Katie Connell is always willing to suggest what will work and what won’t.
Connell, communications director at Building Advantage, is confident about what she brings to the table despite being a relative newcomer to the industry.
She came to construction about five years ago after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she majored in marketing and minored in ethnic and racial studies. She was an intern at J.H. Findorff & Son after college and then joined Batson-Cook Construction as assistant marketing coordinator.
Connell was hired by Building Advantage in 2020. Her primary job duties include promoting work being done by union tradespeople and commercial contractors through marketing and public relations.
“She has been the communications director for Building Advantage through a transition of leadership and has, in the interim, taken it upon herself to make sure the organization keeps moving and continues to be effective through this major transition,” said Kilah Engelke, OPCMIA Local 599 Area 558 Business Agent. “I can’t say enough about how she has done all of this at such a young age.
“Her work ethic and fearlessness are an inspiration to me, and I can’t express my appreciation for her leadership enough. She fits right in among the veterans in the industry.”
Connell has organized several outreach events for Building Advantage in which students from around southeastern Wisconsin learn about the trades, work with contractors and unions and get a feel for what careers are like in the construction industry.
“These events have been huge, and they have gone off without a hitch time and time again,” Engelke said.
Connell is also a part of empowHER, an organization that leads girls and young women in marginalized communities through education, training and mentorship.
“As the saying goes, empowered women empower women,” Connell said.