Kara Swafford, Senior Project Manager

Hello, I’m Kara Swafford, a Senior Project Manager at Swinerton, and I’ve been part of this incredible company for the past 19 years. 

Professional Journey:

My journey with Swinerton has been dynamic and fulfilling. It started in San Diego, where I initially worked on school projects. I then transitioned to Corporate/BTech to implement and train teams on the CMiC platform. Finally, I returned to operations in San Diego, managing diverse projects ranging from casinos to multi-family developments.

Inspiration to Pursue Construction:

The desire to make a tangible impact inspired me to pursue a career in construction. Witnessing the transformation from plans to reality and saying, “We built that!” is immensely fulfilling and drives my passion for this industry.

Role and Responsibilities:

As a Senior Project Manager, my role revolves around ensuring the overall success of projects. Recently, I completed a 241-unit apartment building in Downtown San Diego, overseeing every aspect from inception to completion. My responsibilities encompass project management, team coordination, and stakeholder communication.

Contributing to Success:

Teamwork is at the heart of project success. I believe in fostering a collaborative environment where everyone shares the same goal and supports each other. No challenge is insurmountable when we work together, ensuring that no one is left behind and the project thrives.

Challenges and Triumphs:

Navigating challenging owners, evolving project scopes, and tight deadlines are common hurdles in my role. However, prioritizing each situation based on what’s best for the project and fostering a united team front has been essential to overcoming these challenges. One project that stands out is the completion of the Radian project, where teamwork and perseverance led to success despite various complexities.

Advice for Aspiring Professionals:

To women considering a career in construction, I say, go for it! Don’t let anyone discourage you. Embrace all aspects of the project and be willing to roll up your sleeves and finish the job. Earn respect by embodying a can-do attitude and never shying away from any big or small task.

Swinerton’s Support:

Swinerton’s supportive culture and longevity have been instrumental in my professional growth. Knowing that I have the unwavering support of my colleagues and the company empowers me to push boundaries and strive for excellence every day.

Personal Touch:

What I cherish most about working at Swinerton is the people. Building solid relationships with my team and project stakeholders brings me immense joy. The sense of camaraderie and mutual respect fostered within Swinerton makes it feel like home.


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