The Professional Women in Building Council (PWB), within the Home Builders and Remodelers Association (HBRA) of Fairfield County, is dedicated to supporting the professional development of women within the home building industry. Its members include builders, architects, interior designers, stagers, building industry suppliers and support service providers such as financial lenders and marketing services.
Stephanie Rapp, the current chair of the PWB and principal of Stephanie Rapp Interiors, says the group’s mission is to “offer its membership an edge through peer support, networking and professional development, as women in the building industry have specialized interests and unique challenges.” Giving back to the community through charitable works and mentoring is also a current goal taking on an expanded role.
Beginning as a women’s networking group in January 2018 with twenty-eight charter members, the PWB currently boasts seventy-two members and has been recognized by the HBRA nationally as the largest and fastest-growing PWB group in the country. Members have also gained benefits through project collaborations. Most recently, the 2019 This Old House Idea House in New Canaan built by Karp Associates, whose director of design and residential construction is PWB board member Robin Carroll, showcased the use of innovative building materials and methods in constructing a modern home. To help accomplish this goal, ten additional PWB members collaborated on the project.
During the current pandemic crisis, the PWB continues to reach out to members through a dissemination of pertinent information as well as phone calls and emails, and provides value through remote presentations, networking sessions and organizing to reach out to those with immediate needs.
In addition to Rapp and Carroll, current board members include Emilia Ferri of Emilia Ferri Architecture + Design, Lisa Bancroft of Fairfield County Bank, Peggy Rubens-Duhl of Fresh Architect, Tarra Del Chiaro of Accurate Lock & Hardware, and Angela Legg of Go Live X. To learn more about the HBRA and the PWB, visit buildfairfieldcounty.com.