In American Builders Quarterly, we tackle topics as big as the projects we feature, which regularly span hundreds of thousands of feet. And while I can’t quantify conversations by square footage, we build space for them in our pages and invite you inside.
My favorite thing about the construction industry is the power that it holds to transform how we see and experience the world around us. While most of us only pay attention to the finished product, it’s the builders who are having the discussions that lay the groundwork—who are we building for and what informs
those plans? How will we draw in the communities that these buildings are meant to serve?
This summer, that discourse centers around two topics that, admittedly, I didn’t initially connect: hospitality and diversity. It was after I spoke with Melanie Glenn, director of engineering at Marriott Coronado Island Resort and Spa, that it became evident to me that the two concepts go hand in hand. After all, to be diverse you must be inclusive, and what is hospitality if not making everyone feel comfortable in your space?
Glenn, who appeared on the cover of ABQ exactly two years ago, joins us this issue as guest editor, taking the platform to describe the through line between both feature sections. She shares her personal involvement with ONE Marriott, the multinational hotel chain’s diversity initiative that supports and empowers the LGBTQ community.
And Glenn’s insight extends beyond just hotels and tourism—in fact, it inspired us to take an unconventional approach to the hospitality feature. Ironically, the section doesn’t feature a single executive who works directly in that industry. Instead, each leader employs a hospitable mindset to create places—corporate facilities, medical clinics, and banks—where people want to be.
Meanwhile, the diversity section explores how builders and designers of color are paving the way for the next generation of minority leaders by uplifting and creating opportunities for them to rise the ranks. Marsha Thornton and Gloria Samuel, our cover stars at Fifth Third Bank, outline their hands on approach to developing new supplier talent through a supplier diversity program, one designed to boost equality for underrepresented business owners in their community.
I hope this issue encourages you to consider the relationships between concepts you may not yet notice are complementary and inspire an interesting new direction for the second half of 2022.