Posted By: Stacey Vega

What drew you to the construction industry?

"When I was in high school, I never really took school too seriously. I had a lot of interest in art and wood working, but when it was time to apply to college, it was suggested I look at joining the military. I took the ASVAB Test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) and scored in the top 1%, which led to a few recruiters contacting me. One of which was the Navy, offering to place me in their Nuclear Propulsion Program. A few days later, I received a letter in the mail accepting me to the Franklin Institute to study Architectural Engineering Technology. During my first summer break, I had a construction job building houses where I realized I liked the puzzle of how the thing went together more than how it was going to look. After graduating, I worked at an architectural engineering firm, where the Building Envelope Department started using me on their projects because of my ability to develop details. I joined my next firm based on my detailing abilities, which led to a working partnership with their Building Envelope Consultant, as well as becoming their Owner/Architect Project Construction Representative. I guess long story short, I got into construction because I used to draw Garfield cartoons as a kid."

What does your day-to-day look like in this role?

"Typically, my day starts with Tom asking, 'What's for lunch on Friday?' before the door closes behind me. Depending on the project, or phase of a project, the day will be spent modeling a project in Revit, working with the PMs and APMs on projects under construction, or working with the Estimating Department on RFI's to projects out for bid. Every project brings its own challenges, but I feel the design team works very well together to get the work done. As a group, we are working in an open space, which allows us to throw out questions to one another, whether they are code related, project related, Revit or AutoCAD related, or if you would rather have a boat that looks like a car, or a car that is so fast you need a parachute to slow down. At the end of the day, I will log into Procore and review photos and status of any projects that are currently under construction."

What makes you successful in your work?

"In all honesty, I just try and be myself around the people I work with. I find people will work better with people who appear to be genuine and honest with them."

What is one of the most memorable projects you've worked on in your time here at Connolly?

"Since working with Connolly, I have been able to work on several different projects that I have not worked on in the past. When I joined the team, I was working on DSR Tri-City CDJR, which was my first car dealership and my first Connolly project. J.G. MacLellan was also a fun one, as it was my first solo project with Connolly and it was the first time designing a pre-engineered building. But I have to say the one I enjoyed the most was being asked to design the label for last year's holiday beer cans. It's not every day you get to create labels that look like actual blueprints of the Ford Model A."

What have been some of the most important lessons that you have learned throughout your career?

"If you don't know what you are talking about, stop talking. Best case scenario, you may not be wrong. Worst case, and most likely scenario, you are flat out wrong. That's both a professional and personal lesson."

What do you like to do outside of work?

"I live just a stone's throw from the office, so each night I take the 20-minute stroll from the office to my front door where I am greeted by my fiancé, Melissa, two French Bulldogs, Louie and Holly, and my orange tabby cat, Leo. When I am home I like to pretend that I am an artist. I've been drawing since I was a kid, and one day I started painting, and fell in love with it. I have created splatter style pieces, portraits, acrylic ocean paintings, acrylic pour paintings, and abstract pieces. I have also created large-scale paintings for homes in Newport, RI, and provided artwork for charity events. I enjoy photography and have several photographs hanging in private homes. I also enjoy wood working, and most of the time in the spring and summer I'll be in the yard or working on the house."