McKissack & McKissack, one of the nation’s leading Black- and woman-owned architecture, engineering and construction companies, announced today that Alana Alsop will head the firm’s business development for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Alsop has more than 15 years of business development and marketing experience in the AEC industry and a proven record of connecting with business leaders to develop new relationships and productive working partnerships to accelerate pipeline performance.
Alana will support the firm’s current and new client relationships, monitor markets and identify emerging trends.
Strong relationships like Alsop’s are key to building the multidisciplinary teams that are so important in delivering quality construction projects as the nation ramps up its focus on infrastructure improvement. Estimates are that some $19 billion in federal spending from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is headed toward D.C., Maryland and Virginia—the region often called the DMV. Much of that spending will go to the populous Washington-Baltimore region, which has edged out Chicago to rank as the nation’s third largest metropolis.
“We’re already active in many infrastructure projects in the DMV, but we plan to significantly expand our work in the area. The barriers to entry in this sector are high though, especially for minority- and woman-owned businesses. But breaking into this kind of work is complex and weighted towards large majority firms,” said Deryl McKissack, president and CEO of McKissack. “When I met Alana through her business development efforts for other firms, it was clear to me that she would be a perfect fit at McKissack and give us an edge. She has excellent contacts and the perfect skillset for our needs.”
Alsop will solidify McKissack’s current business relationships and build new ones
As director of business development for D.C., Maryland and Virginia, Alsop will support the firm’s current and new client relationships, monitor markets and identify emerging trends. She will execute initiatives to increase the visibility of the company’s broad body of projects as one way to bring in new business.
“I aim to solidify current relationships, grow new relationships and be an active player in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion with respect to procurement. We want to make sure women and minorities have an equal playing field when it comes to these projects,” Alsop said.
She pointed out that McKissack has been a thought leader in the AEC industry, pushing for equity for minority- and woman-owned businesses. “Deryl has fought every day for her success and now she is working to level the playing field and make it more equitable for diverse mid-sized businesses. We are working to get bigger pieces of projects and to lead teams as the prime contractor, in partnership with other like-minded top-notch companies.”
Alsop’s deep experience covers every aspect of business development
Entrepreneur has worked in “every aspect of business development” in the AEC industry
Before joining McKissack, Alsop was director of marketing and business development for David M. Schwarz Architects in Washington, D.C. Much of her career, however, has been as an entrepreneur. Since 2013, she has owned BoothBid, a consultancy that connects new and emerging businesses with exhibit booths and sponsorships at national trade conferences and similar events. Although the convention and conference business slowed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Alsop said the “experience shaped who I am today and I will always be an entrepreneur at heart after running my own business for almost a decade.”
Business development work has a lot in common with entrepreneurship, according to Alsop. “You run your own piece of the company, you set goals, and you go for it—but with a firm like McKissack, you have a lot more support and a broader array of services to market,” she said.
“I have been in every aspect of the business development field, from proposals and sponsorships to sales and marketing. It has given me such a broad array of skills and such significant depth of knowledge that I have the ability to jump, make new contacts and turn them into authentic and productive connections,” Alsop said.
Before she founded her own company, Alsop worked in the AEC industry as director of sponsorship for Associated Builders and Contractors, the trade group, and as a proposal manager in the construction and engineering section of Pepco Energy Services.
Alsop noted she was drawn to work for McKissack because “I met Deryl McKissack at various industry events and admired her business success, her fighting spirit and her leadership in mentoring others, and especially women, in the industry. She is forging a meaningful and unique path in the AEC industry, and I hope to follow in her footsteps,” Alsop said.
Alsop, who is from Massachusetts, moved to Maryland for college and graduated with her B.A. in English Language and Literature from Morgan State University and with her master’s in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a member of the Project Management Institute. She describes herself as a “fearless networker,” and is an active member of groups including Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), NAIOP, and the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).
Alsop lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland, with her husband, who is an urban farmer, two daughters and a dog.
About McKissack & McKissack: Founded in 1990, McKissack is a national woman- and minority- owned architecture, engineering, program- and construction-management firm dedicated to delivering industry-leading expertise and best-in-class services to a diverse array of clients in all market sectors. McKissack strives to work with clients to envision and deliver building and infrastructure projects that enrich people’s lives and empower communities to flourish. Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles, McKissack’s three services areas are architecture and interiors, program and construction management and infrastructure. It is ranked by Engineering News-Record among the top 50 Program Management Firms and top 100 Construction Management For-Fee firms in the nation. Learn more at mckinc.com.