Team Spotlight – Melissa Rosell
Chief Operating Officer

Melissa Rosell is a designer and a builder at heart. She envisioned her transition from managing an architecture office, to taking on Human Resources at Cinergy Construction, and then stepping into the role of Director of Operations, and she built these goals into reality, step by step – just as she did in her move from Florida to Southern California. It was a process of thinking about what she wanted, and then making it happen.

In the beginning, she had many discussions with Greg Francis, the Head of Sales and Marketing, about her background and her interests. “I kept my goals front and center,” she says, “and ultimately Greg pretty much said, ‘Here’s the job, make it want you want it to be.’ I really crafted this position for myself, and I couldn’t be happier.”

A Thoughtfully Designed Role at Cinergy Construction

Since Melissa’s role was custom-designed by Melissa herself, it’s a perfect fit. Thanks to Cinergy’s belief in her and her vision, she’s been able to institute improvements in project workflow and tracking, avenues of communication both within and outside the company, feedback loops between process, action, performance, and outcomes, and the company culture as a whole. Cinergy’s staff has more than doubled in her five years with the company and the atmosphere both in the office and out in the field is strongly positive.

“Clear communication is key,” says Melissa, “and so is respectful listening. We have high standards, we communicate our expectations, and we lay out our processes as methodically and clearly as possible. And, if there’s a hitch or a disconnect, we ask why, and we listen. It’s essential to remain open to the give and take of clear communication. You can’t be heard well if you don’t listen well, too.”

Being a Woman in a Male-Dominated Industry

Melissa is the first to admit that it’s not always easy being a woman in construction, but she’s had lots of experience in hiring men and making sure that they share her vision, and that experience has paid off. “I had a whole awakening last year,” she says. “It dawned on me that I no longer feel that I have to prove myself or be the loudest voice in the room. My strength is my softness. Our team is cohesive, aligned. I’ve achieved my goal of making Cinergy a place where I’d like to work. I feel kind of like I’ve had the Infinity Stones from ‘The Avengers’ – I’ve collected all the right men.”

Not only has Melissa molded and grown the operations and the culture of the company, she’s been recognized in her field as well. Last year she was invited to speak on a panel at the WCOE Conference (Women Construction Owner’s and Executives), and that was very validating for her.

Favorite Cinergy Projects

Her favorite Cinergy projects? “Not accounting!” she says, with a laugh, but numbers do play a central role in what she loves to do – production dashboards, which, she says, are her “work babies.” These dashboards, proprietary to Cinergy, give real-time information on job profitability and help predict where the job is going to end up in both time and money. Project Managers use the dashboards to forecast how much labor and materials will be needed to complete a project, and accounting incorporates all of the data into their record-keeping and reporting, which then informs marketing and sales activities.

Not that it was easy to institute the use of the dashboards. “It was something of an uphill battle at first,” says Melissa. “It felt like going door to door with the Book of Mormon, saying ‘This is the good word!’” But now everyone believes in them and sees their value. Accounting and Project Management personnel are aligned with the whole system, and the field crew are in on the picture too.  

Funniest—or Most Embarrassing—Thing That’s Happened On the Job

“I feel like something embarrassing happens every day!” says Melissa. “But really, something funny happens every day, thanks to the collegial culture at the office. We get along.”

It’s become the norm for the team to have occasional outings together, too; they sometimes go to a baseball or hockey game, or they go to Top Golf or a bowling alley. They’ve even done axe-throwing together.

Melissa’s Dream Project

“I’d love to have Cinergy do some libraries; like someone’s personal library, or a kid’s library. And that would be an interesting way to use Cinergy’s unique expertise in sound control, too. Libraries need quiet for concentration, right?”

First Days with Cinergy

Melissa was born and raised in Miami and worked her first jobs there. When she was hired at Cinergy, she had three weeks to make the move. She sold furniture and household goods, put her clothes in the car, and had it shipped. With her then-8-month-old son Bowie, and Jason, her husband of 13 years, she left friends and family behind, flew across the country, found a place to live, and jumped into her new position ready to go. She hasn’t regretted it one day, and loves working with Greg and Graham Osborne, the Founder and President, who both have impressed her with their intentional pursuit of success.

Melissa Outside the Office  

“It’s all Bowie, all the time,” says Melissa. “When I’m home, I’m not in work mode, I’m in mom mode.” They go to Disneyland frequently, play video games, and have lots of play dates. Her husband Jason, who has worked remotely most of his career as an ad operations analyst for a marketing company, takes most of the weight during the week, doing drop-offs and pickups and more. “I always knew my husband was supportive,” says Melissa, “but now I’m deeply impressed by it. He’s the only reason I’m able to be successful at my job, because he picks up the slack with Bowie.”

Looking Forward

Melissa is hopeful that she will have a long and productive career with Cinergy. “Finding Greg and Graham and being so content with my job is a real gift.”

On the home front, there’s Bowie’s burgeoning acting career to be nurtured. Last year Bowie was cast in a toy commercial which was aired on YouTube and television, and he was recently booked for another. “We’ll do this as long as he’s interested in it,” says Melissa. “He’s a Sagittarius; he really likes the attention.”