We’re Celebrating 25 Years in Business

Helping Others to Elevate Themselves

Helping Others to Elevate Themselves

As we are celebrating Women In Construction Week, we asked Mary Tippett, LandSouth’s Operations Manager, to share how she built upon previous experiences, ways she empowers women now, and thoughts on the future of women in construction. It is of note that Mary was the 2022 Corporate Diamond Award winner for her efforts in leadership and collaboration.

In what industry did you work prior to construction and how have you used that experience in the construction industry?

I spent twenty-two years in the hospitality industry, working as a Director of Operations, and assisting the CEO with restaurant acquisition including permitting, commercial build out, training development and new store openings. Although the transition to multifamily construction came with its own challenges, the two industries share common traits – it’s all about people and process.

I have developed a servant leadership style that allows me to connect with people and gain a true understanding of their needs. I truly believe that by helping individuals find their own success, and setting a standard and maintaining expectations, this creates confidence in the roles we serve. Consistency leads to department success and eventually to company success and growth. This universal language has helped me navigate and now develop the LandSouth Way for others.

Talk about your early days in construction and how long have you been with LandSouth?

I spent four years as a developer’s representative in the hospitality industry completing five commercial build outs. I have been with LandSouth for four years starting as an Administrative Operations Manager and then elevated to Operations Manager in 2023.

Tell us about your job duties and what you are currently working on?

In a nutshell, I oversee the day-to-day administrative operations and assist with resourcing material and processing for operational positions. Most recently I have been helping to develop process for our field teams, working closely with the VP of Operations, collaborating with Division Managers and providing support to the 2024 “Owning Our Service” strategic initiative.

How do you empower women in your department?

For the past four years I have had the pleasure to work with several women, guiding and coaching them through promotions and on to a successful career. I am most proud of watching these young women discover their own leadership style with their employees and carry forward with many of the things they have learned under my guidance. This includes best practices that revolve around how to be confident and assertive, and when to soften our exterior, to remain firm but fair, all while building rapport. This helps women build confidence and be successful in the construction industry.

How do you use your role as a Manager to Mentor others in your department?

Organization and communication are a few behaviors and skills I focus on with my teams. Our teams are on a constant path to do better and be better. We explore avenues for conflict resolution, consistency, and accountability as we strive to achieve high levels of success. Historically, the APM role has been used as a gateway for development into an elevated position of Project Manager. I have been privileged to help develop 11 promotions consisting of 7 Project Managers and other roles.

How does Bob McDonald support you?

Bob empowers me to lead with intention and purpose. To have a supervisor in an Executive position support how I manage my team and holds me to high standards is something that carries downhill. I am lucky to be held to these expectations as it allows me to be a better leader.

What opportunities have you had for growth and development at LandSouth?

I came to LandSouth with the intent to help others be successful and assist by helping to create a pathway for their success. I found I have been able to expand my own knowledge of what it takes to be a multifamily builder, explore the many facets of the organization, and help to create systems and processes that impact the company overall.

In 2023 I joined the Leadership Team, which has allowed me to work alongside some of the most knowledgeable people we have in this industry. This opportunity has provided me with an outlet to expand my role and provide input on strategy for the future of LandSouth.  “Mary is a changemaker in our organization she is always looking for ways to improve how we operate. Her work ethic and drive are what has propelled her into a leadership role at LandSouth and I appreciate how we challenge each other” said Bob McDonald, Vice President of Operations at LandSouth.

You are one of three women on the Leadership Team, what perspective does that bring to help shape the company?

I don’t feel gender plays a role in the Leadership Team. It’s truly about helping one another to define departmental challenges and work as a team to resolve roadblocks for the overall company goals and directive. Everyone on the Leadership team comes from different backgrounds, we all manage differently, and have a unique approach as to how we see business. I am honored to be recognized as a leader in this company and work alongside these talented individuals.

You are currently exploring a leadership opportunity at Hubbard House. Why does this non-profit interest you and how would you like to help them?

It is a personal mission of mine, and I feel it is of great importance to give back to the children that experience difficulties that are out of their control and sometimes lose their voice to share. The Hubbard House mission statement reads: Safety, empowerment, and social change for victims of domestic violence and their families. A recent study stated over 60% of American children were exposed to violence and crime in their household. Of that, 40% of those same children are the direct victim of that violence. Hubbard House does a great job of providing care and skills to families in need and creating a sustainable future for their children. I feel privileged to bring awareness to their mission, participate in their events, and hopefully change a child’s future.

Speak to the role of women in the construction industry.

Being a woman in construction can come with its own battles in the face of perception. I believe it is important to understand that gender does not play a role when it comes to executing a game plan, or rising above challenges that everyone faces on the jobsite. I think it is important that we bring awareness to women in construction and empower women on the journey as they continue to develop in their positions. We can all be empowered to rise above adversity and challenge ourselves to see everyone on the same playing field.

What do you see for the future of women in the construction industry?

I would like to see more women strive to become leaders of their field, and for LandSouth to develop the first female Superintendent in our history. I believe 2024 is going to be a strong year for LandSouth as we continue to standardize our field operations, expand our behavioral training program, and develop from within. We have some amazing women at LandSouth, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve in 2024!