Abbigail Brown, Owner & President
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.
Claire Pittman, Director of Communication & Project Manager
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.
Michele Ternes, Business Manager
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.
Melissa Chaparro, Compliance Manager
FOCUSED ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Melissa earned her degree in Applied Mathematics from George Mason University in Virginia and has made herself indispensable to the CPM team, providing the reporting and analysis required on CPM’s complicated projects.
With her seven years of administrative and compliance management experience, she worked for CPM as the Subcontract Compliance Manager on the Presidio Parkway project in San Francisco and received high praise from Flatiron-Kiewit, JV for her performance at the site. Melissa’s responsibilities included monitoring project minority compliance progress; maintained compliance records and reported payment information for all UDBE and SBE vendors; implemented program requirements that support compliance with all city, state, and federal laws. She compiled information from each subcontractor into an easily readable format and distributed those updates and facts to the team on the project. This document control was crucial to the success of every project, and Melissa kept everyone informed and up-to-date with her careful reporting.
Outside of CPM projects, Melissa promotes diversity by communicating with vendors to increase utilization of certified minority companies. To encourage an increase in the utilization of the number of SBE/DBE companies working on transportation projects, Melissa strategically identifies and contacts organizations to promote the advantages of utilizing these small businesses. Her understanding of logical reasoning and problem solving allows her to be efficient and accurate when she does community outreach. Melissa also attends networking sessions to represent CPM, and assists with every PDC event. She is a decisive key to the success of the PDC because she follows up with each attendee — via email and phone, she sends out the final contact list, ensuring that everyone is included and continues to participate.
Melissa continues to strengthen her skills by attending a coding program to learn web and app development. With her attention to detail and her background in mathematics, this makes her an even stronger team partner who helps propel CPM to the next level.