PWB ‘Leading Ladies’ Share Advice, Inspiration

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Sallie Alcorn, Houston City Council (center), proclaims August 25 as Professional Women in Building Day at 2nd Annual PWB Ladies Who Lead Luncheon. Pictured with GHBA PWB board of directors.

In a world where women continue to break barriers and shatter glass ceilings, the highly anticipated Ladies Who Lead Luncheon put on by the GHBA’s Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) returned for its second year. Ladies who Lead has become the signature event of the PWB and showcases the power of women in leadership. The Houston Junior League played host to a momentous luncheon that brought together more than 250 attendees, featuring a dynamic panel discussion led by a Jennifer Taylor, president of the GHBA PWB.

Featuring four highly esteemed panelists, the event not only highlighted the achievements of these accomplished individuals but also underscored the strong camaraderie within the Professional Women in Building Council.

The luncheon provided a platform for fostering connections and discussions among professionals. The grandeur of the event was matched by the collective enthusiasm of the attendees, representing diverse sectors and backgrounds, all united by their commitment to women’s advancement in the professional world of homebuilding. Kicking off the luncheon, Sallie Alcorn, Houston City Council member, delivered a proclamation recognizing Friday, August 25, as Professional Women in Building Day!


At the helm of this inspiring gathering was Jennifer Taylor, a woman of many accomplishments. Taylor, a trailblazer in her own right, is the vice president of marketing, land and housing for Brookfield Properties. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, Jennifer has served on the board of HomeAid Houston for nine years, holding the title of president in 2014. She currently serves on the GHBA board of directors and is in her second year as president of the PWB.

As the moderator of the panel discussion, she steered the conversation through a myriad of thought-provoking topics, seamlessly weaving personal anecdotes with insightful questions that drew out the experiences of the esteemed panelists.

The four panelists, all luminaries in their respective fields within the homebuilding and land development sector, brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. Brandi Coatsworth, the director, MPC residential land sales for the Houston region of the Howard Hughes Corporation, eloquently discussed the importance of identifying mentors early on in her career and shared her challenge of overcoming insecurity in speaking up as a young professional.

Joining her was Cindy Hinson, a dynamic leader with a broad range of experience in the homebuilding industry. Cindy has held various leadership positions at Lennar Homes including city controller, division president, VP of operations, and director of community affairs. Spearheading product development for Lennar & Village Builders in Houston, she spoke passionately about the importance of mentorship and the invaluable role it played in shaping her career, and she takes pride playing that same role with fellow team members in all different departments within Lennar.

The third panelist, GHBA Past President Jennifer Keller the president and COO of Hamilton Thomas Homes, brought a relatable perspective to the discussion, emphasizing the fact that you have to have faith in yourself, and that faith will help lead you to where you are supposed to be. Describing her experience as the only female entering an engineering class at Texas A&M, she quickly noticed she did not embody the typical engineering student however she knew this was exactly what she wanted to do and could exceed in it!

Rounding out the quartet was Judy Dinelle, the building ambassador for 84 Lumber. Her position is the liaison between the home builders association, similar organizations, and 84 Lumber on a national level. Having been in the building business for the past 40+ years, Judy emphasized the significance of knowing your talent and embracing it. Speaking passionately about connecting with young elementary and middle school students, she wants children at a young age to identify their talents and gifts, as there is a place for everyone in this industry.

What truly made the event special was the palpable camaraderie that flowed through the room, thanks to the PWB. The council, a network of dedicated women in various construction and building-related industries, stood as a testament to the power of collaboration. Their shared commitment to supporting and uplifting fellow women professionals was evident in the buzz of animated conversations and genuine connections that blossomed throughout the luncheon.

As the event concluded, the air was charged with a sense of optimism and inspiration. The attendees left the luncheon not only with new insights and ideas but also with a renewed determination to advocate for change and empowerment in their own careers and communities. The event exemplified the power of unity and the potential that surfaces when accomplished women come together to amplify their voices and forge their paths forward.

In retrospect, the PWB Ladies Who Lead luncheon was a resounding success, serving as a poignant reminder that the future is indeed female. As women continue to rise to leadership positions across diverse industries, events like these shine a light on the path towards a more inclusive and equitable world in building.