March 7-13, 2021 is Women in Construction Week. We are recognizing some of the women who own and operate construction businesses in the Philadelphia region’s construction industry. These women and their companies are changing the Philadelphia region, both its physical and cultural landscapes.
This week, we’re spotlighting Mary Pat Geppert, President of Geppert Bros., Inc.
How and why did you pursue a career in construction?
For myself, it starts/stops with forgetting about the boring world of a 9 to 5 cubicle inspired job, as every demolition site brings new and exciting challenges. Things perpetually change with each new project as every building comes down in its own unique manner. This in turn has inspired in me a strong skillset of great problem-solving abilities, and the capability to adapt to different challenges. For myself this ultimately helped to ward off a feeling of job stagnation that eventually leads to burnout for so many.
What do you love about running your construction business?
I’ve worked in the demolition industry for over 20 years. During this period, I’ve overseen some of the largest projects of Geppert Bros., Inc.’s history as well as some of the largest projects the City of Philadelphia has seen to date. I continue to do this every day quite simply because it’s what I love to do. I love the company my husband and I’ve continued to expand and grow. I love our employees who have continued to work for us so diligently over the years. I love our well-established clientele base and that continual expansion. And ultimately, I just honestly love the work that we do. Demolition work has continued to challenge and further inspire innovation over the years, and I enjoy being at the forefront of this industry spurring on such growth.
What is one of your favorite past or current projects, and why?
Current Project: Renovation of a decommissioned chiller plant located at UPENN for a consolidated facility for EHRS hazardous and radioactive waste management and storage operations. The work includes demolition of existing chillers, pumps, piping, fans, mezzanine structure and two overhead cranes.
Past Project: 1101 Chestnut Street. This was the complete demolition of 4-story combination office building and parking garage located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. The structure was 80’ high and had an elevator tower that was 120’ high. The closest building was only 25’ away, which had a glass facade. Offices and retail spaces originally occupied the 1st and 2nd floors of the structure and a combination of offices and parking occupied the 3rd and 4th floors, and roof. There was a concrete helix ramp that vehicles utilized to access the upper parking decks. The helix ramp itself was a mere 6 inches away from the adjacent building and was partially located inside the structure’s footprint and partially outside of the footprint, directly over Clover Street. The building itself was a mostly masonry encased steel framed structure. Many of those steel columns and beams were additionally encased in concrete.
While anyone within the demolition industry understands implicitly that no two buildings come down the same way, it’s extremely rare when a structure’s construction surprises some of the most educated minds within the demolition industry, no matter what is reflected on the as built drawings. As one can’t obtain a degree in demolition, the knowledge garnered on this project is absolutely priceless and is something my team and myself will continue to carry with us throughout our continued history.
Click below to see a full list of GBCA members that are certified Women-Owned Business Enterprises:
About Women in Construction Week
WIC Week was founded by The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) which includes over 115 chapters across the country. NAWIC offers its members education, support, and networking to help advance their careers in construction, build their technical skills, and become leaders.