2020 40 Under 40 award recipient: Jacey Ehmann

Jacey Ehmann Courtesy 616 Media

Jacey Ehmann, 28

Founder and partner
Metric Structures

Jacey Ehmann caught her big break when local restaurateur Paul Lee hired her to build his new restaurant, Hancock, in 2018.

“I had just returned from Colorado and started Metric Structures,” Ehmann said. “I was introduced to Paul by a mutual friend and was afforded the opportunity to put a proposal together for his new restaurant concept. … I was young, newly working in the area and didn’t have a logo or an office or a large team; he honestly had no reason to believe that I could do what I did, but to my sincere surprise, he trusted me to do it anyway.”

Ehmann and her team completed the Hancock project in eight months and have since done multiple other West Michigan projects.

She said it hasn’t been easy being a woman in the male-dominated field of construction and design, but she started Metric Structures in 2017 out of a commitment to creating opportunity in the industry for “everyone who wants to participate.”

Ehmann describes herself as “an unrelenting optimist” who doesn’t accept the status quo but works to make the industry “more relationship-driven, innovative, collaborative, respectable and efficient.”

In addition to leading a team of seven at her firm, Ehmann is an associate with the American Institute of Architects, a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Associated Builders and Contractors, a member of the Goal 2 Alliance of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Mary Free Bed and Disability Advocates.

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