MCM Employee Spotlight: Ana DePriest
MCM Employee Spotlight: Ana DePriest, Senior Project Manager
What inspired you to join the construction industry?
When I was in junior college, my professor got me a job in this field. I started in a testing lab -- testing all of the materials that go into construction projects, like concrete, rebar, soil and clay tiles. I knew I didn’t want to be a geotechnical engineer so going to school at night, I meet people working in the field and a classmate got me a job working as a junior roadway designer. I soon began designing roads and bridges, including Miami’s Brickell Avenue Bridge. Then eventually, I landed a job with Department of Transportation where I was the program manager in charge of the Golden Glades Interchange. From there, I decided to be a contractor, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve worked for a design firm, a CEI Firm and I’ve been an owner when I worked for FDOT. But being a contractor is what I really love.
What do you like best about your role?
A project manager is the person in charge of executing a construction contract -- whether it is a building, or bridges and highways. We provide the schedule within the contract, and we are provided a budget. And once we get the job, we assure that all the manpower and equipment are on site when needed. We also meet with the owners to make sure they’re happy with our work. I feel as a project manager, the buck stops with me and I am responsible for the out come of the project with the team.
As a contractor, you make something go from plan to fruition. You physically see a change, and you’re truly responsible for the end product.
What makes MCM a great place to work?
It’s the respect that Jorge Munilla gives me. He makes me feel like I’m part of the family. The atmosphere is that we are all working as a family, as a team, to maintain and grow the company to be respected and profitable in whatever city or country we're working in. We’re not just here to make a buck, we're here to make a difference in our community.
What is your best advice for women wanting to enter the construction industry?
It’s not always what you know, but who you know. You DO need to know what you're doing, don’t get me wrong. You have to be smarter, educated, willing to work above what is expected of the men around you. You need to be able to set yourself apart from others. If you want to be in design, meet and network with designers. If you want to be in construction, network with contractors, because someone has to know you before they'll give you a job over a man. So you need to meet the people. You need to network.
If you had to define yourself in three words, what would they be?
Tenacious, brutally honest and loyal.
If you could have cocktails with anyone (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous), who would it be?
Ghandi. One of my heroes is Martin Luther King. And Abraham Lincoln.
Name your favorite thing(s) about living and working in Miami?
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I love weather – I love watching a storm come in over the ocean and watching the rain, the snow. I’d love to see a tornado so I think my superhero power would be the ability to control the weather.