Women’s history month has elicited some powerfully inspiring stories. We are especially moved when the topic of women in construction comes up, because we owe our culture to the character and decisions of our owner, Kari Everett. Beneath Kari’s leadership, we are building things that will last for generations to come.
To wrap up women’s history month and give a nod to women everywhere who are working in construction, we want to share a little about the woman who started KLE and continues to guide us through the ups and downs. We collected quotes from some of our team members to paint a clear picture of how Kari does things.
Kari grew up in the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest. Comfortable around heavy equipment and the trades, she branched out into land development, real estate, and bookkeeping. Her husband owned a heavy equipment repair business, and her sons grew up running equipment as toddlers sitting in the cab with their dad.
When a major economic slump hit the PNW region, Kari saw a lot of equipment sitting idle and a lot of people who needed work and took action. She made starting a construction company look natural, but don’t be fooled. According to everyone Kari works with, she is the hardest-working and smartest person at KLE. It wouldn’t be untrue to say, “she also happens to be a woman,” but it wouldn’t give the fuller picture of why Kari is such an amazing leader for the KLE team.
From the KLE Team
“Kari inspires others. It’s a blessing to work with her because she is brilliant and talented, so she can work through pretty much anything. She has a lot of respect for other people. She handles everything in a way that is graceful, humble, and with a lot of integrity. Even if it is a bad day, she will come back to work the next day with a smile on her face and a great attitude, motivating other people. She’s so resilient.” -Operations Support Staff at KLE
“The number one for me is that she values family. It’s not just lip service. KLE puts a priority on taking care of their people, and that includes everyone.” -Project Manager at KLE
“You can go to Kari with any problem, and she remains calm. She never gets upset or raises her voice. She approaches even the biggest problems as if they have solutions and all we have to do is find them together.” -Foreman at KLE
“If you need help with something, Kari will find a way to get you the help you need. She is an inspiration and always looks for the positive in each situation.” -Administrative Staff at KLE
Kari’s unique touch is felt all through the company – words most commonly used to describe Kari include strong, smart, and capable, but the same folks observe her kindness, caring nature, and patience as something that is especially brought forth by the fact that she is a woman.
We may or may not be written about in the history books, but the projects we build in Montana and North Dakota, beneath Kari’s unique combination of grace and strength, will last longer than our lifetimes. And that is something to celebrate, especially during women’s history month.