Women in Construction Panel Discussion – Women In Construction Week Series

Mar 8 10:00 am — 11:00 am

Join us for an exciting panel of successful women-owned construction firms will discuss their challenges and tips for success. This panel will be moderated by Norcal PTAC’s Construction & Public Works Specialist, Edward Duarte.

Meet Your Panelists

Carrie A. Schmidt Poyner

President & CEO

BC Schmidt Construction, Inc.

> (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener” class=”ek-link”>Capabilities Statement >>

Ms. Carrie A. Schmidt Poyner is the President and CEO of B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc., a woman-owned, HUBZone, and Graduated 8(a) small business.  Ms. Schmidt Poyner holds numerous construction licenses including General Construction (B License), General Engineering (A License), Concrete (C-8 License), Demolition (C-21 License), Modular Construction (C-47 License), and is pending an Electrical (C-10 License).  She has been in the construction industry for over 28 years and has owned her own business for 25 of those years.  She is a member of the Society of Military Engineers (SAME), Association of General Contractors (AGC), and active in Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE).  With 25+ years of experience, B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc. is a small business with big solutions.  They provide on-time and on-budget delivery to remote job sites and performance on tight timelines.  Strategic planning allows them to troubleshoot prior to entering the field.  They have extensive operational knowledge, existing contracting/procurement vehicles, specialized subcontractor relationships, and the necessary tools and equipment to perform.

B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc., specializes in general construction, roofing, flooring, temporary facilities, and electric vehicle charging solutions.  They perform approximately 95% federal government construction and service contracts.  The company has exceptional past performance ratings; bonding ability of $20 Million; and received numerous safety awards.  B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc. employs qualified project managers, quality control managers, site safety health officers, site superintendents and competent trade labor.  B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc. has established and maintained active strategic partnerships with National Account status that allows them to pass on the most favorable pricing, terms, and conditions to their customers.  B.C. Schmidt Construction, Inc. provides value to their customers by identifying and mitigating the risks inherent within the scope of work.  They spend time with their customers to find out what they need, when they need it, and how they want to receive it.  By delivering what the customer wants, they make project completion easier.

Misha Homara

President & Chief E.O.

TriCore Panels, Inc.

Misha Homara is a highly accomplished leader in the construction industry, serving as CEO of TriCore Panels, a 2nd generation family business specializing in design, fabrication, and installation of architectural paneling systems for commercial and residential projects. Homara’s strong background in business management and communication stems from her degree in Communication and Media Studies from San Francisco State University.

Since joining TriCore Panels, Homara has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth. Under her leadership, TriCore Panels has become a major player in the industry, providing innovative solutions to clients throughout the bay area.

In addition to her work at TriCore Panels, Homara is the President of the Women Construction Owners & Executives (WCOE) California Chapter, where she advocates for women’s empowerment and equal opportunities in the construction industry. She is also a board member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Silicon Valley chapter, where she actively contributes to the organization’s mission of advancing women in the construction industry.

Through her work at TriCore Panels, WCOE CA, and NAWIC, Homara continues to inspire and empower women in the construction industry. Misha is a dog mom to a senior chihuahua, enjoys being outdoors, teaching spin classes, and exploring the food culture in San Francisco during her free time!

Juliana Choy Sommer


Priority Architectural Graphics

Capabilities Statement >>

Juliana has been the Owner and President of Priority Architectural Graphics. She founded the company in 1995 as the sole employee and has grown and expanded consistently to its current size. Recently, Juliana has led continued expansion and growth of the company with the acquisition of VKK Signmakers in 2021.

Juliana is a strong advocate of San Francisco’s local-hire and local business initiatives. As a current Executive Board Members of the Asian American Contractors Association, she lobbies on behalf San Francisco area based suppliers, general contractors and sub-contractors. She is a current member of the San Francisco Local Business Enterprise Advisory Committee. On this commitee, she advocates that the City and County of San Francisco continues to hire locally and purchase their goods from businesses based within city limits.

Juliana is a native San Franciscan. She is a past board chair and member of the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA and a Leadership San Francisco alumni. She is a devoted wife, dog owner, avid hiker and an inspired home chef.

Que Alicea


Q&A Consulting

Que Alicea is the CEO of Q & A Consulting LLC. (QACL), an environmental consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area established in 2020. QACL services municipalities, utilities, public and private school districts, and commercial entities. Que leads a team of passionate environmental professionals, with over a combined 60+ years of experience in the industry, providing safe indoor and outdoor environments for staff, clients, job sites, and the community.

