On November 19, GBCA’s Construction Leadership Council hosted a virtual Coffee Chat with Maura Hesdon, General Manager of Shoemaker Construction Co.  This informal meeting provided GBCA’s young construction professionals an opportunity to hear from an experienced construction executive, and to ask frank questions about working in Philadelphia’s commercial construction industry.

Maura discussed her path into the construction industry, and working her way up to leading major projects, and eventually the company. Some key takeaways:

  • Know what you know and what you don’t know. Be confident in what you know, and then be wiling to acknowledge what you don’t know. Be willing to listen and learn.
  • Leadership is about putting the right people in the right places to help the organization succeed overall. It’s not only about your own involvement.
  • Find work-life balance early in your career. Your family is important. Avoid over-extending yourself.
  • Be able to communicate well. Be willing to pick up the phone to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Community service is important for your becoming a leader.


Get involved with your community outside of construction. You never know when a potential client could be in a room, or if your clients care about the same community organizations or causes.

Maura Hesdon, General Manager, Shoemaker Construction Co.


Read a more detailed recap of the Coffee Chat, courtesy of MRG – Madison Risk Group:



Thanks to Maura for sharing her thoughts and advice with us, and thanks to all who attended!