Women in Construction Spotlight: Kelly Heilich
By: Claire Sauer
The Building Group at L. Keeley is experiencing exciting and rapid growth. Each of our team members plays a valuable role in exceeding expectations and ensuring success through this growth. Kelly Heilich, Project Engineer, has a keen attention to detail and strong work ethic that allows her to help our customers and our team succeed. While not only being a leader at L. Keeley, Kelly proudly leads her daughters Girl Scout Troop, helping to empower the next generation of women.
Kelly joined the L. Keeley Building Group two and a half years ago and can’t imagine herself doing anything else. She joined the construction industry early on in her career after a friend suggested she join her as a bookkeeper for a concrete ready-mix company. Kelly continued to work her way through the construction industry and soon found herself at L. Keeley. Since joining the L. Keeley team, she has experienced incredible personal growth while continuing to feel confident and empowered in her work. Kelly has experienced this empowerment in many aspects of her job – from choosing subcontractors for a project to leading projects through to completion, she knows that her opinion is always heard and valued.
Joining a male-dominated industry has its challenges, but Kelly has worked hard to make herself and her value known. She noticed that women tend to perceive and assume that they won’t be treated equally, so they walk into situation with their guard up, ready to defend themselves from the beginning. However, she realized that by going into a situation knowing that she is equal and proving her skills and knowledge, she has been treated with respect and given large projects and responsibilities. The most important thing she has learned throughout her career is to have those difficult conversation, no matter how uncomfortable they may be, and stand up for herself and her projects. If she could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in the industry, it would be:
“Have confidence in yourself, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Kelly is excited for what the future holds at L. Keeley. Her vision for herself is to continue to not only grow in her career but to help grow the Building Group. She wants the L. Keeley Building Group to be known as the premier builder in St. Louis and beyond, known for their attention to quality and ability to maintain relationships with both customers and subcontractors. She is excited to do her part to make that happen. Since joining L. Keeley, Kelly has fully embraced everything that the company and the culture have to offer.
“My favorite thing about being a Keeley’n is the culture. I’ve been at several construction companies over the years and no one comes close to Keeley’s culture. The way they look at and treat each team member as an individual, truly care about everyone’s physical and mental well-being, and include everyone’s family is unlike anything I’ve seen.”
Kelly, thank you for your passion for the Building Group and consistent hard work. We can’t wait to see the incredible things you accomplish in the future. We’re proud to have you as a Keeley’n!