41 episodes

The construction industry is tough to navigate, and having the appropriate information is essential in this industry. Join us as we talk with industry experts who have enthusiastic viewpoints on innovation and guidance for encompassing a growth mindset.

I am your host, Patricia Bonilla, President of Lunacon Construction Group, a woman-owned general contractor that only began in the garage in 2007. Our mission is to provide you the best resources that would result in turning your construction business into a money-making profitable machine that perfectly works for you!

Thriving in Construction with Patricia Bonilla Patricia Bonilla

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The construction industry is tough to navigate, and having the appropriate information is essential in this industry. Join us as we talk with industry experts who have enthusiastic viewpoints on innovation and guidance for encompassing a growth mindset.

I am your host, Patricia Bonilla, President of Lunacon Construction Group, a woman-owned general contractor that only began in the garage in 2007. Our mission is to provide you the best resources that would result in turning your construction business into a money-making profitable machine that perfectly works for you!

    Building Resilience and Sustainability: Understanding the Concepts with Alexa Stone

    Building Resilience and Sustainability: Understanding the Concepts with Alexa Stone

    Our guest in this episode, Ms. Alexa Stone, President, and CEO of ecoPreserve, emphasizes the importance of long-term relationships in achieving success. Her company, ecoPreserve, focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable building practices.

    Alexa explains that sustainability and resiliency are closely related, focusing on using resources in a way that can be sustained over time, and resiliency refers to the ability to respond to climate events. Though it's complicated, she says that Individuals can contribute to sustainability by using LED lights, recycling waste, walking or using hybrid/electric vehicles, limiting the number of pets and children, and being mindful of the products they purchase and use.

    She also calls for manufacturers to take responsibility for reducing packaging waste and using more sustainable materials.

    "We need to work on it a lot more. Yes, I agree with you it is getting a little bit better. People are at least aware that they need to have the facade of equity, but it's still not equal. Women still don't make the same as men, and blacks and Hispanics also don't make the same it is not fair yet, but it's getting better." – Alexa Stone – President and CEO, ecoPreserve LLC.

    What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

    · The difference between resiliency and sustainability and how they work together to create a more sustainable future.

    · The LEED certification process and what it means for a building to be LEED certified.

    · The necessary components for a community to be considered resilient and how to implement them.

    · Quick and effective ways to mitigate the damage caused by climate change in a building.

    · The comparison between retirees and baby boomers in terms of needs and priorities.

    Connect with Alexa Stone on LinkedIn

    Learn more about ecoPreserve LLC

    Connect with Patricia Bonilla on LinkedIn

    • 41 min
    Empowering Students and Diversifying the Construction Industry with Francisco Vargas

    Empowering Students and Diversifying the Construction Industry with Francisco Vargas

    Francisco Vargas is a professional accountant and educator with 28 years of experience. He believes that teachers have the potential to empower or disempower a student and that the role of the school is to teach students skills and values. However, he also notes that primary education should come from the home. Vargas discussed the limitations on teachers from the government, which hinders the ability of teachers to handle some student behavior in class. He also addresses the lack of drive in some parents and how some students develop mental health issues and drop out of school.

    Vargas suggests that more could be done to provide opportunities for students to learn trades and create more diversity in the construction field, particularly in terms of empowering minority communities. He emphasized the importance of creating channels for students to learn about and access these opportunities and fostering a sense of unity and inclusion. Francisco Vargas has touched nearly 3300 students through his 28 years of service as an educator. He also mentions that only some students are college bound, and it should be considered to provide alternative pathways like technical schools for those students.

    Patricia Bonilla, the Host of Thriving in Construction, The Podcast, also agrees with Francisco Vargas on the importance of providing opportunities for students to learn something they love and are passionate about.

    Lastly, Francisco Vargas shared his experience of transitioning from being a farmer to an educator, which was not without regret, and he emphasized the importance of diverse backgrounds and a sense of unity amongst everyone.

    What You’ll Learn From this Episode:


    The importance of construction in empowering minority communities
    The reasons why there’s a lack of diversity in the construction industry
    How to enhance the political power of minority communities in construction
    The importance of education in the community

    Learn more about Francisco Vargas on LinkedIn

    Learn more about Patricia Bonilla on LinkedIn

    Learn more about the Lunacon Construction Group

    Visit Lunacon Construction Group’s website

    • 41 min
    Bringing More Value and Diversity to the Construction Industry with Ms. Gloria Samuel

    Bringing More Value and Diversity to the Construction Industry with Ms. Gloria Samuel

    What if you ended up working for a career you dreaded before because you were unsure if you could handle challenges? Would you walk away, or would you embrace your fear?

    In this episode, our special guest, Ms. Gloria Samuel, Senior Vice President and Director of Construction Programs and Project Management for Fifth Third Bank, has felt intimidated by the idea of a career in engineering. She decided to go to college and ended up choosing a program in architecture at the University of Cincinnati.

    As a single parent of 1 kid, Gloria worked in architecture for a few years before eventually transitioning into the construction industry. She is motivated by the desire to learn and add value to her field, and she has been inspired by people in her life who have encouraged her to pursue her goals.

