Joe has the global perspective of a business executive with 28 years of military service… and the local ties of a Newton resident who remains firmly rooted in the community he grew up in.
Joe has a degree in Civil Engineering from UMass Lowell and an MBA from Boston University. He joined the Navy after college and then pursued a career in the construction industry. He worked as a project manager at A.J. Martini, an executive at Macomber and later as a senior executive at Shawmut. In September, 2009, after twenty-eight years of military service concurrent with his civilian career, Joe retired as a Captain in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps. He was awarded the distinguished Legion of Merit medal for his outstanding service and achievement.
It was back in November, 2002 that he founded Commodore…
What propelled you to start your own business?
I wanted to build something different…something employees could have a stake in…could share pride in. I wanted to build an enduring company, a place where people have the opportunity to grow. I wanted to create an environment where people embrace the connection between both the business and the personal aspects of their lives. There’s no such thing as just business for me. Everything is very personal. And I want to make a personal contribution to our clients’ success, to the people who work here and to their families.
Since retiring from the Navy, you’ve had a full time focus on Commodore. Do you miss the military?
What I miss are the frequent opportunities to think globally. When I was a senior Naval officer I was constantly thinking strategically about world defense, security and the global economy.
Now that my work is focused locally, I’ve had to find other ways to connect more broadly – with organizations like World Class Cities Partnership. With them, I’ve travelled to different international cities, exploring the anatomy of innovation. I’ve studied the way countries like Israel, Spain, Portugal and Ireland nurture innovation and entrepreneurship. Together, we’re making a huge effort to learn from the best practices of major partner cities in other countries and to apply them back in Greater Boston. We’re working with smart people who are driving development and change locally and impacting the blueprint of important initiatives like Boston’s Innovation District. That’s where attracting entrepreneurs, breaking barriers to entry, creating affordable housing, improving commerce and the economy in Massachusetts will all pay big dividends.
One of the concerns I’ve always had with the construction industry is that we can sometimes be myopic. I want to expand on all the lessons I’ve learned, in the Navy and in business, to keep my horizons as broad as possible. There’s no boundary between my professional and personal life and I don’t want any boundaries limiting the way I think about the world, either.
You’ve always said that achieving “balance” in life is over-rated. Are you still skeptical?
What I am is still over-extended. I’m working on my ability to prioritize – but, I gave up on balance years ago. I think we have to be successful carving out the time we really need to do what we really want to do. I use Commodore’s 6 Qualities of Excellence as a guide. Those qualities apply to everyone, in just about every facet of life. I’d rather spend my energy developing my capacity, than limit myself by pursuing balance.
In 2012 Commodore acquired A.J. Martini. Would you consider the acquisition a success? A.J. Martini was a 60-year-old family-run construction management firm at the time we acquired them. They brought an experienced staff to Commodore and a large portfolio of commercial office buildings and major institutional projects. Their history of managing large, complex projects, including large office parks, restorations and commercial jobs, has strengthened and accelerated our combined growth. Based on the very positive market reaction, I would say the integration with Commodore has gone very well.
Commodore’s second decade is underway. What’s the personal impact for you?
I’ve got 3 kids in college – another reminder that I’m not a young gun anymore. I’m still going through the transition of having children who don’t need me in the same way they used to. I’m tremendously proud of them. And I’m cautiously optimistic. Just the same way that I never quite feel like I’ve arrived – they haven’t arrived either – but I’m hopeful for all of us. Our kids have unlimited opportunities in front of them and I feel good that we’ve been able to help them with that.
What’s up for the next ten years?
I’m going to carve out more time for reflection. I recently turned 50, which gives me plenty to reflect on. I’m thinking about how I want to live the next 20 or 30 years, God willing. I want my life to be as meaningful as it can be. I love the quote, “If you want to make God laugh – show him your plan.” But I do want to live every day with purpose – not to feather my own nest – but to do meaningful things. I want to focus on making the people here successful.
I focus on what I can control in life – not so much on how big the pie is going to be – but how much we’re going to do with our piece.
Current Industry and Community Involvement
• Advisory Board, UMass Lowell Francis College of Engineering
• Vice Chairman, Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts
• Board of Directors, New England Center for Homeless Veterans
• Board of Directors, USS Constitution Museum
• Board of Directors, Navy Civil Engineer Corps/Seabee Historical Foundation
• Board of Directors, The Village Bank, Newton Massachusetts
Jose comes to Commodore from FN Contractors, a national Dallas-based firm focused on bank and hotel renovations.
Jose was born in Torreon, in the north of Mexico. He grew up in a construction family. His dad owned a heavy equipment company and was a contractor for a cement plant called Cemex. During the summers, Jose worked with his dad, supervising heavy equipment activities. When he graduated from high school he attended the Eurocenters School in Cambridge, England, where he learned English. He returned to Mexico to study Civil Engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, well known for their rigorous engineering programs.
Following his graduation in 2010, Jose began work as a construction manager at a commercial and residential design build architecture firm. He managed projects from conception to completion for markets including hospitality, retail, corporate interiors, multi-unit housing and residential ground up. During this time, Jose developed a highly collaborative style of working with architects and high-end clients and was successful in bringing new business to the firm, as well.
When FN Contractors came looking for engineers from the Monterrey Institute, Jose answered the call to work in the US, managing projects in Westborough, Marlboro, Waltham and Danvers. He fell in love with the region and decided to make his home and career here. When Jose isn’t working he plays tennis, soccer and is a long distance runner.
James Apodaca is a Senior Project Manager with construction in his DNA. He has a degree in Business Management, but he grew up on project sites, working with his father who is a prominent General Superintendent in New Mexico.
James came to Commodore from A.J. Martini, where he spent 6 years as a Project Manager and ran Martini’s Miami office. During his career, James has also held positions as an estimator and field superintendent, giving him a unique and comprehensive perspective on the entire construction process.
James has worked all over the U.S. on a wide spectrum of projects. He built three industrial parks, complete with infrastructure and a railroad, on the New Mexico, Mexico and Texas border. He has managed the construction of three million square feet of concrete tilt up warehousing and manufacturing facilities. In Florida, James became a licensed contractor and managed the pre-con and permitting for hi-rise residential towers and interior fit-outs throughout Miami.
James plays an active leadership role in the National Chapter of the AGC. He served on the Steering Committee for CLC and is the incoming Chair of the Project Delivery Forum.
Born and raised in New Mexico, James now lives in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood…an ideal location for a self-proclaimed foodie! When James is not savoring the neighborhood’s bustling restaurant scene, he loves to entertain at home, playing sommelier and showing off his own culinary skills with friends and family. In his free time, James also enjoys traveling, golf and skiing.
I’m living my dream project…which somehow turned into a 15 year nightmare along the way. I’ve been restoring or, should say trying to restore my ’71 LeMans convertible. I can’t wait for the day when I can put the top down, and drive my beautiful wife and three children around in it!
I love hunting, fishing, camping and skiing. One of the toughest things I’ve ever done is hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Karen Babine joins Commodore full time as Accounting Assistant. Up until now, Karen has been working part-time on special projects – helping Accounting; working with Marketing; and managing her most famous project – the flawless execution of our 7th Annual Dodgeball Tournament.
Going forward, Karen will be spending most of her time in Accounting, but we’ve also re-signed Karen’s contract for the 2015 Dodgeball Tournament!
Karen lives in Wilmington with her husband Dan Babine – and their two sons who are in college. Karen says the two kids have been eating their parents our of house and home since returning from school this summer!
Karen spent 16 years working at home, raising their sons. In the run-up to rejoining the workforce, she attended a one-year medical billing program which led to a position as a medical biller for Microsurgical Eye Consultants. She was there for two years, before she fell in love with the people at Commodore.
Phil comes to Commodore from A.J. Martini, where he worked for 15 years. Most of the projects Phil has managed over his career have focused on building construction and renovation. But there are some very unique aspects to his experience that include installing bomb scanners at Logan Airport, elevators in the Sumner and Callahan tunnels, heavy civil work at Deer Island and renovations to Level I and Level II NICUs in occupied hospitals. Phil is a versatile kinda guy!
Born and raised in Kingston, MA, Phil now lives in Haverhill with his wife Lisa and their four children, making the Balboni household a very busy place!
When Phil isn’t on-site managing projects – he’s on the soccer field – or the baseball field – or the basketball court – cheering on his kids – dropping them off – or picking them up – going to the mall – or doing any of the things that come with being the father of four!
Phil is a big supporter of Emmaus, in Haverhill MA, an organization that provides transitional assistance for families and single people needing social services. Phil volunteers his time to prepare and serve meals at Mitch’s House, a part of the Emmaus network that provides emergency shelter for people in need.
We took a week vacation at Hilton Head Island. When it was time to leave, I told my three kids that we’d be leaving a day early, just to get home and relax before going back to work and school the following week. Little did they know, my wife and I had actually taken them out of school for an extra week and were continuing our drive down to Disney World in Florida! They were shocked and we had a great time. What a great memory for all of us!
The challenge of building is what drives me. Finding ways to construct every aspect of the job well is what motivates me.
Daniel comes to Commodore from Wayne J. Griffin Electric, where he was a project engineer. Daniel graduated from Wentworth with a degree in Construction Management. While working at Griffin, he also participated in the first year of the electrical apprenticeship program. According to Daniel, that experience has given him “a firm knowledge of electrical code and a ground floor understanding of electrical building systems.”
Daniel lives in Hyde Park. He moved there when he was two years old and he’s been there ever since. When he was 8, he watched his road getting repaved – saw the oversized machines breaking up old asphalt and shooting it into the back of a dump truck – and knew in that moment – he wanted to spend his life in construction!
During high school, Daniel refined the direction of his career, setting his sights on construction management. During his years at Wentworth, he completed internships with Walsh Brothers and Keville Enterprises.
When Daniel is not working he’s playing sports or watching them. He’s an avid basketball player and a rabid fan of the Boston Celtics.
Daniel says. “I chose Commodore because it’s a dream job for me – working at exactly what interests me most.”
Rob joins Commodore from Fairmont Construction, a New York based construction management firm, specializing in airport restaurants. Rob worked as a senior project manager there, recently completing five restaurants at LaGuardia National Airport, Terminal C.
Before joining Fairmont, Rob worked for 10 years as a senior project manager at Shawmut Design and Construction. During that time, some of his more notable projects included the construction of Nobu 57, Le Bernardin restaurant, and extensive renovations to The Plaza Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria and the Palace Hotel.
Rob also managed the cadet housing renovations at the Mass Maritime Academy. With each of these projects, the pace was accelerated, the coordination was extensive and communication was critical as the designs evolved in the field.
Before joining Shawmut, Rob worked with Clark Construction, based in Bethesda, Maryland. He built the New Performing Arts Center for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He was the Senior Project Manager on the new convention center project for the city of Memphis. Then he moved back to Massachusetts with his new wife to build the US Headquarters for Manulife, adjacent to the Seaport Hotel. That project kicked off renovations throughout the Seaport District. Before leaving Clark, Rob managed the closeout process for Boston’s new Convention Center.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rob has a degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University. He lives in Attleboro with his wife, Keri and their two daughters, Savannah and Avery.
Keri and Rob like to fly fish – especially in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. This year Rob bought new rods and reels for the girls and lessons are soon to follow. The family loves skiing together in the winter. The girls are big into sports – Avery is into track and field and both girls swim competitively. Keri coaches soccer.
Nanette joins Commodore as an Assistant Project Manager. She comes to us from ML McDonald where she has worked as an Assistant Project Manager for the last three years.
