Karomy Bridwell gets excited by a good challenge.
“Something that people don’t think I could do, I like doing,” she said.
That mindset has served her well in a male-dominated industry. At Kimbel Mechanical Systems, a $76 million dollar business with more than 250 employees nationwide, Bridwell has worked her way up to project manager in less than three years with the company. She oversees the plumbing, HVAC and electrical installation work in KMS’ commercial housing division.
Of the six project managers at KMS, Bridwell is the youngest. She’s currently managing nine projects in northern Colorado, totaling about 800 units and $10 million in revenue.
Bridwell supervises about 10 employees in KMS’ commercial division, and manages another 20 to 25 subcontractors.
“It hasn’t always been easy,” she said. “I sometimes caught a lot of push back and doubt because of my age, but I’ve been blessed to have people in my life that believe in me and that invest in me and my future.”
Bridwell, an Alma native, earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith in 2013. While in college, she worked for a local insurance company, eventually earning a property and casualty license in 2012 at the age of 20. She also earned a promotion that year, managing about 75 commercial accounts.
The following year, though, she shifted gears, opting to leave a budding insurance career and go to work for Hot Water Heroes, a startup service enterprise and sister company to KMS. In less than a year, she moved into KMS’ warranty department, and in 2014 was promoted to bid manager. That opened the door to learning even more about the company’s operations, and her leadership skills and work ethic caught the eye of KMS executives, who tapped her for project management in 2015.
As her career grows, Bridwell says “the sky is the limit” at KMS, and she wants to stretch the boundaries of women in the construction industry. She is pursuing a graduate degree in construction management from Southern New Hampshire University, and also participates in numerous events for the state chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.
A doting aunt, you can also find Bridwell coaching her nieces in Little League cheer and softball.