North Carolina VP, Mindy Colden, Blazing A Path for Women In Construction

Back to Blog

The construction industry is full of women trailblazing paths and opening new opportunities to help shape the next generation of our industry. Mindy Colden, Vice President, North Carolina at Faulconer Construction Company, is doing that amazing work right here in our backyard.

Ever since she was a kid, Mindy had a healthy push from her family toward developing her math skills. Her father and grandfather were both mechanical engineers, and Mindy knew she wanted something similar for herself. Mindy’s father also owned his own residential HVAC business and hardware store, where she worked from 7th to 10th grade, and developed her own strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Mindy was accepted into the UVA Engineering School, with the plan to study Biomedical Engineering and become a doctor. After taking a couple of classes on the medical track, she decided to switch to Civil Engineering and was not sure what she wanted to do for a job after school. Her parents encouraged her to start looking for an internship to provide her with some clarity. Her boyfriend at the time, and now husband, put her in touch with his uncle, who worked at a local quarry/paving contractor nearby. Mindy was told to reach out to Ed Stelter with Faulconer, and after a short interview process, she was brought on as the company’s first intern in the summer of 2006.

That first summer working from Faulconer’s Charlottesville, VA office was also Mindy’s first introduction to Cat® equipment, and to most aspects of the construction industry. When she joined the company full time after graduation in 2008, Mindy started working in Project Management, where she directed several successful multi-million dollar contracts. With another promotion in 2015, her main task became scaling Faulconer’s operations department for future growth by leveraging technology and process improvements. Today, Mindy is Vice President, overseeing all day-to-day operations in North Carolina.

Faulconer Construction has been working with Cat equipment for over 50 years and began their partnership with Gregory Poole in 1998, when they opened their office in Cary, NC. Mindy was introduced the Gregory Poole team when she moved to the Raleigh area in 2018 to start her Vice President role. Faulconer has continued to work with Gregory Poole and Cat equipment because of the people, high-quality service and the dependability of the machines. Mindy attributes the relationship with Gregory Poole to help foster Faulconer’s success. “When the heavy iron isn’t moving, we are not making money.”

The relationship Faulconer has built with Gregory Poole is the reason they joined Caterpillar’s National Account Program, allowing a streamlined experience across the multiple dealerships with whom they partner. Faulconer’s extensive fleet is currently 215 pieces strong, and 93% Cat equipment. They have everything from small 305 mini excavators, 259 compact track loaders, and D3K dozers, to large D8 dozers, and several large excavator models like 330s, 336s, and 349s. They also have a fleet of 30 and 40 ton off-road trucks and 621 scrapers. A lot of the Cat equipment Faulconer owns has been equipped with GPS technology, which Mindy states “really helps with our efficiency moving dirt.”

Faulconer has multiple projects going on in North Carolina currently – 12 active projects in the Triangle area, 9 in Jacksonville, and 6 in the Concord area. Of note in the Triangle, they are working on the Northern Durham High School, UNC Surgical Tower, and the UNC Tennis Court project.  They are also finishing up their largest project to date in NC, HUB RTP, that will finish just over $50 M.  Most recently, Faulconer was awarded the Felton Grove High School Grading and Drainage package ($30M) in Apex and the M19/H11 Middle School/HS combo ($17M) in RTP.  Both these projects are in the beginning stages and will be moving dirt shortly.  There are also several apartment and assisted living projects going on in the Charlotte market and in Jacksonville, the focus is on the military work at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station. In her role as Vice President, Mindy has her hand in the full life cycle of the construction process for all of these projects, helping to build our great state of North Carolina.  

Mindy has helped blaze a path for women in the industry and at Faulconer specifically. She was the company’s first intern, first female Project Manager, first Director of Project Management and first female Vice President of North Carolina. Currently, in the Cary office, females make up about 32% of the employee base. Companywide, about 8% of Faulconer’s workforce is women, and that number is growing. Thanks to Mindy, and the rest of their female employees, the momentum to employ more females is only getting stronger.

Mindy’s advice for anyone who wants to succeed in the Construction industry is “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one has all the answers, you just need to know where to get them. Most people in the industry are friendly and happy to share their knowledge.”

Mindy’s favorite machine is a Cat 349 Excavator. Pictured below is the first 349 that Faulconer purchased. It was used on the Shops at Stonefield project that Mindy managed when she was in Charlottesville, VA. One of the owner’s reps on the projects (left) sits with Lauren Campbell (center), a Project Manager in the Charlottesville office, and Mindy (right).