Raken is shining the spotlight on Vivienne Nishimura, Chief Estimator, LEED AP, at Venegas Company. Venegas is a demolition contractor based in Concord, California, specializing in environmentally efficient deconstruction. Vivienne's role entails pre-construction cost estimating, project management, and LEED compliance, so she spends time both in the office and out in the field visiting jobsites.
Before joining the world of construction, Vivienne Nishimura started out in government relations and compliance then traveled around the United States providing legal assistance to wineries with their e-commerce businesses. When she started her family she wanted to find a career that kept her closer to home and helped make a difference in the community. So, she pursued a job in green building, found Venegas Co. and the rest was history. Although she didn't begin her professional life in construction, she's certainly made an impact during her 16 years at Venegas.
As she got her start with Venegas, the technology revolution was just beginning, and now, her job relies on tech. When asked about technology, Nishimura states,
"I cannot live without my cellphone, laptop, software and apps. When I first started in this industry, we ordered paper copies of plans in order to walk jobsites, do takeoffs, etc. I am so thankful those days are long gone for my firm and that most everything can happen on phones or computers!"
Building Relationships, Demolishing Structures, Saving the World
Vivienne's two favorite aspects of her job are the relationships she builds with her clients, and the company's construction and demolition (C&D) recycling program. She loves that she can help make the world a better place through her work - especially in an industry that hasn't always been associated with an environmental conscience. Some of her fondest memories of her job are from about 12 years ago when she worked with Sunset Development on her first full-floor demolition project. She speaks highly of her mentors, Alexander Mehran, Jr., Frank Schmidig, and especially Carol Gray:
"Carol was amazing, she is a very petite woman and used to wear high heels and business attire with her hardhat onto the jobsite. She knew everyone’s name from the superintendent to the man sweeping up. Her gracious and kind management style is something I strive to emulate each day."
Always Keeping the Community in Mind
A humanitarian through-and-through, Vivienne Nishimura's interests outside of work also involve helping the community. In her free time, she serves pro-bono on a nonprofit legal foundation board, and also volunteers for an organization whose mission is to integrate an edible education into schools, so children can have access to healthy, nourishing food while they learn, called The Edible Schoolyard Project, based in Berkeley, California. We truly admire Vivienne's dedication to the environment and her community and are so glad that our technology can help make such a busy person's job just a little bit easier.