Where was Central Region Director Zina Schwartz 27 years ago? This fresh-out-of-college EIT was out collecting traffic data as one of Consor’s first teammates!

Where is she now? Leading a group of nearly 400 people as our Central Region Director! When you ask Zina what has guided her career success, she will tell you it comes down to one simple motto: “Jump at the chance to help with anything.”

“It’s important to me that I show up for my team members who drive the projects and business development however they need,” said Zina. “I had many growth opportunities and mentors backing me over my career, so I want to pay it forward. That includes helping more junior engineers take on something new and challenging. Or simply connecting with others, which is why I love participating in bike-to-work events, volunteering efforts, and fun celebrations with my colleagues.”

From bridge inspections to roadway design to pursuit development, Zina’s done a little bit of everything. She credits her growth as a leader to mentorship from Ashraf Islam, Sandeep Patil, Janice Kruse, and Olen Howard (you can spot them in the photos below). Her leadership approach in action, Zina sat in on an interview prep that brought together teammates across Consor—her feedback and encouraging follow-up had them feeling confident.

“When you’re a leader, you’re still a supporter,” reflected Zina. “It’s about helping people feel good about what they’re doing so they choose to come back to work each day. That’s also why I’m proud to mentor disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) firms through Texas Department of Transportation’s DRiVE program. Consor is comprised of firms that were once DBEs, so I know firsthand how challenging it is to wear all the hats. It’s important to give back those lessons learned because we need more competition and diverse perspectives in this industry to create innovation.”

Because Zina takes every opportunity to share stories of others’ achievements, shine the light on underrepresented groups and women in leadership, and advocate for her industry colleagues, she exemplifies Consor’s core value of integrity. She was recently named the AEC Woman of the Year by the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association Houston Luna Awards! We look forward to seeing how Zina continues to elevate our team and others in the industry.