Andrea Dubbert was recruited as the business development manager at Nunn Construction, a new position for the 32-year-old Colorado Springs firm. An artist, Dubbert moved to the Springs from San Francisco — where she worked for an architect — less than a year ago. She has a passion for sustainability and for creating buildings that give a sense of place, both of which serve the 34-year-old well in her new job at Nunn. As the business development manager, she’s responsible for letting the community know about Nunn’s successes and its ongoing projects — essentially bringing the firm into a new era.
Dubbert recently took time to talk to the Business Journal about her position at the construction firm, her background and her philosophy.
Tell us about your job.
Nunn has done a great job of building for the last 32 years, but not a great job of telling people about it. My job is to tell people about it. Look out for the Nunn Construction renaissance, the new brand identification and website. I want to build relationships in the community with people who want to build a better community, physically or not. Nunn is going into a new era.
Our focus is projects that matter — we have a diverse portfolio of commercial buildings, community facilities, health care. We want to work with people who want to build quality, not just a good project, but something that’s going to be sustainable. We build unique buildings — Rocky Mountain Health Care Services, the city hall expansion, the National Strength and Conditioning buildings, Phil Winslow BMW, Gold Hill Mesa Community Center, Focus on the Family. We have a strong history in the nonprofit and faith-based marketplace.
You recently joined your colleagues in corporate training. Tell us about that.
We looked at values and how do we represent you based on your values. We are working as the servant archetype — We want to lead by serving our clients. It’s not about what you look like — it’s about who you are and your values.
Tell us about your career path.
I grew up in metro Detroit and went to college in Virginia. I moved to San Francisco and went to art school there. I worked in architecture and I maintained a studio until the kids came along. Now they’re my art projects. I practiced around sustainable practices and the idea of place-making and making a community impact. Since none of us are living off the grid, creating these places is so important. Places have the ability to create positive impact in the community, especially in the urban climate.
How can Colorado Springs retain more young professionals?
I think there is a climate here and it’s not articulated. People said Colorado Springs is ultra-conservative. I think people are often afraid of saying, “I am not ultra-conservative.” The idea of sustainability can be a controversial subject in some circles. I don’t have that long of a gauge because I just got here. But I hear about it — and it just blows my mind.
What are some areas where we could improve community here?
I feel like there is diversity, but it’s not as prolific as from where I came from. I think celebrating our diversity within city government would be a good thing to do. Also, climate change is controversial in some circles. That blows my mind, too. They’re saying, “And then you’re telling me what to do with my building.” It’s the idea that it’s a mandate rather than something positive.
What advice would you give other young professionals?
Get involved. Find what you’re passionate about and get involved. That’s what’s so great about this community. It’s small enough you can help make things happen. I’m involved in Leadership Pikes Peak. It’s really expanded my knowledge of the city. I’m helping do some stuff at the Manitou Art Center. There is so much art here. People are very passionate here and want to be involved.
If you’re bored, it’s your own fault. I’m looking to plug in where I can help make a difference.
What do you like most about Colorado Springs?
I love that the outdoors are RIGHT here. Our back yard is a park. I love that it’s affordable. It’s an affordable place to raise a family and have a home. There’s so many wonderful parks and resources. It has everything, but it’s scalable.
For the St. Patrick’s Day parade, we left late, wondering what the traffic and parking would be like. We found there were spots everywhere. If you want to do something, you can do it. Here you can park downtown; you can work downtown. It’s a beautiful city; I like that it’s not Denver. You can park for $3, and in San Francisco, it’d be $20. I think that’s amazing. It was so cheap [here] and it was two blocks away. [In San Francisco], a quarter in the meter will get you six minutes.
Tell us about your family.
My husband is a designer in graphic design. We have an almost 1-year-old boy and a 3-year-old daughter. And a dog.