GHA Connections: Jennifer Beckman

 

Jennifer Beckman, P.E., is widely recognized within the Construction and Survey Division at Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. (GHA) for her hands-on approach to engineering and project management, where she seamlessly blends technical expertise with a profound ability to forge lasting relationships. Her work not only achieves project goals but also creates a sense of community and collaboration among everyone involved with the project. Whether she’s on-site with contractors or strategizing with her team in the office, Jennifer’s success is rooted in a deep-seated belief in the power of communication and collaboration.

Joining GHA was an easy decision that Jennifer made with both her head and her heart. Attracted by the firm’s well-established reputation for delivering high-quality work, she felt a personal connection to the values and the culture that GHA embodies. “Jennifer’s addition to our team was a perfect match from the start. Her dedication to quality and her ability to connect with everyone, from clients to colleagues, has made her a key member of our division,” remarks David Marquardt, Director of Construction and Survey.

For Jennifer, the essence of her job lies in the interactions she has and the relationships she builds. Whether she’s communicating with residents, meeting with contractors, or collaborating with coworkers, she thrives on the personal connections that her role facilitates. “There’s something incredibly rewarding about solving problems together, on the spot, and seeing the direct impact of our work on the community,” she reflects. Driven by a commitment to building meaningful connections, Jennifer creates a sense of camaraderie and trust among her colleagues. This relationship-based approach allows her to leave a lasting impact in the field while contributing to GHA’s portfolio of successful projects.

Prior to her work in construction engineering, Jennifer spent her early years honing her design skills as a Staff Engineer. This experience instilled in her a deep appreciation for the impact of well-conceived designs on project execution. “My design background has been instrumental in shaping my approach to construction work. It allows me to see the bigger picture and anticipate potential issues early, ensuring a smoother construction process,” she explains. This holistic perspective is crucial, especially when dealing with complex, unique projects that require careful consideration of all factors to ensure successful outcomes.

 

Atkinson Road Repair, Grayslake, IL

Jennifer’s enthusiasm for tackling these unique projects is evident in her work, particularly in the Atkinson Road Repair project in Grayslake, IL. After a major storm event, the Village sought innovative solutions to address the damage and ensure long-term sustainability. The Atkinson Road Repair project presented a significant scope of work, requiring partial road reconstruction to ensure the long-term functionality of this important high-traffic roadway. This project also included removing and resetting expanded polystyrene fill, replacing concrete curb and gutter, and reconstructing asphalt pavement over roughly 250 feet. Recognizing the potential for future issues, adjacent roadway areas were resurfaced as necessary to provide a durable, comprehensive solution. “Tackling such a critical project not only challenged us technically but also allowed us to demonstrate our commitment to the community’s well-being,” Jennifer notes. “This project showed the importance of collaboration and ingenuity. We not only delivered a solution but also fostered a strong relationship with the community throughout the process.”

 

This commitment to both community well-being and innovative problem-solving shines through in her involvement with the Beck Road Reconstruction Project. More than the convenience of its location near her home, Jennifer valued the project for the chance it gave her to forge new connections. “It’s not just the short commute that made this project memorable,” she said with a chuckle. “It was the opportunity I had to build new relationships, from residents to contractors, that truly enriched the experience.”

Jennifer’s contributions to projects like the Atkinson Road Repair and Beck Road Reconstruction demonstrate a commitment to delivering solutions that are not only technically sound but also hold personal significance for the community. This shows her well-rounded perspective on project management and her strong sense of community engagement.

Recently, Jennifer has started a new role within the division, transitioning from Resident Engineer to Project Manager. As she begins this new position, her enthusiasm for engaging with people is not only continuing; it’s the part she looks forward to the most. This evolution in her career reflects her dedication to enhancing both project outcomes and professional relationships, emphasizing her belief in the power of teamwork and shared commitment.

Jennifer’s vision for her new role extends beyond project leadership to cultivating a supportive atmosphere that encourages her team’s advancement and success. “This change isn’t just about new responsibilities,” she says, “it’s about creating a space for everyone to grow and excel.” Dedicated to collective and individual success, Jennifer aims to be a resource for her team, providing support and guidance while navigating project challenges. This allows her to maintain the close stakeholder collaborations she values. “Mentoring staff while continuing direct engagement with residents and contractors – that’s what excites me most,” she shares.

Outside the office, Jennifer’s passion for dance ignites a world of rhythm and connection. An active member of the West Coast Swing dance community, she finds both creative expression and connections with others through her passion for this energetic dance style. She even took her passion to the streets, participating in a flash mob for West Coast Swing at a local mall. As a mother of two, Jennifer skillfully navigates the daily adventures and challenges that come with raising a family while maintaining her professional commitments. “There’s never a dull moment, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she laughs. Every year, she embarks on camping trips with her family, creating lasting memories and fostering a strong sense of togetherness. These experiences not only provide a healthy balance but also showcase Jennifer’s spirit of adventure, her strong family values, and her ability to connect with people on different levels.

Jennifer Beckman’s story is one of growth, connection, and a relentless pursuit of solutions that enhance communities. “My work here has always been about forming long-lasting relationships and making a positive impact on the communities we serve,” she says. “That’s what matters most to me.”