Anne Teague Landis
Chief Executive Officer
Landis Construction

Landis Construction recently completed the renovation of the historic building at 714 Canal St., a mixed-use project, and the renovation of the historic Monteleone Hotel. What are some of other projects Landis is working on now?

Another historic renovation project we’re working on right now is the transformation of 1244 Magazine St. into a boutique surgery center for Dr. Suma Maddox. Dr. Maddox has inspiring dedication to her work and patients; that dedication has been obvious in her determination to make her surgery center a caring, special place.

Other compelling adaptive reuse projects in recent years have included 617 Canal St. for Peter Sallas, Bellwether Technology’s office (formerly a rectory), and the Gretna campus for Young Audiences Charter School (originally a Coca-Cola bottling factory). Farther flung, we are in the process of renovating a historic residence in Pensacola to be a Landis office there.

In 2015, you took over as chief executive officer of Landis, a construction company founded by your grandfather in 1956. Construction historically has been a field with few women leaders. How can the industry make the field more welcoming to women at all levels of the business? Why is that important?

The physical work of construction is where we still have the largest gap in female involvement. It used to be that physical strength — and the reality that the average man is physically stronger than the average woman — was a barrier to entry into the construction trades. Increasingly, we work smarter rather than harder, which reduces that barrier. As with all professions, it’s easier to see yourself in a role if you see others like you in that role. We don’t yet have enough women in the trades for that to be a norm, but it’s getting better. In the last dozen years, there has been more than a 60 percent growth of women in construction. That’ll help. It’s important for women to be in construction because of the opportunity in and for the industry. There are great jobs in construction, and between the office and the field, there is pretty much something for everyone. For the industry, we need good people. Women selecting in dramatically increases what has traditionally been thought of as the available construction talent pool.

Landis does work across the metro area. How healthy is the construction market right now? As a business leader, what do you see as the city’s strengths and challenges ahead?

The market is healthy. We are fortunate to have a city that a lot of people love and believe in. One of our biggest struggles is that it can be hard to do business in New Orleans.

If you could wave a magic wand and improve one thing about New Orleans, what would it be?

I would want us to do better at working together and moving things forward. There are times we come together so beautifully as a city. For example, I love Mardi Gras because it is for everyone and the whole city — all demographics — come out to celebrate. Then there are a lot of times when battle lines seem to be getting drawn, when people are more focused on being right than on helping one another do right for the greater good. Making that shift requires a longterm view that is really hard to make when it requires short-term sacrifice, even if it’s just swallowing some pride. I think if we could do that, our opportunities are boundless.