Movers & Shakers Spotlight – Amanda Chaffin

From her nomination:

At the start of the year Amanda Chaffin and  her colleague, Cheryl, started the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion council, making it the first of its kind. This initiative has been such a step in the future for our companies, as it is creating an education for employees and opening the door for recruiting and education. This is a committee that I am proud to say that I am part of and a committee I am excited to help grow. A leader is someone who goes outside of the box and finds ways to make their people better thinkers, better employees and even better people and I genuinely think that the DE&I council does just that.

Amanda Chaffin is the Regional Human Resources and Safety Manager at Strawser Construction, located in Columbus, Ohio. Strawser is a part of Barrett Industries, the Colas USA subsidiary that operates throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Michigan, West Virginia, and Indiana.

Since joining the Colas USA Family in 1996, Amanda has held the titles of Office Assistant, Safety Officer, Regional Human Resources Manager, and Safety Manager.

Read more about Amanda Chaffin through the following spotlight.

Describe your role to someone who is not familiar with the construction industry or Colas USA.

I help solve problems! As the Regional HR & Safety Manager, I oversee the Human Resources and Safety functions of Strawser Construction. As a member of our leadership team, I guide managers and supervisors through issues such as employee relations, payroll, and compliance to help ensure the business runs smoothly.

What has been your favorite project so far?

I enjoyed attending the Women in Leadership Program in Paris, France. As part of the Diversity Action Plan, the Colas Group Training & Diversity Department created the first leadership training course dedicated to female employees who work in Colas business units outside of France. In Paris, 24 Colas women from all over the world participated in the first session (one group in French and one group in English). This week-long program focused on developing leadership skills via three different paths: emotional skills, confidence, and visibility.

What drew you to working within the construction industry?

I actually had no plans to work in the construction industry; however, after starting with Strawser Construction as an office assistant while in college, our former company owner (and mentor) took me under his wing and taught me so much about the business, and I became hooked on the opportunity.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day?

Our people! I genuinely love the people I work with. From the field employees to our leadership, I enjoy working closely with all the people within Colas USA. I continue to be humbled every day by the work our employees perform and am blessed to be part of such a great company.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’ve been a fitness instructor for over 20 years. I started teaching women’s kickboxing in the late 1990s. After teaching kickboxing, boot camp, and a few other group fitness formats I fell in love with dance fitness and became a Zumba Instructor. In October 2019, my best friend and I opened a small fitness studio in Grove City, Ohio that specializes in Zumba classes.

What is one recommendation you could make to help Colas USA operate better?

Embrace change. Recognize innovation. Encourage growth.