Standing Out from the Crowd: Four Clark Employees Earn Regional Top Young Professionals Titles

February 27, 2018
Clark Construction Group is pleased to announce that four employees have been recognized by Engineering News Record (ENR) as Top Young Professionals in their regions. 
Brett Earnest, Kwaku Gyabaah, Cara Lanigan, and Catriona Winter have been named as Top Young Professionals – formerly known as the Top 20 Under 40 – in ENR’s Northwest, California, Southeast/Texas, and Mid-Atlantic regional lists, respectively. 
In 2013, Vice President Brett Earnest relocated to Washington State to re-establish Clark Construction’s presence in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, he has worked with regional and national company resources to successfully pursue the Veterans Puget Sound Healthcare System Mental Health and Research Facility, the Washington State University Digital Classroom Building, and the Sea-Tac International Arrivals Facility, accumulating a portfolio of new work totaling more than $600 million. In 2016, Brett successfully led the pursuit of the $850 million Washington State Convention Center addition project in downtown Seattle. Under Brett’s leadership, Clark’s Pacific Northwest division has grown from two employees to more than 90 employees.
Brett is deeply integrated in the industry and community through a number of local and national organizations, including the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), NAIOP, the Safe Crossings Foundations, and Bicycles Against Poverty.
Kwaku Gyabaah was recently promoted to Vice President in Clark’s Irvine Office and leads front-end activities for the region, from the project identification and pursuit phase through cost estimating, purchasing, and design phase management. Throughout his career, Kwaku has managed and furthered Clark’s outreach and compliance relating to local, small, and diverse subcontractors and suppliers within the region. He is a leader of Clark’s Strategic Partnership Program, which provides core construction management and business skills training for small and minority-owned businesses. 
Kwaku’s work advocating for small business enterprises in the Los Angeles area earned him the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Small Business Advocate Award. In 2013, the Los Angeles Wave Newspaper named Kwaku one of LA’s Most Influential Under 40 to Watch as one of twenty individuals selected as LA’s most influential African Americans.
Based in El Paso, TX, Cara Lanigan began her career in 1999 as an intern with Clark, and currently serves as a Vice President managing the $648 million Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital. While in El Paso, Cara has created a thriving project culture, including recruiting and providing training and development opportunities for the project team, in addition to being responsible for the day-to-day project execution and communication with the client. While working with Clark as a Project Engineer, Cara also attended the Stetson University College of Law. In her time at Fort Bliss, Cara has maintained her ability to practice law and is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas, and is a member of the American Bar Association.
Cara is passionate about furthering opportunities for women in leadership and industry roles, and mentors young women through a multitude of organizations, including the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Leadership Texas 2017, and the Junior League of El Paso. She also leads Builders at Bliss, a women’s group on the project committed to personal, professional, technical development, and community service opportunities. Cara also has served as a panelist at the El Paso Estimating Society, and has taught and worked with engineering classes at the University of Texas at El Paso for the past three years.
Catriona Winter is a Vice President in Clark Construction’s Mid-Atlantic Region who has led some of Clark’s most complex projects in the Washington, DC area. Throughout her career, Catriona has taken on leadership roles that exemplify her drive, dedication to her work, and brilliant execution. Catriona became a Project Executive only five years after graduating from the University of Virginia. She has served as a business unit leader for two different Clark divisions. She has successfully participated in two of Clark’s largest pursuits in the history of the company – the National Geospatial Agency New Campus East, valued at more than $1 billion, and the Dulles Metrorail Silver Line, for which Catriona was the full-time pursuit champion. 
Catriona also dedicates her time to leading and furthering strategic priorities for the company as a driving force behind Clark’s innovation initiatives. Catriona works closely with other executive leadership at Clark to identify and foster new homegrown innovations and ideas to bolster the company’s position in the industry and improve existing Standard Operating Procedures. She is also dedicated to the company’s sustainability initiatives and provides guidance to the Sustainability Department. 
ENR’s Top Young Professionals program honors the top 20 nominees in each region under the age of 40. The awards program honors individuals who have built extraordinary industry careers in a short amount of time; judging criteria includes industry expertise, leadership, and community service.