    “It is important that nobody else can speak for you but you. And if you don’t speak up, you can’t expect that they’re going to give you something different. It doesn’t just fall in your lap.” – Gloria Samuel, Fifth Third Bank, Senior Vice President and Director of Construction Programs and Project Management

    What You’ll Learn from this Episode:


    The importance of considering the long-term impact of career choice rather than simply focusing on short-term financial considerations.
    The significance of being resilient and adaptable in any career, especially in the construction industry.
    How crucial it is to have strong communication and collaboration skills to be successful in construction.
    Why you should embrace new ideas and approaches in the construction industry.

    Connect with Gloria Samuel on LinkedIn

    Connect with Patricia Bonilla on Linkedin

    Learn more about Lunacon Construction Group

    Contact Lunacon Construction Group on LinkedIn

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Creating Opportunities Through Diversity and Inclusion by Dr. Barbara Sharief

    Creating Opportunities Through Diversity and Inclusion by Dr. Barbara Sharief

    We're all about creating opportunities for everyone.

    Sure, you probably think we mean the people are already doing it. You know, the folks already getting the jobs and opportunities that lead to success and community involvement. And you're right: those people deserve their fair chance!

    But we also think that everybody benefits when more people get opportunities in a diverse community. That's because when all voices are heard and all ideas considered, it creates more opportunities for everyone. Diversity is not just about leveling the playing field; it's about making your community more robust as a whole!

    And our guest in our 4th Episode of Season 04 of Thriving in Construction, The Podcast, is someone who fights for the rights of Hispanics and black minority communities. She’s no other than Dr. Barbara Sharief, with 13 years of experience in office as City Commissioner, Mayor, and President of counties.

    I can't help but quote Dr. Barbara's words, "So for me, in my mind, I'm always saying I can't fail, I can't fail. Failure is not an option. Because I'm representing women and minorities, I'm representing on a level where people expect failure and can't fail." Dr. Barbara Sharief

    What You’ll Learn from this Episode:


    The possible solutions for minorities and small business opportunities to thrive.
    How inclusivity brings success.
    The importance of intuition in the decision-making process.
    The advantage of construction skills over traditional careers.

    Connect with Dr. Barbara Sharief on LinkedIn

    Connect with Patricia Bonilla on LinkedIn and learn more about Lunacon Construction Group

    Contact Lunacon Construction Group on LinkedIn

    • 57 min
    The Significance of Surety Bonds in the World of Construction by Charles Nielson, President of Nielson, Hoover & Company

    The Significance of Surety Bonds in the World of Construction by Charles Nielson, President of Nielson, Hoover & Company

    The first thing, and perhaps the most important one, a construction company must do to survive is to understand the people they are working for. According to Charles Nielson, President of Nielson, Hoover & Company, the same principle applies to private and public roles.

    Although surety bonds seem to be an overwhelming topic for most businesses—especially for the new ones in the process—it is a must for every construction business owner to understand this type of agreement between three different parties involved: an obligee, a principal, and a surety. The key roles each party plays are explained in detail in the podcast.

    Charles said that if you sign a contract to build a building in today's market, you have to think about the issue of rising costs in some way. However, one should note that surety bonds are not insurance. Instead, they are assurance.

    "As a contractor in this marketplace, you must be able to facilitate the challenges that will come to you when you look at challenging problems that are in place now and that are just over the horizon." - Charles Nielson

    What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

    · The importance of surety bonds in the construction business

    · Key roles by distinct parties: an oblige, a principal, and a surety

    · How to avoid financial walls and potential bankruptcies in the construction industry

    · How to assess and figure out the risks of the potential loss

    Connect with Charles Nielson on LinkedIn

    Connect with Patricia Bonilla on LinkedIn and learn more about Lunacon Construction Group

    Contact Lunacon Construction Group on LinkedIn

    • 52 min
    Who You Are is What Your Company Is by Ursula Iafrate, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of FAE Consulting

    Who You Are is What Your Company Is by Ursula Iafrate, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of FAE Consulting

    As a leader, you should live and breathe the core values of who you are. Remember, who you are is what your company is. And would you believe if I said that what shows up in your personal life as a hobby also shows up in your business?

    Just like Ms. Ursula Iafrate, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Freaking Awesome Engineers Consulting, a mechanical, electrical, and plumbing service company with extensive experience in planning and designing building systems. She's passionate about the horses she's volunteering for, about helping and giving back. As a result, her passion manifests in the way she handles her team and her firm.

    I can't help but admire her positive approach to life and the workplace. Ursula said, "I'm not afraid to say that I've been in therapy multiple times. It's all about connecting with yourself and realizing that you don't need anybody's validation. It just comes from within, like your happiness and joy and who you are." - Ursula Iafrate.

    What You'll Learn About this Episode


    The three pillars that are crucial for an MEP project to be successful
    Ms. Iafrate's advice for those who want to change the world
    Reasons why you should hire people smarter than you
    The importance of trust in building teams

    Connect with Ursula Iafrate on LinkedIn

    Learn more about Freaking Awesome Engineers Consulting

    Connect with Patricia Bonilla on LinkedIn

    Learn more about Lunacon Construction Group

    Contact Lunacon Construction Group on LinkedIn

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Customer Reviews

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1 Rating

DesignerBella33 ,

Very informative Podcast

I have learned a lot from the first episode. I am still deciding of i will pursue being in the construction industry as a woman. This gives me the encouragement and empowerment. Kudos to the host for creating this safe space for people like me who is interested to join the industry.

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