75 Stories: Traci Brower, Senior Estimator/Planner

2021 marks the 75th Anniversary for Clark Construction Company. To celebrate, we’re using our employee’s voices to explain the impact Clark has made to ourselves, fellow teammates, communities, and clients. This is Traci’s story.

Often there is a path that our lives lead us down, and just when we think we know where we are going we hit a fork in the road that was not on the map and our unprepared hand is forced.  2008 was a challenging year for many and I found that to be true as well. At the time, my now ex-husband and I were self-employed running an excavation/concrete/sand and gravel operation together. I had another business designing houses. We were going through a divorce and closing the businesses. I was involved in the NAWIC Lansing Chapter and a fellow NAWIC colleague, Melanie Myers, told me about an open estimating position at Clark Construction Company. My company had previously done work for Clark and I knew it was a great company. Estimating was just one of the many hats I wore and enjoyed in my business.  I applied, interviewed, and was so thrilled to join the Clark family at a time when it felt like my family was “falling apart.” It was just like Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes another door opens!”

Several years later, I found myself at another fork in the road and was faced with one of the more difficult decisions of my life after I left my position at Clark.  Although I do not regret leaving, because I learned a great deal while I was away, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to find my way back home. After leaving I kept in touch with several colleagues. I continued to hear about the improvements in the company culture. I heard about the added Mission of, ‘We Build on a Foundation of TRUST.’  I heard about the BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL, ‘To building the best place to work.’  I heard about the added core values of Competence, Reliability, Sincerity and Care.  Although I did not believe further improvement was possible, Clark had built on its already strong foundation!

When I decided to return, a huge door full of opportunity and growth was presented to me.  I was suddenly engrossed in a world that offered professional experiences and training to take my career to the next level. I attended the Michigan State University’s Women in Executive Leadership program, participated on the Justice, Diversion, Equity and Inclusion Committee, attended the Strozzi Leadership Training, and ELEVATE Presentation Training.  We also started a Women@Work Group to provide a place for support, improvement, and connection for the women in our organization.

Clark has helped me realize my path and although there may have been bumps in the road to get there, they had my back to set me on the right path and opened all the right doors for me along the way.

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“When I decided to return, a huge door full of opportunity and growth was presented to me.  I was suddenly engrossed in a world that offered professional experiences and training to take my career to the next level.”