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Our conversation with Johnson Carlier’s Laura Shivers

Our conversation with Johnson Carlier’s Laura Shivers

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Johnson Carlier’s Laura Shivers

Laura Shivers and Johnson Carlier are meeting at the perfect point in time. The century old general contractor recently tabbed Shivers to lead the charge into the new age of the commercial construction industry. As the director of business strategy, Shivers is heading the Tempe, Arizona company’s long-term partner relationships and modeling initiatives.
Along with driving sales efficiency and productivity, Shivers will help execute Johnson Carlier’s go-to-market strategies, while also promoting its 100-year-old mark of excellence. Prior to Johnson Carlier, the 17 year veteran was the marketing director and a member of the strategic leadership team at Adolfson & Peterson Construction. She also ran her own small business marketing consulting firm, which serviced the construction industry, more specifically, general contractors.
In addition to her industry work, Shivers is the founder and Executive Director of Back 2 School Bounty, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to reducing teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses in Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota. Thanks to Shivers’ involvement, Johnson Carlier, which also strongly supports community involvement, will become an annual sponsor of the organization. Shivers also regularly volunteers within local school districts teaching art and cooking to elementary students. We sat down with her to get her take on what to expect from the industry and Johnson Carlier moving forward.
Give us a snapshot of the construction market today? What are you seeing out there?
The construction outlook is strong. I am seeing a steady stream of industrial, manufacturing and healthcare opportunities, as well as continued requests from existing clients to help them expand into new regions. I have the opportunity of introducing potential clients to a national family of companies that have built in every sector, at ever size.
How did you get started in the industry? What is your story?
I was recruited by a commercial builder because of my background in sales and marketing. My lack of industry knowledge fueled my desire to be successful as I spent most of my early years visiting jobsites and learning in the field.
What are some of the biggest changes you have seen over the past few years?
The industry as a whole has really closed the technology gap that existed. When I first started, construction was seen as archaic. Today, it is a great combination of savvy, technical efficiencies and streamlined processes that really set the tone for a successful project.

Women can have any role they desire in this business. The true challenge is finding a company that believes its success stems from a diverse mix of race and gender.

Name some of the opportunities available for women in the industry?
Women can have any role they desire in this business. The true challenge is finding a company that believes its success stems from a diverse mix of race and gender. I am blessed to have found myself among a group of leaders who not only believe in the value of a female perspective, they also empower it.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
When I went to college, my Dad told me to work hard, have fun and meet some people. As simple as that sounds, it is the way I approach each day.
What is the advice you would share with women just coming up in the industry?
Listen to your gut and stay true to yourself. You will know immediately when the culture and environment is one that make sense.
What is the biggest lesson the past few months have taught you?
The industry is small, relationships are big and family above everything.
What is the biggest item on your to-do list?
We want to take our kids to visit all 50 states before they graduate from high school. Right now, we are at six. We have some making up to do.
What is the first thing you are going to do when everything gets back to normal?
Hug my parents, hang out with extended family and visit a new state.


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