Your name: Laurie Nelson
How long have you worked at Iconica: I have worked here for 15 and a half years.
What is your position at Iconica?
I am a Project Assistant, meaning that I assist with projects starting in the design phase and through to the completion of construction. As a Project Assistant, I integrate with all departments and provide support by helping keep everyone on task and working efficiently.
What led you to the construction field?
I was very interested in design and construction as a kid. When I was five years old, my family built a new house in a small rural neighborhood where many others were being built. I was fascinated by everything going on. I would often go and watch everyone work from within the weeds and would try to guess what the final product would be like. Throughout grade school, I often drew house plans and turned boxes into buildings.
Where did you go to school?
I attended Madison Area Technical College (MATC) and got a real estate degree and broker’s license.
How did you get from real estate to working at Iconica?
I got side-tracked from working in real estate; I worked as a retail manager then managed the computer-based test center at a children’s learning center, where I proctored tests for a wide range of fields and professions. Later on, I was the Office Manager for the children’s learning center and helped expand the business. While I enjoyed working there, my interest was design and construction, I applied to work at Iconica as a Project Assistant and have been here ever since.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I come into the day with a list of tasks that I know I need to work on, and have meetings set that I need to attend, but I know that various tasks and requests for help will crop up throughout the day. I’m assigned to several projects at once, and they are generally in different phases of design or construction. No two days are ever the same for me, which is what I love about my job. I often have the opportunity to go on site and learn new things.
What do you listen to in the car?
I listen to a wide variety – NPR, classical, 1960s classic rock, bluegrass, and opera. I especially enjoy comedic operas, the storylines are really outrageous.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on?
Dental Associates Iron Block – it’s such an old building in an urban setting which made the project very complicated but exciting. There were many very unique solutions to many very unique issues – it was fascinating to see it through.
Zander Place – It’s great that the location allowed me to go to the job site often, walk the building with the architects and attend subcontractor meetings.
I don’t eat a ton of cereal, but I love to make smoothies! My go-to is a kale and spinach smoothie with blueberries. It tastes a lot better than it sounds!
Favorite ice cream?
Espresso Oreo from The Chocolate Shoppe.
I would love to someday make it to either the British Isles or the Galapagos Islands. But for now, I enjoy staying in cabins up north and spending my time relaxing, kayaking, and watching wildlife.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I always need a creative outlet. I get together with 3 friends every month and we make greeting cards. I also like to try other crafts, knit, read (British Classics, old Sci-Fi, true crime), go to flea markets, watch cheesy old Sci-Fi movies, and do word puzzles. I collect vintage children’s books about space travel and I’m interested in early space missions; I love learning about astronomy.