Theresa Giacomino, CCS, LEED AP is a recognizable face for most people working on the Lower Hill Redevelopment. With experience in both architecture and design she supports construction development efforts in her role of Project Manager and CCIP Manager for Lower Hill Redevelopment. Serving in this capacity, her time is currently focused on FNB Financial Center, the new 26-story office tower anchoring the 28 acre redevelopment. She has been with PJ Dick Incorporated for 11.5 years. Hear from her in the Q & A below:
How does your background in construction tie into what you're currently doing with the project?
Over the past 25 years I’ve worked in both the design and construction industries. During that time, I’ve established strong relationships with a variety of subcontractors, including many owned by underrepresented groups (MWBE/SDVO/DBE). As the CCIP manager for the FNB Tower project, I’ve built on these relationships during the FNB project, fostering open and honest conversations with each on how to work together, form partnerships, and think outside the box to create opportunities for MWBE companies and establish goals for hiring craftspeople from diverse backgrounds.
How has your role evolved working on the Lower Hill Redevelopment project?
The role began like any other project, diving into the drawings and specifications, getting your bearings, talking to people and creating a plan. Quickly I learned how important the role was, and all it could become. This was the opportunity to help change how we all do business and contracting in the construction industry.
I began thinking outside the box of how we can make these connections between MWBE and Non-MWBE companies even in the midst of a pandemic. We created virtual networking opportunities. These included Bidder Information Sessions, dedicated sessions where Subcontractors and Suppliers could learn about the project as well as learn more about MWBEs and the services they could offer and held dedicated sessions for non-union companies to discuss the path from non-union to union. Connecting firms and the people working for them has been very rewarding, both professionally and personally.
What do you like most about what you do?
By far the most gratifying is talking to people and learning that what we have done differently on this project has made a difference in their careers and businesses. When I hear that an MWBE company was awarded a scope of work for FNB or for another regional project, it really hits home that this project – and my role in particular – is making a difference.
Do you have a mentor or advisor that has helped you along the way? (Personally, or professionally) Alternatively, do you do any kind of mentoring, coaching or teaching?
My first mentor was the late Janet McCarthy. She was a strong, intelligent and ambitious woman who helped me see that I can grow and learn in the industry as a woman, regardless of my education. She was both my employer and my friend. It’s important that we all help those around us to succeed by sharing experiences and encouraging words. There are many men and women that I learn and grow from, every day. I take any opportunity I can to encourage others to grow, learn, and be the best version of themselves.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other women currently in or considering entering the construction field?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make mistakes. That is the best way to learn. And if anyone doubts your abilities, prove them wrong. You can do anything you set your mind to accomplish.