Rachel Prinkey, Engineering Services Director
Penn State Applied Research Lab

Rachel was first introduced to COAA through her peers at Penn State’s Physical Plant. To date, she’s been involved in several COAA committees including the Education Committee, Leadership Awards Committee, and OTI Advisory Committee.  She’s even presented as an OTI Instructor and conference speaker.

Her contributions include helping refresh OTI’s close-out course, reviewing leadership award submissions, presenting the leadership award, and helping to kick off a new education strategic plan for the association. 

Her advice to those considering becoming a volunteer is, “Do it. COAA provides me with a valuable perspective and important contacts.  There is a need for change. Be a part of shaping the future of your industry.” 


Michelle Orr, Communications Manager
Gilbane  Building Company

Michelle learned that some of Gilbane’s clients were COAA members and spoke highly about the association. After doing some research, she thought involvement in COAA would be a great way for her firm to learn more about how their clients really think.

She has been serving on the Communications Committee for the last few years. She’s played a big part in determining the content we publish in the Owner’s Perspective making sure each article conforms to our editorial guidelines.   

Michelle believes that she’s able to bring a different perspective as a representative from the contracting side. 

She says, “While I always try to keep in mind that our communications are for and about owners there are times when a slightly different viewpoint can be included in an article, etc. That hopefully makes an impression on an owner, helping them to understand why we (contractors) do or act the way we do.”

When it comes to joining a COAA committee, her advice is “Do it! You get to hear a lot of unique perspectives! Each owner serves a different market and end users, so hearing their stories is always a learning experience.”