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23 in 2023 Women of Asphalt Celebrates Contributions of Outstanding Women in the Industry

From breaking barriers to inspiring future generations: these women are paving the way in asphalt.


MEET THE 23 IN 2023

Women of Asphalt (WofA) is dedicated to empowering women in the asphalt industry, and its “23 in 2023” campaign is one of the many ways the organization is working toward that goal. The campaign features 23 exceptional women who have made extraordinary contributions to the industry, and they will be highlighted throughout the course of 2023.

Sheila Barkevich, WofA Board President, said, “Our hope with this campaign is to not only celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women but also to inspire others in the industry and beyond. By showcasing the incredible talent and expertise of women in asphalt, we aim to encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry and demonstrate that they can excel in any field they choose.”

These women come from diverse backgrounds and have made significant impacts in the field, from improving safety to pioneering change and mentoring the next generation of women in the industry. While only eight of the 23 nominees are featured in this article, all will be showcased throughout the year and can be accessed online at WomenOfAsphalt.org/23-in-2023 or by scanning the QR code.

beth conley



One of the women WofA is proud to feature is Beth Conley who has been involved in the construction industry since 1996, starting with a concrete company while she was still in college. In 2006, she made the switch to asphalt, where she continued to oversee office management and took on daily operations of the company’s asphalt plant and crusher operations. As the company grew, Beth focused on sales and improving the customer experience.

In 2018, she began her current role as Sales Manager for Superior Asphalt Materials in North Aurora, Illinois, where she has continued to thrive in the industry for almost 27 years. But her involvement in the industry extends beyond her work at Superior Asphalt Materials. Beth is a working mom of three children and President of Women Road Builders in the Chicagoland area. She believes it’s essential to get involved and be active in promoting the industry to women. To that end, Beth is on the board for WofA’s Illinois Branch, the Sustainability Council for IRTBA, and is the chair of the Kane County Co-op for IRTBA, among other positions.

Reflecting on her decision to join WofA, Beth said, “I was inspired to join WofA so I could meet other like-minded people in our industry. In the beginning, there were very few women in management in the industry and very few women altogether. When I would meet women, I always wanted to bring them with me as I moved forward. WofA inspired me to do more, which is where our concept for Women Road Builders came from. Women Road Builders is a non-for-profit set up to promote and support women in infrastructure in the Chicagoland area.” In her various roles, Beth works to promote the value of women in the construction industry and to provide support for women in infrastructure. She has been a trailblazer in the industry, and her leadership serves as an inspiration for other women who are looking to make their mark in construction.

stacey diefenderfer



Stacey Diefenderfer, an Associate Principal Research Scientist at the Virginia Transportation Research Council, is one of the most accomplished women in the asphalt industry. With nearly 20 years of experience working for VDOT and VTRC, Stacey has made significant contributions to the development of high-performance, sustainable, and cost-effective asphalt mixes that meet the needs of agencies and the industry.

One of Stacey’s significant accomplishments has been to lead VDOT’s efforts in adopting the use of WMA (warm mix asphalt), which is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional hot mix asphalt. She has also supported the implementation of the AASHTO PavementME software by VDOT and is currently working towards the refinement and implementation of balanced mix design in Virginia and the use of increasing RAP (recycled asphalt pavement) contents. In addition to her work at VTRC and VDOT, Stacey serves as a director-at-large on the Association for Asphalt Paving Technologists Board of Directors. She is also active with TRB, serving as a member of several committees and a former committee chair, chairs a NCHRP project panel, and has served on numerous other NCHRP research and synthesis panels. She is also a member of ASTM.

Reflecting on her involvement with WofA, Stacey notes that the organization has provided her with opportunities to meet other women in the industry whom she might not have encountered in her typical day-to-day work. “Women are at every level of the asphalt industry,” she says, “and getting to meet women in various positions helps us to build robust networks of support.” Stacey also highlights the importance of WofA’s visibility and diversity in promoting inclusivity and improving the workplace for everyone.

