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WIC Week Profile: Elaine Construction Company, Inc.

Meet Lisa Wexler, President of Elaine Construction Company, Inc.

Leo Wexler founded Elaine Construction Company, Inc. in 1947 in Newton, Massachusetts. At the time, the post-war economy was booming, construction was booming, and Americans seized on a wave of optimism to begin life anew. Exactly 60 years later, Leo’s son handed off the family business to his daughter, Lisa, who has expertly managed their construction management and general contracting business that services universities, corporate interiors, life sciences, and non-profits. 

“​As the third generation to manage the stewardship of Elaine Construction, I am both honored and humbled by all my father and grandfather built,” Wexler said. “It has been an honor to work side-by-side with my father for more than 20 years, learning the business from him and watching how relationships are built and nurtured.”

Now a certified woman-owned business, Elaine Construction advocates for women and underrepresented individuals in construction.

“Elaine both supports and runs programs whose mission is to expand opportunities across the broad spectrum of construction, to create an environment that is safe and respectful while paving the path for growth and advancement,” Wexler said.

Zero tolerance policy for safety violations

Wexler said the company had achieved a lot in recent years, undergoing a strategic planning effort to expand its Higher Education Division, and appointing its first Academic Sector Director.

“Academic campus work provides a wide breadth of programmatic challenges and project sizes for our team and affords them an opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique culture and requirements that these institutions present,” Wexler said. 

Elaine Construction is one of seven women-owned businesses in the Boston area to win Highwire’s Gold Safety Award—a distinction that is a result of the company’s superior safety performance. Additionally, the company is the only woman-owned general contractor in the Boston area to receive the Gold Safety Award.

That’s because the company enforces a no-nonsense, “see something, say something” approach to safety, said Wexler, who added that “complacency costs lives.”

“Elaine Construction has a ‘zero tolerance policy’ for safety violations,” Wexler said. “They need not be a superintendent or a safety officer to recognize through their training that a violation or potential violation is in play. By deputizing our team in this way, we expand and hold all employees accountable for the safety of those on and around our job sites.”

The benefits of Highwire for improving safety outcomes

The company has been using Highwire for more than a decade, Wexler said. 

“The benefit of using a platform like Highwire is having the ability to ensure that the subcontractors we use and trust for our projects are already approved and meet the quality standards of a prestigious institute like Harvard—and that our commitment to safety is shown through our profile,” she said.

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