Nanette earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego and a Master’s Degree in Construction Management from Wentworth. Nanette explains that it was towards the end of her time at the New School of Architecture and Design when she started collaborating with the school’s construction management department. Her specific experience with design build projects triggered her transition to the world of construction management.
Nanette was born and raised in The Bay Area. She moved to Boston five years ago – but stays in close touch with family on the west coast – visiting at least once every year. Nanette says she finds that Boston and San Francisco have very similar characters – both are very walkable and friendly.
When Nanette isn’t working, she is engaged in several industry committees. She is a member of the MBC and holds a board seat on the 20/30 Club committee. She is also treasurer for the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). Nanette is an avid reader. Right now she’s reading The Martian. She sketches buildings and paints with water colors.
Nanette lives in Boston with her new dog, Nala who she got just three weeks ago. Nala is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel– a large toy breed that looks a little like a mini cocker spaniel. Nala’s already crate and potty trained! And there haven’t been any complaints about barking.
Ashley comes to Commodore from C.E. Floyd, a commercial construction management firm based in Bedford, MA. Ashley worked there for nearly 2 years, as the firm’s Marketing Specialist.
Ashley is a graduate of Holy Cross College, with a degree in History and Math. She is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Quinnipiac College. Ashley says her love for Marketing was sparked by an internship during her senior year in college. Ashley says, “I like telling the story about what a company does – showing its unique aspects and translating its technical capacity into terms that everyone can understand.”
Ashley was born and raised in Duxbury, MA and now lives in Somerville. She has a big family, one that extends all the way to Ireland, which Ashley describes as her favorite country outside the U.S. “Given the opportunity to travel, I would go to Ireland every time.” Closer to home, when Ashley isn’t working or studying, she likes going to the Cape to sail or to take her parents’ two yellow labs for runs on the beach.
Ashley says she was drawn to Commodore by the culture she found here during her interviews and “by the opportunity to get immersed in marketing.”
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife, our son Malcolm and our extended family. I love to mountain bike. Right now, I’m teaching Malcolm how to ride his bike. I’m looking forward to him beating me on the trails in the near future!
Shawn comes to Commodore from EMJ Corporation, a general contractor and construction management firm located in Waltham and focused on retail construction. Shawn was an Estimator there – and before that he worked for 5 years as an Estimator at Bond Brothers. Shawn attended Wentworth, where he studied Architectural Engineering.
Shawn has worked on a variety of projects throughout his career – from the ground-up construction of the $250M Northwest Labs at Harvard University to the renovations at the Emerson College Paramount Theater. In addition, he has worked on government, retail and healthcare projects and says he enjoys the process of estimating because there’s always a new challenge and a variety of opportunities for solving problems.
When Shawn’s not working, you can usually find him on the Lacrosse field, cheering on his son Leighton, who’s a middie for the Hudson Hawks. Shawn’s daughter Kylie is a senior in high school and is busy deciding which college she will be attending in the fall. If there’s any time left over after the kids, Shawn spends it renovating his home, room by room. Shawn says “It’s been going on for years. Currently I’m in the kitchen.”
George joins Commodore as a Project Engineer in the C.O.R.E. Training Program. He graduated from UMass Dartmouth with a degree in Civil Engineering.
George has spent the last four years working as a carpenter. His most recent project accomplishment is the completion of The Trap – a bar in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. It opened in April 2015, and according to its owner, the rustic post and beam décor is attracting patrons in droves! George says he has also built and restored some beautiful homes in Rhode Island. He says, “There is tremendous satisfaction for me in bringing someone’s dream house into a reality.”
George was born and raised in Westport, MA and now lives in Somerville. He likes to ski in the winter and sail in the summer. He says, “In the summer, if there’s water, I’m there.” George is also a very good cook, by his own account, which held us all in good stead this past summer when we fired up the Friday Grill!
George says, “Joining Commodore is moving up to the next level of construction for me. I’m looking forward to starting my career in a business that I am passionate about.”
I got started on a career in construction while I was taking a carpentry class back in high school. I realized how much I liked working with my hands. After that my path was clear. I joined the Carpenters’ Union and worked hands-on with the tools for a few year. I wanted to continue to advance my career so I decided to go to Wentworth Institute of Technology. I joined Commodore in 2007 and now I have over 20 years of experience supervising a wide variety of complex construction projects.
I’ve built hotels, assisted living facilities, institutional and commercial projects. I take-charge in the field. I take responsibility for driving the schedule and providing strong leadership with all my subcontractors. The best part of my job is delivering a project on time with superior quality and making the client happy throughout the process. I love letting the client and the team know when we achieve the Certificate of Occupancy. I love building lasting relationships with different clients, architects, owners and subs.
I like to think that I can bring out the good in people. I try to relate to each person I interact with everyday. A super’s job is very difficult. I try to make it more fun when I can.”
When I’m not working, my favorite hobby is spending as much time as I can with my 4 kids (2 boys, 2 girls), and my wife – a woman I admire most for her amazing strength and courage. Our favorite activity is to travel and to go on great vacations together. Disney is a family favorite, as well as Virginia Beach and the mountains in New Hampshire. This summer we’re looking forward to heading out in the camper and enjoying some family time (and my favorite Oreo cookies!).
Life is short. When presented with a choice, one should always choose the more extravagant option. I admit that it’s not a philosophy that I live consistently, but it’s a good one to aspire to!
Peter Collura believes that home is where the heart – and the kitchen – are. Born, raised and still residing in Waltham, Peter joined the Navy in ’68 and returned four years later to run the bar at the Chateau, a local Waltham landmark. It took less than a year to reconnect with his junior high school sweetheart and to marry her. He opened a night club on State Street, then became part owner of another landmark, the Wal-Lex recreation complex in Waltham. As partners in the business began to retire, Peter and his brother-in-law bought out the original partners and took over running the largest roller skating and bowling alley in the state.
Twenty-five years (and three children) later, Peter and his partner closed the business, leased the land, and embarked on retirement. The plan for Peter was to indulge in the passions he’d put on the back burner for all those years: golfing, cooking, making wine. But Joe Albanese invited Peter to dinner one night to talk about joining his new company. After only a few months, Peter’s retirement was history and a new career was born.
In October 2002, he joined Commodore.
You could be anywhere right now, including retired, what keeps you engaged at Commodore?
I was absolutely bored with retirement. Just because I was fortunate enough to retire, didn’t mean I was old enough to. It was painfully obvious to me from the start that I still needed something worthwhile to occupy my time…and I actually still consider myself semi-retired because I’m only working five days a week. What compels me at Commodore is the variety of projects, the interaction with clients and especially with all the younger employees here. Every day is different. Every project represents unique client service challenges. I enjoy working with people on an individual basis, rather than the 2,500 people I’d see every day at the recreation center. It’s the relationship end of the business that I like. Construction is very different from the recreation business, but people are the same. They want you to keep your word and follow through. That’s what the warranty program is all about.
You’ve raised a family. You’re on your second career and you’ve been active in community service. What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my family, my wife, my three children and an ever-growing number of grandchildren! I’ve also enjoyed my work on the board of directors of GWARC – a non-profit organization that houses, trains and educates people with physical handicaps and special needs. I was on the board for fifteen years and for my last three years I was the President.
What are your favorite things to do when you have free time?
I have a few hobbies. Golf is top on my list. I’m a member of a wine co-op. In a good year we average about fifteen hundred bottles…that’s bottling, not drinking. And I also like to cook.
What’s your best recipe?
I don’t have recipes. For one thing, there’d be too many thousands to count. But mainly, cooking is trial and error for me. I never make something the same way twice. Food’s like life…why repeat the same experience or the same recipe twice? Everything evolves. I don’t understand people who go back to the same place for vacation every year. I feel the same way about cooking. I don’t ever try to make the same thing happen twice.
How do you advise your children to balance their careers and personal lives?
In my first career running the Wal-Lex, I had to schedule myself to come home for two hours every afternoon, so I was there when they got home from school. In business it’s so easy to get carried away with day-to-day operations and not make time for family. Children’s voices aren’t as loud as customers’…they don’t make the same demands on you. So, if you don’t make sure to have some type of daily contact with them, you miss a part of your life that you never get back.
What haven’t you done in your life that you’d like to do?
I’d like to go to Italy during the grape harvest and work at the vineyard.
Was there one life experience in particular you couldn’t wait to tell your first grandchild?
I’m not a storyteller. So, I probably told her a joke…but for all of my grandchildren, the best thing I can do for them is to lead by example.
Tom was born into a family immersed in the construction industry for four generations. He grew up around job sites. He developed a strength in math and science, a love for engineering and a passion for construction. With that combination, the family’s fifth generation in construction was a fait accompli.
Tom attended BC High School, graduated from Wentworth with a degree in Civil Engineering and earned his MBA from Northeastern. His first job, as a co-op, was with Kennedy & Rossi. When he graduated from college he re-joined the firm. Over the next 15 years, Tom progressed through the ranks from field engineer to an officer of the company.
When Linbeck acquired Kennedy & Rossi in 2000, Tom assumed responsibility for client development in the Northeast Region, working mainly with clients in the bio-tech and institutional markets.
In 2003, he joined Commodore.
Why do you gravitate towards the Institutional and Science markets?
There’s a synergy between the markets. The skills, the systems and the knowledge required to succeed in that space all create a barrier to entry for others. Specializing is a benefit…but the real draw for me is the complexity of the technical components. The unique systems are more exciting and challenging. And there’s a second aspect of the institutional market that compels me. It’s the way in which business is conducted. Committees are often involved in the decision making process and I like to work in that kind of inclusive, collaborative way. My style meshes well with the nature of these organizations.
Why did you leave a successful, well-established company to help start a new one?
I had my own construction business in college. Every day, my friend Mark Crowley and I would get out after classes, and start framing and building. That business put me through college, but more than paying the tuition, it was the result of a desire I’ve always had to grow a company from the ground-up. I left Linbeck because it felt like the right time. I had the energy, the skill and the relationships.
What have you found most satisfying about building a company?
Growing it from the ground-up, so we can do things the way we think they should be done. That lets us do good things for our clients and to create a great working environment for our people. For me, it comes down to people. What’s satisfying to me is that the people who come here to work every day, enjoy the experience. Our approach to building is collaborative. When we help a client reach their objectives, everyone benefits, from the building and from the experience. I’m more satisfied when we get a client closer to their ultimate goal, than to the brick and mortar of their building.
What’s the key to Commodore’s success?
Our approach. We look at the big picture…not just the building. We take responsibility for our clients’ overall success. Otherwise, we’d just be one of the crowd, on our way to becoming a commodity. If clients view us as their partner, we’re able to bring our relationships to the table to influence success. At the end of the day, if one of our Life Science clients introduces a new treatment for cancer, and we’ve been an integral part of their team, we all succeed.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m not the kind of guy who can sit and gaze out the window and then come up with a brilliant idea. I have to work things out in my head…consider the options…talk things through. You won’t see me at the opera. I don’t go to plays…I’m more of a…well…physical, thrill-seeker type. I love skiing…driving cars…riding motorcycles and dirt bikes.
I don’t have a favorite book…but, my favorite movie is Young Frankenstein…does that say something about me? I love crowds…being around people…going out with friends on the weekend…camping with my family…sitting around the campfire, smoking a cigar.
I’m an avid soccer player. I’d love to hike Mt Everest one day ….and a week in Barbados would be a dream. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a passion for building and creating things. My father was very handy and I loved to watch him work. The first time I knew that I wanted to have a career in construction was when we had an addition put on our house. I was in 4th grade and I remember how anxious I was to get home from school every day to see the construction progress from the day before. I still feel the same way today, watching a project unfold- become something – knowing I played a part in its success. It gives me a great sense of pride. I try to put myself in my client’s shoes, figuring out what’s really important to them – working out all the kinks and anticipating the problems along the way. There are no duplicate challenges in this business. No two projects are the same. I can’t imagine working in any other field.
