Jessica Harrison, Group Leader in christopher’s Survey Division, wasn’t sure what career path to choose. Not until her father, owner of a construction business, brought home a surveying magazine that had her transfixed by the cover image.
“It was a surveyor rappelling down a canyon wall in the middle of a National Park. I can still remember it. I couldn’t imagine getting paid for doing something so cool,” Jessica said.
She went on to pursue a degree in civil engineering from Lord Fairfax Community College, where she graduated cum laude while working full-time and raising two small children. Jessica started working at christopher in 2010. And when asked what is she most proud of she says, “It’s pretty gratifying to know I started at the bottom and worked my way up.”
Now, as a Group Leader, Jessica doesn’t get to be outside as much as she once did. But she makes time for it whenever she can – not only visiting job sites but on christopher’s client appreciation fishing trip, playing on the company softball team, coordinating employee paintball battles or helping to organize events for NVBIA’s Women in the Building Industry (WBI). She has helped organize an Earth Day tree planting event for WBI for the past two years, giving her the opportunity to utilize her passion for the outdoors while also giving back to the community.
Jessica is a founding member of WBI, whose mission is to promote career advancements and leadership skills of women in the building industry. The goal is to ultimately increase the number of women in leadership in the industry. Jessica says, “It wasn’t always easy to be a female in this profession, but hard work pays off no matter who you are. I’m grateful that I have an employer like christopher that encourages me to get involved and grow.”
christopher has always seen the value in being a committed part of the industry, especially for our female leadership. christopher is also heavily involved in CREW, a membership organization founded to promote professional opportunities and business relationships for women in the commercial real estate industry. christopher CFO Ruth Fields is a past president for CREW Nova and Associate Marie Purkert is a member of CREW DC.
When asked why she’s worked at christopher for the last 7 years, Jessica said, “the work hard, play hard motto is really something that we live by. We work hard to deliver the best product to our clients. But we also have that same fire to have fun!”
Jessica’s excellent work ethic and team spirit is, in part, what led her to be promoted to Group Leader in 2015.
“Jessica’s motivation to get it right the first time provides a level of comfort and trust to all that work with her, be it clients or fellow employees,” said Jeff Smith, Principal and Vice President of the firm. “She is routinely recognized for her determination, trustworthiness and consistency.”