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Rising to the top

Rising Young Professional of the Year

Brittany Merten, Mortenson Construction

Brittany Merten (Photo submitted by M.A. Mortenson Co.)

Brittany Merten (Photo submitted by M.A. Mortenson Co.)

Brittany Merten, 27, is the youngest female project manager at M.A. Mortenson Co., but she impresses peers across all age ranges.

“She’s a refreshing individual to work with,” said Kurt Theune, a design phase manager at Mortenson, who’s been Merten’s supervisor for four years. “She’s wickedly smart, very easy to get along with and establishes trust with clients.”

Milwaukee-based Merten is an established leader inside the company and out, he said. She’s been the main contact on projects at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee for six years and represented Mortenson on projects such as a $4.8 million rooftop garden at the medical complex.

“She’s been a steady rock at St. Luke’s,” Theune said.

Brad Sabre, construction manager at Aurora Health Care Inc., Milwaukee, said Merten has a keen sensitivity about how construction projects affect patients and staff. She plans well, he said, to ensure projects disrupt health care operations as little as possible, and she maintains a balance among all parties involved.

“The St. Luke’s project went as smooth as any construction project I’ve seen,” Sabre said. “I’ve worked with project managers twice her age and experience, and there’s a reason we like to keep her busy here.”

Merten is now working on projects in Aurora’s southern Wisconsin markets, as well, he said.

“You can just see the difference. She is very detail-oriented and has great follow up with post-project details,” Sabre said. “We appreciate the manner in which she approaches health care. She’s a very gifted young person.”

Within Mortenson, Merten is a member of the company’s “Green Team,” a nationwide group that reviews new products, assists project teams and creates guidelines for sustainable construction practices within the company.

Merten is also a mentor to Mortenson’s Engineers-In-Training group, Theune said, for which she coordinates meetings and serves as a trusted resource for other young employees.

“She’s really taken the group under wing,” he said. “Sometimes it’s less intimidating to call another young professional with questions than someone who’s older. She’s been that person (for the group) for the last two years.”

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