Women in Construction : Interview with Kristine Millar, CPSM

Kristine Millar, CPSM, is a principal and the Creative Services studio leader for Orcutt | Winslow, a regional architecture and interior design firm headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, with offices in Nashville and Dallas/Fort Worth. She has developed strategy and communication programs within the A/E Field for 30+ years.

The Experience Economy and the many topics surrounding experiential design, within all mediums, are a particular focus for Kristine. Her work has included facilitating and implementing operational strategy (employee development, training, business planning) as well as strategic marketing efforts within A/E/C organizations leading the Southwestern US market. Kristine offers a marketable perspective to the design of architecture and “behind the scenes” view of implementing and facilitating customer engagement.

What recent project or accomplishment are you most proud of?
"Balance of Nature.” We are designing the corporate headquarters and masterplan community for this world-wide company. I loved leading/facilitating the design charrettes and planning sessions. The client/owners have become friends and it is exhilarating to get to help grow the vision of something worth believing in. The projects we do always have a “bigger and grander purpose” – these experiences allow me to feel so proud of the work we are doing and that my small role plays a part in giving to others.

What is one characteristic that you believe every woman in construction should possess?
“Humility, Integrity and Initiation – They all go hand in hand!”

What was your favorite job and what did you learn from it?
Being a mom. It taught me everything, the characteristics I listed above and so much more. I do believe the best advice I can give that is important in both personal and professional realms are:

“Enjoy what you are doing – Do not wish away a day for something better, or the next stage”

“Make your future better by what you are doing today”

Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentor to someone else?
Kathy Moore; Orcutt | Winslow’s first female partner, is my mentor. She hired me right out of school and taught me to believe in myself and encouraged me to play the roles that I was destined to play in my work, home, and community. I hope that I am doing that for other young women in my firm and community. I am a hot mess most days, but that is REAL.

“I want young women to see that you can do it all…and that it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career thus far, how did you learn from it?
Hands down, my dad taught me this one. Life Is Not Fair. If you are looking for “fair,” you will keep looking. Love what you do, be overjoyed when your expectations are exceeded, and do everything you can to exceed the expectations of others.

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