Stacey’s contributions to the asphalt industry have been significant, and her leadership and expertise have been essential in advancing sustainable practices.

kierstin janik



Kierstin Janik is a leader and talent professional who currently serves as the Chief Talent Officer for Heritage Construction + Materials, a member of The Heritage Group family of businesses.

She partners with the executive leadership team to set business strategies and design people processes that are aligned to support the construction, asphalt, and aggregates businesses within the division.

When asked about what inspired her to join WofA and how her involvement has impacted her career in the industry, Kierstin had this to say: “As a leader and talent professional, my involvement with WofA is important to me on many levels. I am highly committed to increasing diversity of all kinds in our construction and materials industry. As businesses and an industry, we can’t afford not to! To do that it is critical that women see our industry as a place where they belong and can thrive. WofA plays an important role in creating awareness to attract women into our industry as well as making resources and support accessible to women so that they can truly thrive. Personally, WofA has helped me to connect with other talented women who are not only impressive in their respective functions but are also dedicated to this same mission. They inspire me in so many ways!”

Before joining The Heritage Group, Kierstin was a part of Ingersoll Rand’s Accelerated Development Program and held titles of HR Generalist, Materials Project Manager, and Talent Development Specialist. She holds a BS in Psychology and a Masters in Human Resources and Labor Relations from Michigan State University. Kierstin is also a board member for the Indianapolis charter school, Invent Learning Hub, and a member of Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. She is on the board for Ascend Indiana and is a local business owner of MashCraft Brewing Company with three locations in the Indianapolis area, alongside her husband Joe.

mindy king



Mindy King is a native Arkansan who has been with RKHall, LLC for 16 years as an Occupation Health and Safety Specialist. Mindy got her start in construction as a complete career change in 2004 at the age of 27, and her passion for the industry led her to work for the Arkansas High and Transportation Department as an inspector. Despite being one of only two women in her department, Mindy was determined to learn and absorb as much as possible and was grateful for the training and support from her male colleagues. In 2006, Mindy suffered severe burns while inspecting a project, which sparked her passion for safety. She pursued a position as a Safety Specialist with RKHall and has been with the company ever since. As one of few women in the field at RKHall and the only female out of 8 Safety Managers, Mindy is proud to have earned her position based on her work ethic and determination. While safety is her main focus, she is always ready to help in any area that needs her.

“These women come from diverse backgrounds and have made significant impacts in the field.”

dana knowles



The next outstanding woman on WofA’s “23 in 2023” list is Dana Knowles. As the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Mago Construction Company, based in Bardstown, Kentucky, Dana has made significant contributions to the asphalt industry.

Dana graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bellarmine University in 1997, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. She began working as a staff accountant in the construction division of Deming, Malone, Livesay & Ostroff, CPAs in January of that year while finishing her last semester of college. She then became a licensed Certified Public Accountant in June of 1998.

Given that her father worked in the manufacturing sector, the construction division was a natural fit for her. In June of 2003, Dana was offered the position of Chief Financial Officer at Mago Construction, a challenge that she gladly accepted. Becoming a young female leader in the asphalt construction industry was an opportunity that she knew she could not pass up.

She is a member of several organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Construction Financial Management Association. Dana has also served as the Chairwoman of the Kentucky Highway Industries Scholarship Committee and works with the Kentucky Highway Industries Tax Committee and WofA’s Kentucky Branch Scholarship Committee.

Dana is a remarkable example of a woman who has excelled in the asphalt industry, despite the obstacles that are inherent in a male-dominated field. Her contributions to the industry and leadership in various committees and organizations are truly inspiring.

stefani martella



Stefani Martella is a Sales Manager at F.O. Day Company and the Chairwoman of WofA’s Maryland Branch. With 15 years of experience in the construction industry, Stefani is passionate about her career and the opportunities it offers. She reflects on her journey, saying, “15 years ago, I was presented with an opportunity in the industry that opened up a whole new world of professional possibilities for me. This opportunity was not just given to me because I was a woman, but because I was eager to learn, committed to workig hard, and surrounded by individuals who supported and encouraged my success.”

