ENR 2022 Top Young Professionals: Meet Skanska’s Sara Casado and Marcus Thompson
We’re kicking off the new year by celebrating our Skanska employees who were recognized as one of Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s 2022 regional Top Young Professionals.
This annual awards program honors individuals under 40 years of age in each of ENR's 10 national regions who have shown extraordinary leadership and service throughout their careers.
This week, we sat down with Rockville’s Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Director Sara Casado who made ENR’s Mid-Atlantic list and Cincinnati’s Community Development Manager Marcus Thompson who made ENR’s Midwest list.
They reflected on their continuous growth as leaders, how they’ve given back to the construction industry and more.
How does it feel to be named one of ENR’s Top Young Professionals?
Sara: It feels great to be recognized and I feel honored to have made the list in the Mid-Atlantic region. It motivates me to continuously improve in my career and I’m excited for what the future holds.
Marcus: I am thankful and humbled to be recognized as a leader in the industry. This is a testament to all the doors God has opened for me. He has blessed me with talents and placed individuals in my life who have helped me achieve my goals.
What Skanska project or opportunity shaped you most as a young professional in the construction industry?
Sara: I would say our 99M Ballpark Square development in Washington, D.C.
Throughout construction, various challenges occurred, including overcoming an extremely difficult excavation phase with several raker installations near an active Metro station.
I credit these challenges for helping me develop into a stronger EHS professional.
Marcus: Due to my position on the Vendor Diversity team, I get to work on multiple projects simultaneously. Choosing just one project is extremely difficult.
Rather, it’s the culmination of the various projects and people I’ve interacted with that has shaped me as a young professional in the construction industry.
How have Skanska's values challenged you to grow as a leader?
Sara: Skanska’s values are always top of mind throughout the company. They truly are a part of our day-to-day reality and reinforced across all levels of the organization.
Maintaining these values throughout all aspects of our business is not only the right thing to do but makes Skanska a great place to work.
The emphasis of the Care for Life value helps all stakeholders understand the importance of EHS and that it is always a priority.
Marcus: One of the main reasons I joined Skanska was its values, specifically “Be Better – Together.”
Throughout my career, I’ve noticed that the highest level of success is achieved when multiple stakeholders work together towards a common goal.
As I continue to develop as a leader, I intentionally find ways to collaborate with individuals and organizations to complete tasks.
How have you given back to the industry or your local community?
Sara: I’ve had great mentors throughout my career, and I try to give back to young construction professionals whenever possible.
In 2018, I established the General Contractor (GC) EHS Leadership Team in the D.C. metro area. We meet monthly to discuss how we can work together to establish safe jobsites.
I’m also the Skanska Women’s Network (SWN) Mid-Atlantic Chair which allows me to improve our business, and retain and recruit the best talent.
Some ways that we assist include organizing events that focus on specific topics that people may need help with – work life balance, understanding bias and networking, for example - and supporting the Skanska culture that sets us apart from our competitors in the construction industry.
Marcus: I’ve given back to the construction industry by facilitating our Construction Management Building Blocks (CMBB) Training Program.
CMBB engages small and diverse subcontractors through partnership, training and development with the goal of strengthening businesses and building capacity. This past year, the Cincinnati region graduated 23 individuals from 16 companies.
In my community, I serve as:
- President of the Great Parks of Hamilton County Board of Commissioners
- President of the Board of Trustees for the Center for Addiction Treatment
- A Board member for Council on Child Abuse
- Chair of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Ambassador Council
- A mentor on the Board of Directors for the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
- Co-chair of Saturday Hoops, a faith-based youth mentoring program.
What 2022 goals will guide your continued growth as an industry leader?
Sara: This year, our DC metro region will have a lot of new projects starting up.
This growth gives us the opportunity to continue building and developing our environmental health and safety culture and knowledge base.
Marcus: My goals for 2022 include finding ways to grow our brand in the Cincinnati region, and, positively impacting the industry and communities we serve.
I’m also focused on providing access and opportunity to minority and women-owned companies in the region.
This three-week series will feature the stories of six Skanska leaders who made ENR’s regional Top Young Professional lists. Through these stories, you’ll get a peek into the Skanska experiences that have positively impacted their lives.