Employee Spotlight

Madonna Ristaino, LEED AP, QA Inspector

AFG’s QA Inspector Madonna Ristaino, LEED AP, supports our team with over 30 years of experience in facility construction, project management, design, and construction management. Madonna’s strong ability to identify problems and act upon logical and practical solutions propels AFG to success.

Tell us a bit about your experience as a woman in the construction industry.

One of my greatest accomplishments was overcoming the tremendous odds against me in finishing my degree. I was advised by many to give up and walk away, some simply tried to shut me out.

But I also had many wonderful people in the industry that helped me traverse those roadblocks, through their encouragement and advice. These are the people that you should heed, not the negative influences.

What advice do you have for other women looking to excel in the AEC industry?

There is a great deal of opportunity for women in construction. Push your limits regarding what you think your talents are. If you attempt nothing, you receive nothing. You never know your full capacity until you exceed the invisible constraints.  Show up and know your tasks.

If you don’t know–look it up; endless resources are at your fingertips. Take advantage of those willing to teach you. Always treat others with dignity and respect; this is a career that requires teams to get along (and often situations can get heated).

Describe a moment/event in your career that you were incredibly proud of?

When a project comes to an end, and all is as we anticipated; years of collaborating and coordinating and the final project is before you. It is a sense of accomplishment, and it is a creation of many minds coming together to construct a product that benefits the masses. A memorial to years of demanding work resides in the landscape.

This edifice gives one a sense of pride and of work well done.