Rich comes to Commodore from G. Greene Construction, where he was a superintendent for 12 years. During that time, Rich worked on a wide variety of projects, mostly in the healthcare sector.
Rich and his wife, Diane, spend their free time camping with friends, going fishing and golfing.
Rich says he was drawn to Commodore by the family oriented environment he found here and by his desire to help expand Commodore’s presence in the healthcare sector. “I have an excellent opportunity here to help the company grow – and to expand my own career. I like the challenge of construction. And I welcome the business challenge of broadening the Commodore portfolio of healthcare projects.”
Tom comes to Commodore from Whiting Turner where he worked as a superintendent for over 9 years. Tom has worked on a broad range of projects during his career. His projects include the renovation of the Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Nashua, NH, renovations to the entire interior of the North Shore Mall and a major data center for Boston Scientific, in Natick.
Tom was born in Boston and raised in Natick. He graduated from Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT. Tom comes from a construction family. According to Tom, it was a natural progression for him to get involved in building, too. He got into carpentry when he was in high school. His father has owned a structural engineering firm in Natick for over 35 years and his brother is a PE, working for the firm.
Tom describes himself as a huge sports fan – to the point of being “pretty ridiculous.” He’s also big into NASCAR and bass fishing. He takes his bass boat to Lake Cochituate and occasionally up to the Sebago Lakes in Maine.
Laura joins Commodore as a Project Administrator. She comes to us most recently from MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where she worked for five years as a procurement assistant with the construction group in the Contracting Services Department. In that role, Laura reviewed pay applications, managed payroll reports, and oversaw all the administrative duties for contractual obligations associated with the lab’s construction and maintenance projects.
Prior to her years spent at MIT, Laura was a member of both the A.J. Martini team and the Commodore team, so she is no stranger to the world of construction and we are no stranger to Laura!
Laura has spent her entire career in construction. She started out in the residential kitchen and bath design business and then moved into the realm of commercial construction. She says, “I love building something that I can be proud of and I especially love the team mentality it requires. We’re all in this together and it takes every one of us to make a project successful.”
Laura was born and raised in Melrose and now lives in Lowell. She attended Radford University in Radford, Virginia and lived in Savannah, Georgia for 10 years before returning up North.
Now, when Laura isn’t working, she enjoys snowshoeing in the winter, kayaking in the summer and spin class all year ‘round. She’s an aficionada of the well-crafted day trip – usually to destinations in Maine, like Booth Bay and Ogunquit.
Sean was born and raised in Burlington, Massachusetts. He attended Boston College, where he played varsity baseball and graduated with a degree in Economics. Following college, Sean entered the world of financial services. He took a position as a retirement plan representative for Putnam Investments and became an increasingly active member of the Burlington community.
In 2003, Sean switched gears and joined the Red Sox organization as the Director of Premium Sales, combining his passion for baseball with his affinity for business development. He was on hand for the 2004 World Series Championship that ended the team’s 86 year drought – and landed a championship ring.
Sean says, “The ability of the Sox organization to give back to the community, to invest in Fenway Park and to draft, develop and sign championship players is directly dependent on exceeding aggressive revenue targets,” which is exactly what Sean and his group were able to do from 2003 to 2007.
Sean continued to build on his Red Sox involvement by transitioning to the Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, NESN, and Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR). His role was to establish lucrative marketing partnerships between Fortune 500 brands and FSG Properties. Sean forged successful new partnerships with corporations including WB Mason, Comcast, Old Dominion, iRobot and Prudential.
In 2013, Sean returned to the world of finance, as the Director of Business Development for a financial advisory firm in Burlington. The move also spurred his increased involvement in the town’s government and strategic planning – and particularly in its real estate development. Sean tapped into his extensive network of industry contacts and added new real estate relationships, which eventually led him to an interest in construction management and to Commodore.
Sean is the father of three, a golfer and member of Winchester Country Club.
Paul comes to Commodore Builders from O’Conner Constructors, where he worked as a superintendent for 25 years. During that time, he supervised projects that ranged from the 10-250 Lecture Hall, the largest on the campus of MIT – to the Terminal B Expansion project at Logan Airport, working with the MassPort Authority and American Airlines. He was a also an assistant superintendent on the Reebok World Headquarters project.
Paul is a graduate of Wentworth, with a degree in Construction Management. He was born and raised in Walpole, where he still lives today.
When Paul isn’t working, he enjoys camping in Maine with his son, Matthew and his daughter, McKenzie. The trio hand out near Long Lake and Brandy Pond. Paul’s a huge Bruins fan and follows the Patriots and the Red Sox.
Paul says he joined Commodore because of the diversity of clients and projects in our portfolio. He says, “The environment here exudes energy. It’s a breath of fresh air to work with such an energized and positive team.”
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY which prepared me to expect pretty much anything in life. I moved to Boston to go to college and grew to like the city and the people. I met my wife here and one thing led to another and I’ve been here ever since. I have two kids – a son and a daughter – which helps to sharpen my “conflict resolution” skills and serves me pretty well in my job in the construction industry.
Tina joins Commodore as a Marketing Coordinator. She is a graduate of UMass Amherst, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Tina grew up on the South Shore in the coastal town of Cohasset. When she attended UMass, she was involved in the university’s Marketing Club as well as “Sisters on the Runway”, a club focused on raising awareness around the prevalence of domestic violence. Tina’s work culminated with a successful multi-cultural fashion show where the models were all shapes and sizes and the fashions were designed entirely by the students on campus.
During her junior year, she studied abroad in Rome for a semester. “It was a worth-while experience! If I could do it again, I would in a heartbeat.” When she wasn’t hitting the books, she spent her time seeing the sights, tasting authentic Italian food, and travelling all over Europe. One highlight of her time in Rome was when she attended Pope Francis’ first Papal Audience.
Since graduation, Tina has been living in Newton. When she isn’t working she spends her time hanging out with friends, playing tennis and exercising.
Tina says, “I’m thrilled to working with such a diverse group of people in a position that I’m excited to be in! I have so much to learn from this team.”
Maureen joins Commodore as our Benefits and Contract Administrator. She comes to Commodore most recently from the position of office manager and administrator for her family’s law firm. In that capacity, Maureen was responsible for the daily operation of the firm, including the HR, contract management and overall administrative functions that drove the success of the firm.
Maureen was born and raised in Bedford, MA and lives there still. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine and while she says her heart remains in Maine, she has built a life in Massachusetts that centers on her business, family and volunteer work. There’s also her passion for the craft of making jewelry. Maureen is dedicated to promoting autism awareness and attaches an autism charm to each piece of jewelry she makes. Maureen often speaks about autism and she shares her jewelry with others.
Maureen says, “I am so thrilled to be joining Commodore and to be a part of this exciting team. I just know that together we will be able to work and promote this terrific company – the sky’s the limit!”
Cara joins Commodore as an Assistant Project Manager. She comes to Commodore from the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, where she has worked for the last two years.
During her time at Whiting-Turner, Cara has focused on institutional projects, including the construction of a new academic building, the interior renovations of various college buildings and landscaping renovations at Lafayette College.
Cara graduated from Lafayette College in 2012, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering Studies and a minor in Economics.
Born in New Jersey. Cara has lived in many different states, including Illinois, Vermont, and most recently Pennsylvania, before moving up to Boston to join Commodore.
When Cara isn’t working, she enjoys traveling, playing tennis, listening to country music and watching football.
Matt joins Commodore from Chapman Construction as an Assistant Project Manager. Prior to Chapman, Matt worked as an Estimator in the corporate interiors group at Lee Kennedy.
Matt is a graduate of Wentworth, with a degree in construction management. He was born and raised in Canton, MA and has been fascinated with construction for as long as he can remember. His father is a Senior Building Engineer and his brother still works at Chapman as a Project Manager.
In addition to being surrounded by a construction family, Matt says the thing he likes most about building is the transformation process from a blank slate to a finished product. He says, “I like knowing the inner workings of the building process and understanding how everything comes together. My favorite time is when, at the end of the grind, you see the looks of amazement on the faces of the clients who love their new space and who can’t believe we pulled it off!”
When Matt isn’t working, he plays multiple sports – hockey most of the time. He goes to the gym, plays soccer and has a penchant for cleaning his car. During the winter he likes to snowmobile and snowboard and enjoys any sport that gets him outside and active.
Pete comes to Commodore from Walsh Construction of Illinois, where he worked for 11 years. As the Northeast Regional Safety Director, Pete was based in the firm’s Boston office. He led a team of safety managers, covering projects from Maine to West Virginia. Pete was involved in Walsh’s projects from the estimating phase right through to the completion of the projects. He developed site specific safety plans, as well as the firm’s own corporate safety program.
Pete grew up in a construction family and graduated from Keene State College with a degree in Occupational Safety. He says, “My father’s side of the family all work in construction. My mother’s side is all doctors, so she was a little disappointed when none of us went in that direction. I even applied to the pre-med program at UMass, just to please her – but then I ended up getting accepted – and broke her heart when I turned them down. I take after my father’s side.”
Pete lives in Nashua, NH with his wife and their two children. When Pete isn’t working he likes to hike, camp, climb mountains and anything else he can do outside, like fishing and snow shoeing.
Pete’s looking forward to the opportunities that await him at Commodore. He says, “I’ve always worked for big, mature companies. What I’m really looking forward to at Commodore are the challenges that come with being a young, growing company. I want the experience of being part of this organization as it grows and helping to develop a safety culture that’s so necessary to succeed in today’s market.”
Paul joins Commodore as a Project Engineer.
Paul is a graduate of Fitchburg State College, with a degree in Construction Management. Paul says he has always wanted to make his career in construction industry. Growing up, he helped his dad complete a myriad of home improvement projects. During summer breaks from school he built decks for a home improvement company and worked at a hardware store, learning the tools of the trade.
After graduation from college, Paul joined the national heavy civil contractor Walsh, as an assistant surveyor. In that role he worked on the University Ave Bridge project in Lowell, providing the line marks for steel girders and concrete forms and identifying the new and existing utilities for tie-ins.
From there, Paul joined Barletta and was assigned to the Route 128 add-a-lane project in Needham. Paul says those experiences – ranging from site layout to crane assembly and disassembly – taught him the inner-workings of heavy civil projects and the complexities of subcontractor and owner interactions.
Paul was born and raised in Chelmsford and lives there still. He’s the oldest of four siblings. Throughout high school he played ice hockey and lacrosse. While his team athletic days are behind him, Paul enjoys riding motorcycles. He races dirt bikes on the weekends and in the winter he likes to snowboard.
Tom comes to Commodore from Richard White Sons, where he worked as a superintendent for 13 years. While he was there, he managed projects that ranged from athletic fields to new ground-up construction for clients including Suffolk University, Wellesley College and Watertown Savings Bank.
Tom has spent his entire career in construction. Along the way he’s worked with some Commodore folks, including Rich Healey and Joe Albanese. He says, “Construction runs in the family. My father was a superintendent, as well as four of his brothers. I was destined to follow the family tradition.”
Tom thinks respect is the key attribute that makes a successful superintendent. He says, “Having the respect of your tradesmen and your clients ultimately lead you to success. And you have to earn that respect, from Day One.”
Tom lives in Dunstable with his wife, Karen and their two children, Derek and Jessica. The family loves to ski and snow mobile in the winter. Tom says that since he specializes in building Institutional projects, the summers are reserved for working. But even in the summer, Tom and Karen still manage to get out on their Harley for weekend rides.
