Meet the Staff: Mercedes Kamencik
Communication. Teamwork. Positive feedback. Those words describe Mercedes Kamencik. Between her work ethic and these guiding principles, Mercedes has achieved success working first on Phase 1 and now on Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, best known as the Silver Line Metrorail extension being built by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Officially, her role is Construction Specialist working for Jacobs Engineering and contracted to the Silver Line project. Kamencik certainly has her hands full as the project owner’s representative in the field, focusing on the Spring Hill Station during Phase 1 and now completing the Dulles Airport Station on Phase 2. The responsibility of communicating and coordinating with the multiple contractors, sub-contractors, government agencies and jurisdictions onsite falls to her.
“While working with multiple teams on-site presents potential challenges, I’ve found that by establishing open lines of communication early in the process, it creates a smooth workflow and avoids any disturbances to the construction being performed,” said Kamencik, who heads construction oversight on the Silver Line.
She keeps the different teams working together at a steady pace, resolving problems as a united front, and building strong internal communications. She emphasizes the owner-contractor common goal of delivering a safe, dependable and durable rail extension to be turned over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“The previous work experience Mercedes brought with her to the project team has been a great benefit for all of us,” said John Kearney, Construction Manager on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. “Due to her vast experience on Phase 1, Mercedes was chosen to oversee the most unique station on Phase Two, Dulles Airport Station, which required a constant, high level of oversight to help all involved to maintain the appearance of the Airport and access for the patrons during rail construction”
Starting her educational journey at Milwaukee School of Engineering, Mercedes soon realized her heart was still set on home in Maryland. Returning to finish her associates’ degree at Montgomery College, she went on to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management.
Kamencik has been employed full time since she was 20 and worked her way through college, managing to balance career and educational goals with success.
No stranger to hard work, she dedicates herself to achieving her professional goals with incredible passion and efficacy. Now after 17 years in the industry, it is no surprise to learn that Mercedes is currently one of the youngest people on the Silver Line job.
She brings with her a variety of knowledge and experience from her previous role as an assistant project manager overseeing commercial real estate sites such as office buildings.
She’s definitely won the respect of those with whom she interacts including John Kearney who has served as her supervisor on Phase 1 and now on Phase 2 of the Silver Line.
She’s also a walking expert on the Dulles Airport Station, which sits on top of an aerial guideway across the parking bowl from the Airport terminal. She readily provides answers to complex questions not only for construction crews but also visitors on the project.
Her many experiences not only have benefited her professional growth, but have helped her team’s interns along the way. As a mentor, she approaches her role with a balance of gravity and amicability, imparting important lessons on and building positive experiences for her young teammates.
“When we have interns here in the field, I always stress that while everyone may be working on different teams – owner, contractor or whoever—for the project, we still have a common goal to get the project done safely, efficiently and on time,” she said.
Her associates refer to her as an exemplary role model, especially for young women in the construction and engineering industry, and they praise her teamwork and open communication strategies as the keys to her success.
By far, Kamencik says the multi-billion-dollar Silver Line is her favorite construction project. She enjoys the challenges and rewards of working on one of the largest transportation projects in the country. She says she’s been awed by how many agencies, jurisdictions and stakeholders work with and support each other to achieve a common goal: connecting Dulles Airport and Loudoun County to the region via the Silver Line.
Newly Installed Glass Panels at Dulles Airport Station
The main terminal at Dulles International Airport is reflected in these newly installed glass panels at Dulles Airport Station, one of six Silver Line Phase 2 stations expected to open next summer. The glass panels will create a windscreen for riders on the Metrorail platform and mimics the Eero Saarinen-designed main terminal. About 25 percent of the 162 panels that will comprise the windscreen have been installed by crews working 10-hours shifts, four days a week. The installation should be complete by the end of October, weather permitting.
Pictured at top left:
On Phase 2 of the Silver Line, Mercedes Kamencik is tasked with representing the project owner’s in the field and is focused on completing the Dulles Airport Station.
Pictures at top right:
Photo courtesy of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project