Power Movers: Alissa Bautista is Wired for Success

Alissa Bautista

When Alissa Bautista was in fifth grade, she was given an assignment for art class. She had to choose a picture of a house from a real estate magazine and draw it in perspective.

“I spent hours on [that] assignment,” Bautista says.

But her hard work earned her an A+, along with rave reviews from her instructor.

“It was then I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up,” she says.

Bautista’s tenacity and penchant for the finer details would propel her through her school years. She would later join Kamehameha Schools’ robotics club and was one of the only girls in the Engineering and Design Academy. For her senior project, Bautista built a fully functional hydroponics system.

Today, Bautista serves as a project manager at Rosendin Electric Inc., fulfilling her childhood dream inspired by that art project. It doesn’t hurt, either, that she’s been surrounded by the construction industry all of her life.

From a young age, she’d often help at her father’s company, Hawai‘i Island-based B. Bautista Electric, sweeping up after her father while he worked. As she got older, he taught her how to wire plugs and do rough-ins.

“I was lucky, my family always supported and believed in me, especially my dad. He always told me, ‘there’s no such thing as “no can”’ and ‘you can do anything you put your mind to,’ ” recalls Bautista. “Therefore, I always believed women can do anything men can do.”

She would go on to study architecture and construction management in college, but Bautista’s exposure to her father’s electrical business built a solid foundation for her career path.

As a project manager, Alissa oversees all aspects of a project, “from planning through completion, ensuring our electrical scope of work is completed on time and within budget.” This includes defining a project’s budget and managing all of its financial aspects, as well as ensuring all field personnel have all they need to perform their duties properly, completing project material buyouts, scheduling releases and deliveries with the overall project schedule in mind, managing all project documentation and estimating, negotiating and maintaining change order logs.

“There is no down time to being a project manager, there is always something to do and being ‘in the weeds’ keeps my days exciting and interesting,” she explains. “I enjoy strategizing and problem-solving. I thrive off of issues that come up and finding a viable solution. I also like to follow processes and procedures, being able to organize all aspects of a project for anyone to understand ensures a well-managed project.”

Bautista puts her problem-solving skills to use on projects ranging from luxury high-rises to large-scale renovations, but it’s her current project that has special meaning. She’s currently managing construction of an affordable workforce housing development on Maui, scheduled for completion the second quarter of this year.

“Housing in general is a crisis in Hawai‘i and the Lāhainā wildfires were devastating to our Hawai‘i ‘ohana,” says Bautista. “Once this project is complete, it will offer 324 units [plus a] recreation center in Maui, something we are desperately in need of. Your project means so much more when you’re helping your community.”

Bautista is also an active communications committee member for the Rosendin Foundation, her company’s charitable arm. Through the foundation, she’s helped plan several volunteer activities in support of organizations like Hawaii Foodbank, Leeward Habitat for Humanity and Aloha Harvest.

Outside of her activities with Rosendin, Bautista is also vice president of the National Association of Women in Construction’s Hawaii Chapter, chairwoman for Honolulu Habitat for Humanity’s Wahine Build 2024 and is actively mentoring a UH Mānoa civil engineering student, helping to guide a new generation of industry professionals.

Bautista also continues to work on improving her own skills, particularly in the areas of risk assessment and risk management, as she transitions into a new role as preconstruction manager with Rosendin.

“This [role] will allow more involvement with projects during the preconstruction stage prior to breaking ground,” she says. During the transition, her responsibilities will shift to “business development, marketing, estimating, engineering/BIM, pursuit engagement and proposals.”

Bautista confesses her biggest challenge in getting to where she is today is “being comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

“This industry is constantly changing, as change is inevitable, and being in this position you need to be ready for whatever comes your way,” she says.

If Bautista continues to heed her own advice, she’ll be just fine.

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