Julie joins Commodore as a project administrator. She comes to us from Eversource Energy where she worked as a customer service representative. Prior to Eversource, Julie worked as an administrative assistant at Case Assembly Solutions for 5 years.
In her role in both companies, Julie held a wide range of responsibilities, from customer care and coordination to accounts payable and receivable. Both positions required Julie to switch quickly between tasks, to embrace new technology rapidly and to maintain constant communication within her teams.
Julie says, “Construction is a new industry for me, which is what makes this opportunity so compelling. I’m already familiar with many of the PA responsibilities, but applying them to a new business will be a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
Julie was born and raised in Brockton and recently bought a home in Norton. She graduated from Eastern Nazarene College with a degree in Business Management.
When Julie isn’t working, she likes to spend time with her 2 sons, Jordan and Antonio. This is their first year playing football and Julie is the team mom! On the rare occasions when there’s time left over just for Julie, she does tap and jazz for dance and exercise.
Steve joins Commodore most recently from Skanska where he was a Senior Vice President for fourteen years. Prior to Skanska, Steve climbed the corporate ladder at Gilbane, joining the company as a field engineer and leaving the firm twenty-one years later as a Project Executive.
Over the course of the last 35 years, Steve has managed commercial and institutional projects from tenant interior improvements to the $500M Terminal A project at Logan Airport. He was part of the team that built a Brewery in Ohio that occupied 800 acres, with its own power and waste water treatment plants. In today’s dollars that would be closer to a billion dollar project. Steve has done work on the campuses of Brown, Boston University, RISD, Cornell and the University of Connecticut.
In his executive career, Steve has led diverse teams, not just in building projects but in strategic efforts that include the development of project and financial management systems, personnel development, marketing and business development. Steve says, “I’m a big fan of strong leadership. It’s critical to the well-being of the organization and to the growth of the people who make up that organization. There are many different styles of leadership. I’m a firm believer in servant leadership – helping people optimize their personal and professional lives. You have to genuinely care about the best interests of your people – and that’s a core value here that attracted me to Commodore.”
Steve serves on several boards including The BSA Foundation, Youth Build Boston, the ACE Mentoring Program, and the Roger Williams Professional Advisory Board for Construction Management. Steve also works with the Caritas Communities, evaluating properties for upgrades and renovation needs.
Steve was born in Lewiston, Maine and considers himself a Mainer at heart. But he has lived in Southern New England since he was 12 years old. Steve and his wife, Deborah now live in North Attleboro. They have three children.
Steve is an active guy, on and off the job. When he isn’t working, he plays in a men’s organized soccer league. He plays tennis and when the temperature is above 45 degrees he rides his road bike. He and Deborah like to travel when the opportunity arises. The couple has visited England, France, and Hawaii and spend time in Florida during the winter.
John joins Commodore most recently from Bonanno Construction, Inc. where he worked as the head of the 50-year-old masonry firm’s construction division. During his time there, John reinvigorated the growth of Bonanno’s residential and commercial business in the Route 128 region. Prior to Bonanno, John was a project manager at Barr & Barr. During his years there, John focused on academic projects, including the $20M UMass Lowell parking garage and the Tufts New England Medical Center exterior façade renovation.
John’s entire career has been spent in the construction industry. He says, “I started working as a mason with my father when I was 16 years old and I never looked back. I learned a lot during that time, including how many demands one Italian immigrant father can put on his son…but that’s also a big part of what shaped me.”
John eventually left the family business and spent the next 17 years working with the general contractor Consolidated Contracting, first as a superintendent and later as a partner. The firm focused mainly on downtown tenant interior work, but also had an uninterrupted presence on the campus of Harvard University for 14 years running up to the recession in 2009.
John graduated from Suffolk University. He was born and raised in Medford, MA. Today he lives in Belmont with his wife, daughter, son and puppy.
John says, “Family is the most important thing to me in the world. We love to travel together and we’re already looking forward to a trip to Disney this winter.” John is an avid musician. He’s been playing the drums since he was 3 years old. And in his spare time he coaches his kids’ hockey and softball teams.
Growing up, my mother was an executive chef and my father worked in construction. Even before I was old enough to have a real job, I spent my school vacations and summers helping out in the kitchen at my mother’s job. I thought I was destined to become a chef myself and while I love to cook, that’s not how things turned out. When I was a little older I also worked as a laborer for my father on the weekends, cleaning up his jobsites, hauling trash and even swinging a sledge hammer every once in a while to take down a wall or two. Little did I know, that was the beginning of my career in construction.
It was pure chance that 15 years ago a recruiter sent me on an interview for an Office Management position at a construction firm. I think they hired me right away after hearing about my experience as a laborer – even though it had nothing to do with the position. Regardless of how I got there, I had found my home in the construction industry. I’ve worked in many roles throughout the years, including office management, facilities, HR, marketing, business development, internal operations and IT. I have a passion for figuring things out and getting things done. Give me a problem and I’ll find the solution.
I’ve always worked hard and played hard. But I found that the playing hard part of the equation was tipping the scales. That’s how I came to be a woman in Long-Term Recovery from addiction to alcohol. With the support of the amazing leadership at Commodore, I began my journey into sobriety in August, 2010. When I returned to work after treatment, I didn’t keep my recovery a secret. I didn’t know what to expect from people. It didn’t matter to me, really. I knew only that I was not ashamed of my recovery. It was the hardest and best thing I ever did. And to my pleasant surprise, I received nothing but support and admiration.
Today I’m a Recovery Advocate and Co-Founder and Director of a non-profit organization called Shining Strong, started by my best friend (www.shiningstrong.org). Our mission is to help women who are suffering from addiction; who are struggling in early sobriety; or are sober and want resources to stay that way. We’re passionate about breaking down the stigma of addiction that keeps so many people stuck and alone. And we’re celebrating the more than 23 million Americans who are currently living in long-term recovery. I am also the Co-host of a weekly pod-cast about recovery from alcoholism and addiction, called The Bubble Hour (www.thebubblehour.com), which was created to provide hope and inspiration to people who are wondering about their drinking; struggling to get sober; or who are sober and want to stay that way. For me, one of the greatest gifts of sobriety is being able to help other people.
Alicia comes to Commodore from American Construction, a commercial firm that specializes in the construction of fast-track projects in the retail and corporate space. During her two years at American, Alicia assisted American’s estimating and project management teams.
Alicia attended Johnson & Wales University and graduated with a degree in Marketing Communications. Following graduation she relocated to Maryland and embarked on a career in the marketing field. Alicia relocated back to Boston, where her career took an unexpected turn, right into the world of construction. Alicia said she fell in love with construction “instantly”. She says, “It was so much more tangible and gratifying than anything I had ever done before. I saw the results of my work so concretely…and so quickly. I knew then that I would always work in construction.”
Alicia was born in Springfield, MA but she has lived in Saugus since she was 5 years old. When she’s not working, you can find her playing on a softball team or travelling to her favorite state, California. She says, “I really like the warm weather, but my heart is in New England.”
Jason started his career as a civil engineer for Los Angeles County, then spent two years building homes throughout the east coast for Blu Homes before coming to Commodore. After working in the public sector and then for startup company, Jason decided it was “time for the pendulum to return to the center. I love the productivity of commercial construction, and the strong process and communication that it entails. It’s very satisfying to look at multiple new projects each year and successfully turn them over to the clients, providing a service that they value and creating a relationship that both sides can benefit from.”
Born and raised in Agawam, MA, Jason graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in Civil Engineering. When Jason graduated in 2003, the state of California was recruiting civil engineering grads nationwide. One of the enticements for relocation (other than the weather, beaches, sunshine, etc) was the opportunity to earn his P.E. in two years, instead of the four years required in Massachusetts. Jason took the bait and figured he’d be out in California for exactly two years. Ten years later…he and his wife decided it was time to return to their roots in New England.
Jason and his wife, Nicole, live in Foxboro. Jason and Nicole are both pursuing their masters degrees currently. They manage multiple rental properties together, and spend the small remainder of their free time being active and traveling.
From the time that I could walk, I had a passion for building, creating, and using my imagination. My “projects” (I was told) always stood out from the other children’s. When they would build a tower with their blocks, I would build a skyscraper. I never understood the concept of keeping it simple, which would sometimes cause me unnecessary frustration, but my attention to detail and my desire to make my projects stand out from the rest, helped shape me into the person I am today.
Civil engineering and commercial construction was an obvious choice for me, and my specialty has always been from the ground up! I love overseeing every facet of the construction process, and I welcome the challenge of completing each and every project on time. I still have that same eye for detail that I had way back when, and I have never been afraid to speak my mind if I think it’s in the best interest of a project. I take great pride in all of my projects, both professionally and personally, and I want people to know that when it has my name on it, there’s always going to be an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship.
In my spare time, I enjoy going to sporting events with my wife and two sons, and doing projects in and around our home in Duxbury. I am most proud of my custom cedar and granite fence that I designed and built along with my custom cedar trellises. I also have a passion for wood cutting, landscape and interior design, masonry, cooking on my smoker, and riding my Vespa.
Ryan comes to Commodore from D.C. Beane, a Boston-based construction management firm focused on the biopharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.
Ryan grew up in the construction business. His father owned a residential construction company and Ryan worked for him during the summers and throughout his first year after graduation from Wentworth. During his time in college, Ryan also completed 3 internships at William A. Berry.
When Ryan isn’t working on site, you might find him working in his dad’s shop, building cabinets and furniture. He also likes to carve and turn wood. He especially enjoys making wooden bowls.
When he was four years old Ryan went to see the concrete trucks pouring a pool at a home his father was building. He was hooked from that day on, and remained focused throughout school on pursuing his career in construction.
Ryan says, “I like the critical nature of the biotech projects I’ve built. I enjoy the complexity of these projects and the opportunity to solve problems I encounter along the way. These projects always have tight time frames and it’s satisfying to complete them on time – against the odds.”
Susan joins Commodore as a Project Manager working in the Institutional Orbit.
Susan has a master’s degree in Civil Engineering and began her career working at Worcester Polytechnic Institute as a Facilities Manager. She was managing a full spectrum of construction projects, from labs and office renovations tot he historic restoration of Alden Memorial Hall. Her work caught the eye of Peter and Paul Martini as they were about to embark on the historic restoration of Matthew’s Hall on the quad at Harvard University. The opportunity to participate in the restoration of this iconic structure was too good for Susan to pass up and so began her 10-year career with AJ Martini.
During her decade with AJ Martini, Susan managed the construction of the Top of the Hub Skywalk, the historic restoration of the dome at MIT, extensive renovations to the interior spaces at 404 Wyman Street and the construction of the 98,000 SF Belmont Hill School Jordan Athletic Center.
At the conclusion of the Belmont Hill project, Susan took time off to raise her two children, Paul and Quinn.
Susan, her husband Paul and their two children live in Wayland. They spend winter weekends skiing on Okemo in Ludlow, Vermont. Susan is a former women’s team tennis player, an avid cross-fitter and a yoga enthusiast.
Susan says, “Joining Commodore feels like I’m returning from an extended vacation because so many of the people here are my former co-workers. It’s so great to re-connect and to re-start my career.”
Chris joins Commodore as an Assistant Project Manager from Vantage Builders, where he worked for 3 years as a Project Coordinator. In that role, Chris was responsible for the estimating, the document control and the closeout of projects. During his time with Vantage, Chris has worked on projects ranging from small tenant fit-outs to large, out-of-the-ground additions, labs and clean rooms. He has worked for clients including Millipore, Omnicare and Vanderweil Engineers.
