Whitney Walter (far left), was recognized as a 2016 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She founded Women in Healthcare Networking in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012 and was the Women in Healthcare Networking Co-Chair in 2013.

Layton Construction Vice President Whitney Walter was recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a 2016 Woman of Influence. The Business Journal identifies the Women of Influence as “women who are changing Silicon Valley’s landscape in business, nonprofits, healthcare and professional services… women who have proven to be leaders with established track records in business and community involvement.”

Whitney went to school to be a pilot, so why did she choose a career in construction? She is driven by bringing quality healthcare to communities in need. Being able to give back to the world, one healthcare facility at a time, brings her the greatest joy. Whitney has over nine years of industry experience, and after only 17 months at Layton Construction as a senior business development manager, she was promoted to vice president. She leads Business Development & Preconstruction in Layton’s new San Jose office, which was created by the company’s acquisition of Fernandes & Sons General Contractors. She is Layton Construction’s youngest vice president and first female VP.

After only 17 months at Layton Construction as a Senior Business Development Manager, Whitney Walter was promoted to Vice President, and is the first female to hold that position in the company.

After only 17 months at Layton Construction as a Senior Business Development Manager, Whitney Walter was promoted to Vice President, and is the first female to hold that position in the company.

Learn more about Whitney Walter below.

Residence: San Jose

Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee

Growing up, you wanted to be: A pilot

Education: B.S., aerospace, Middle Tennessee State University

Job description: I am the executive lead for Layton Construction’s growth in the Bay Area managing relationships with key clients and industry associates across the nation, bringing quality healthcare building solutions to communities in need.

The number of years you have been in your line of work: 10

What has been your biggest challenge professionally? Diplomatically accepting organizational opposition.

Career path: At age 13, I ran a cash register at the corner grocery store. The owner taught me the basics of integrity, honor and community. During college, I took two jobs to make ends meet. From 2 a.m. to 6 a.m., I managed payroll for Continental Airlines. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I worked for Gresham, Smith and Partners in an entry-level marketing coordinator position in their aviation division. Six months into this position, I knew I found a career that fueled my passion.

I moved into the healthcare division shortly upon hire, worked under the direction of Ben Bahil. He encouraged me to learn the business, take initiative and set my goals on growing into a business development professional. Not only did I focus on expectations of the role in growing an enterprise, but I also spent a great amount of time in understanding how to run a successful business.

The best advice you’ve ever received: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss.

Your best advice for others: Swim in blue water. It is in reference to the everyday struggle of comparing ourselves to our competition, worrying about what others are doing, or what they aren’t doing. With the right amount of preparation, work and effort, it doesn’t matter what the competition is doing, because we have tunnel vision on what WE are supposed to be doing, and the result will speak for itself. If you get caught up in what everyone else is doing, then you will swim with the sharks and generally speaking, that water is dangerous.

Something about you that would surprise others: In my hometown, I was the first female football player in our little league boys football team. Many of the boys thought it was remarkable that I was the first girl to step out at a young age, suit up, shoulder pads, helmet and all. Very few boys hated the idea of playing with a girl on the team, but I believe that these small steps in gender equality has been the foundation to my success of believing that my gender didn’t matter. What mattered most was that I had heart and the will to win; that’s the type of people you want on your team.

Who is your hero/mentor? Deborah Condon. My mom managed to raise two children while working full time, doing all of the household chores and going to school in the evenings. I learned the value of hard work from her and how you should never let your circumstances define you. Additionally, she is the most caring person. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand, she’s patient and she’s the best grandma a kid could ask for. My mom would tell you that I’ve never been the easiest kid to raise, but after all, that hard-headed, assertive personality paid off!

What would you like to accomplish in the next year? My career is exactly where I’ve dreamed it would be. The journey ahead is exciting. Understanding that starting a business from the ground up in the busiest market in the country is a difficult task in itself. However, in the next year, I would like to give as much effort to motherhood as I have my career. The journey of infertility has had its ups and downs. Five years later, I have learned to embrace the unpredictable and realize that I am a better person because of this journey. Now, I just need to find the best doctor in the Bay Area to make this dream a reality!

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would it be? I’d serve our country in the Air Force

Current civic/community involvement: I am extensively involved in industry organizations, as well as working along several board/committees who strive to improve the community around us. I am at the forefront of Layton Construction’s charitable involvement and can be found spending many evenings and weekends involved in philanthropic endeavors. Nationally, I have served on Vanderbilt’s Healthcare Symposium Committee for eight years in a row, as well as board member for Utah’s ACE Mentoring Program. Locally, I serve on the El Camino’s Hospital Foundation Sapphire Soirée Committee.

Guilty pleasure: Salt and vinegar potato chips