Strong Conversations Episode One: Women in Construction Leadership

Welcome to our podcast on Women in Residential Construction hosted by Simpson Strong-Tie, a leading manufacturer and technology services company of engineered building products in the residential and commercial space. In this podcast we take a closer look at the women who make up the residential construction industry. We are going to have an open discussion about how we got here, what challenges us, motivates us and what makes us succeed. In each episode we will be joined by three guests to get their perspective on what it’s like to be in this field. We will talk about how women can effect change and create an environment where other women want to be a part of.  


Being a leader is a challenging role. But being a female leader can offer many advantages. Listen to this episode as we talk to three women leaders about how they motivate their teams to be successful and create an environment where women belong and not just accepted. We also take a closer look at what makes a good and effective leader? How do we lead with heart and vulnerability? And how do we pay it forward to the leaders that come behind us? 

You can also listen on your favorite streaming platforms.

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This episode’s host: Simpson Strong-Tie Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Annie Kao

Annie Kao, PE serves as Vice President of Engineering for Simpson Strong-Tie and leads a talented and passionate team who innovate, test, and support the most trusted product solutions in the construction industry. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, she worked as a project engineer on commercial and multi-family projects for a structural engineering consulting firm. She is a registered PE in California and earned her BS from Harvey Mudd College and MS from UC Berkeley.

Cyndie Roche, Vice President of Digital Sales and Architectural Design Services (Paradigm, a division of Builders FirstSource)

As an industry professional with more than 25 years in residential construction, Cyndie Roche’s breadth of experience and leadership capabilities span real estate lending, private land development and homebuilding. Her expertise and passion for technology have enabled her to serve the industry in senior leadership roles focused on ERP and architectural design software and services. She is also an active volunteer in her local HBA, a member of the NAHB Professional Women in Homebuilding, and an in-kind supporter of the St. Jude Dream Home program. Cyndie currently serves as the Vice President of Digital Sales and Architectural Design Services for Paradigm, a dedicated software division of Builders FirstSource.

Kristi Acee, Vice President, National Accounts (Sherwin-Williams)

Kristi Acee leads the National Accounts organization within the Americas Group of Sherwin-Williams. This is a dedicated, nationwide team offering innovative solutions for strategic clients in the new residential, multifamily, commercial real estate, hospitality, healthcare, franchise and government market segments. Her team works to align the resources at Sherwin-Williams with key client stakeholders, often through exclusive partnerships with many of the leading companies within these segments.

Kristi began her career with Sherwin-Williams in 2012 as a National Account Executive, moving on to a Regional Director of National Accounts, Senior Director of Homebuilder Sales, and to her current role as Vice President of National Accounts. Prior to joining the Sherwin-Williams team, Kristi had worked in the paint industry for 10 years.

Kristi has continued her executive education through a variety of resources including the Harvard Business School and the Strategic Account Management Association. Kristi holds a BA from Pepperdine University.

Melissa McGhee, Vice President of National Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain (KB Home)

Melissa has been in homebuilding for 20 years in several construction operator and executive roles. She joined KB Home four years ago and is based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is responsible for a total construction budget of over $2B across single-family and multifamily homes in twenty divisions.   Melissa became the first female vice president of national purchasing in the top 10 homebuilders several years ago. During her free time, you will find her building Legos with her son, working on a home remodel with her husband or gardening.


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