Dawn Filtz has worked for Duwe Metal Products for 34 years but is still learning new things.
“Every day is different,” she said.
Filtz, an administrative manager for the Menomonee Falls company, said one of the most enjoyable parts of her job is driving around Milwaukee and seeing the projects that she has had a hand in. They include the Fiserv Forum, Bradley Center, the Hop streetcar stations, Northwestern Mutual and Milwaukee Art Museum.
“(It’s) hard to get bored,” she said.
Filtz was recently elected president of the National Association of Women in Construction Milwaukee Chapter after years of involvement and leadership promoting construction as a rewarding profession for women.
“I have worked with Dawn for over 25 years on numerous projects, and she is always on top of her complex paperwork and required submissions,” said Joan Zepecki, of Hunzinger Construction. “She has seen it all and done it all.”
The hardest part of her job, Filtz said, is not knowing everything about the industry.
“There are so many pieces to this industry, and it is always changing … it can be so challenging yet so rewarding at the same time,” she said.
Asked to name some of her mentors, Filtz starts with her mother, who taught her about the business world.
“The two gentlemen who truly gave me my start in construction — (Richard) Riedelbach and (Robert) Dopke — they believed in me and when I was having struggles … they helped me through them,” Filtz said. “And, of course, so many women that I have met throughout my career and through my involvement in NAWIC.
“One in particular is the woman who owns the company I work for — Jeannie Lauret. I have known her since she was a young girl, I have seen her grow up, and she has an incredible business sense and she is often my go-to for advice.”
Filtz is also quite happy about her work with NAWIC, where she has served as a member, director, treasurer, vice president and, now, incoming president. Her work with the group allows her to encourage women in construction to learn more about the industry.
“It has also helped me by being involved in developing a program called Camp NAWIC, a construction camp for high school girls. I have also been able to build my leadership skills and want to become a mentor.”