Que is recognized as a groundbreaking, African-American, woman-owned business, addressing complex challenges in the environmental industry, making her one of the few African-American women-owned firms holding a WBE, WOSB, LBE, MBE, SB and DBE certification. She has been featured in notable press such as Entrepreneur, Yahoo Finance, and KRON4.

Que is an active member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Pacific (WBECP), and serves on the Bay Area Rapid Transit Business Advisory Council (BAC); the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) HUB Committee; and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Build Downtown SF Committee.

Shaune Gbana


All Bay Area Glass

Capabilities Statement >>

Raised in a “contractor family” in the greater Bay Area, and second generation; President Shaune Gbana graduated from Contractor’s License School in 2008 with a clear value system to carry on the torch of the first generation’s 37-year legacy! To date, Shaune Gbana has managed over 70+ projects while juggling being a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of three gorgeous grandsons…. deemed the successors!

Shaune currently serves on Bay Area Rapid Transit’s Business Advisory Council in the quest for Women in Construction Equity, where she is a strong advocate for minority women. When Shaune is not practicing the balancing act of family life and workflow,She enjoys family vacations, fellowship with her church, and heart-serving community service events.

Register Here

Location: Virtual (Zoom Webinar)

(707) 267-7561


The information provided in this webinar/ workshop and any supplementary materials provided to registrants are intended for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute professional financial or legal advice. No registrant should act or fail to act on the basis of any material contained in this webinar/ workshop without obtaining proper financial, legal or other professional advice specific to their situation. The Northern California APEX Accelerator, and its host, the HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation, specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the information presented in this webinar/ workshop. By registering for this webinar/ workshop you acknowledge and agree that you have read, understood, accept and agree to the above disclaimer and that under no circumstances shall the Northern California APEX Accelerator or it’s host, the HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation, be held liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any kind or nature arising out of or in any way related to the information provided in this webinar/ workshop and/or the registrant’s use of or reliance on said information.

Ed Duarte

Public Works Specialist

Norcal APEX Accelerator

Edward Duarte is the founder and retired CEO of Aztec Consultants; a San Ramon-based professional construction management company and general contracting firm. Founded in 1986, Aztec specializes in public works, commercial and institutional construction projects. Under his leadership, the company provided construction management services on over $250 million of public works contracts and built over $200 million as the General Contractor of Record, subcontracting with numerous DBEs and other minority-owned businesses. Duarte is also the co-founder, Program Director, and a principal instructor for the Construction Management Certificate Program at Cal State East Bay. 

This No-Cost Training Event is

Hosted by

Norcal PTAC

Northern California Procurement Technical Assistance Center (Norcal PTAC) is a government funded nonprofit formed to help small businesses find, bid on, and win contracts with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies.

Sponsored by

The California Women’s Business Center


California Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) work to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunities for women by supporting and sustaining a statewide network of WBCs. These centers help women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development, and financing opportunities to over 16,000 women entrepreneurs each year.

The Women’s Business Enterprise Council


Established in 1999, the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) Pacific is a strategic sourcing partner supporting certified, competitive, and established women entrepreneurs. With capacity-building workshops, supplier information sessions, and focused mentoring, WBEC Pacific facilitates procurement opportunities, business networking, and supplier development.

The National Association of Women Business Owners


National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – San Francisco Bay Area chapter is a powerful and influential organization representing and supporting the needs of more than 117,000 women business owners of the Bay Area. NAWBO-SFBA is the go-to resource for community, education, inspiration, political advocacy, partnerships, and networking for women who want to grow their businesses, be more successful and empower others.

Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services


By providing their diverse clients with counsel drawn from more than 20 years’ experience in unique problem solving, Merriwether & Williams is helping to create a new insurance industry paradigm that transforms obstacles into opportunities, enables innovation, opens doors and creates more dynamic relationships between businesses and communities.

CTAP Program

The Contractor Technical Assistance Program was implemented by Alameda County to assist small local and diverse contractors to build their capacity by providing technical assistance, training, and help with obtaining and/or increasing their bonding capacity for work on Alameda County contracts. The program is sponsored by the County General Services Agency Office of Acquisition Policy (GSA-OAP) and administered by Merriwether and Williams Insurance Services.

Register for the other sessions in this series here!

Session 1 – March 6th at 10am : 

Certifications Overview for Women-Owned Small Businesses

Register Here >>

Session 2 – March 7th at 10am : 

How to Find Construction & Public Works Bid Opportunities

Register Here >>

If you have more questions, please contact us at info@norcalptac.org or (707) 267 – 7561