Chris is a 2010 graduate of UMass Amherst, with a degree in Social Thought Political Economy. We aren’t sure how that major leads to a life in the construction business – so, Chris explains. “When I graduated from college, I started working as a laborer, since there was no career path coming out of Social Thought. Within a year, I became a Project Coordinator, working with Vantage. I just got into it. I fell in love with construction. And now I’m pursuing my Master’s Degree in Construction Management at Wentworth.
Chris was born and raised in Walpole – and now lives in Norwood. When he’s not working or studying, Chris likes to play basketball twice a week in a men’s league. He spends time at the gym. He goes to Patriots games with his family and he is continually renovating the old commercial steel building that he lives in. Chris says, “My grandfather’s brother constructed the building for my grandfather’s electronics business, back in 1969. I’ve added a suspended ceiling, more windows and doors and replaced all of the finishes. It feels great to bring life back into the building.”
Kara joins Commodore as our newest Proposal Manager. She comes to us from A/Z Corporation, a construction management firm focused on the health care and life science sectors. Kara was A/Z’s Marketing Coordinator and spent the first four years of her career there. In her capacity as coordinator, Kara was responsible for proposals, RFQ responses, marketing materials and event planning.
Kara was born and raised in Wayland, MA. Growing up, Kara doesn’t recall too much talk about construction around the dining room table, even though her grandfather founded A/Z and her uncle took over the reins in the late ‘90s. Kara and her older brother Michael spent their childhood years playing soccer and hanging out with their friends.
Then came college. Kara headed to Northeastern University where she graduated in 2011 with a degree in Communication Studies. During her time at Northeastern, Kara became completely immersed in the Husky culture. She played intramural sports, enjoyed exploring Boston and spent a semester abroad on the Gold Coast of Australia. Unbeknownst to her, the construction gene had seeped into her DNA and upon graduation, Kara joined A/Z and fell in love with the business of construction.
Today Kara lives in South Boston. She’s an avid skier. She still follows hockey. She’s passionate about dancing and is a regular concert goer.
Kara joins Commodore’s marketing team ready to hit the road running. She says the passion she sensed from Commodore’s marketing team instantly rubbed off on her and, as she puts it, “I couldn’t wait to be a part of that culture!” And we couldn’t wait to make that happen!
John comes to Commodore from Limbach Company, a mechanical contractor based in Woburn. During the time that John worked with Limbach, he was a Project Manager and CAD Coordinator. Prior to joining Limbach, John was a Project Manager at N.B. Kenney. The experience he gained working with both mechanical contractors has given John a detailed knowledge of the installation of MEP systems and the ability to streamline and perfect mechanical designs for constructability.
John works closely with the entire Operations team to ensure the quality of our MEP delivery to clients. John knows the John Hancock Tower inside and out from his work on multiple mechanical projects there. He was the MEP Liaison for the 600,000SF EMC headquarters and he worked on the 300,000SF Newton North High School, right in our backyard.
John lives in Holden – north of Worcester, with his wife Kari and their 5 children – it’s a very busy household. The whole family snowboards. Once the snow melts, the family takes to the water, on their boat moored in Marblehead Harbor. John golfs, mountain bikes, plays Frisbee golf and restores furniture in partnership with his wife, who is an artist (and superb cook).
John says he chose to join the Commodore team because his passion for building and for providing high quality services to clients is in sync with Commodore’s mission – and he adds, “I feel at home in the culture here. The most important thing to me personally is my family – and I feel the same kind of family culture here, that’s essential to me in my professional life.”
Dan joins Commodore from Barr & Barr, where he’s been working as a project engineer. He will be joining our Strategic Projects Group as an assistant project manager.
Prior to working at Barr & Barr, Dan was a project manager for Homes for our Troops, a national firm that builds specially adapted homes for veterans who were severely wounded, post-9/11. In his capacity as a project manager, Dan worked with multiple general contractors simultaneously, maintaining accountability for construction, from initial site work to certificate of occupancy. He travelled nationally, completing a total of 23 homes and meeting all of the veterans who the homes were built for. Dan says, “Meeting the guys was one of my favorite parts of the process. I loved hearing their back stories, all about their sacrifices and knowing we were giving them back a little bit of their independence by providing them with new home.”
Dan has spent the last 10 years of his career in the real estate and construction industry. Following UMass Boston, Dan joined JD Powers Builders, based in Natick. He managed high-end residential interior fit out, roofs, decks and additions. From there he moved to Nationwide REO Brokers, an asset management firm that manages the marketing and repairs of foreclosed properties. Dan says, “In that position, I saw every type of property there is…and I learned in minute detail about building systems…and everything that can go wrong.”
Dan grew up in Whitman, MA and was raised in a real estate household. His mom is a broker and many of his friends growing up have made their careers in the trades. Today Dan lives in Cambridge. When he isn’t working, Dan likes to travel, ski, play golf and spend time on the Cape. He is also pursuing advanced studies at Wentworth.
Chris comes to Commodore from A.J. Martini, where she worked for almost 14 years, in many different capacities. Chris started her career with Martini in the Accounting Department – first in corporate accounting and then project accounting. She took on the responsibilities of office manager and then full time administrative support for Paul Martini. All the while, she continued to manage project accounting for the firm’s Florida office. Chris will take on the role of Accounting Manager here at Commodore.
Chris graduated from Assumption College with a degree in Accounting. She was born in South Hampton Beach, NY, where her father was stationed during the Viet Nam war…and then she moved with her family to Reading, MA, where she finished growing up. Today Chris lives one town over, in Wakefield, with her husband Mike and their three children. Chris says it’s a busy, fun household. All three kids play ice hockey and Dad coaches, so the sport consumes a lot of the family’s time. It’s not untypical to have seven games in a weekend, but according to Chris, they enjoy every moment of it.
Chris is an avid reader, always looking for new book suggestions. She loves to bake – and makes a mean chocolate chip cookie. She skis with her family, but nothing makes her happier than sitting in a beach chair in the sand, with a book in her lap and an umbrella drink by her side!
Jim Hennelly joins Commodore as our Director of Safety.
Prior to joining Commodore, Jim worked for National Grid on the Commercial Point facility LNG upgrade in Dorchester. That’s the famous painted tank where a containment system is being built to keep LNG from escaping into the water or highway if the tank ever ruptured. Jim says, “Keeping the tank safe, along with Dorchester Bay, was quite a project. We couldn’t risk any vibration for fear of the tank failing. The stakes were very high and so were the safety measures taken. Every single lift had to be approved by a registered engineer. They’re spending a lot of money to create an engineering fete that protects the environment and maintains an uninterrupted view of the largest copy righted piece of art work in the United States.”
Jim will be working closely with our Safety Manager, Pete Duda to implement the industry’s best safety practices.
Jim has decades of experience maintaining safe sites in the field and working within corporations to raise safety awareness. He started his safety career on the Big Dig, working for Perini Corp. That’s where he first met Pete Duda.
Over the course of his career Jim went on to manage Dominion Energy’s billion dollar environmental upgrades to the Brayton Point facility in Somerset, MA.
Jim lives on a lake in Milton, NH with his wife Lori and their three dogs. When he’s not working he’s on the lake – either boating or skating – and then there’s always golf.
Jim describes himself as having a Collaborative leadership style. He says, “There are no bad ideas. Everyone needs to contribute and we will consider everything because there’s a kernel of truth in all ideas. From interns to execs I want people to speak up! Another set of eyes always helps.”
From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I love animals. But then I took Organic Chemistry, a course famous for making or breaking your chances of going on to Pre-Med/Pre-Vet. I passed the course, but it was torture. I continued on my path by getting some hands-on experience working in a veterinary hospital and discovered that being a vet just wasn’t for me…sick animals broke my heart…so, instead, I made a promise to myself. I’m going to adopt as many animals as possible and give them all a good home!
In my next life I’d love to sail in the America’s Cup Challenge and maybe, just maybe, fall in love with one of my handsome crew members…or better yet, the owner of the boat!
Current Industry Involvement
• Board of Directors – President for SMPS Boston
Brian joins Commodore as a Construction Manager, working in our Life Science Group. Brian comes to Commodore from Jacobs Engineering, where he has worked for the last 8 years as a Senior Project Construction Manager. In that capacity, Brian led teams in the execution of projects in the Life Science and Process Construction industries. Brian says he’s worked in “mines and minerals, oil and gas, power and energy and maritime building.” He says “they all sound like very different sectors, but they’re all tied together by one common thing – process. At the end of the day, the processes for beer making and cellular therapies are very similar – it’s just the end product that differs greatly.”
Brian has worked for a wide range of clients, from Proctor & Gamble to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme and Pfizer. He’s worked all over the world, in countries like Korea, Spain, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, Canada and the Azores…to mention just a few.
Brian was born and raised in Brooklyn, Connecticut. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering. Today he lives in Sutton with his wife Joanna and their three children. The couple have a busy household that revolves mainly around the kids’ activities – from dance and piano, to saxophone, basketball, baseball, theatre and ski racing.
Brian and Joanna both play golf. Joanna enjoys the beach. Brian hunts and fishes both locally and in Maine, where he has kept his ties since early college days. Brian says “I’ve always loved New England. My grandparents had a 100-acre farm in Northern New Hampshire.” The Johnsons are keeping up the family tradition by maintaining a recreational farm at home, complete with a vegetable garden and herb garden, 6 pet chickens that give them breakfast – and one dog that gives them early warnings.
Dave Jolin joins Commodore as our new Chief Financial Officer. He comes to Commodore from Gilbane Building Company, where he held the position of Vice President and Senior Regional Controller. In that capacity, Dave was responsible for the financial operation of Gilbane’s New England, Southeast, Florida and Southwest offices.
Dave joined Gilbane 16 years ago. He worked his way through the Operations, Support Operations and Financial Management functions of the organization. That experience gave Dave a deep and valuable understanding off all facets of construction management.
Dave graduated from Providence College with a degree in Accountancy. He earned his MBA from Bryant University – attending school at night. He remembers being in a Marketing class back in those days, when his pager went off announcing that his wife Suzanne was in labor, ready to deliver their first daughter, Maddie.
Now, Dave is excited to help guide our rapidly growing firm. He says, “Commodore’s growth is providing exciting opportunities for many people, including me. In all of my meetings with Commodore’s executive team, I felt the strong presence of integrity – something that is absolutely essential to me. Construction is a tough industry – and your word is all you have.”
Dave was born and raised in Rehoboth, MA. He lives there with his wife Suzanne and their four children. Dave describes his family as a collection of ships passing in the wind – with never a dull moment. He says, “It’s absolutely crazy…proms, socials, basketball, soccer, football, track. The sports seasons never end.”
When Dave isn’t working, he watches his kids play sports. He says, “I thoroughly enjoy watching them grow and succeed, each in their own way.”
Krista joins Commodore as an assistant project manager. Krista graduated from Wentworth, with a degree in Construction Management. But her connection to construction began way back. She was 10, working with her uncle Steven, pulling staples out of the exterior of a residential renovation. From there, her responsibilities grew to include interior labor, painting, scaffolding and shingling! It wasn’t glamorous work, but it was a powerful catalyst for a career in construction. In high school she took three years of carpentry and set her college sights on Wentworth. She completed three consecutive internships with William A. Berry during those college years.
Despite the down economy when she graduated in 2009, Krista was hired by Consigli as a project engineer. She worked on a series of laboratory fit-outs for Novartis and BioMed Realty and then in 2013 Krista moved to A/Z Corporation. She worked as the lead project engineer for the $30M Schneider Electric project, a mixed manufacturing, exterior and office renovation.
