Joan Ui`lani Meeks

Project Manager, Construction
US Power & Environment

“In 2001, I was working in construction but had no construction experience. I knew that I wanted to return to school, and there was no doubt that to be successful, I was going to have to learn about construction. This began my trek of attending college. In exploring the degree plans that Dallas College had to offer, I discovered the Construction Management degree. This would begin my passion for education and the construction industry.

“Even after almost losing a child and the strenuous demands of my job, I kept up with my classes with the supportive faculty at North Lake. The most important part of my education has been through the construction arm of North Lake, one class at a time. Being a Dallas College student, you know that you can do it! No matter what age you are, you can obtain a degree. After attending classes part-time for five years, finally, I only have three classes left to finish. My associate degree in Construction Management will allow me to continue on to Texas A&M University-Commerce.

“My Dallas College education, together with the networking at North Lake, has helped my career. I secured a job with a top international general contractor, increasing my salary by 20 percent. If it had not been for my construction classes, I would not have had that avenue to move forward in my career. I would recommend a Dallas College ​education as a requirement for both your career and educational goals; you will obtain the education required to get you to the next level in your career thanks to the programs and staff available to all students.”

Joan Ui`lani Meeks recently fulfilled her career goal of becoming a project manager. US Power & Environment (USP&E), an international company, recruited Joan specifically for its construction services division. Joan is very excited to be working directly with USP&E's vice president, Ric Patterson, on all facets of growing the company.

Joan's current project is the construction and redevelopment of the Collins Radio Campus, valued at $16 million, which involves hardening and installing the infrastructure for seven buildings totaling 990,000 square feet. The campus will be leasing space for data center and collocation facilities on this 100-acre site. Unique to this project is the upgrade and enhancement of its privately-owned substation from 40 megawatts to 80 megawatts. As the project manager, Joan will be managing subcontractors, budgets, safety and schedules as well as working with architects and owners.

She is a founding member of the Construction Education Foundation (CEF) Student Council and an active member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). She holds Green Advantage-Commercial certification, which affords LEED compliance points on any construction project seeking certification.

She was a finalist for the 2005 Magnolia Award given by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) for excellence in job performance, aggressive commitment to continuing education, and demonstrated leadership in promoting a positive image for the construction industry.

When employed by JE Dunn Construction, she was awarded the company's 2005 Commitment to Excellence award for working beyond her assigned job responsibilities and tasks. In 2003, she created the ABC Women's Forum Committee, now celebrating its fifth year of offering forums to help women in construction.

You can contact Joan directly at She welcomes the opportunity to help others working to secure a college degree.