Leading Black- and Women-owned Architecture Firm McKissack & McKissack Hires Alana Elston as Chief People Officer



McKissack & McKissack, one of the nation’s leading Black- and women-owned architecture, engineering and program and construction management firms, has announced that Alana Elston has joined the company’s senior leadership team as chief people officer, according to a release.

She will oversee all aspects of McKissack’s human resources, including an effort to attract, retain and develop an innovative, talented and diverse team as the company expands nationally.

Last year, McKissack received Inc. magazine’s Best in Business Award for its work on iconic projects and leadership in workforce diversity. Given the company’s respected achievements, Elston is a strategic choice to lead human resources at McKissack as it enters its fourth decade of growth and assumes more roles as a prime.  She has extensive experience in talent acquisition, team management, employee development and building strong and inclusive cultures.

“Alana’s career has always been about being energetic and focused on recruiting and developing highly skilled and diverse team players. Instead of sitting back and waiting for talent to come to her, she uses creative acquisition strategies to find candidates that are not only capable and accomplished but are also the right fit for an organization, regardless of race or gender,” President and CEO Deryl McKissack said.

“She has the ability to bring in excellent technical expertise to meet our clients’ needs and a unique mindset really works for our culture, which focuses our team members on being humble, hungry and smart. She epitomizes that philosophy herself and will help strengthen it in our employee development programs,” McKissack added.

Earlier this year, McKissack made history again when it became the first Black woman-owned business to be selected as the top firm for capital projects in Dallas-Fort Worth. The achievement made McKissack more aware of the need to better build and diversify the company’s regional offices.

“My approach to building solid teams is not to wait for individuals to come to me. I reach out to my network. I cold source. I scour the web. I live and breathe LinkedIn. You can’t sit back and wait when you’re looking for talented leaders to enlist for key leadership roles,” Elston said.

“That means everyone is fair game—even people that may be sitting across the proverbial table from us in meetings,” she added.

“The talent we want are already high performers at their jobs, and I leave no stone unturned when I’m trying to find the right person.”

“McKissack is practicing what it preaches,” Elston said.





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