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Improving Heavy Construction


Leading the Way: Donna Said, A Decade of Safety Excellence in Construction

In celebration of Women in Construction Week, we shine a spotlight on Donna Said, the dedicated Safety Director at McCarthy Improvement (MCI). With an impressive tenure of 10 years at the company, Donna has played a pivotal role in shaping and fostering a robust safety culture within the organization.

Joining MCI in 2013, Donna embarked on a journey alongside the Executive Management team, working tirelessly to instill a proactive safety mindset throughout the company. Her commitment to the protection of employees has elevated safety to a core value at MCI, reflecting the genuine concern for the well-being of every individual on our team.

Donna’s impact extends beyond her official role as Safety Director. Under her guidance, all MCI employees, regardless of their position, actively contribute to promoting safe and healthy work environments on every job site. McCarthy Improvement’s dedication to ensuring that every employee returns home to their families in the same condition they arrived at work is a testament to the genuine care and commitment Donna has instilled in the company culture.

In 2023, Donna was awarded the impressive title of, “McCarthy Improvement MVP,” an inaugural award that recognizes a member of the MCI team who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help the company be successful.

To celebrate Donna and her many achievements, we asked her to answer a few questions about her decade-long journey with MCI:

You’ve been a part of the MCI team for 10 years, through the many changes, what do you think has remained constant?

McCarthy Improvement has always maintained the view that our employees are our most important asset; without them the company would not succeed.

Donna Said, Safety Director, leading safety brief
Donna Said, Safety Director, leading safety brief

Have you had any mentors or role models in the construction industry who have influenced your career path?
I consider all my fellow team members, from members of the project management team to the craft level employees, as my mentors throughout the years. When I started working in the construction industry I had “book smart” experience and confidence in my skills as a safety professional; however, what I was missing was an understanding of the work processes involved in completing a construction project.

Working alongside the rest of the team throughout the years has taught me “street smart” experience. The crews had patience answering all my questions as I learned the various aspects of “building stuff”. 10 years later, knowing that they taught me well, I am approached for my opinion on what will be needed, from a safety perspective, for upcoming work.

What advice would you give to young women considering a career in construction?
If you are looking for a career that offers you a rewarding, challenging work environment that will hold your interest, then construction is for you. Each project is different, so boredom is never an issue. It is important to be a good team player, take ownership of your job responsibilities, honor your commitments, be dependable, and tough yet understanding.

What do you believe are the core values of McCarthy Improvement Company, and how do these values influence day-to-day operations?
MCI core values are Integrity, Quality, Safety, and Teamwork.

  • Integrity – we take pride in doing what we say we are going to do. This helps the company to maintain employees dedicated to our organization’s success.
  • Quality – we take pride in everything we do. McCarthy Improvement requires our best, every day. Our team goal is to be recognized as the premiere contractor in the various markets we serve. This attitude helps us provide our customers with a high-quality finished product.
  • Safety – allows employees to feel comfortable in their work environments, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity; hence, reducing in-direct cost for downtime of workers and costs associated with employee injuries.
  • Teamwork – you accomplish nothing if you are not working as a team. It is vital to the company’s success to have everyone working towards common goals.
Photo of Donna Said holding trophy as the winner of the 2023 McCarthy Improvement MVP award
Donna Said winner of the 2023 McCarthy Improvement MVP award

Can you highlight any specific projects or initiatives that you believe have significantly impacted the company’s success?
All of our projects impact the company’s success. From celebrating successful job completions, to dissecting the issues that occurred on challenging jobs so we can learn from our mistakes and succeed going forward.

In conclusion, Donna’s decade-long story during Women in Construction Week highlights her trailblazing role in a traditionally male-dominated field, showcasing the impactful contributions women can make.
Donna’s commitment extends beyond a title, resonating in the care for the well-being of every MCI family member and contributing to a workplace culture where individuals thrive both personally and professionally. Her legacy is a testament to a brighter, safer future for MCI and the broader construction industry. We can’t express our gratitude enough to Donna for the invaluable contributions she’s made and will continue to make to McCarthy Improvement.



Our team is fired up after attending North America’s largest trade show, CONEXPO – CON/AGG, at the beginning of March. We joined representatives from our family of companies, McCarthy Improvement, Clinton Engineering Company, Linwood Mining and Minerals, and McCarthy-Bush Corporation to network and learn the latest trends in asphalt, aggregate, and concrete industries.

With over 2,000 exhibitors and more than 190 educational sessions, there was no shortage of opportunities to interact with leaders in our field and learn about cutting-edge technology so that we can stay on top of our game. (Just look at this MASSIVE event – it’s a heavy highway company’s playground!)


Here are just a few of the key takeaways our team brought back from Vegas…

Top Four Takeaways:

  1. Electric construction vehicles and equipment are here!
    • Almost every manufacturer is developing electric vehicles and equipment. It is mostly smaller equipment such as mini excavators and skid steers. There are EV machines coming out, as well as some larger equipment like excavators and dozers.
    • As MCI works inside factories more often, we will need to engage in the use of more EVs. Seeing all of the options that are out there aids in our choosing process.
  2. “GPS” is expanding its reach. Traditional GPS uses are integrating with modeling, scanning, fleet management, productivity, analytics, and autonomy.
  3. Partnerships between equipment manufacturers and labor unions are working to develop virtual/remotely-operated spreads. This is especially in earthmoving, where the equipment can function with remote operation through the eyes of cameras, drones, and GPS information.
  4. Some excavator buckets now have built-in radar technology that enables automatic, real-time alerts and scanning of underground utilities.

While McCarthy Improvement may be 2-3 years from acquiring and adapting to the use of these machines and technologies, exposing our leadership to the ideas and options that are out there will prepare us for future changes.

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