Despite the challenges of being a woman in asphalt, Stefani believes that with the right team, the industry can feel like a natural fit. “For me, the diversity of visiting a jobsite in work boots and hard hat one day, then high heels and a suit jacket the next is one of my favorite parts of the job.” As Sales Manager, Stefani has a deep understanding of the customer experience and values building strong relationships. “Each week I see customers who feel more like friends, have the ability to make a difference through industry-related associations and provide a well-balanced lifestyle as a mother; for that I am grateful to represent F.O. Day’s sales team.” Stefani is also committed to supporting and encouraging women in the industry. Her advice to women considering a change in profession is, “Don’t underestimate what the asphalt industry can offer you or what you can offer to the industry.” As the Chairwoman of WofA’s Maryland Branch, Stefani is a leader and mentor, promoting the advancement of women in the field.

missy paulus



Missy Paulus is an inspiration to women in the asphalt industry. Her 28-year career at SDOT began as a laborer in asphalt paving, and she has worked her way up the ladder, proving her strength and capabilities every step of the way.

Missy is currently the Asphalt Paving and Heavy Equipment Pool Manager, responsible for Seattle streets’ asphalt paving programs, paving equipment, and trucking. Missy’s strategic pursuit of her goals throughout life is admirable. She persevered and focused on learning the job, doing everything a laborer would do, and eventually got her Commercial Driver License class A, driving trucks six months after starting as a laborer. She then operated heavy equipment, including backhoes, loaders, and 3-8 ton rollers for eight years, before being promoted to crew chief overseeing the asphalt crews. Missy’s extensive experience and hands-on approach give her credibility with the team she oversees, having done every job of the people she has supervised. Her contributions to repaving Alki Ave SW and running “truck and pup” are remarkable. As a pioneer for women at SDOT, Missy found supportive mentors over the years and never got discouraged, even when experiencing setbacks. She mentored and supported women at the city and participated in the Women in Trades Fair every year to recruit more women to the asphalt industry. Missy inspires women to consider a career in asphalt and shows that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.

megan yount



Lastly, Megan Yount, is a highly accomplished engineer and specialist in cold pavement recycling techniques. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Indiana. Megan currently serves as the Pavement Materials Engineering Manager at Heritage Research Group, a member of The Heritage Group family of businesses.

Megan’s expertise lies in cold pavement recycling techniques such as CIR, FDR, and CCPR. She plays a pivotal role in the development of technical reports and specifications, sampling of asphalt pavements, and implementation of training opportunities for government agencies in innovative technologies. Her efforts in promoting the growth of these techniques have led to significant advancements in the field of asphalt engineering. Megan’s contributions to the industry have not gone unnoticed. She has earned a reputation as a skilled engineer and a respected leader in the field. Her expertise and commitment to innovation have helped to drive progress in the industry, making her a role model for aspiring engineers, especially women.

“Women of Asphalt is honored to highlight the accomplishments of these exceptional women.”

WofA’s “23 in 2023” Campaign

WofA is honored to highlight the accomplishments of these exceptional women who have made significant contributions to the asphalt industry. WofA will feature the inspiring stories of the other women on the “23 in 2023” list throughout the year, who have come from diverse backgrounds and have made a lasting impact in the field. By showcasing the talent and expertise of women in the industry, WofA hopes to inspire and encourage more women to pursue careers in asphalt and construction.

“WofA’s 23 in 2023 campaign has given us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the amazing achievements of women in the asphalt industry,” said Amy Miller, WofA Board Past-President and founding member. “We are excited to continue this work and provide a platform for even more women to showcase their talents and expertise. On March 27, 2024, we will be hosting our first national event, Women of Asphalt Day, in conjunction with World of Asphalt in Nashville, Tenn. This event will be an incredible opportunity to bring together women from across the industry, provide professional development opportunities, and celebrate the successes of women in asphalt.”

WofA believes that women can excel in any field they choose and is committed to supporting and uplifting women in the industry. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from WofA’s “23 in 2023” campaign at WomenOfAsphalt.org/23-in-2023.

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