M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Women in Business — October 22 - November 18, 2021 — 11D


Women in Business

hy did you choose the field/profes- sion you are in Shannon Kaplan, PE, LEED AP, AKF Group “Treat key personal time or events equally as important as key work items” W

to become the president of them all. While this advice might have spoken to some women, it really turned me off. It made me realize that I wanted to just be seen for who I was and what I could con- tribute. Naive or not, I set out to make sure I always treated people for what they brought to the table and demonstrated they could do, and I expected others to do the same. For the most part, that has worked re- ally well for me and the times I’ve realized that I was being treated differently because I’m a woman, I’ve always had an

open conversation about it and found that it was good for both me and the other person. I’m glad for that advice because it made me stop and think and find my own way to navigate in this industry. Do you feel being a wom- an is an advantage, disad- vantage, or no advantage in today’s business world? Why? Why not? At any point in time in to- day’s world, being a woman could be an advantage or disadvantage. The key is to be yourself and do your job with confidence. MAREJ

Shannon Kaplan, PE, LEED AP Senior Sustainability Engineer & Business Operations Years with company/firm: 15 Years in field: 20 Years in real estate industry: 20

today? My dad was an engineer and really wanted me to do engi- neering, as I was good at math and science, but the things he told me engineers did just didn’t sound interesting. I really enjoyed drafting in school and thought buildings were pretty cool but didn’t prepare early enough in high school to apply for architec- ture programs. Then I found a school that had architectural engineering and it seemed a perfect fit! I have never looked back and love being in the building/construction/real estate industry! What was your greatest professional accomplish- ment in 2021? Prior to Covid, I had worked on two projects that were both aiming for net zero energy. One of these was already operational and the other opened weeks before Covid hit. This put a halt to some of the tracking efforts for these projects, as it is hard to say you are hitting an en- ergy goal when most staff are working from home. In 2021, as people started to return to work, I was able to get back to working with these projects on energy tracking and we were awarded (delayed) 2020 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards at the regional and national levels for one of the projects. The other was finally Energy Star Certified and one step closer to being able to start the one-year energy tracking for Net Zero Energy Certification. How do you manage the work/life balance? It has always been a chal- lenge! I enjoy having a clear goal of what needs to get done each day or week to help me focus my time and efforts. I may find that for a given week, I have both personal and work objectives on the critical list, so I make sure to plan my efforts around ensuring those things get done. I treat key personal time or events equally as important as key work items. They must be, otherwise it is easy to sacrifice them. I can really focus when I’m on work time. This means knocking out as much work as I can during those hours so that I can accomplish what I need to and head into the eve-

ning or weekend feeling like my mind can let go because I met my goals. Who or what has been the strongest influence on your career? When I was still in school,

I interned under a woman in the industry who told me that I needed to be prepared to fight to show the men that women are capable too. That I should join a ton of busi- ness organizations and aim

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