By Jessica Bonin
The Texas Chapter started over 13 years ago with many of the same member organizations that we still have today. Today, the chapter is comprised of 31 member organizations spread out across the state, from city municipalities, college and universities, healthcare, as well as architecture and construction firms.
It has a robust leadership team supporting membership, programs, communications, sponsorships, chapter partnerships and emerging professionals.
The Early Years
The Chapter’s first event was held in the Fall of 2006 at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas with 64 attendees from all over the state. In the Spring of 2007, the Chapter moved their event to Austin, Texas in an effort to draw a larger mix of Owners.
The Chapter consistently held their annual workshops in Austin until last year. From early-on, the Chapter saw the benefit of partnering with other industry organizations to share the mission of COAA and recruit new members. The 2007 program engaged organizations such as ACE Mentoring Program, AGC and ABC. The industry engagement continues to be important to the Chapter.
Recent Growth And Moving Forward
Historically, the Chapter had two events each year – a Spring Owner’s Only Forum in Houston and a Fall Workshop in Austin. In 2018, the Chapter decided to start moving the Fall Workshop to different areas of Texas to attract members who may have been absent from events or new members. In addition to the Fall Workshop changing locations, the Chapter is currently working on growing active members in North Texas, Austin and San Antonio in hopes of hosting multiple Spring forums in different cities across the state.
Recently, the Chapter has been focused on teaming with other Owner organizations in the state that have similar missions and visions to COAA, and work to evolve the industry through knowledge sharing and learning.
We have teamed with organizations in Houston and Fort Worth and had opportunities to talk with Owners about the COAA organization and its benefits. Last year, the Chapter began hosting Emerging Professional events once a quarter. The events include a jobsite tour, overview of the COAA organization and networking. The Chapter EP group is growing and now has regular conference calls to talk about organizing events and ways to recruit recent college graduates to the Owner world.
While the Texas Chapter has remained strong for the last 13 years, we remain focused on the mission and vision of the COAA organization – promoting Owner leadership and continuous improvement, making COAA the go-to organization for Owners, and educating Owners, architects and construction partners how to complete better projects – The COAA Way.
Jessica is a Manager of Business Development for Holder Construction, a national construction services firm with experience all over the country and offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, San Jose and Washington, D.C. Holder is consistently ranked by ENR (Engineering News-Record) as one of the nation’s leading contractors in construction management.
Jessica started her career at Holder in 2010, in the Mid-Atlantic region, and became involved in the Maryland/DC Chapter of COAA. Since 2010, she has served on the Executive Leadership Committee of the Maryland/DC Chapter helping to organize workshops, send marketing emails and increase membership. In 2015, Jessica relocated to Holder’s Dallas, Texas office and became involved in the Texas Chapter of COAA. Having a passion for emerging professionals, teaching them about the benefits of COAA and increasing COAA’s membership, she became the Chair of the Young Professionals Task Force (now Emerging Professionals Committee) for COAA in 2017.