I had the pleasure of serving in the US Navy for 20 years and gained a wealth of personal and professional experiences from the service that continues to guide me today. During my transition out of the military, I decided to return to where I grew up to continue my career in construction and facility management. I was able to smoothly transition to the US Army Corps of Engineers, managing construction programs at the Watervliet Arsenal as well as Fort Drum. Feeling like I wanted to get outside of Government and the Department of Defense and be in a more campus-like setting, I became aware of the position at Emma Willard. It seemed to be a perfect fit. On the outside, it is easy to recognize the uniqueness of the campus and its facilities. What I have also come to appreciate is the family feeling you get when working alongside the staff here. In some ways, it reminds me of my experience of living in Japan for three years with my family and other military families. It makes for a rewarding experience when everyone is serving together for the same cause.
What is a typical day-in-the-life at Emma like for you?
As director of facilities construction management and planning, much of what my role does happens in the background. Working with the outstanding facility and business office teams here at Emma, I am focused on two primary areas right now. First of which is to get the Alice Dodge Wallace '38 Center for the Performing Arts
project up and running. There are many administrative actions that go into executing a construction project to ensure success. Presently we are working with the project architect, Annum Associates, and the construction firm, Consigli, to finalize plans prior to the start of work. Second, I am working on multiple other smaller projects that will happen over the coming years on campus. Construction is the final stage in a project life cycle, there are countless hours of planning and designing that happen first. The fruits of these efforts will become more apparent in the coming years.
What is something the average person would find surprising about working in facilities and construction management?What is your favorite space, place, or tradition at Emma?
Imagine a job in which you work with a different set of team members on an assignment you’ve never done before, and you do that for every assignment. Construction is a unique business where you pull together a team made up of contractors, designers, and owners to build something such as the Wallace Center. It’s so critical that there are processes in place to manage the transfer of information, while the team members must also understand and respect the responsibilities of each party. It’s what makes construction never a boring endeavor, as no two days are ever the same.
Having been here only a couple of months, I realize there is still a lot of the campus to see. For me, I’m excited about the opportunity to work within the chapel and convert it into the new performing arts center. While the exterior will remain primarily unchanged, the interior will be completely redone. I look forward to a couple of years from now and seeing how people react to the transformation of the space. It will be most exciting to see the reaction people have to the new space and its reconfiguration.Interested in more? Check out the rest of our Four Questions series with Meg McClellan, Emily Carton, Dr. Ashley L. Bennett, Megan Labbate, Margaret Clark '98, and Nick Marchese!