About the CPM Team
We get contracts because of our people.
CPM is a grassroots movement that uses innovation and personal connections to create an atmosphere of inclusion, creating room for all to work well and effectively, no matter what their size or background.
CREATING SPACE FOR EVERY VOICE
Abbigail knows that there are different ways to approach small business needs — that relationships can be built between large and small companies that extend past professional dynamics, and that you can be yourself and manage systemic processes that generate lasting change. She generates results with her ability to engage others through open dialogue — full of life and energy, she connects people. Her greatest strength, and what keeps companies coming back to contract with CPM, is her personality and commitment to creating a positive environment. She attends to each job personally and recruits those around her to do the same.
Abbigail works tirelessly with DBEs to promote increased education, awareness and project expectations for federally funded transportation projects. She has generated significant interest for the marginalized group at federal, state and local levels. Abbigail co-founded the Prime-DBE Cooperative (PDC) with Caltrans to address chronic prime contractor / Disadvantaged Business Enterprise communication and feedback issues — now contracts for PDC attendees are up by 37%.
The value of the work Abbigail manages totals over $500 million. She motivates and mentors diverse professional teams that function well and generate an atmosphere of camaraderie between the people contributing to the team that lasts well beyond the life of the project. The politically charged Presidio Project had gotten off to a rocky start, but Abbigail became one of the project’s most trusted consultants and was able to stem the tide of negativity and steer the project into the black for minority compliance. Her optimism and humor also addressed issues with grace and kindness rather than by negative reinforcement on the highly contentious California High Speed Rail Project.
Abbigail earned her Master’s in Public Administration and undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Post University. She is also affiliated with the International Partnering Institute (IPI), Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), Associated General Contractors (AGC), Caltrans HQ SB-1 Task Force, Caltrans HQ DBE Participation Group, California Governor’s Office (Go Biz) Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank (IBANK) Partner, the CAHSR Business Advisory Committee (Prime member), and Fresno State University Small Business Development Center Small Business Advisor. She is on the East Bay Economic Development Alliance’s (EBEDA) Land Use & Infrastructure Committee and is the Chair for Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California’s Small Business Council. AGC has sought out Abbigail’s expertise to help promote procurement opportunities with state and federal agencies for small businesses by bringing awareness and proposed solutions to challenges small business contractors face. Her enthusiasm and hard work inspires loyalty in any group to work toward successful contracts and sustainable working relationships. Abbigail believes every voice should be heard.
CLEAR LINES OF COMMUNICATION
Claire is an essential part of the CPM team. Her depth of experience means that she can write a communications plan, respond to a bid package, keep websites and social media updated, design flyers and be involved with outreach. Working on so many different projects simultaneously, Claire adapts to quickly changing needs and minds — whether it’s a presentation that now must be a flyer, which now must be a postcard, she can write it, design it and get it to the right people.
Claire is a high performer.
Claire has over 10 years of strategic communications consulting and project management experience working on public projects. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she worked on two of the nation’s largest disaster recovery programs, leading communications and outreach efforts, advancing program and policy objectives focused on economic development, rehabilitation and equitable access to opportunity. For CPM she has found project success with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the California High Speed Rail Project, Presidio Parkway Phase II in San Francisco, and working every event for the PDC.
Claire studied Business Administration in Nottingham, England, and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Mass Communications. She uses this base of education to support the overall communications plans of CPM projects, and CPM itself. Her skill set now also includes design and project management, strategic communications, public administration, community engagement, media and public relations, marketing, and technical writing.
Claire believes if you want to have a strong community you must be active in your community. She is president of her children's school's Parent-Teacher Organization and an active supporter of immersion education. She is vice president of the Garden District Civic Association. Also she is an advocate for bicyclists' and pedestrians' rights and safety.
Claire is a Jill-of-all-trades, and a strong resource for CPM, doing anything and everything that needs doing. With her background in mass communications, community outreach, and technical writing, Claire is an essential part of the team.
CREATING LASTING CONNECTIONS
Michele Ternes is a people connector.
As Business Manager for CPM, Michele focuses on community outreach by attending and hosting events, creating procurement opportunities, and generally putting a face to CPM. Her people skills and friendly nature benefit small contractors in the Bay Area by connecting them with each other as well as local resources.
For over 25 years, Michele has developed relationships while working for the non-profit Contra Costa ARC - Advocacy Respect Commitment. She continually engaged in her community while procuring contracts that connected employers with adults with developmental disabilities. She managed daily operations for a Supported Employment Program that served more than 135 clients at one time. This included reaching out to local employers, large and small, to support community integration. She accomplished this by skillfully using her relationships, marketing materials, event hosting, contract negotiation and attendance at local city and advocacy meetings, including those held at nine different Chambers of Commerce agencies.
Michele is a wonderful mix of communicator and listener and a great asset to CPM. Her work experience has led to a deep understanding of people, and her attention to detail when creating these connections is what makes her so successful. She brings this experience to CPM, and works hard to reach out to those Small Businesses that benefit from CPM’s services.
Michele’s education consists of a Psychology degree from Diablo Valley College and Business Management degree from Saint Mary's College. Her education gives her the foundation to focus on people and business. With her education and experience, she successfully creates connections in small business communities, helping companies to get what they need to be successful.
Many Hats, Same High Caliber
From the rigors of coordinating a 300-plus door-to-door survey, to orchestrating press conferences up and down the state of California, Rebecca Unter’s resume reflects a career built on adaptability, proactive problem solving, and a laugh-at-life sense of humor.
As Marketing Coordinator at Urban Planning Partners, Rebecca had a front-row seat to a 10-person, woman-owned DBE successfully priming on multi-million-dollar transit development projects. Project managers and sub-consultants preparing the winning proposals benefited from Rebecca’s attention to detail and ability to take a wide view of tasks at hand and to also go deep into details.
Her “can-do” spirit at Woodward & McDowell, a ballot measure and issue advocacy firm, was invaluable. Within the fast-paced, high-stress world of California political campaigns, Rebecca implemented coalition-building strategies across social media platforms; built websites and wrote collateral materials, earned media coverage; and coordinated events for over 14 campaigns.
Rebecca has a sharp ear for nuance and proven ability to help teams find common ground. As Communication Advisor at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, Rebecca delivered learning programs that focused on people management, personal effectiveness, and oral and written communication.
Rebecca has worked in small firms with large aspirations and in large organizations eager to engage local talent. In every role, she has provided tools and opportunities for voices to be heard. She inherently understands that connections are the single most valuable asset to taking any size business to the next level. Her enthusiasm to help companies gain a foothold in the competitive and complex world of construction adds great value to the CPM team.