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Q & A with 2018 Salute Honoree – Denise Berger!

Next week we will celebrate our Annual Salute to Women of Achievement, this event gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the careers of women who are doing big things in the New York Construction industry. We are honored to be celebrating such smart, successful women. We asked this year’s Honorees a few questions and wanted to share!

Denise Berger,  FAIA, Chief of Operations, Engineering, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Denise BergerPWC: What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
DB: It’s difficult to select a favorite project, but the one that I believe had a notable impact to the public was my pre-9/11 WTC security projects. Although not considered an architecturally inspiring project, the life safety upgrades made to the WTC Towers post-1993 bombing, in particular, lighting and ventilation upgrades in the stairwells, saved thousands of lives on September 11, 2001. As a survivor of both attacks, I was fortunate to experience first- hand the benefit of the life-saving importance of those upgrades.

PWC: One piece of advice for women getting into the construction industry?
DB: Go for it! The industry is hot and is looking for new talent. There are so many opportunities in the field of construction – engineering, architects, surveyors, contractors, schedulers, project controls specialist, inspectors, estimators and project managers, just to name a few. The construction industry is advancing in  Technology – drones, BIM, Green Construction….so many opportunities…..Believe in yourself, hone your skills, build confidence and go for it!

PWC: What’s your favorite thing to do in New York?
DB: There are too many favorites to name! ……from exploring the Met to attending the US Open or strolling the many vibrant unique neighborhoods of the city. But I guess my favorite thing to do is spending time on a Sunday afternoon having a big Italian dinner with my husband and children at my parent’s house in NYC!

PWC: What’s been your proudest moment in your career?
DB: My proudest moment in my career was on June 22, 2018.  I was bestowed the honor of elevation to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

PWC: What’s the best thing about your current job?
DB: Besides the amazing folks that I work with, having the ability to influence change and enhance project delivery for over 600 projects in the PANYNJ $32.2B Capital Plan.

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