Kristy Attaway: 2023 Women in Business Award Honoree

October 24, 2023

We are very proud to share that Kristy Attaway, Vice President-Regional Manager, Central Texas, has been named an honoree for the Austin Business Journal’s 2023 Women in Business Awards! These awards recognize women in Central Texas who have forged their own paths and developed their own leadership principles, and Kristy is well-deserving of this honor.

Kristy started at Hill & Wilkinson over 25 years ago as an estimating assistant, after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in psychology. Once she graudated, Kristy was encouraged to apply for a job at H&W by a friend who told her how great the company was. After constant badgering by this friend, Kristy finally succumbed to the pressure and applied. She was interviewed by a long-time employee, Kevin Sellers, and after this interview she knew she wanted to work with Kevin and at H&W.

After a short period of time as an estimating assistant, she realized that she liked the industry and, more importantly, loved the company, so she quickly began trying to figure out how she could continue to grow her career path. As a result, she started taking classes through the Construction Education Foundation at Northlake College and worked in the field as a project engineer. After a few years in the field she opted to move back into the office to continue working in estimating where she eventually became a Director of Preconstruction. “It was work that was much more complicated than what I had previously been doing,” Kristy recalled, “and it gave me a new level of understanding for the entire process, as well as a great foundation for the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) work that I would continue to work on for the next couple of decades.”

Twenty-five years later, Kristy is now overseeing work in the Central Texas area alongside Ryan Shipley, where they have been leading together since 2015. “Kristy’s career path is truly inspirational,” Ryan said. “While other fields related to construction such as architecture and engineering have seen an increase of women leaders at the top of their firms, construction has continued to be mostly dominated by male leaders. To progress from estimating assistant to leading a regional office of a construction company is almost unheard of. She has earned the respect of her staff, clients, and fellow leaders in a field that is still very male-dominant. Her career path has given her a unique perspective that is incredibly important.”

Kristy is mentoring a growing list of female employees at Hill & Wilkinson, both in Austin and Dallas, in a variety of positions within the business, which has led to a steady increase in the number of women interested in various roles at the company over the years. “Kristy also has an innate ability to understand and care for people,” Ryan said. He also noted that she is people-driven in everything she does. This is best showcased not only in her care and mentorship of women at H&W, but also in her community service. Some of the organizations she is involved with outside of work include the Austin Humane Society, the National Charity League, and serving on the Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. According to Kristy, “I have been lucky enough to be involved in several organizations that have given so much more back than I ever put in.”

“I know my success at H&W can be attributed to all the tenured people who took an interest in me and my career,” Kristy added. “I continue to contribute to the success of the company by following their example and mentoring young employees. I try to take time, no matter how busy I feel I am, to guide and teach them what they need to know to be successful and, in turn, allow H&W to succeed as well.”

Kristy has, and continues to lead, at Hill & Wilkinson with dignity and confidence, and we are so grateful for her hard work and dedication. “I have seen Kristy grow into a rare leader and mentor that our industry and city desperately needs,” Ryan concluded. “Her resilience has given her a perspective that is incredibly important to our leadership team and a model of leadership for our young female employees to follow.”