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board of directors 

Meet your 2020-2021 Board of Directors a balanced, diverse, and committed group of women who lead our chapter with purpose, pride, and integrity. 



   Chapter Officers 


Karen Grethlein 

Karen Grethlein is an associate attorney in the professional liability department of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. Working in the firm's Philadelphia headquarters, Karen's practice is devoted exclusively to civil defense litigation.

In the area of construction defect and injury litigation, Karen has represented construction professionals from numerous disciplines within the industry, including general contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects, and property owners. Her knowledge of construction jobsite safety practices as well as of construction industry standards concerning contractual indemnification has been of significant help to her clients. Karen works closely with her clients and her clients' insurance carriers to achieve efficient, cost effective, and successful resolution of disputes both pre-litigation and once litigation has commenced. She is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Karen has been a member of NAWIC for 3 years. She has served as Vice President, Director, and Chair of the Professional Development & Education Committee.

Philadelphia is Karen's adoptive home.  A native of Syracuse, New York, Karen moved to Philadelphia for law school and never left. She is an avid Flyers fan. She is passionate about advancing the place of women in construction and the law. She is honored by this opportunity to serve as President of NAWIC Philadelphia and welcomes feedback on how better to serve the chapter's diverse and impressive membership. 

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vice president 


Michele Paxton

Michele is the Corporate Safety Director for Binsky Snyder, LLC, with offices located in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Michele has served within the construction industry in a safety capacity for almost 16 years. According to Michele, construction safety is a dynamic career and she is grateful for the opportunities that have been provided to her.  Michele is passionate about education & training as well as hands-on field experience within this industry and would like to speak to more women about careers available to them in this ever growing and changing environment! 

Michele served as a Director for the Board during the 2019-2020 year and has been a member of NAWIC since 2018.  As a Vice President, Michele will support all chapter initiatives to include gaining new members, gaining feedback from members so that we have a greater level of input into the programs that are executed this coming year, and supporting the President in her vision for the Chapter.  Michele would like to see the Chapter get out and spread our mission and vision to young women in the community and present to them the benefits of a career in construction.  This initiative would include input and assistance from the local Philadelphia Unions and from the tradeswomen.

Michele lives in Abington, Pennsylvania.  Michele enjoys hiking and has a goal to get to a national park to hike in every state in the country.  Next up:  Utah and the Big 5!

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Patricia James-Burse

Patricia James Burse is the Corporate Business Manager for McKissack & McKissack, the oldest minority owned professional design and construction firm in the United States. The firm’s President, Cheryl McKissack Daniel is the 5th generation of construction professionals. 

Patricia functions as compliance manager for minority and women-owned businesses and certification/prequalification processes for city and state agencies. She manages the Contract Repository, Lessons Learned System, Certified Payroll,  as well as office management for the Philadelphia Region. 

Patricia worked as a Consultant in the Mayor’s Office of Information Services for the City of Philadelphia, as well as a Senior Systems Engineer for Hitachi Data Systems.  Patricia’s background continues to provide a key component to the company’s growth. 

Patricia spends her spare time mentoring young professionals and high school students in women and minority business enterprises. She loves traveling, photography, and interior designing. 

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treasurer and finance committee chair

MAry Gaffney

Mary Gaffney is President and owner of a family-owned business GEM Mechanical Services.  GEM Mechanical is a commercial HVAC construction company located outside Philadelphia (www.gemmech.com).  GEM Mechanical is nationally certified as a Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBENC), and federally certified as a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB).

Mary’s background and experience includes 36 years of project management experience ($25K to $50 Million in size), construction management, AutoCAD/Revit, and computer services. Mary has a Master of Business Administration degree, a Bachelor’s of Science, Management Information Systems from Widener University, and executive leadership education from Wharton and the Tuck School of Business. Mary is OSHA 30 Certified.

She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. of Philadelphia and Southern NJ since 2018 and currently serves as Assistant Secretary.  Mary is a member of the Mechanical Contractors Association Eastern PA where she serves on the Board of Governors and the Technology Committee.  Mary also is an active member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) where she has served as Treasurer and on the Board of Directors (2017-2019 and 2020-2021).  She serves as the Treasurer of the NAWIC Philadelphia Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to establish and operate programs to provide educational resources for youth about the construction industry.

