Spotlight: Senior Project Estimator Amanda Toepel

We stopped by for a quick visit with Riley Senior Project Estimator, Amanda Toepel! In her role, Amanda provides budget assistance to help architects design within budget parameters, calculates trade estimates for Riley’s self-performed work to ensure our pricing is competitive, reviews subcontractor bids, and evaluates projects to provide the best possible value for our customers.

Amanda grew up inspired by Bob Vila and home repair/construction shows. At first, she took an interest in architecture, but found she had “zero artistic ability in high school,” and found her strength in math and science. This led her toward the engineering/construction management side of construction. She enjoys numbers, spreadsheets, and digging into the fine details of the drawings. Estimating is her perfect fit!

She enjoys the camaraderie of the team and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from successfully completing a project. “It’s great to work with such talented people – our customers, our design partners, our project management team, the trades people, and on down the line.  Every project is unique with its own set of challenges and it’s pretty neat that we can drive all over southeastern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and even some parts of Georgia and other states and see reminders of all of our hard work.”

Amanda’s advice for women interested in a career in the construction industry is: “Don’t be intimidated. I was the only female in my high school drafting class, and one of only a handful of females in the civil engineering program in college, so it was a little awkward and uncomfortable, but I was accepted and encouraged by my instructors and my peers.  Also, asking questions and not being afraid to admit when you don’t understand something is the easiest way to build respect from your colleagues.  Some of the field guys have sort of a hard exterior due to the things they deal with on the jobsite on a daily basis, and that may make them seem a little scary and intimidating. If you approach them with an open mind and are willing to learn from them, they will happily take you under their wing and share their wealth of knowledge with you. Don’t miss out on that opportunity!”

Thank you Amanda for sharing your words of wisdom and giving us a closer look at your career as Senior Project Estimator!