乐斗电玩城

A Builder of African American History

Lisa Anders

Full-time MBA

 乐斗电玩城Visitors to the National Museum of African American History and Culture can’t miss the restored Pullman railcar that dominates the Segregation Gallery in Concourse 2. The artifact has historical significance, pointing to an era when African American porters were required to live in separate quarters. Its placement in the museum also has engineering significance for Lisa Anders, a 1995 MBA graduate of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Anders, a member of the Smith School's Board of Advisors乐斗电玩城, oversaw construction of the Smithsonian Institution’s newest property as vice president of business development for McKissack & McKissack, the architecture and planning firm that worked with the Smithsonian on the project. “I remember everything that it took to get that artifact in the building,” she says.

乐斗电玩城crews had to shut down constitution avenue, lower the car into place about 50 feet below street level, and then build the museum around it. “i remember all the planning to make sure the artifact was restored in time and delivered on schedule,” anders says. “we were still pouring concrete and we still had dirt.”

乐斗电玩城the project kept anders busy with business and engineering challenges from 2008 to 2016, but it also opened her eyes as an african american woman to the contributions of so many people who came before her. “it wasn’t that long ago that slaves were building the capitol,” she says. “now an african american-owned firm like mckissack & mckissack is working for profit to build the african american museum on the mall — within eyeshot of the capitol.”  

in many ways anders started preparing for her role in the project when she was still a child, growing up in maryland’s montgomery county. instead of playing with dolls, she gravitated toward legos, model cars and rockets. she converted her three-speed “girlie” bike into a bmx-style racer, and when it snowed she constructed ice forts and igloos. “i asked for things like a workbench for christmas,” she says.

in high school she liked sports, science, photography and building things with her hands. “i liked cars and rockets and things that did something — that had action to it,” anders says.

her interests led to a civil engineering degree from howard university, and then she took her first job with a construction company working on the aarp headquarters in washington, d.c. she also supported renovations at the pentagon and helped build the national archives building in college park.

anders advanced quickly as an engineer, but her ambitions led her to smith for a full-time mba. “i wanted to get to a place where i could be in a decision-making capacity,” she says. “in engineering school we learned how to mechanically and technically build a building, but we didn’t necessarily learn how to make sure that you could pay for it, and how to make sure that you could earn money.”

乐斗电玩城anders moved to cleveland after finishing her mba and oversaw projects in that region. what brought her back to washington was an opportunity to join mckissack & mckissack and build the martin luther king jr. memorial.

乐斗电玩城“it was really an iconic project,” anders says. “it’s part of the landscape of the district, just like the lincoln and jefferson memorials. and to realize that i had been a part of history that will be there forever, i feel really blessed to have had that opportunity.”

乐斗电玩城moving forward, anders will use her engineering and business skills to help mckissack & mckissack grow and attract new clients. “i have an opportunity to exercise more of my business degree, and i couple that with my engineering degree in my discussions with clients,” she says.

乐斗电玩城many organizations skip the expense of bricks and mortar in the digital economy, but anders says there will always be demand for design and construction. “people still need people,” she says. “they need to be around people, and they need to see people, and they need to have a sense of community. your workplace is community.”

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