This weekend is the 5th annual Women’s leadership Summit at the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas. Created by former State Representative Helen Giddings, the event connects women in leadership roles with next-generation workers who are ready to prepare for their future.
One of the speakers is Deryl McKissack, president and CEO of McKissack and McKissack. Her architecture company manages major construction projects, several in the North Texas area.
McKissack is the focus of this week’s community conversation.
“We know that the obstacles that we come across as Blacks and as women in this country, and especially being in an all-male dominated business, so every morning I get up on my purpose, “ said Deryl McKissack.
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Architecture and construction are in her blood. Her great great grandfather, a slave, was a builder. He passed on his knowledge of construction to future generations. McKissack's father took her to work with him to share his experience.
“I have been in the business for a very long time,” said McKissack.
Breaking barriers along the way. McKissack made history as the first Black woman-owned construction firm to secure the role of the prime contractor with the City of Fort Worth. Her company also carries contracts with both Dallas and Fort Worth school districts.
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“Dallas-Fort Worth area has been a great place for us to take up roots,” said Deryl McKissack.
In addition, McKissack and McKissack have been project managers for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the design builders Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial near the National Mall The company also designed the addition to the George HW Bush Library Center in College Station. Along the way, she has worked to help empower young women.
“I want them to leave knowing that they are valuable, they are needed, they have a unique place in this universe, and no one else can take that place,” McKissack said.
McKissack is excited about sharing her experiences this weekend at the women's leadership conference in Dallas.
“Women have been left behind especially Black women, and so I just feel like this conference which is talking about reemerging, refocusing, reimagining, these are all the things after going through what we have gone through in the last three years we need to be doing right now," said McKissack. "As women as a block of, group of women, and I think that we can truly make a difference."
For more information on the Women’s Leadership Summit, go to https://www.wlsummit.org/