The Southern California Chapter of WiOPS is the organization’s founding chapter. Attracting the interest and support of leading construction companies and building industry professionals, the chapter has consistently grown from 150 to 1,300 registered members since its first meeting in 2013.
Serving building professionals in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, the group’s members represent a variety of professions across the building industry. Each person is committed to learning, mentoring, and supporting one another in an enjoyable and welcoming environment.
Companies of all sizes participate in and sponsor the chapter’s free monthly educational and social events. Each meeting is held at a different venue or online to accommodate its member’s varied schedules and locations. Annual chapter event highlights include our year-end celebration, as well as our “golf lesson” outing with the pros.
Working in the construction industry since 2008, Leah is a Project Manager and Estimator for Pacific Wall Systems, a Union drywall contractor in Southern California. She also acts as an RME for the company, having her C-2 Contractor’s License applied to the company’s license.
Outside of work and WiOPS, Leah spends her free time golfing, going to the beach, volunteering in her community, playing with her dog Zuma, and relaxing with her family.
Sammi Shepherd is currently Vice President and Secretary of WiOPS’ Southern California Chapter, and has been an active member of the organization since its founding as part of the Events Committee.
With 24 years of experience in the construction industry, Sammi currently is a Project Manager for in the education sector at Swinerton and is putting her technical knowledge to work in the development of future Design Build projects. Her expertise has led to the successful completion of numerous projects, including those in schools, hospitals and commercial market sectors.
Outside of work, Sammi is incredibly crafty, and loves spending her free time knitting, painting, singing, and more! You name it, she can do it!
Erin Lawless is the Treasurer of WiOPS’ Southern California Chapter. A member since WiOPS’ inception, she has served on the Chapter’s Board of Directors since 2016.
Erin is the Preconstruction Services Manager for ISEC, Inc., Southern California Region where she has worked since 2003. With a solid track record of increasing her responsibilities and leadership roles, Erin spent most of her career working with operations and project management before taking on her latest challenge overseeing estimating and purchasing at ISEC.
Erin spends her free time with her children and grandchildren, hiking, riding her Vespa, and consistently has at least half-a-dozen craft/home projects in progress.
Jacqueline Reed is the Fundraising Chair for WiOPS’ Southern California Chapter. She began serving on its Board of Directors in 2020.
A Director of Business Development, Jacqueline has worked in the construction industry since 2010. Prior to her current role, she held other positions as Senior Procurement Manager, Superintendent and Project Engineer. Jacqueline prides herself on industry involvement, also serving as a Board Member for the AGC Orange County Chapter, DBIA member, and many more.
Jacqueline loves spending time with her family, enjoying the outdoors and the beach, hanging out with friends, hiking, golfing, brunching, and exercising on her Peloton bike.
Michelle Keyser is the Director of Marketing for WiOPS’ Southern California Chapter. She began serving on its Board of Directors in 2020. Prior to that role, she served on the marketing committee for three years, where she created and led the Member of the Month campaign.
The Manager of Supplier Diversity for commercial general contractor Hensel Phelps, Michelle has excelled in a variety of other positions, including Estimator, Field Engineer, Office Engineer and Project Engineer over her 11-year construction career.
When she is away from work, Michelle enjoys spending time with family, reading, HIIT workouts and traveling.
Jenae Decker is the Director of Events for WiOPS’ Southern California Chapter. She began serving on its Board of Directors in 2021.
A Project Director for Bernards, Jenae has been in the construction industry for over 13 years. An expert in education construction, she has led over twenty projects for K-12 and Community College districts throughout Southern California. Jenae takes pride in her focused service and constructive leadership in both work and life.
When not building schools, Jenae loves spending time with her husband, two children, and extended family. She enjoys exercising, golfing, and, of course, entertaining and hosting events.