Which project, deal, or transaction was the “game-changer” in the advancement of your career? 275 Wyman St. was a new, five-story, 300,000 s/f class A office building and I designed the base building, interiors, courtyard, and parking structure. The interior fit-out achieved LEED Platinum and the Core + Shell earned LEED Gold. It was an exciting project for me, and I consider it a tipping point in my career.
What led you to your current profession? I used to shadow my grandfather when I was a child. He was an electrician, plumber, carpenter. He did pretty much everything, and built the house I grew up in. The first time he showed me “blueprints” (yes, real blueprints!) I was just amazed, and that’s what started it all. I still have those blueprints.
How do you contribute to your community or your profession? I teach a Professional Practice course at my alma mater, Roger Williams University. This course goes over the ins and outs of the profession and helps students get a glimpse of what life will be after college.
Who or what inspires you? Many people inspire me, so I will say what inspires me - design that challenges the norm. People and designs that don’t play it safe. I like to push the boundaries, and try new things, so those that do the same inspire me.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles? Conflicts and obstacles are bound to show up (for everyone on the team), so I tell my colleagues to communicate, be transparent, be genuine, and always go into a conflict with solutions, not finger-pointing.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry? Be unique and ready to adapt to a changing profession. Be good at more than one thing, and continuously try to learn. Do not let people tell you that something is impossible. Anything is possible.
Who was/is your mentor and how did s/he influence/help you in your career? My grandfather. See #3. He was always interested in my projects, always offering support and encouragement. For the topping off ceremony for 275 Wyman, I signed his initials on that piece of steel along with my own, for without him, that project may have never happened!