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Making History at BU Myles Standish Hall

All-Female Team Tackles a Multi-Million Dollar Project

Nikki Derome is a 22-year veteran of Soep Painting. Now serving as a project foreman, Nikki is overseeing work at Boston University’s Myles Standish Hall renovation, where an all-female team is tackling a multi-phase project. Last week we caught up with Nikki to discuss her career at Soep, and ask what it’s like to be overseeing an all-female project team.

I started with Soep as an apprentice in 1996. I love the craft, the physical aspect of it, and that at the end of the day you can step back and see what you have accomplished. I really enjoy the challenge of finding the most efficient way to complete a task, and learning how to adapt and redirect when “Plan A” is no longer possible. “Problem solving” is a Core Value at Soep and I’m thankful that the company trains and empowers us all to think and act quickly when a more efficient strategy presents itself.

As a journey person I have always enjoyed sharing what I have learned and over the past few years it has been a pleasant change to be teaching other women how to mask, prep, spray and back roll... I am honored to train men and women who are interested in learning and making a career as a painter.

In 2017, Soep was fortunate to be chosen by Shawmut Design and Build as the commercial painting contractor for the extensive renovation of Boston University’s Myles Standish Residence Hall in Kenmore Square. All told, the makeover of the building will take over 300,000 hours of labor, cost over $130M, and average over 100 workers on site for the much of the project lifecycle.

Among those 100+ workers on site is a team of just us three women from Soep. With myself serving as foreman, along with Taylor Robin and Michelle Hennessy, our three-person crew will paint 149 suites, 10 lounges, and countless hallways throughout the 9-story dormitory.

The fact that we have an all-female crew at BU Standish is amazing. I am excited to be making history with Soep, a company that has flourished over several generations. I am grateful that Soep is a union company that pays everyone no matter what their gender, race or religion... the same equal pay with amazing benefits.

We are looking forward to wrapping up our work and being able to look back on a job well-done and a client appreciative of our efforts.

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