Notable Women in Construction and Design: Katie Kawczynski

Class of 2023

  • Category: Notable Women in Construction and Design
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 13
  • Undergrad degree/university: BACHELOR SCIENCE, ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Katie Kawczynski, partner and director of architecture at Pewaukee-based VJS Construction Services, has spent the past eight-plus years of her 15-year career dedicated to helping VJS strategically expand.

Kawczynski joined VJS in 2014 as the firm’s first in-house architect. She became a licensed architect in 2017, a certification held by approximately 400 women in Wisconsin.

She was named partner and director of architecture at VJS in 2020, making her the first woman to ever hold a partner/ownership, non-family position at the firm.

Previously, design-build services represented 5% of VJS’ annual volume. Under Kawczynski’s leadership, it now represents 20% of VJS’ volume, a 400% increase in the past few years, according to Pamela Lyons, VJS communications manager.

“Working in male-dominated industries, Katie prioritizes creating spaces that give everyone at the table an equal opportunity to be successful,” said Lyons. “She spearheads the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative at VJS and is an advocate to evolve the company culture to support work-life integration by allowing flexibility as far as when, where and how employees work.”

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