how, ask when. Really seek to understand what is driving people, projects, and decisions. Our role as professionals in the construction industry is not to make decisions for our clients, but to make decisions with our clients.

What is one thing people don’t know about you? Many people may not know that I recently graduated with my Executive MBA from the University of Utah, virtual ceremony style since we were all hunkered down at home! It’s been a tricky mom-work-school life balance over the last two years, but I’m very proud to have been part of the Class of 2020!