Heather Slottke takes an inclusive approach to both project management and leadership.
She spent nearly a decade at J.P. Cullen as a project coordinator, five years as the plant operations and maintenance manager at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and two years as the facilities-operations manager at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Now as the construction-project manager at ProHealth Care, she directs construction crews from start to finish during remodels, improvements and other projects. Blending her experience in both construction and building management has given her a well-rounded mindset that helps her consider the most likely outcomes of projects — how they will be maintained, how they will be used by staff employees and how they will affect patients.
Slottke also strives to be a collaborator.
“She’s super approachable. Whatever role she’s in, she’s open to talking. She’ll listen to anybody and come up with the best solution,” said Rob Beisenstein, a project management practice leader at Eppstein Uhen Architects who has worked with Slottke on a number of projects over the past 15 years.
Slottke herself has worked her way up from an office job at a painting and flooring contractor. Whether she’s drafting correspondence, helping at jobsites or attending training sessions to learn more about equipment, she has always been eager to excel.
“I think it’s not saying ‘no,’ not limiting yourself to what your job is, making sure you’re always available and always learning,” she said. “It’s being involved and raising your hand for things people don’t want to do. It expands your knowledge, makes you think differently. It puts you outside your box, so you are able to learn and grow and people really take notice of that.”
She’s involved in a number of organizations, including the Wisconsin Healthcare Engineering Association, where she served as the Chapter I secretary and will serve as vice president in the coming year.
She said it has been hard as a woman in the industry to earn respect. But she has taken extra steps to make her voice heard, ask questions and share her knowledge.
“… Women in male-dominated industries … they’re given very little – little information, a little chance, and if they’re passionate about what they do, they will succeed regardless of that,” Slottke said.