Notable Women in Construction and Design: Karen McKenzie

Director - planning, design and construction, Advocate Aurora Health

  • Category: Notable Women in Construction and Design
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 33
  • Undergrad degree/university: Interior Design/Interior Architecture + Design at MIAD, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Karen McKenzie has 33 years of experience in the construction industry. Over the last 20-plus years at Advocate Aurora Health she has held multiple positions within its Planning, Design & Construction team, most recently serving as director.

Her notable recent projects include the 150,000-square-foot surgery center and medical office building at 84South in Greenfield. Under McKenzie’s leadership, the project was featured in a 2019 issue of Healthcare Design Magazine and was a Daily Reporter Top Projects winner.

She is currently managing the construction of the 200,000-square-foot Aurora Health Center in Pleasant Prairie, which will include unique features like dedicated outdoor treatment space. The facility will open this summer.

She is also managing two projects in Mount Pleasant, a 320,000-square-foot Aurora Medical Center hospital and a 22,000-square-foot clinic on Spring Street. The Mount Pleasant hospital, which will open in 2022, will have 300 employees. The clinic will provide primary care, a rotating specialist and urgent care.

McKenzie is also a member of the LEAN Construction Institute, Milwaukee Community Practice and has served as a guest speaker at the National Association of Minority Contractors Golden Shovel Awards luncheon and the B2B Construction Industry Forum.

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