Born to Build

Beth Davis was visiting construction sites before she could walk. Perhaps that’s why these days she’s pretty comfortable running some of the largest and most complex sites in the Southeast. A second generation builder who learned the ropes of large commercial projects from her dad, the Ohio native has spent her entire 18-year career with Balfour Beatty and built a resume that would spark envy even amongst the most seasoned industry veterans. And she’s done it with a combination of sweat equity and earned swagger. 

Currently, Beth is the project manager of a $76 million hotel in Uptown Charlotte—part of a larger, 25-story office tower project known as 300 South Tryon that makes the local news on a near daily basis. But that may not even be the most high-profile project Beth has built in the Carolinas. She oversaw the interiors work for SPX’s Corporate Global Headquarters, a LEED Silver project that received a first place Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas. 

Speaking of awards, Beth helped another marquee project receive two of them. And considering the job’s difficulty, it’s little wonder the collective industry took notice. Beth led a talented team that put nearly 340,000 square feet of work in place in just nine months. It took 12+ hours, seven days a week to achieve the feat of craftsmanship that is the LEED Platinum MetLife Corporate Retail Headquarters. “I learned the power of maintaining a positive attitude and persevering,” recalls Beth. 

Though her portfolio primarily spans the private sector, Beth’s fondest memories are of a $200 million Central Campus for the Army Corps of Engineers. “It was something new and different,” she reminisces. And both qualities are key to Beth’s love of construction. “I like the process of creating something from nothing. You’re never doing the same thing twice in this field.” 

Given the demands of her all-consuming career, it’s tough to image Beth having time to pursue many hobbies or interests once she’s kicked off her (often muddy) steel-toe boots. But at the same time she’s meeting project milestones, she’s masterfully managing the schedules, routines and day-to-day organization of her family, which includes seven-year-old daughter, Savannah. 

It’s safe to say Beth never dreamed of a path that didn’t include building. For those women contemplating a career that mirrors her own, Beth offers this advice, “Be passionate and take ownership of your work. Construction is all about following through from start to finish.” 

While Beth is aware of the reality that she is both a woman of influence and a minority in a demanding and competitive industry, she’s always maintained a firm policy of checking her apologies at the trailer door, refusing to concede any assumption that she doesn’t belong. “If you treat others the way you want to be treated—with responsiveness and respect—you earn both in the field. This really holds true for anything in life,” she argues. Outspoken but fair, confident but compassionate, Beth Davis and women like her are the future of our industry.