Rachel Munkvold is a Vice President and Senior Project Manager at Clune Construction. She has extensive design and construction experience, and has managed high-end commercial build-outs for many of Chicago’s most respected companies. Rachel began her career in interior architecture before moving over to construction management. There she has built her career managing interior projects for financial companies, law firms and utility companies.
Rachel joined Clune as a Senior Project manager in 2016. Because of her background in both design and construction, Rachel has earned a reputation for her attention to detail from a project’s design intent to on-site conditions. Her in-depth knowledge of both sides of the business, enables her come up with creative solutions to issues that arise during the construction process. She has become one Clune’s most relied upon Senior Project Managers. Throughout her career Rachel has been recognized in the Chicago real estate community as one of the top project managers for interior build-outs. Her clients know they can rely on her and repeatedly request to work with her.
In the five years Rachel has been with Clune Construction, she has quickly become an important leader, and was recently promoted to an officer position as a Vice President. Rachel also leads Clune’s team in their involvement in CityYear, an organization that works to address the lack of equitable access to educational opportunities in Chicago.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in the St. Louis area, and then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in architecture.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
I always wanted to be an architect. But when I was younger, I wanted to be a residential architect. I used to draw houses for my friends during class.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I worked for an architecture firm in St. Louis, and later took a job in Chicago.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Yes. A friend of mine, who hired me at my first architecture position here in Chicago is someone I have always looked up to. She has always impressed me with her ability to intelligently and strategically excel in such a competitive industry. She is also the definition of grace under pressure
What does a day in the life of Rachel Munkvold look like?
I either commute to work on the train or I drive, depending on whether I am in the office or on a jobsite. At the end of the day, I go home to be with my family. I have two children in elementary school and I always enjoy hearing about their day. They are currently back at school in person, which has been a welcome change from last year.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy working with our clients and design teams to bring their vision to life. Each time I start a project, it’s an opportunity to create something new.
What is one thing about the industry you look forward to seeing improve or change?
There is an increased focus on diversity in this industry, both at the trade level and at the professional and executive levels. In my opinion, this is necessary to sustain our development.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I enjoy spending time outdoors golfing, hiking and running.
After a year and a half of stay at home orders, what do you look forward to most or where would you like to travel?
I am looking forward to eating indoors with friends, family and clients without worrying about germs and face masks.