Recognized for her impact on the construction industry and LA community, project executive Kirstin Harper-Smith was named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women of Influence: Construction, Engineering & Architecture. Read more about Kirstin below and in her LABJ feature here.
Kirstin’s resume spans sectors and project types, from a campus expansion for a leading tech company to ground-up apartment towers to the project credited with initiating the revitalization of DTLA—LA Live! Nokia Theatre (now Peacock Theater) and Plaza.
Kirstin recently completed the $24 million renovation transforming the historic Crest Theatre into the new UCLA Nimoy Theater, reviving a dormant building to create a community gathering place and restoring a valuable cultural asset in the Westwood neighborhood. Working with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, the team rehabilitated the building as a 299-seat, 10,500 square-foot venue while celebrating its legacy, carefully preserving and restoring the historic Art Deco-inspired marquee, light fixtures, decorative columns, wall-mounted interior decorative pylons, and 230-foot-long auditorium mural. The Nimoy’s design promotes the health, comfort, and welfare of the performers and audience, receiving LEED Gold Certification in recognition of the remodel’s efficient energy use, healthy indoor air quality, and building reuse.
Understanding the importance of innovation and progress, Kirstin is actively part of working sessions and steering committees to help drive efficient processes and technology integration within Shawmut.
Just as notable and impressive as Kirstin’s project portfolio are her leadership and mentorship. Being a mentor is truly inherent to who Kirstin is as a person.
As a project executive overseeing office and field teams in an industry that’s only 10% female, Kirstin recognizes that there’s a preconceived notion around who knows how to build. She levels the playing field as a woman in construction by demonstrating her knowledge and skillset through her work product and forward thinking. Leading by example, she encourages her fellow women teammates to do the same, and works with them to establish their knowledge base and confidence.
Kirstin is an active member of WiOPS (Women in Construction Operations), an organization for women to learn from and support each other, and spearheaded hosting the November 2023 event for the Southern California chapter at Shawmut’s office.
Kirstin is a member of Shawmut’s Regional Diversity Leadership Council (RDLC) for the West region, which supports the firm’s Diversity Leadership Council in its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. The RDLC brings Shawmut’s DEI work to a local level, and Kirstin acts as a resource and proponent in the Los Angeles office and construction community, planning and hosting panels and events, including quarterly learnings and discussions to drive actionable outcomes.