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Women in Construction Honored at ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland’s Holiday Social

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

The ACE Mentor Program is a not-for-profit career pathway organization that helps to prepare high school students for careers in architecture, engineering, and construction. Through mentoring and exposure by industry professionals, the program engages and enlightens high school students and supports their continued advancement in the industry.

Since its inception in 2008, the Cleveland affiliate of the ACE Mentor Program has partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). As of 2021, the program has grown to include 12 CMSD teams as well as Warrensville Heights High School, having served over 1700 students.

Approximately 120 volunteers from more than 70 local firms from the design, engineering, and construction industries participate in the program.

The ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland held its holiday social on Dec. 2, 2021. Matt Danis, ACE Mentor Board Chair and Vice President of Shook Construction opened the program. Tom Laird, executive vice president of Gilbane Building Company, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Tari Rivera, president of Regency Construction Services, for her 12 years of service to ACE Mentor Cleveland as mentor, board member and board president.

Laird, who brought the ACE Mentor Program to Cleveland because of Gilbane’s support of the national program, said Rivera was one of the first people he reached out to for support of the initiative because of her championing for construction and efforts to bring more women to the field.

The ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland’s board voted to name Rivera emeritus board chair. An annual scholarship in honor of Rivera was established earlier this year.

In celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary, Chaz E. Phipps president Ben Brown spoke about the recent $20,000 contribution to ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland. The donation will help ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland further its support of college and trade scholarships.

Also during the holiday social, Janelle Hinkle, Regency Construction Services project manager, received the Courtney Behm Volunteer of the Year award. Hinkle started mentoring with ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland 9 years ago then joined the board and became education committee chair in 2019. Hinkle’s peers selected her for this honor because of her hard work in pivoting the program online during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Cleveland affiliate recently added a new program at Shaker Heights High School and plans to host a Spring Celebration recognizing students for their involvement during the 2021-22 school year as well as awarding of scholarships. The scholarship application period is open through early March 2022.

Looking to 2022, the organization’s priorities include a continued focus on career pathways, both for higher education and vocational positions. In addition, the organization will be embarking on an ambitious new capital campaign, the details of which we are excited to announce early next year.

For more information on the ACE Cleveland program, please visit us at or contact Glen Shumate, ACE Mentor Executive Director at


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