Member Spotlight- Jawanda Jackson

June 9, 2021

Jawanda Jackson

Title: Project Engineer
Company: Harkins Builders
Years in Commercial RE: 4

Are you a Greater Philadelphia area native?
If not, how did you end up in the Greater Philadelphia area? Yes, I am from Upland, Pennsylvania which is a small town that is about 30 minutes from Philadelphia. I am one of six children and we grew up in an affordable housing community there. In 2004 our family moved to Lansdowne (about 15 minutes from Philadelphia) because our community was going to be knocked down and rebuilt.

After high school I moved away from the region and lived in other places for about six years. I decided to come back home and I joined the Northeast Division at Harkins Builders in February 2017. Our company is based out of the Baltimore, Maryland area and we branched out to the Philadelphia metro area in the early 2000s. Interestingly enough, on my second day I was talking with one of our project managers and learned that Harkins was actually the builder that rebuilt the affordable housing community that I grew up in.

It was one of those, "full circle, this is where you belong" kind of moments.

Favorite part of CREW, or why did you join?
I joined CREW because I work with very few women and I wanted to have more conversations and interactions that have a feminine essence to them. I like sports and consider myself to be athletic, but sometimes its just nice to talk about clothes or nails or family and relationships.

What keeps you motivated?
I am always motivated by the fact that when I join a project, it starts off as just a bunch of lines on some pages and transforms into a tangle space that I can experience.

What is your favorite spot or restaurant in the Greater Philadelphia area?
Two of my favorite places in the Greater Philadelphia area are Cira Green and Longwood Gardens. Cira Green is an urban green roof that overlooks downtown Philadelphia. Its great for picnics and casual strolling. Longwood Gardens is a breathtaking botanical garden in Kennett Square, PA. I have a membership and enjoy going with my mom and taking people that have never been.

What achievement defines you as a person?
No one achievement defines me as a person but something that I am proud of is my decision to pause my career to go and live in a Spanish speaking country to improve my Spanish. In March 2019 I moved to the Dominican Republic to immerse myself in the language. I spent six months in the city of Santiago, came home for four months, and went back to spend three months in a beach town in Puerto Plata. I was there when Covid hit in early March and came back to the States in late March 2020. Even with three weeks of Covid, it was a great experience and I made significant improvements with my Spanish!

How do you find a work/life balance?
I'm still working on this and would be open to suggestions*. 
*Members are encouraged to reach out with pointers!

What is one thing you've worked hard on improving, personally or professionally?
Self awareness.

Click here to connect with Jawanda on CREWbiz (members only!)