Cherelle Cortez Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary with JE Dunn Construction

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Cherelle Cortez, East Region Senior Diversity and Inclusion Manager for JE Dunn Construction, recently celebrated her 15th anniversary with the company.
Cortez is perhaps most identified with providing regional leadership of JE Dunn’s signature Minority Contractor Development (MCD) Program. This initiative provides construction-related business development training and pathways to contract opportunities for MCD graduates.
Currently, Cortez is piloting the revamped MCD program company-wide.
More broadly, Cortez teams with regional leadership to ensure JE Dunn achieves diversity goals consistent with company values, and promotes connectivity between JE Dunn and minority and women-owned businesses that are potential trade partners, suppliers and vendors.
Purpose driven
Cortez began her JE Dunn career in the company’s Denver office, working as a receptionist, then in preconstruction/estimating, and later as a marketing specialist. She relocated to Atlanta in 2013 and soon after began focusing full-time on advancing women and minority preparation and participation in the industry.
“Cherelle is tireless in her leadership journey to learn more and contribute,” said Regional President Dan Kaufman. “She is truly focused on diversity in business — on making JE Dunn a better, more vibrant and thoughtful organization.”
Cortez has supported development of a wide range of diversity and inclusion programs. Professional organizations with which she is active include Georgia Hispanic Contractors, Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project (WEOP) and Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC).
Her awards include GMSDC’s George Lottier Rising Star and the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection’s Magnificent Mentor, the program’s highest mentor award.
Cortez chairs the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
The Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Legacy Awards — the City of Atlanta Office of Contract Compliance’s recognition of outstanding performance by contractors, subcontractors and consultants for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport projects — recently honored JE Dunn with an ATLNext Soar Award. The award cites a joint venture team — in this case, Dunn Aviation Group, with which Cortez works closely — for its record of mentoring and using small, minority and women-owned firms for airport projects.