While attending Smith Business School at the University of
Maryland, Pamela Volm had her mind set on going into real estate development. She
worked part time for a developer in Prince George’s County, Md. While going to
school. A builder who the firm worked
closely with planted a bug in her ear that she couldn’t ignore.
“He said ‘Pamela, if you got out in the field and actually built something, you’d never want to be in the office. You really need to go out and experience it,’” Volm recalls. That contractor ended up hiring her to work with one of his seasoned superintendents named Ray Spradling.
“It was a great opportunity for me,” Volm says. “In the early 1990s, there was a definite idea that this wasn’t an ideal workplace for women, but when I met Ray, we connected. He set the stage for how people should act in the field; he taught me a lot.”
Some 26 years later Volm is happily balancing a career in the office and in the field as owner of Annapolis Contracting, Inc., (A.C.I.) a certified MBE/WBE Baltimore City and the State of Maryland. A.C.I. specializes in framing multi-family residential and light commercial projects. But it wasn’t an easy road to get here.
After a small recession in her first job as an assistant
superintendent, Volm was laid off. The next day, she got a call from the
framing contractor she had met on a project site who was short of help and
willing to train her in the carpentry trade. Volm seized the opportunity and
took the reins as production manager—overseeing jobsite schedules, equipment,
materials and field personnel.
After a few years went by, Volm approached the owner about becoming business partners. They created a new framing company and worked together for seven years. Volm wanted to create a company that took care of and invested in its employees. She implemented health insurance and retirement programs, as well as education and training opportunities within the company. In April 2003, her business partner said he wanted his own company again, and the two parted ways, but remained friends.
She’s been at the helm of A.C.I. ever since. As she struck out on her own, Volm made sure A.C.I. remained committed to its employees and the community.
believes in giving back to the communities where we earn a living,” says Volm. To
this end, A.C.I. has participated in Anne Arundel Co. Centers for Applied
Technology, AACC Construction Management Advisory Committee, A. A. Co. CASA
(Court Appointed Special Advocates), Habitat for Humanity (Anne Arundel &
Harford Co.), Homes for Our Troops (Queen Anne County), and an Extreme Makeover
Home project in Wicomico County.
Volm also remains committed to advancing leadership roles for women in construction. After participating in the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Chesapeake Shores Chapter since the mid-1990s, Volm served as ABC’s national chairman in 2015. “I believe in leading and getting involved. Membership is not a spectator sport,” she says.