Joni Fournier Brings Ridge to Life for Paradise Valley Estates
As an eighth grader with a knack for math and science, Joni Fournier couldn’t have imagined how one comment from a University of Maine professor would affect her life. Now, as a senior project manager at NV5, an international engineering and consulting firm, she is a bit of unicorn living her dream.
“In eighth grade, my dad took me to a women’s career day event at the University of Maine,” she explains. “There, a professor stood up in front of the group and told us that women typically don’t become engineers. I’m sure there was a slew of other stuff around that, but that was all I heard. All I remember thinking was ‘I’m gonna show you!’”
Looking back, she thinks he might have been trying to encourage us but, it doesn’t change the reality. In her graduating class of 16, Joni was the lone woman. Today, in a business that is still commonly dominated by men, she is slowly seeing change take hold. “I think people are getting more used to seeing women because I think we’re really well suited to be in the construction management industry.”
With NV5 functioning as the owner’s representative, Joni has been working on The Ridge, Paradise Valley Estate’s new neighborhood, for years. “Paradise Valley Estates brought us in to make sure that we are constantly watching for their interest,” explains Joni.
That can mean everything from monitoring the schedule and making payments to billing reconciliation and managing change orders. In this case, the role also means managing the community’s bond requirements, material testing, commissioning agent and any other issues that arise on the 8-acre project. “Anything that the contractor’s not touching kind of falls under my responsibility to make sure it’s happening,” she adds.
That the project is going to be able to open in 2021 is a bit of a miracle. “We were so fortunate to not have our project shut down because we were a healthcare project,” she says.
Joni, who has been working full-time onsite at The Ridge since April 1, brought along a special guest who has visited the Life Plan Community and jobsite on many occasions — her eight-year-old springer spaniel, Bosco. “He’s a service animal and travels all the time. There are some years he has flown 70,000 miles a year with me. He is pretty amazing,” she says.
One thing Joni hasn’t been able to manage is Bosco’s love of Starbucks Puppucinos. “He is addicted. One day I was in the drive-thru line and he jumped out of the window, ran to the counter and waited as patiently as he could for his pup cup. I’ve made a monster,” she laughs.