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Meagan Brown Q & A

Meagan Brown, Office of Process Improvement’s Award Winning Intern, Q & A

By Quentin Boose, Process Improvement Intern

November 8, 2018

meagan brown accept CDOT recognition

Meagan Brown (second from left) accepting CDOT’s recognition for the ARTBA award in October.

Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Process Improvement Intern Meagan Brown was awarded the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) ’s “Women Leaders in Transportation Design & Construction” award for her accomplishments during her internship. The Office of Process Improvement (OPI) talked with Brown about the achievement and what process improvement means to her.

Office of Process Improvement (OPI): You received the ARTBA Award for chartering the Lean Construction Project at CDOT; what inspired your work?

Meagan Brown (MB): One day, Gary [Vansuch] said to me, “You know, at [CDOT’s] new headquarters, they're using Lean Construction.” And I thought that sounded cool, so I started doing some research, and I found that [JE Dunn] was doing a presentation on it that week. I went with the intention of writing an article, and from the presentation, I got really inspired. So I took the OPI on the tour of the new building while it was still under construction. They talked to [OPI] about how they were applying Lean. This opportunity was just one of those little doors cracked open and, when I walked through it, there were so many more opportunities to follow. I just opened all the doors I could in this project which is how I think it ultimately found success.

OPI: Very cool! What did you take away from the Lean Construction project?

MB: I learned so much from that project and also made a lot of connections. I feel like I can talk to people in the construction field on another level because of what I've learned through Lean Construction.

OPI: How did you learn about the ARTBA award?

MB: Gary [Vansuch] said he wanted to nominate me. I wrote a cover letter and updated my resume. It’s the kind of recognition that is awarded for multiple things. There is a focus on the work that you've done as a student as well as a professional. They are looking for candidates who are in the construction industry are doing hands-on projects in particular. So I mentioned some of the construction that I did in my undergrad as well, which included working with Habitat for Humanity.

OPI: What was it like winning the award?

MB: It was really exciting. They flew me out to New York and put me in the fancy hotel where they had their conference and then I was invited to go to all the different and interesting conference events. The awards luncheon was also really cool because one of the women who started the program was getting a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. It was really great to talk and network to the other ARTBA award winners receiving recognition.

OPI: What did you take away from the experience?

MB: I learned to be present in the things I was doing, and I would really make an effort to fill my plate up with things that I enjoyed doing. I was very intentional about the work that I completed and [Lean Construction] was a passion project of mine. I figured out how my unique skills and talents can best contribute to the Office of Process Improvement and CDOT’s overall goal.