Krista was born and raised in Cambridge. She played baseball growing up and switched to softball when she was 13. She played varsity softball all four years in high school and again at Wentworth. Krista recalls her single mom Lori, tirelessly shuttling from one field to another, getting Krista and her brother to their games, often in different towns. Krista says, “Sports was a big part of our lives growing up.” Today Krista roots for the Red Sox and even worked at Fenway starting in 2004, the year the Sox won the World Series Championship.
When Krista isn’t working, she plays darts, turns wooden pens on her personal lathe at home and still likes to play softball. She also plays Fantasy Football with her brother, Scott and with her fiancé, Nicole.
Jonathan joins Commodore from Cambridge Architectural, a manufacturer of decorative metals. While at Cambridge Architectural, Jonathan was responsible for managing multiple projects, nationwide.
Jonathan attended Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD. He graduated with a degree in Politic Science.
Born and raised in Simsbury, CT, Jonathan now lives in Southie. Jonathan is a fisherman, a golfer and a physical fitness enthusiast. He’s also a foodie and a football fan.
Growing up, Lauren wanted to be a journalist, but when it came time for college, her father, a life-long entrepreneur, would only pay for Babson. Any place else, she was on her own. So she put journalism aside, graduated with a dual degree in organizational behavior and communications… without debt…and with a newfound taste for business.
Lauren joined Ford Motor Company right out of school. She became the first female field manager on the East Coast, before trading-in cars for a career in the nascent days of the computer graphics industry. Her small firm was gobbled up by DuPont, where she spent a few more years as a European market manager.
Done with the international commute, she joined Jack Morton, an IPG company focused on experiential brand communications for Fortune 500 companies. Eight years later, she joined the emerging brand practice at Continuum, an industrial design firm.
When Lauren met Joe Albanese, she wasn’t looking for a new career, but he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse…to help steer his new company, in an industry new to her, and with unlimited potential. Joe was looking for someone from outside the construction industry, with a fresh perspective. The time was right for a new challenge. In January, 2005, Lauren joined Commodore…
How is your experience at Commodore different from when you worked for a Fortune 100 company?
Big corporations invest big money in training. That’s great when you’re right out of school. I wasn’t steering the ship, that’s for sure. How could I? I didn’t know anything except what I’d read in books But the training I got at Ford was priceless. It set the trajectory for my career. Today, I’m a student of the construction industry, but now I have a reservoir of experience to draw from. It’s incredibly gratifying, both personally and professionally, to be involved in so many facets of an organization. My ideas, good or bad, can be measured in moments; results are immediate and they make a difference. It’s intense. There’s no anonymity. It’s accountability in the extreme.
What impact does your role in Organizational Development have on Commodore’s culture?
Organizational Development is about molding a company’s values and attitudes, so the culture that results is healthy and able to adapt to market challenges. And we’ve had plenty of them in recent years. Everything I do is geared towards developing an open culture that’s focused on learning and performance. Culture is potent. It forms leadership on all levels of the organization. It determines the goals we set and the way we pursue them. Commodore can’t ever be “just as good as…” We have to be better. That’s why we spend so much time focused inside, on our people, on their career development. They need the skills and knowledge to be excellent and to feel fulfilled in their work.
What strikes you most about working in the construction industry?
How much I love it. That’s what strikes me most. Almost a decade into my career here, the complexity of the industry still amazes me. So many spheres of influence. I didn’t bring any preconceptions with me about how business here should be done. Joe didn’t want business-as-usual for Commodore. That’s why he hired me. Having permission to do things differently is a rare and exhilarating charter for me…as much today as it was the day I started.
Which part of your brain functions best?
I’ve got the broad brush and the magic wand going. I suspect that makes the engineers around here a little crazy. I have to work harder at visualizing the tiny details to make sure big concepts actually happen. I think my brain’s pretty integrated…but it’s my gut I really trust.
What energizes you?
My family. For me, nothing’s been more complex or rewarding than watching my sons grow. I’m doing more watching than instructing these days, as they launch into adulthood…and marveling at how fast they’ve become citizens of the world.
When are you happiest?
I’m happiest when I’m with my family at our home in Maine, on the Schoodic Peninsula, near Acadia. I love cooking and looking out at the Bay. I’ll cook non-stop for a day and we’ll have food for a week. It’s so remote up there, you could stand naked on the porch, playing the saxophone and nobody would ever see or hear you.
What one thing can’t you live without?
After my family, everything is trivial. But champagne does comes to mind.
Roger comes to Commodore from Tishman, where he built the historic boutique Ames Hotel and constructed a 2-phased 200,000 SF project for Verizon, at 185 Franklin Street.
Before joining Tishman, Roger was a lead superintendent at Payton for almost 14 years. During that time, he worked on a number of very visible projects on the Boston skyline – including the 500,000 SF build-out for Blue Cross Blue Shield’s headquarters in the iconic Landmark Building on the Fenway and the build-out for State Street Bank’s new headquarters at One Lincoln Plaza.
Dating all the way back to his years in high school, Roger was focused on becoming an architectural draftsman. He got into the work force – attended Wentworth and Northeastern at night – worked by day – raised a family – and built a reputation as a top notch super in Boston.
Roger was born in Canada. When he was 8 years old, his parents moved the family of 4 boys to Waltham, where the spent the rest of his youth. He settled in Newton over 30 years ago and, according to Roger, has no intentions of moving again.
When Roger isn’t on a job site, he’s probably at this cottage in Falmouth – where he boats and fishes from April to September. No matter where he is, he manages to play his acoustic guitar just about every day and occasionally takes the MGB he restored out for a spin.
According to Roger, “I’ve known Joe Albanese since 1984. His work ethic is like no one else’s. His passion reverberates wherever he is. That’s the kind of energizing environment – and the kind of family environment – that I want to be a part of. Helping to build a company is fun. I’m glad the timing finally worked out so I can be a part of that at Commodore.”
Elena comes to Commodore from Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC), a firm that focuses on planning and interior design for independent schools, higher education, athletic facilities and the life sciences sector. During her three years with ARC, Elena prepared proposals and qualification packages, managed photography and planned the firm’s corporate events. Prior to ARC, Elena co-founded a boutique PR firm called 5s Public Relations that specialized in fashion, life style and hospitality.
Elena was born and raised in Kazakhstan and immigrated to Florida with her family when she was nine years old. After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, Elena moved to Boston to start her own PR firm and eventually settled in the Back Bay. Elena likes to run. She recently took up mountain biking. She likes to travel and to visit friends, especially in New York City and Florida. Elena speaks fluent Russian and is including a trip back to Russia in her future travel plans.
Elena chose to join Commodore after she met with the Marketing team, felt the chemistry and sensed the opportunity for professional growth. She says, “After I accepted Commodore’s offer, I kept hearing really positive feedback from people in the industry who had experience working with Commodore or knew someone who had. It confirmed that I made a good decision and I’m excited to get to work!”
Barbara Levesque is the first of our new colleagues to join Commodore from A.J. Martini. She has been with AJM for over 8 years. She began as Martini’s receptionist – but that didn’t last for long. She moved into Marketing for Martini, where she was able to apply the same skills she had developed while managing the product catalog for Woodcraft Supply. That was where she worked for 18 years – before the company moved to West Virginia.
Barbara has always worked in the construction industry. Her grandfather restored houses in Maine. Her uncle worked for Beaver Construction. Barbara’s husband, Rich, works for Window Film Depot – a subcontractor located in Marietta, Georgia who Commodore has worked with in the past. Rich is at Ground Zero in NYC this week, working with the MTA to install security film on a new building there.
Barbara and Rich live in Woburn. They have a daughter and son-in-law who live in Natick with their son, Tye. Tye was the first grandchild and has become the Mr. Personality in the family. Barbara and Rich also have a son and daughter-in-law living in Raymond, NH, with their three children, Aynalem, Dinkenesh, her sister and their youngest, Walter. Aynalem and Dinkenesh are from Ethiopia. They were adopted when they were 2 and 4 years old and have been flourishing since then. Barbara is convinced that her granddaughter Aynalem will be a Supreme Court justice some day and Dinkenesh will take over the reins from Oprah Winfrey! Walter’s favorite toys are his father’s tools…so the construction dynasty lives on. It won’t surprise you to learn that Barbara and Rich are crazy-devoted grandparents!
When Barbara isn’t churning out new business marketing proposals, you might find her making porcelain dolls. She says the little girl in her never grew up! Barbara loves doing crafts with her grandchildren, too.
Adam joins Commodore from Kinetics. While there, Adam managed projects including ones for Genzyme, MIT Lincoln Labs, UMass Lowell and Skyworks Solutions.
Adam is a graduate of Buffalo State with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He joined a consulting engineering firm right our of college, working as a mechanical designer. He got into the construction side of the business when he joined The Kirlin Group as a project manager focused primarily on lab construction.
Adam says he loves the challenge that comes with every day being different in the business of building for Life Sciences. “My passion comes from learning something new every single day. I get a deep sense of pride from completing a complex project and knowing that I’m a stronger project manager for having finished it.”
Adam was born in Mount Morris, NY. After college he moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. Two years he moved to Boston and 10 months ago his family joined him in their new home. Adam and his wife Kelly have two children and the family is expecting number 3 in November!
There isn’t much spare time with two small kinds and one on the way – but Adam is a big golfer who still finds time to work around their home, doing remodeling and landscaping, which he insists on doing all himself.
While I may be a fairly recent addition to Commodore, I have grey hair and many years of Construction Management experience (I have been introducing myself as the “new, old guy”). But the vitality and enthusiasm of the whole Commodore crew continuously keeps me excited and motivated. I enjoy coming to work each day. The group is the epitome of a “Team.”
In both my personal life and past employment, I have had the opportunity to travel and certainly have a bad case of “wanderlust”. My two daughters (my pride and joy; my best friends) and I have been on cross country driving trips, as well as excursions to Europe and Asia. They kid me that someday my retirement home is going to be a Winnebago – and I don’t think they’re wrong.
I’m crazy about golfing…any free time or any chance I get you can find me out on the golf course. Last year I missed a hole-in-one by 4 inches…you can bet I’ll be out there with a vengeance again this year…for the bragging rights!
John comes to Commodore most recently from Wise Construction, where he’s built some pretty cool projects, including the research lab facility for whales at the New England Aquarium. That was an occupied renovation – occupied by fish and crustaceans – white lobsters, blue lobsters and fish of all kinds. And of course, the very sensitive scientists who study them! John had free access to the entire aquarium for three months and would take his youngest son along on the weekends to roam around while he supervised the construction upstairs.
Before joining Wise, John worked at A.J. Martini for 12 years, on projects that included Mount Vernon House, an assisted living facility; an out-of-the-ground service building for York Ford in Saugus; and a fossil research lab at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. John’s got a big sweet spot for building that ranges from tenant interior fit-ups to large, technical renovations – with the common thread being their occupied nature. John says, “I’ve worked around the elderly, the sick, sensitive scientists and of course, the fish – they all have different personalities and they all require careful attention.”
John was born and raised in East Boston. He lives in Wilmington now with his wife Lisa and their sons.
John says he chose to join Commodore because of the people here. He says, “It seems more like a family here. I’m looking forward to being part of something special, instead of just being a number somewhere else. When it comes to building, I get satisfaction from starting with a concept on a piece of paper and building it. My grandfather was a carpenter and since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to build. Right out of school I started as an apprentice and worked my way through to where I am now.”
Paul completed a very successful internship with our Estimating Department back in the summer of 2013. He left to pursue his Masters in Architecture at Wentworth – and now we’re delighted that he has decided to return! He says, “I’m thrilled to be back at Commodore. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”
Paul also achieved his undergraduate degree in Architecture from Wentworth. So, why isn’t he working for an architect? Paul says, “For me, the satisfaction of construction isn’t derived from the design, but from building delivery and execution. I want a stronger connection to the field than I would normally have as a practicing architect. I think my ultimate satisfaction will come from delivering a finished building to a client.”
