November 21, 2022

Crain’s Cleveland Business, which began its “40 Under Forty” program in 1991, is proud to present another standout class of dedicated young executives, professionals and leaders under 40. Take some time to get to know the 2022 honorees. These folks are getting things done. And you’re going to be hearing more about them for decades to come. 

They come from a diverse array of fields. Those recognized in 2022 include nonprofit leaders, educators, scientists, activists and many others. This year’s honorees all represent the very best in achievement and service, and they all are making a difference in Northeast Ohio.

Photography by Jason Miller/Pixelate Photography

Emily Lord, 32 

Director of Business Development

The Albert M. Higley Co.

Emily Lord has always loved building things, whether she was playing with Legos as a child or working as a field engineer on massive Air-Force base projects in the scorching sun.

At 32, Lord no longer spends her days sporting a tool belt, a hard hat and boots.

Instead, she’s building up a business, cultivating relationships with clients and chasing leads for the Albert M. Higley Co., a Cleveland-based construction manager and contractor.

“I’m able to understand the nuts and bolts of something. I think I’m able to understand what the technical people are bringing to the table and what they’re saying, and how we can morph that ... to the client’s expectations,” she said.

A Northeast Ohio native, Lord attended Western Carolina University after winning a soccer scholarship. She toyed with studying architecture before landing in the school’s construction management program (with a minor in business administration).

“I was like one of two women in the whole program,” she recalls.

She worked for construction giant Hensel Phelps in Florida before moving home and joining Higley, where she’s risen through the ranks. Lord joined the company as a product controls engineer, then transitioned into marketing and, a few years ago, business development.

“She’s a future leader here at Higley,” said her boss, Dan Sehlhorst, a senior vice president. “We’re coming up on a 100-year-old company here very soon. And our industry is not exactly a leader in all of the social dynamics, in the way the world is today. People like her really help us.”

Lord is passionate about changing the face of the construction industry by helping women and minorities gain a foothold. She’s a member of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s equity and inclusion advisory board. She also hopes to get involved with local mentorship programs.

“The labor force is tough, because everyone needs more people,” she said. “We’re running about 100 tradespeople in Northeast Ohio, and there are more projects coming in Cleveland. ... It’s going to be a fight to get people everywhere.” 

— Michelle Jarboe

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