Why Asking Questions Can Get You Far in Construction
Managing Editor, Colorado Public Works Journal
Jo is the Managing Editor of Colorado Public Works Journal and a founding member of the Women of Asphalt Colorado branch. She's spent 15 years in the publishing world and previously worked in sales and marketing for a high-end automotive magazine. Now she works in the infrastructure and construction industry to connect people, products, and services and loves learning the why behind Colorado's infrastructure projects.
When Colorado Public Works Journal Owner Jo Taylor arrived in the United States, she was a new mom who’d spent most of her career working for an office furniture company in London. In her 20 years there, she went from a secretary role to becoming the sales and marketing director.
A visit to Colorado and the possibility of expanding her husband’s publishing business paved the way for Jo and her family to leave their busy life in London.
Nearly 20 years later, Jo is expanding her own publication in an industry she knew little about when she started: construction.
Give it a Try
From leaving her home country to being asked to take over a business, Jo isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.
“We came over [to Colorado] on holiday one time, and we just loved the place and thought, well, why not? Why don’t we just give it a try?”
The change of pace was good for Jo, and moving to part-time work made her feel like she could be a ‘better mother’ to her daughter.
But when her daughter went to college, Jo, who has decades of experience in sales and marketing, wanted to fill up her time again.
An acquaintance asked Jo to market and sell advertising for Colorado Public Works Journal – a platform for the infrastructure industry to share articles and projects and for companies to sell services and equipment.
“Knowing nothing about the industry, I really got myself involved in all the trade shows and conferences. I went to anything and every class that was available to just further my knowledge.
“Even though you are more mature, you never know everything.”
After two years, the owner retired and asked Jo to take over the publication.
In true Joe fashion, she decided to ‘give it a go.’
A Willingness to Learn
Since Jo took over the Colorado Public Works Journal in 2016, the publication has grown in page numbers, advertisers, and subscribers. They have both a print and online version.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve managed to achieve, pretty much on my own because I don’t have a huge team of people behind me.”
Jo says she’s learned to leverage what she doesn’t know to her advantage in a male-dominated industry.
Because people love talking about themselves and don’t expect her to know everything, Jo capitalizes on her ability to ask questions.
“I’m not part of a paving crew that is trying to say that I can do this. I’m writing about it, so I’m always sponging information from people.”
Supporting the Industry
One of Jo’s most memorable projects comes from showcasing all the different career opportunities in construction through her partnership with Transportation and Construction Girl and her journal’s special issue entitled ‘Careers in Construction’ that came out last fall.
Jo is also a founding member of Women of Asphalt’s Colorado branch – an organization connecting women in the industry and providing learning opportunities to increase their confidence.
With a marketing and sales background, Jo adds to various skill sets on the board.
“It is so important to have different skill sets, so you can balance each other.
I think my sales and marketing efforts have really helped build the branch and also expose them to more companies within the industry.”
For others looking to enter the construction industry, Jo says to get as involved as possible because one event or meeting one person could change everything.
And, of course, never be afraid to ask questions.
Strategic Partnerships, Assignar
Kendyl spent many years in and around the construction industry before joining Assignar in 2020 as a Customer Success Manager. After implementing dozens of strategic enterprise accounts over the years, she quickly rose through the ranks to lead the Customer Success Team for a period in 2022. Currently, Kendyl works with Strategic Partners, helping sell value across complex software ecosystems, ultimately solving the information gap between companies’ field operations and financials-- selling some of our largest deals globally. Kendyl was awarded the 2022 Customer Custodian Award in North America, and she can now be heard as one of our hosts on Assignar’s The Dirty Boots Show. Kendyl enjoys staying active in Colorado outdoors with her pup in her free time.