Paul was born and raised in upstate New York. He moved to Boston to attend Wentworth…and he never went back. When Paul isn’t working he enjoys playing lacrosse and snowboarding with friends.
Born in California and raised in Minnesota, Nancy Martini moved east after college to advance her career in advertising. The plan was to get some New York advertising experience under her belt and then return to fame and fortune in Minnesota.
She landed a job at Dunkin’ Donuts, and began travelling back and forth between their advertising agency’s office in New York and Dunkin’ headquarters in Braintree. After Dunkin’ Donuts, Nancy accepted a management position at Hill Holliday. That’s where she met Paul Martini and that’s when her plan took an unexpected turn.
There would be no going back to Minneapolis. She married Paul and settled into East Coast life. After Hill Holliday, Nancy went on to become a partner in a small publishing firm before finally joining the family construction business in 2001. By that time, she had gained over two decades of advertising and marketing experience.
As Director of Communications for A.J. Martini, Nancy’s role included development of the firm’s communication strategy and marketing materials, business development and administration of Human Resources. As a member of the firm’s Senior Management Committee, she participated in strategic planning for the company and chaired the firm’s training committee.
Nancy graduated with a dual degree in Journalism and Marketing from the University of Minnesota. She co-chairs the Meds & Ed Committee for NEWIRE. She is a member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle and president of Friends of the Notch in Franconia, NH.
On December 4, 2012, Nancy and her company joined forces with Joe Albanese and Commodore Builders…
Is there a particular cause or charity that you believe in strongly?
There are so many great causes. My heart is always with any effort that helps children – but over the last 4 years, I’ve come to deeply admire the work done by the American Red Cross. It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like without the Red Cross. We take them so for granted. If there’s a house fire, the Red Cross shows up. It can be one house in flames or an entire apartment complex. It can be in Japan or LA. It can be one family displaced or a whole community. No matter what the scale of the disaster, the Red Cross shows up. They’re mandated to exist by our government, but they get very little funding from the government. It all comes from private donations. I’ve worked on programs to promote the American Red Cross and to expand the circle of donors. I’ve also been privileged to belong to a group of women called the Tiffany Circle – named after the beautiful Tiffany windows at American Red Cross headquarters, in Washington, DC. We volunteer and organize fund raising events.
If you won a million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with it?
I’d write a nice big check to the American Red Cross and then I would take my family on an adventure in Alaska. The rest I’d put in the bank – but there wouldn’t be much left!
What would you like people to say about you when you’re not in the room?
I’d like them to say, “She must be from Minnesota.” People have a connotation of what it is to be from the mid-west. I like what it means. When I first came here, people would notice my accent. If they thought I was from Minnesota, I liked that. It’s a nice thing to be known for being down to earth.
What kind of a kid were you?
I was a little mischievous, but a saint in front of my parents. I always had a lot to say -had trouble being quiet. I went to parochial school and spent a fair amount of time sitting out in the hall because I was too chatty. I had lots of friends. I liked to eat. The neighborhood ladies loved me because I ate everything, including lima beans and beets. I wasn’t the least bit musical or artistically inclined, unlike the rest of my family. I always sat in the very last row in music class – and was advised by the nuns to sing as softly as I could.
What’s the best gift you ever got?
There are two I remember most…and neither came from my husband, although he has given me some fantastic gifts. The two I’m thinking of came from my two boys, who each gave me an especially unique gift at different times. The gifts themselves were wonderful, but in both cases it was their planning months in advance that was so touching and so unusual for young kids. I was walking through Winchester Center one summer day with my oldest son, Alex. He was about 8 years old. I stopped to admire a necklace in the window of a jewelry store and said how much I liked it. That following Christmas, it was under the tree as a gift from him to me. My youngest, Nick, gave me a very special gift one Christmas when he was about 7 or 8 years old. It was a small, very pretty beaded purse. He bought it for me back in October, at a craft fair at Sunday school. The purses were hand made by women in Africa who were trying to start cottage businesses. He said he knew I would love a gift that helped poor people. I loved the advance planning and cherish the thoughtfulness of those 2 gifts.
What are the three most important things in your life?
My husband and kids are on top of the list. Health – that’s a close second. And I’d say having a sense of humor is third. Humor is a relief – it’s a way of getting through a lot. I don’t know what we would do without it. Life would certainly be tedious. There’s a lot of intelligence involved with being funny. Being able to lighten up and to see the folly of your own ways makes life more tolerable. Like my mother always said, you might as well laugh at yourself, because everyone else is!
Paul started working when he was 12 years old. It was 1963 – and his first project was the St. Brigid School, in Lexington. His mother and father had to drive him to the site. He continued to work during every school and summer vacation, right through college.
He would go on to serve as president of A.J. Martini, Inc., for 35 years. During that time, the Winchester- based, family-owned construction management firm specialized in the private sector of the construction industry, serving clients in the commercial, institutional and healthcare markets.
He graduated from Union College with a degree in Economics and a desire to be independent. He launched a career in finance, joining a big Connecticut bank. He lasted exactly one year in their training program. Banking made him miserable. Building did not.
Paul’s 40 years of industry experience include the restoration of historic Faneuil Hall; the expansion and renovation of Harvard University’s Memorial Hall; and construction of the first phase of the Channel Center project in South Boston.
Paul has played an active role in industry organizations throughout his professional career. He’s served as president of the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts; as a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Designer Selection Board for multiple terms; and on the Massachusetts Convention Center Designer Selection Board.
Paul’s an avid skier and an accomplished golfer. His personal commitment to the community includes active involvement with the Friends of Boston’s Homeless as a member of the board, as well as a past member of the board of Corporators at Wentworth Institute of Technology. He has served on the board of the Winchester Country Club and is currently a member of the board at The Profile Club and a Trustee of New Hampshire’s Holderness School.
On December 4, 2012, Paul and his company joined forces with Joe Albanese and Commodore Builders…
Who are the most influential people in your life?
My father and my wife, Nancy. Nancy’s perspective has been a great settling influence on me. My father brought me up in this industry, in an ethical, hardworking manner. He gave me my ethical direction. He trained me well and I’m determined to be successful, as a result. I grew up in this business watching my father and I think that made my transition to president of the company easier. I always liked what I was doing. I always liked working hard. So did my father. He was well respected in this industry. He was a detail-oriented and professional guy– and we naturally absorbed that. My father treated people professionally and with respect. I never saw my father have a fight with a subcontractor. He had respect for people and he got the job done. This is definitely not our father’s economy.
What’s on your bucket list?
My kids are out of school – I’m good. I’ve done a lot. I’m a happy guy. I’d like to go to Alaska – South America, maybe. Nancy wants to go to Japan and China, but it takes an awful long time to get there and back.
Is it a benefit or a burden to have the same name as a famous drink?
Definitely a benefit. It’s unusual and noticeable – and a good conversation starter. I’ve had to pull out my Amex card on occasion, to show people who didn’t believe me. But then traveling in Italy – we found it was no big deal at all.
What advice do you give your sons?
Think…before you do. Think of the consequences…and then have fun. I think they’re getting there. I mail them stuff in the regular old-fashioned US mail. I send them clippings about business, sports, love – and economics. They get the idea. They stack the envelopes up and every once in a while they read them all. That’s all that counts for me. About every 10th envelope, I stick in 20 bucks – just to keep them opening the envelopes. You gotta sneak up on them.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My age. I’d like to be younger – with more time to enjoy my life.
Do you read much?
Constantly. I read the financial press, the national news, the BBC, the world news, 2 or more newspapers a day. You have to expose yourself to a complete cross section of opinions, or else you won’t be successful. Reading is imperative if you’re going to understand the economy and the impact it has on things like retirement plans and health plans. If you run a business, you have to know how your costs are going to be impacted by legislation, by Wall Street, by new technologies. I read at least a book a week. It refreshes me – gets me to think about something other than business 24/7.
Nick comes to Commodore from Garland, where he worked with John Knightly.
Nick graduated from UNH, with a degree in Construction Management. He started his career at Skanska, and then did a 3-year stint at Tishman, where he worked with Roger LeBlanc, on the Ames Hotel.
Nick has many interesting projects in his portfolio, including the Verizon HQ in Waltham; Terminal A and satellite building at Logan Airport for Delta Airlines; and base building modifications to 501 Boylston Street.
Nick grew up in a construction family. He worked for his father’s residential construction company, framing houses around Lake Sunapee. “Construction has always been a passion of mine,” explains Nick. “My Dad advised me early on to use my head in construction, rather than my body. After years of watching him work outdoors in cold New Hampshire winters, I can understand the reason for his advice. And it turns out to be some of the best advice I’ve ever received. I love working in Boston’s commercial construction industry.”
Nick attributes his success in construction to dedication and hard work. He says, “My clients can sense the passion I have for construction, the desire I have to work with them and to understand their needs.”
When Nick’s not working, he attends sporting events for all the Boston teams. He heads North as frequently as possible during the winter months to ski. Sugar Bush in Vermont is his preferred destination. These days, he’s also adjusting to life with a new puppy – Lieutenant Dan – a French Bull Dog.
Oscar joins Commodore from Garland Building Corporation, where he worked as the firm’s Chief Estimator for 3 years. Oscar has also worked for Suffolk Construction, G. Greene and Lee Kennedy. During those years he worked on a wide spectrum of projects, from the extensive renovations to the State House in Boston to research laboratories for Dana Farber. He worked on the winning bids for LISE labs at Harvard University and the headquarters for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
Oscar attended Northeastern University and Wentworth. Construction is his second career after having spent 14 years in the insurance business, managing property claims. All those years of estimating the costs of property damage ended up being his route in the construction industry.
Oscar was born and raised in Brookline, MA. Today he lives in Randolph with his wife, May and their daughter, Sofia. The family spends time in their garden, growing their own vegetables. Oscar is a big hockey fan and will start teaching his daughter how to skate this year. May is from Thailand and the family plans to return for a vacation in the near future to introduce Sofia to her extended family. On the way, they will stop in the Philippines to see Oscar’s relatives.
Nicholas joins Commodore as a member of the C.O.R.E. project management training program. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with a degree in Civil Engineering. The last time we saw Nicholas at Commodore, he was completing a brief winter internship, supporting the punch list and close out effort at the Distillery project. Before that, Nicholas spent the summer of 2016 with the same Commodore team, supporting field and office activities.
When he returned to RPI for his final semester, he completed his Capstone Design Course which featured the design of a 20,000 SF library facility located within an old industrial complex site in Albany, New York. During his last semester he also hosted the Chief Justice of the United States and other dignitaries when they visited the campus for a symposium in March. Nicholas says, “It was a unique and exciting event to be a part of.”
Nicholas is currently living in Wilmington, with his family. He’s glad to be saving up some money he would otherwise spend on rent and he’s grateful for the convenient commute. Nicholas says “I’m looking forward to shedding the intern skin and emerging into a full-time creature. I’m ready to hit the ground running and excited for the next chapter in my career. My four years of college have been focused on exactly this next step.”
Nicholas is an avid reader. He says, “I finally finished the Game of Thrones in its entirety, so I’m ready to catch up on the TV series. And now that I’m done with college, I can also start working on my car again. So far, I’ve done the brakes, front suspension and I’ve got new spark plugs in. An oil change is the next thing on the list.”
Mike joins Commodore as a Senior Estimator. He comes to us from Gilbane where he worked for three years, focused on the tenant interior sector.
