Denise Ramsey, vice president, chief engineer and AE Group principal for the Commercial Delivery Group at the Haskell Compay, manages a team of 32 architects and engineers. As an executive, she has inspired and guided other engineers in advancing their own careers. In 2006, she extended her leadership talents to future generations by founding the ACE Mentor Program of Northeast Florida.
Denise’s own career began with the encouragement of a perceptive high school guidance counselor. Now, through ACE, Denise is repaying the favor by introducing young people to the opportunities, excitement and rewards she has found in her work.
Denise also recognized ACE’s substantial benefits for her industry. “The construction industry is looking at a major shortage of engineers and other professionals,” she says. “ACE counteracts that by exposing high school students to what the industry has to offer and helping them plan the right kind of college education.”
Though ACE Northeast Florida is only in its third year, Denise has already generated so much support from local businesses that, last year alone, the program awarded $10,000 in college scholarships to promising students. In addition, 30 other professionals from local engineering, architecture and construction firms have joined Denise as ACE mentors.
Meanwhile, Denise is finding her own special rewards through ACE. “You get back more than you put in,” she notes. “Recently, a young man who had won a $1,000 ACE scholarship told me he would never have gone to college if the scholarship hadn’t shown that ACE believed in him. As an ACE mentor, it was my proudest moment. It really demonstrated what a significant impact this program can have on young people’s lives.”