Mary is passionate about sharing her business and construction knowledge with young women.  She is honored to be involved in the NAWIC Philadelphia Foundation MyWIC camp each year that provides a week long educational experience for girls to learn about the local trades and businesses.   “MyWIC provides a meaniful learning experience to young women that at the very least provides food for thought as they contemplate their future in the workforce”, states Mary.  

Mary is currently Chairperson of a lego block building competition called Block Kids.  The competition is for students in 1st through 6th Grade.  Block Kids is a national program where the winner of the local competition advances on to the Eastern Regional competition, with a potential to be entered into the National competition.

Mary resides in Edgmont, PA with her husband of 40 years.  Besides being in business together, they share one of there proudest achievements in raising four successful, college-degreed children.  Mary is a avid Flyers fan and intends to visit every national hockey arena to see her team play.         


Immediate Past-President


Angelique Hunter is the Marketing Director at Smith Flooring, Inc., a family-owned and operating commercial flooring company. She specializes in B2B and government marketing.

Angelique believes in the amazing opportunities that the construction industry has to offer women and minorities.

Angelique has garnered city, state, and federal contracts and has successfully represented Smith Flooring as a diverse, woman-owned business.

Angelique has completed the Construction Management certification at Temple University and has earned Smith Flooring the ACG "2020 Diverse Business of the Year Award."

She has been a NAWIC member since 2017. 

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Angelina Perryman is Vice President of Administration for Perryman Building and Construction Services, Inc, a third generation construction management firm established in 1961.  Ms. Perryman oversees the administrative department including contracts, risk avoidance, human resources, technology, and third generation strategic and corporate planning.  Ms. Perryman received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and Executive Leadership Education from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH.   

Angelina has been a member of NAWIC for 6 years.  She has served as Director, Vice President, President, Immediate Past President.  She also has served as Co-Chair for the Mentoring Young Women in Construction camp and currently serves as the Northeast Region Membership Chair. 

 Email Angelina Perryman     

   Chapter Directors 


Heather cahill

Heather cahill

A proud member of NAWIC since 2016; Heather Cahill has been involved in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area construction industry for nearly two decades.  Prior to entering construction, Cahill was a stand-out soccer player at Cardinal Dougherty High School and then Drexel University; where she received a full academic and athletic scholarship. At Drexel she studied Commerce & Engineering which segued into the start of her construction career at Ernest Bock and Sons, Inc. (EBS), a Philadelphia based general contractor/construction manager, in 2002. Heather now serves as a Vice President of EBS, as well as Chief Estimator; a position she’s held for over 15 years. In her time at EBS, she has been successfully awarded projects ranging from $5,000 to over $100 million in the educational, residential, healthcare and municipal sectors. Heather’s work has been pivotal for the growth of EBS, and she continues to serve as a model for women in construction.

Heather lives in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania with her husband Jeff and two boys, Declan (7) and Conlan (5).  Heather enjoys skiing, Crossfit, hiking, days at the beach and quality time with her family.

Email Heather



Patty is the Outreach and Relationship Representative for the Carpenter Contractor Trust, a labor management trust formed to bond the relationship between the trained talents of union carpenters and their qualified signatory contractors to gain market share within the EASRCC region. 

She has held this position since August 2018 where she has developed and fostered relationships in communities. She works tirelessly supporting the work of contractors and carpenters. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Marketing in 2007 and moved to Philadelphia shortly after.  

Patty lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, Steve and two children Conor (7) and Quinn (5). 

Email Patty



Bose is the President/CEO of Rocks & Cornerstones LLC a construction and design company operating in the city of Philadelphia. R&C specializes in residential and commercial construction, Project Management and Design services. Bose has been in the construction and design industry for over 15 years building her knowledge and expertise with industry leaders and pioneers. Bose is passionate about improving the percentage of minority inclusions in the Philadelphia market by encouraging and building other women to work in the construction field. Building a network of women entrepreneurs to work together and succeed together. 

Bose lives in Philadelphia, PA. She enjoys running outdoors, reading, exercising and most of all, looking forward to Friday movie nights with her family. 

Email Bose 

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