CarolinaPower was named one of South Carolina’s Best Places to Work in 2018 for a reason. Just ask Bryana Dorn and Shelby Knostman, two accomplished young professionals who are building rewarding careers as Project Managers with this leading employee-owned electrical contractor.
CarolinaPower focuses on industrial, commercial, healthcare and federal markets in the two-state Carolinas region. The company has shown steady growth since its inception nearly 20 years ago as part of the PPC Partners family of companies.
Bryana (Bry) Dorn joined CarolinaPower’s Greenville, S.C. office in May 2013 as an intern while she was finishing her Civil Engineering degree at Clemson University. After graduation, she became an assistant project manager on Clemson’s Allen N. Reeves Football Operations Center project, for which she played an integral role in successfully delivering the highly complex and logistically difficult electrical scope. In fact, CarolinaPower won the top award in its category for this project – both regionally and nationally – in the 2017 Excellence in Construction Awards competition sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
“I always get asked how or why I got into this field,” said Bry, who was promoted to Project Manager in 2017. “The electrical construction field is not a typical career path for a Civil Engineer; however, I enjoy (almost) every single day of it. It didn’t take long for me to find a home in this profession with this company.”
Bry went on to say, “I love what I do because of the people that I get to work with. I was fully supported through getting my MBA which I pursued while still in the company’s Management Trainee Program. The culture of CarolinaPower and PPC Partners as a whole is exactly the kind of place that I wanted to build a career with – a rare find on your first shot.”
Shelby Knostman, 28, is a Project Manager in CarolinaPower’s North Augusta, S.C. office. Shelby came to CarolinaPower from the facilities department of a large healthcare system in Augusta, Ga. Since joining CarolinaPower, Shelby has jumped right in, challenging herself to learn new things every day.
Like Bry, Shelby’s path to electrical contracting was not typical. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Shelby received her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio’s Miami University. Shelby says that she had an interest in figuring out how things work as far back as she remembers.
“My dad is a Civil Engineer/Project Manager on the general contracting side, so I was exposed to construction and ‘projects’ around the house at an early age. It was normal for my sister and me to know how to fix things, like how to change a tire,” she said. In college, Shelby was the only girl in the off-roading car design class. After college, she worked with drones before moving to Augusta to accept a position as a manufacturing engineer.
Shelby elaborated on how she landed at CarolinaPower. “It’s very important for me to feel part of a team. At CarolinaPower, it’s all about teamwork and servant leaderships. That’s what drew me to want to work here. Plus, working in the field is extremely interesting. No two days are ever the same.”
Shelby is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She is also active in the community, representing the company through its memberships in three area chambers of commerce – North Augusta, Aiken and Augusta.
CarolinaPower offers extensive opportunities for continuing education and professional growth – something both Bry and Shelby find empowering. Tech savvy by nature, both women enjoy working with the latest technology in their day-to-day activities.
Bry noted, “I always say that an engineering degree doesn’t teach you much that you will actually use, but it does test your ability to learn and I learn something new every day. From being immersed in the electrical field, which I had no prior experience in, to learning operational functions, CarolinaPower has taught me so much that has made me into a well-rounded professional.”