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Linking up the industry

image Carol Warkoczewski, founder of (I-LinCP)

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Carol Warkoczewski, MSOLE, AIA compares the Institute for Leadership in Capital Projects (I-LinCP) to Switzerland. That’s because her nonprofit organization dedicated to building leadership, excellence and predictability in capital project planning, design, delivery and operations isn’t biased.




   “We link people together, hold this neutral position in our industry and hold everybody as equal partners,” Warkoczewski, I-LinCP’s founder and chief vision officer, explains. “For a project in which we are facilitating, we bring together all key project stakeholders, designers, architects and engineers, the end user, the project owner and the contractor. We discuss communication, team values, project goals, mission, lessons learned and rocks in the road. We hold this special position in the middle and help to bring all of these groups together.”
    Warkoczewski developed the idea for I-LinCP (pronounced “I Link Up”) in 2008 while facilitating project partnering and team building through her business Synergy Builders. In February 2009, the first leadership and capital projects forum was held in Austin to such positive response that she formed I-LinCP and held two more conferences that year.
    “I had this really strong background and desire to help project teams be successful, and from an organizational development side as well,” Warkoczewski, who also is a City Architect for the City of San Antonio, says. She has since established an I-LinCP team, including executive direc-tor Carla Bingaman and Mike Lackey, who has been instrumental in program coordination. San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas chapters have formed, and I-LinCP hosts a retreat and networking events. I-LinCP also started “Circles of Excellence, which provides opportunities for smaller teams to focus on particular areas of interest.
    “Something I am very proud of that I think will continue to grow and gain momentum is our ‘Circle of Excellence’ called ‘Invest in Women,’ which has an annual women’s forum and is helping to put together a leadership certification program called ‘Leadership in Collaborative Project Delivery.’ It is open to all genders, but we include topics around effective communication, equity, and diversity in the workplace.
    “Looking forward, providing good programs is one of the things that we will continue to do, and we have really good ideas that we want to implement in different circles,” she adds. “One thing we will do to help I-LinCP be sustainable is grow Circles through the financial investment of major underwriters. We have one major underwriter, SKANSKA, that supports the ‘Invest in Women Circle.’ Their donation helps fund this program’s curriculum development.”
    One I-LinCP event, a Texas Public Owners Conference with the theme “The Bridge Over Troubled Waters: From Project Delivery to Operations,” is Aug. 8 and 9 at Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel. She says the conference is “an opportunity for facility owners and public owners to share information with other public owners, but we also bring in other partners, designers, architects, engineers and contractors. It’s an opportunity to learn from each other.”
    I-LinCP has met such a need in the industry that Warkoczewski has received requests to start chapters beyond Texas.
    “My goal for five to ten years is to have chapters outside of the U.S. I believe that the values, goals, mission and vision that I-LinCP has is something that can be taken internationally. The construction industry can show people in other countries and industries that we have to work together in spite of contracts that put us at odds. If we can do it, anybody can do this,” she says. –mjm

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net