Brenda Premenko

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Brenda PremenkoMy Dallas Story

Business manager, woodworker, wife and mother, and board member of Autism Speaks. As an executive at Turner Construction Company, Brenda Premenko came to North Texas more than ten years ago, rising in her career and contemplating a family with her new husband.

“I made a few stops before we landed here,” said Premenko.

She was a woman in STEM before it was a buzzword — graduating from Georgia Tech in Atlanta and joining Turner as a field engineer, where she would ‘build the job on paper.’ She compared designs submitted by trade partners and subcontractors for the same project to address any conflicts and ensure that changes were implemented correctly.

While she had been one of only a few women in an engineering school, she was not the only woman at the office.

“I know I’m biased to some degree, but I did see a lot more of us when I started at Turner,” said Premenko.

She excelled in that first job, which earned her a promotion and relocation to California for a few years — and it was there that she met her husband. They liked the Golden State, but soon another promotion and another new city were calling. Both high achievers, they planned to start a family in Dallas, and eventually move back to the West Coast. But you know what they say about the best laid plans.

“My parents moved here about ten years before we did, and they were instrumental in providing us support.”

Together, Premenko and her husband discovered what millions love about the area: the quality of life – including a more reasonable cost of living as well as activities for every personality (and food for every palate). But they stumbled over career opportunities; they realized couldn’t both relentlessly pursue their professions and raise a family.

“He was in the process of trying to get into medical residency … but we had a big conversation and he said he had other passions to pursue. I really loved what I was doing, and I saw that I could keep building a career at Turner,” Premenko said.

So, they came up with a new plan.

“He stayed home with the kids more than I did, and he earned his teaching certification.”

Premenko was right about being able to build her career at Turner – and credits mentors and advocates, in addition to hard work, for helping along the way. She loves being an integral part of a company that is building the future of Dallas-Fort Worth.


Premenko’s influence can be seen across industries, including healthcare, hospitality, and municipalities in DFW. She leverages experience accumulated over a lifetime to help Turner deliver projects in the state. Her fingerprints are also on her kitchen table, and other furniture in a way you might not expect. She and her husband just built a lake house in Possum Kingdom …

“I was looking at all these pictures of rustic furniture in catalogues and I said, ‘I could do that.’”

So, she did. Tables. Beds. Chairs.

“I just put on my goggles and my earbuds and go out to the garage for a couple hours at a time,” said Premenko.

It’s a hobby that gets her closer to the always-elusive work-life balance, which is something that she counsels younger employees not to ignore.

“Find something that allows you to explore your interests outside of your regular responsibilities” she advises.

She also has some life advice for everyone, but especially young women as many traditional gender roles still exist. If you choose to have a life partner, pick that person knowing that mutual support is key to both of you living a full life.

“If, as a female, you’re still expected be the diaper changer and the caretaker and the taxi driver, plus the chef at home, it’s going to be very challenging to also build your career. That’s where it helps to have partnership – but you also need to be clear on what you want and where you can compromise. The one sure thing about life – things change. They’re not static, so it’s crucial each of you knows how to hang back and refocus as much as you press on the accelerator.”


Nowadays Brenda, her husband Dave, and their three boys love to visit Klyde Warren Park and the surrounding museums. And, as budding history buffs Luca, Sebastian, and Dylan, at 13, 11, and 8 – have been to the Sixth Floor museum at Dealey Plaza several times. Plus, with the aquarium, the zoo, and seasonal events like the Texas State Fair – there’s never a shortage of things to do.

That initial thought of moving back to California was replaced years ago, with the realization that they had found the right city for their passions and priorities — that saying yes to Dallas was the first step to building the life they imagined.