Member Spotlight - Sheena Fitzpatrick

February 5, 2020
Written by: Sheena Fitzpatrick
Sheena Fitzpatrick
Business and Operational Development
Rockaway Construction
Social Media:
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sheenafitzpatrick
Instagram: @rockawayconstruction
Facebook: Rockaway Construction

Professional Background:
I was sixteen when I first started working with Rockaway Construction, a family-run commercial construction firm. Being known as “the boss’s daughter” almost deterred me from working there; however, as I focused my attention on leadership styles and techniques, I quickly discovered that it was a great place to work, full of fun, good-hearted humor and support. In recognizing how the experience helped shaped my own professional growth and development, I created an internship program within the company for college students, which still exists to this day.

In April 2017, I took on a full-time role with Rockaway Construction, overseeing its business and operational development. Over the years, I’ve steered the company towards the implementation of cutting-edge tools, including the use of digital time sheets through Exaktime and streamlining project management with PlanGrid. My goal is to be 75% paperless by the end of 2020. The projects we have completed in the last three years have given me the opportunity to oversee a wide range of projects and learn the ins and outs of contract commercial tenant improvement; time and material apartment complex maintenance; budgeted residential remodels; and time-sensitive school and biotech upgrades.

CREW SF Background:
My first CREW SF event was the 2018 Golf Tournament, and I believe it was the very next day that I applied for membership. The energy and support that I felt at this tournament was like no other organization I had ever been a part of. I wanted to be more than just a member; I knew I had to be part of the leadership of CREW SF. In 2019, I joined the Membership Committee, and this year, I have the honor of serving as Vice Chair of the committee.

Q&A:

How did you move up in your career, and what advice do you have for women who wish to advance in their jobs?
My decision to come to Rockaway Construction as part of my father and uncle’s succession plan had a few important influencing factors. My colleagues and family members have been a fabulous team to partner with, and they have the hands-on experience as carpenters that I don’t. When we think of Rockaway’s future, we must look beyond our own lifetimes and envision a legacy that will outlive not only my father and uncle, but also our children and grandchildren.

For women looking to advance in this space, informational interviews internally and externally with other women is a great way to learn about advancement opportunities and help expose you to as many people as possible.

What do you like most about your job and/or industry?
No two projects are the same. One day I can be looking at plans for an office break room and the next day, plans for a ground-up high rise.

Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 9.1% of the construction sector is made up of women. Women like Kathryn Cahill, CEO of Cahill Construction, who we often do sub-contracting work for, who have inspired me to not only take the family business to the next generation, but to also never forget the foundations upon which it was built. As quoted, in a San Francisco Business Times article, Kathryn said it was a matter of “outworking and outperforming” for people to look beyond their biases. The transition for me of being the “boss’s daughter” to part owner will only be attainable by following the same principles.

What advice do you want to give a new CREW SF member?
Join a committee! It’s the best way to connect with the women outside of just events.

What has been the highlight during your membership with CREW SF?
Learning from past present and future leaders.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Soccer, live music concerts, and hiking.