What truly differentiates J.S. Held is our people — world-class talent driven by a common set of core values. Together, these shared values inspire a culture of integrity, excellence, teamwork, and service.
Melissa Impastato joined J.S. Held in the spring of 2019, bringing with her more than 20 years of construction industry experience. Melissa is based out of our Arlington, Virginia office and supports the Builder’s Risk Practice in her role as Vice President.
Melissa’s clients look to her to analyze costs and delays for buildings and infrastructure that have experienced damage during construction. On a typical builder’s risk claim, this includes performing an in-depth review of massive mounds of documents to carefully assess each of the many moving parts involved during new construction. Melissa describes her work as a giant puzzle, and her role is to figure out where all the pieces fit. This entails determining what happened, the extent of that event’s impact, and whether the cost and delay is a result of that damage.
Melissa’s passion and motivation are palpable, with her innate competitive nature apparent when she is working on any new project, always aiming higher and striving to be better today than she was yesterday. This mindset, coupled with her good humor and curious nature, has earned her the respect of her fellow colleagues.
“She’s a pleasure to work with and clearly understands the art of getting things done in a quality manner,” said Granger Stuck, Executive Vice President & Builder’s Risk Practice Lead.
Melissa graduated from Catholic University with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, minoring in Construction Management. Prior to joining J.S. Held, she spent the majority of her 20-year career in construction management working for a large, national general contractor, Clark Construction.
During her tenure in general contracting, she gained diverse experience in estimating, purchasing, direct management of onsite construction projects, and ultimately, as an executive managing the company's planning and scheduling group. “I learned how to be organized, accountable, disciplined, patient, strategic, and most importantly, I learned how to solve complex problems and service clients,” said Melissa.
During the Builder’s Risk Practice expansion in 2019, Melissa was approached by Andrew Hennemuth, Vice President – J.S. Held’s Builder’s Risk Practice, about her interest in joining J.S. Held. “I thought it sounded interesting and very different from what I was doing in construction management,” recalls Melissa.
It was Melissa’s ambition and the depth of her experience that stood out to Granger, Andrew, and others within the organization when discussing Melissa’s fit on the team. As an expert in construction management, project planning, scheduling, and cost management the move was an opportunity to join forces and collaborate on large, complex construction matters.
Melissa is motivated by the wide variety of challenges each project presents. Throughout her career, she has been involved on assignments including a 41-story high-rise condo in New York City, a grocery packing robotics facility in London, and the restoration of a historic campus building in Massachusetts.
Managing the construction of the CityCenter DC office towers, as well as the surrounding streetscapes and underground garage, is one of her professional highlights. “This was an immense project at over 500,000 SF of new construction, managed only by 4 people, and still turned over on time,” said Melissa.
During her short time at J.S. Held, she’s had the opportunity to work on a large loss in Tysons Corner, handle a complex litigation project based in New York City, and provide ownership schedule advisory services for a mixed-use project on behalf of a developer in Washington, D.C.
“Being in the construction business carries with it so much pride,” said Melissa. “It’s a special moment being able to point to something so physically interesting, and often of such a large scale, and being able to say, I worked on that.”
Melissa is passionate about the advancement of women within the construction industry and strongly believes that education is the key to success. She has served as a board member at the all-girls Elizabeth Seton High School, just outside of Washington, D.C., and also volunteers as a mentor for STEM programs.
Melissa believes in leading by example, which is the driving force behind her mission to empower women to pursue their dreams, regardless of the industry, while actively seeking out opportunities that have a positive impact on society.
Melissa’s husband and two young children keep her busy when she is away from the office. However, when she does manage to steal some alone time, she enjoys spinning and attending fitness classes, and not surprisingly reading about real estate – both commercial and residential. Not to mention, she is also currently in the process of building a new family home.