Homegrown Talent Monique Holley's Non-Linear Career Path

November 1, 2018

Monique Holley

Clark Construction Superintendent Monique Holley describes herself as “homegrown,” and after 12 years working at Clark Construction in a variety of roles, there is little doubt she is just that. 

Monique started with Clark in 2007, working as a safety engineer at Yale Steam Laundry in Washington, DC after graduating college with a degree in Occupational Safety & Health. After a year working in this capacity, Monique expressed interest in learning more about field engineering and started shadowing Clark Construction Executive Harry Stevenson and taking courses at Clark’s in-house learning academy, Clark Construction University.

Monique with the West Lane project team

It was after spending time with Harry and taking these courses that she decided she wanted to work as a field engineer. Given that safety is such a major part of Clark’s culture, she knew that if she were to move to operations that she could make use of her safety knowledge in this new role. As a field engineer, Monique fondly remembers her first assignment.

“My first assignment was punch list, and it really set the tone for how I currently manage the work that I’m tasked with. After working to close out a job, I understood how important it was to take the necessary steps to build something right the first time.”

Eighteen months later while laying out piles at 800 North Glebe as a rotational field engineer within Clark’s in-house Field Engineering department, Monique once again expressed interest in learning something new. This time it was how to manage craftworkers. While still working as a field engineer, she spent time shadowing Superintendent David Sewell. Monique recalls one of the most useful things David taught her: let craftworkers tell you how they do their job.

“Craftworkers have this vast bank of knowledge that can be invaluable for problem-solving and quality control.”

After shadowing David for a year, Monique entered Clark’s Field Development Group (FDG), the group she now leads. Founded in 2004, FDG is a rigorous three-year training program designed to prepare future superintendents on all fronts. Clark’s experienced superintendents – many of whom are past FDG graduates – serve as curriculum planners, course instructors, and, most importantly, mentors, both inside and outside the classroom.

After starting in the Field Development Group, Monique became an Assistant Superintendent at 800 Glebe Road and then moved to the Residences at CityCenter. By the time the Residences at CityCenter completed two years later, she was promoted to superintendent and went to the Lab School at Washington to run her first job as a superintendent.

Monique leading a foreman's meeting

“There’s a special feeling when you run your first job by yourself. For this project, it was great to be part of a team from the very beginning. It was incredibly rewarding to be there for the bid process, then to see students walk up to the finished building to enter their school for the first time.”

In 2016, Monique started contributing to the curriculum of the FDG program. In 2018, she was asked to lead it.

“Clark takes the time to train and develop its employees not only to be great builders, but also to be exceptional leaders. Everything that I’ve learned about construction – from learning how to read drawings to leading a multimillion dollar job by myself – I learned at Clark.”

“I’m excited to pass along all that I’ve learned over the past 12 years and help shape the future generation of field leaders at Clark.”