6th Annual Women in Construction & Project Development


6th Annual Women in Construction & Project Development

DATE: 09 APR 2020
TIME: 04:30pm - 6:00pm
LOCATION: Portland Country Club, 11 Foreside Road, Falmouth, Maine, 04105
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If you are interested in attending, please reach out to Rebecca Taylor at or 207-228-7192.

We are excited to invite you to the 6th Annual Women in Construction & Project Development event! We had over 150 attendees last year and anticipate we’ll see even more growth this year. We’ll be continuing with last year’s format with four, fast-paced PechaKucha style presentations – which is a visual form of storytelling inspired by the concept of “talk less, show more.” 

Our guest speakers, listed below, will each present on a topic of choice, illustrating this year’s theme, I Did It My Way, followed by a panel discussion. As always, we will provide drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and time to network with friends and colleagues.

This event is open to all women in the construction and project development industry so please feel free to send us the contact information of women you know who may be interested in the event and we will send them an invitation.

Our guest speakers will highlight some of the lessons, skills, and circumstances that lead them to become trailblazers in our industry.

Meet our guest speakers:

Sonia Barrantes, P.E. –  PRESIDENT, Ripcord Engineering

Sonia is a former naval flight officer who spent more than a decade flying in carrier-based combat aircraft all over the country and the world. She returned home to Maine 8 years ago and has since opened her own firm, specializing in integrated high-efficiency design of mechanical and plumbing systems. Sonia is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the University of Maryland with an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering and a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Be Schonewald, P.E.  – OWNER/CHIEF ENGINEER, Schonewald Engineering Associates, Inc.

Be Schonewald founded Schonewald Engineering Associates, Inc. (SchonewaldEA) in March 2009. Be had over 20 years of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering experience with leading regional consulting firms that positioned her well for establishing SchonewaldEA. SchonewaldEA specializes in geotechnical engineering, transportation geotechnics, geotechnical instrumentation, and earthwork and geosynthetic design. Be received bachelor’s degrees from the University of VT (geology) and UMaine (civil engineering), and a master’s degree from UMaine (civil engineering). Be is a licensed professional engineer in Maine and New Hampshire. SchonewaldEA is a SBA Woman-Owned Small Business and a MaineDOT and NH-DOT Certified W/DBE firm.


Kavya B. Seshachar  – ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNER, Bild Architecture, LLC

Kavya, a licensed Architect in India, moved to Maine in 2012 and is working to familiarize herself with the construction practices in the US. She hopes to receive a license to practice architecture, and build sustainably. Kavya finds herself in places filled with creative energy. She enjoys dancing, painting, cartooning and is really looking forward to advancement in teleportation technology so that she can be at any place, at any given time.

Heather ThompsonOWNER, Thompson Johnson Woodworks

After receiving a Bachelor’s of Art, in sculpture, from UC Santa Cruz in 1995, Heather Thompson co-founded a custom furniture company and art gallery in her home state of Maine.  In 2001, Heather moved to Peaks Island with her family and, seeing the need for quality construction, a focus on residential building began.  In 2011 Heather became the sole owner of Thompson Johnson Woodworks. Since then, she has doubled the size of the company to include ten remarkably funny, smart, highly-skilled, conscientious employees, and their work has expanded throughout Greater Portland.  Heather and everyone at Thompson Johnson Woodworks is committed to high-performance building through best building, carbon-sequestering practices.