Dr. Tiffanie Toles is the Project Controls Manager at Kwame Building Group, Inc. She is our newest Executive Committee Member as well as our newest Board Member. Please join us in welcoming her!
Q: Where did you grow up?
- A: Saint Louis is my home. I was born in Christian Northeast Hospital in 1992. My family and I moved to different parts of Saint Louis throughout my childhood.
Q: Where did you go to college?
- A: I went to Missouri University of Science and Technology for my entire educational career. I received a doctoral degree in engineering management with an emphasis in system engineering in May of 2023. I also have my master’s degree in engineering management with a project management certificate, which was received in May of 2018. In May of 2016, I was awarded my bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering.
Q: What brought you to work in the AEC Industry?
- A: The AEC Industry has a large impact on the development and construction of projects that directly impact the community, especially the minority and disadvantaged business communities. During my time in college, my research focused on sustainability and the procedural and infrastructural changes that need to be implemented to continue to foster the growth and longevity of our resources. While researching, I have concluded that developments within our community play a huge role in the ability to sustain those resources and foster growth. I wanted to be part of the team that helps to bring those community projects to life, thus my transition into this industry.
Q: What’s your favorite part about your position?
- A: My favorite part about being in my position is the ability to meet and network with new people who share the same interests within this industry. It is an honor to work with colleagues and professionals who have seen our city continually change with the new developments that are happening.
Q: What is your proudest moment from working at Kwame Building Group?
- A: My proudest moment from working at Kwame Building Group occurred when I was developing some high-level cost estimates and conducting a high-level contract review for one of our projects. Our JV partner commented in an email how appreciative they were of my work ethic, my attention to detail, and how it was an overall pleasure to work with me. My supervisor was very proud of my success in those efforts, and I am too.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Any special hobbies?
- A: In my free time, I love to do anything active. From the martial arts classes I am currently taking to the kickball tournament I am in; I love challenging myself physically. You can catch me at open mic nights doing some spoken word poetry or at home creating recipes as a home chef. I love being creative and having the opportunity to explore hidden talents.
Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
- A: Most people do not know that I have published two engineering textbooks. As a graduate student, you have the option to do a master’s with or without a thesis or research option and of course, I chose to do the research. I published my thesis in 2018 and presented my research at the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Conference and published my research through the conference proceedings. After completing my master’s, I continued my research at the doctoral level and published another engineering textbook. I presented those findings at the Association of Engineering Managers Conference in 2022. Another fun fact people do not know is that I have a catering company that is operated by my family called Catering To A T LLC. This company was started while I was in my graduate study program and used to help create generational wealth. Being that we have a ton of chefs and bakers in the family, it only made sense to combine our talents and create a business venture to support the future wealth of our youth.
Q: What, if anything, are you currently watching, reading, listening to, etc.?
- A: My Saturdays are spent binge-watching anime and listening to smooth jams. Right now, I am rewatching all of One Piece, Chainsaw Man, and Death Note. I am currently reading a book called, “Who Moved My Cheese”, recommended by my supervisor.
Q: What advice do you have for young professionals in our industry?
- A: My advice is to never be afraid to learn and expand your skills. Exposure to new learning environments is the best way to determine where your skills, your talents, and things you may not like or are not too profound in. Get the exposure now, so you can position yourself for success in the long run.