River City Six – Jennifer Loukota
Meet Jennifer Loukota (Baldwin), an estimator and project manager at McGill Restoration (www.mcgillrestoration.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
McGill Restoration is a large-scale restoration, repair, and construction company in Omaha and Lincoln founded on four main sectors: masonry restoration, parking garage and stadiums, infrastructure, and industrial. The different sectors of restoration that we specialize in allow our employees to be cross trained on multiple repair techniques. McGill Restoration gives employees every opportunity to better themselves through education and on the job training. This investment in continuing education is vital in restoration as techniques and tools are ever evolving. We focus on the community by restoring vital infrastructure (highways, bridges, and parking decks) and historical buildings, improving our modern city while revitalizing our living history.
How did you get started in the business?
I started with McGill Restoration in 2018 after working as a project manger for an industrial company. I decided to make a change when the monotony of managing the same type of projects became unsatisfying. I love to learn, and McGill Restoration was willing to give me the opportunity to learn, estimate, and manage projects. In the construction industry, projects are never the same (even if you think they may be) and the industry is ever evolving, making this job the perfect fit for utilizing my organizational skills and fulfilling my need to constantly learn something new!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced professionally is earning the respect of my co-workers. I’ve always been drawn to fields that tend to be male-dominated (industrial and construction). Due to this, I must work twice as hard to prove I can play in their arena. I like the challenge.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband Joe and I just moved to Lincoln in early 2019. We are enjoying exploring our new home and falling in love with all there is to see and do in the area.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” I fail at something every day. In the restoration business you are constantly trying new things (new products, new repair techniques, etc.) and each time we try new things there is the potential to discover a more efficient/effective process or something that does not work. Failure leads to breakthroughs and that makes us better. For me, the failures allow me the opportunity to learn.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
RISE Lincoln. I have always found it important to surround myself with like-minded, strong, successful women. As a female in a male-dominated industry, these relationships are vital to being successful because they allow me the opportunity to connect with other businesswomen in the community and experience share. The RISE community has so much to offer businesswomen, from coaching, to leadership discussions, to giving back to the community.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
The Boiler Room.