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Ameron president excels in male-dominated industry

by on February 22, 2018 9:35 AM

STATE COLLEGE — Today, more and more women are becoming leaders of business and industry. Locally, one of those leaders is Alison Kurtz, president of Ameron Construction in State College.

Kurtz, who was named president of the construction company nearly 20 years ago, is breaking any stereotypes that might exist about running a construction company. And, although she did not set out to become president of the company, that’s where she ended up about eight years after starting at Ameron.

“After graduating from Penn State with a business degree, I started working at Ameron in 1991 with the expectation that I would probably stay for a year or so,” Kurtz said. “I became president in 1999 and, looking back, I wonder where all the time went.”
As one might imagine, she said that there is really no such thing as a “typical day.” As president of a construction business, she is juggling a variety of responsibilities on any given day.

“I wear many hats, so my days can vary considerably," said Kurtz. "I try to spend a good amount of time talking with employees so I can monitor all of the activities of the business and know where and when they need my support. There is always time spent communicating via email. I also cover accounting, IT (Internet technology), human resources and whatever other ‘fires’ start during the day.”

According to Kurtz, the most enjoyable part of her job is the fact that there is never a dull day. She said the different hats she wears and the different people she interacts with on a daily basis makes each and every day an adventure.

“I enjoy the people I work with and the variety of different tasks I tackle on a regular basis. In my role as a leader, I have the privilege of working with other local leaders to serve the needs of our community.”

As with most jobs, Kurtz said her position entails a vast amount of paperwork, which, for her, can be the most challenging part of her day. She also said managing so many different employees is a complex task.

Kurtz has called Centre County home for more than 40 years, and currently lives in College Township. However, she has resided in different areas of the community over the years, including Park Forest and Boalsburg, and said she “loves both sides of town.”

Since 1970, all things State College have been near and dear to her heart. Kurtz said that State College is an amazing place to live, work and enjoy life.

“There are so many things that I love about living here. We are blessed with a vibrant community, quality K-12 education, not to mention Penn State, diverse arts, entertainment and sporting events and phenomenal outdoor activities.”

Additionally, she has been actively involved in the community over the years, serving on many nonprofit boards. Currently, Kurtz is on the executive board of Leadership Centre County and serves as the chairman of the College Township Industrial Development Authority.

As a business leader in Centre County, Kurtz is helping to open doors for other women in the community who aspire to run a company.

She said women in business today have the ability and potential to reach whatever goals and dreams they aspire to achieve.

“Women have more opportunities now than ever before,” she said. “I encourage girls and young women to be lifelong learners and to ask good questions. Surround yourself with people that share your vision of success. Be true to yourself, true to your ideals and be kind and compassionate. Every person has something going on in their life that you know nothing about.
"And, no matter how successful you become, remember to be humble.”

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