How have your life experiences impacted who you are professionally? Recent events have shown the construct of “business as usual” is constantly evolving. The September 11th attacks forced buildings around the world to re-evaluate egress, structural redundancy and security. Mass shootings have necessitated the evolution of the classroom format and pedestrian circulation patterns. The pandemic may highlight vulnerabilities of HVAC systems in spreading harmful pollutants and bacteria and with that redefine how we work, learn and socialize. Continuing education is the key to staying on top of design and material trends in order to meet evolving objectives. It is important to remain engaged with industry groups and peers.
Which project, deal, or transaction was the “game-changer” in the advancement of your career? The suite renovation / .406 club conversion at Fenway Park in 2007 with D’AIQ Architects was a paradigm shift for me in terms of relationships in a project team. Traditionally, the owner/architect/contractor structure can create an almost adversarial situation between parties at times. A project like this with finite scheduling constraints combined with the nuances of renovating a 100-year-old structure demanded redoubled collaboration and communication to achieve a common goal – which has been a priority in every other project since.
How do you contribute to your community or your profession? In any building profession – where technology and processes are constantly improving – it is important now more than ever to foster the growth of emerging professionals who can offer fresh insight to modern methods and materials. I have previously served as the membership director for the young member’s committee of the Construction Management Association of America. I also strive to use my professional skills to serve the community – having sat on numerous boards including a School Building Committee for a new public elementary school and as the VP of Operations for a youth baseball/softball non-profit organization.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? Diversify your skillset outside of your desired field. If you want to be successful in achieving collaboration, it is important to fully appreciate the unique perspectives each person brings. To understand the challenges to a contractor, work as a contractor. To understand the concerns of an owner, work as an owner. The more you can educate yourself about the objectives and misgivings of each side, the easier it will be to find solutions that work for all. Not every career trajectory is linear. Keep an open mind and be cognizant of what you don’t know.