Emily’s career focus has been the design, construction and renovations of public buildings and spaces. Early in her career she was hired by the Rendell Administration to jumpstart the paralyzed system of completing over 300 backlogged capital construction projects within city government. As Philadelphia’s first Capital Program Director for the CPO, Emily was charged with the responsibility of bringing private sector business practices to the city and completed $454 million of capital projects in 3 ½ years time.
In January 2000, Emily was hired as the Vice President of Design & Construction for the National Constitution Center to lead a team once again in the design and construction of a $137M museum in Independence Mall.
After the completion of the National Constitution Center in 2003, Emily started Bittenbender Construction, LP, a commercial general contractor and construction management firm specializing in the new construction and renovations of museums and historic sites, retail, higher education and corporate fit out projects (the only woman owned, union affiliated general contractor in the local area).
In 2009 Emily launched Philadelphia Carpentry Systems, LP, a woman owned carpentry and exhibit Installation Company, providing quality carpentry services to general contractors and building owners in the Philadelphia region.
In 2011, Emily was awarded The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Excellence Award for Small Business Person of the Year. Most recently in 2016, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce awarded Emily with Paradigm Award, the region’s most prestigious award for businesswomen.
In 2015, The Philadelphia chapter of the General Building Contractors Association named Emily L. Bittenbender as its new chairwoman — the first female to hold the top post in the organization’s 124-year history.
Emily currently sits on the following boards: Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, GBCA Executive Committee, Philadelphia Carpenters Company Executive Committee, Drexel University’s Close School Advisory Board, American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer and more.
Bittenbender Construction’s most recent high profile project is Love Park, which will be opening late fall of this year. This past September, Bittenbender Construction, LP was ranked #2 on the “The List” for Women-Owned Businesses by the Philadelphia Business Journal – based on Company Revenue in 2016.