Prior to Gilbane, Mike worked at Structuretone’s Boston Office, starting there as an assistant superintendent in 2004 and transitioning his career to Estimating. Mike has worked on TI projects for clients including Fidelity Investments, Newmark Grubb Knight & Frank, and AIG. Mike says, “I have always liked the fast pace of the TI world. We’re constantly driving for results – focusing on the smallest details and interacting with architects. There’s an art to capturing the architect’s vision, within the reality of the client’s budget. That’s my life.”
Mike was born and raised in Medford and now lives in Reading with his wife Andrea, a project manager who is still working at Structuretone. The couple have a daughter, Josephine, named after Andrea’s grandmother. There are also two canine members of the family – Chloe and Frankie – a Boxer mix and a Yorkie Bichon. The whole posse likes to take walks and hikes in the woods. They run the lake in Wakefield and spend weekends at Pine River Pond in Wakefield, New Hampshire.
Mike is the son of an electrician. So, when Mike graduated from Roger Williams with a degree in Business Management, he went straight into the world of construction. He says, “I’ve always thought about Estimating as the business side of the construction industry. We get to analyze every component of a project and set it up for success. Watching my father’s career over the decades has given me a deep appreciation for the trades. The ability to develop strong relationships with subcontractors is the key to our success. When we’re good to them, they reciprocate.”
Jonathan joins Commodore from Shawmut Design and Construction where he was a Senior Estimator for the last 14 years. During that time, Jonathan focused his attention on academic and institutional clients. He has managed teams ranging from 2-6 members and on projects that included the $78M new construction of the Gardener Museum, the $96M Dudley Square Municipal Building and the $56M Wayland High School.
Throughout high school, Jonathan worked with a small residential contractor, as a carpenter. He enrolled in Wentworth and simultaneously started a small residential operation with his cousin. He took many of his college classes during the evening, which gave him the additional opportunity to become an assistant superintendent for Shawmut. That experience drove Jonathan into Estimating, a career transition he talks about with a smile. When he graduated from Wentworth with his degree in Architectural Engineering, he continued his employment with Shawmut, this time as an Estimator – something he’s been ever since.
According to Jonathan, when it comes to estimating, “I like starting from nothing, building projects in my mind, before they’re on paper.” Jonathan says, “It lets me be more creative than just reading black and white. Many of the projects I’ve worked on take years to come to fruition…but I’m a patient man. Eventually they happen.”
Jonathan was born and raised in Sterling, MA and lives there today with his wife and their three daughters. Jonathan describes his household as active and free spirited.
When Jonathan isn’t working, he spends the summers in Maine with his family. The winters are spent skiing. The girls play soccer and Jonathan coaches their teams. He also follows all the Boston professional teams.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Justin comes to us most recently from Skanska, where he worked for two and a half years. Before Skanska, Justin was a project engineer for Consigli Construction, a firm he joined immediately following graduation from the University of Connecticut.
Justin is a Civil Engineer with a passion for construction. He grew up working for his dad, a commercial lighting salesman at Yale Electric. Justin spent nine consecutive summers working forty hours a week for Yale. At first, he needed a special waiver from his school principal because he was too young to be legally working! He spent his first summer fixing their copy machine. Whenever it jammed – and it jammed a lot – Justin launched into action. In subsequent summers he moved up the ladder to manage submittals, O&Ms, purchase orders, quotes and project close out.
Originally, Justin thought he might want to become an architect – after many years of playing with Legos. But the numbers behind Civil Engineering appealed to him…and so did the UConn basketball team. A future in building bridges and roadways loomed ahead. But many of his dad’s friends steered Justin towards a career in construction management instead, because of the greater diversity in project type. They were right and the rest is history.
Justin was born and raised in Holliston and graduated from Holliston High School. He graduated again this past weekend, but this time with his Master’s Degree in Construction Management from Wentworth. Today, Justin lives in Southie.
During Justin’s time at Skanska he worked as the Project Engineer for the Sweden-based Education First headquarters building in Cambridge. The ten-story, out-of-the-ground project included a glass atrium, designed to look like a waterfall. It took structural engineers over nine months just to figure out how to get the waterfall to work!
From there, Justin became the Assistant Project Manager for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority project. During that time, he worked with Skanska’s Project Executive Steve Eustis, who was responsible for bringing Justin to the project. The WRTA project was a 145,000 SF maintenance, operations and storage facility, with a value of $75,000,000. Justin says it included everything anyone would ever have to do with buses and vans. He says, “The project contained bus charging for electric vehicles, diesel and gas fueling, a paint booth and vehicle lifts. It was an intensely technical assignment that honed my focus on the details and gave me the ability to manage and coordinate subcontractors to achieve the owner’s exact requirements.”
When Justin isn’t working, he likes to travel close and far…far like the Cayman Islands, Croatia and Hawaii. And near, like the Cape, Newport and the Berkshires. Justin plays golf and is willing to try any sport, including skydiving, which he did while studying abroad in Florence. He didn’t tell his parents until it was over…but he was actually the last one to do it. They already had!
I’m the man behind the numbers. As a senior estimator, I spend my time honing in on what our clients are looking for and then presenting that information to them in a way they can digest easily. I’m continually adapting to the needs of my clients because numbers don’t speak for themselves, humans do. Placing focus on that interaction between people and numbers is key and delivering numbers in a format that’s timely and simple to comprehend is of the utmost importance. That’s the art behind the science of estimating; having the right numbers will get you a share of the work out there, but they alone will never win you Promoter clients and partners.
At home, I have twin boys, Cameron and Wyatt – so that’s my free time. It’s hectic, amazing and rewarding to be a parent but I love watching them change and grow every day. They’re just babies, but already they each have their own personalities! I know the day will come when I can get back into my old hobbies, but right now my focus is helping our boys grow, so they can find their own hobbies. (Although wouldn’t it be nice if they chose golf as one of their hobbies)
In the meantime, I still make time for local sports teams – the Bruins, Patriots and Red Sox. I’m likely to have the boys on my lap while watching the games – so I’m pretty sure they’ll be fans, too. It helps that their mom is also a fan, so there’s no escaping it!
PK comes to Commodore from Shawmut where she worked as a Project Coordinator. PK’s responsibilities at Shawmut included contracts, insurance, risk management, subcontractor billings, change orders and administrative work – experience that makes her a perfect fit for the position of PA at Commodore.
PK is the wife of our Estimator Extraordinaire, Mark Nelson. This isn’t the first time the construction duo will be working under the same roof together. “Being in the same company has its advantages and disadvantages,” explains PK. You might think the joint commute would be one of the advantages, but according to PK, the ride into work with Mark at the wheel can be nerve racking. “Mark’s the kind of really nice guy who would walk an old lady across the street, but when it comes to the road, it belongs to him and only him. I have to read a magazine or my Nook just to survive the ride.”
PK says she’s joining Commodore because, “The Company is still close. Everyone knows each other’s name and people really care about individual career development. I’m drawn to the culture here, where people meet and hang out – professionally and personally.” PK says that helping her team and keeping them focused is what she looks forward to contributing most in her new position. “I’ve got some OCD organizational skills that my teams have appreciated in the past. I’m especially hoping that my background in risk management will help me streamline the insurance process here.”
In August 2013, PK and Mark’s family doubled in size, when they welcomed twin boys, Wyatt and Cameron!
Ted joins Commodore from Bond Brothers, where he worked as a Senior Project Manager for six years. Prior to Bond, Ted worked with Payton Construction, Barr & Barr and Barton Marlow, the construction management firm, based in Southfield, Michigan that built the Shriner’s Hospital in Boston.
Ted graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Civil Engineering. He joined the Civil Engineer Corps of the Navy and spent 7 years in facilities management and contracts. He was stationed in Lakehurst, New Jersey, Newport, Rhode Island and Guam – where his oldest daughter was born.
When Ted left the Navy, he continued his career in construction. Among his most notable projects were the new residence halls at Roger Williams College and Bridgewater State College. And the 8-year long construction of the Shriner’s Hospital. Ted says the reason the Shriner’s Hospital construction took so long was because the team built the 5th through 9th floors first, above the existing building. He says, “The hospital never shut down, not even for an hour. Once the top half of the building was complete, the occupants moved in and the existing building was demolished. Then we built two and a half levels of underground parking and the bottom four floors.” Ted says, “Those were the days when owners didn’t need everything completed in 2 years!”
Ted has built pharmaceutical clean rooms, bio tech laboratories, historical renovations and everything in between. His is a rich, versatile portfolio of work that spans three decades in New England.
Ted was born and raised in Stonington, Maine on Deer Isle. His father was a stone cutter who worked in the granite quarries. His mom was a cook on the Island. A lot of the Deer Isle granite, known for its unique color, has found its way into many of the buildings in Boston.
Today, Ted lives in Franklin with his wife, Joanne. They have three children.
Ted says, he used to play a lot of sports – but these days when he isn’t working he’s more of an avid sports fan – and thanks to his older daughter, he cheers for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Ed comes to us most recently from GEI Consultants, a national geo-environmental consulting firm based in Woburn. The firm provides geotechnical engineering for complex foundations, environmental assessments and associated remediation. During his 5-year tenure, Ed was the Vice President for GEI’s East Region, responsible for developing business across multiple markets.
Prior to GEI, Ed was the Director of Business Development for Bond. During his 8 years with Bond, Ed developed business primarily in the Institutional and Life Science sectors. His academic clients included Dartmouth, Bentley, MIT, Bryant University and Stonehill College. His Life Science projects included the science buildings on those same campuses, as well as for organizations such as MIT Lincoln Labs and BioMed Realty Trust.
Ed is a graduate of Long Island University/ CW Post, with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Marketing. Born and raised in Glen Cove, NY, Ed moved to New England in 1990. Today he lives with his wife Deborah in Groton. The couple have two grown children, Loren and Clara.
Ed was an Olympic level athlete. He competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic trials. His event was the 20 kilometer race walk. He currently competes as a Master’s Track Athlete and this past Saturday he won the USATF New England Championships at 3,000 meters.
When Ed isn’t working or walking really fast, you can find him in the garden growing ornamental perennials and vegetables. He also golfs and bikes.
Larry joins Commodore as a Project Executive. Larry comes to us most recently from Procon, Inc., and prior to Procon, Larry was with John Moriarty & Associates.
Larry’s passion for construction and architecture goes way back. He built furniture in 8th grade shop class and entered into a vocational program in the 9th grade where he build a house from the ground up. He spent summers working on residential renovations and new construction projects and that led to working with Don Metz, a prominent local architect who pioneered underground energy efficient housing in the early 1970s.
Larry is a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology. When he isn’t working he likes to do anything and everything outdoors, including fishing, hiking, hunting and photography.
Alec joins Commodore as a Project Engineer working in our Life Sciences Group. He is a 2016 graduate of Wentworth with a degree in Construction Management and interned with us back in 2015.
Alec was born and raised in Pelham, NH and now lives in Brighton. He grew up digging holes for his father’s fence company. In high school he started welding for his dad’s business and eventually ran crews during the summers between college semesters. Alec has also spent time during the summers doing drywall and plastering.
He says, “All that physical labor was great, but I knew in the long run I wanted to exercise my mental capacity and a career in construction allows me to do that.”
Alec played hockey, soccer and lacrosse in high school. When he got to Wentworth he played varsity lacrosse. Now, when Alec isn’t working, he enjoys playing pond hockey and golf and anything else that keeps him active. He also holds an auction license and spends time on the weekends attending car auctions, buying and selling cars.
Anthony comes to Commodore from the Newton-based firm Inflexxion, where he supported a community of 100 researchers, software developers and project managers. During his 4 years at Inflexxion, Anthony’s role was to keep his computer users happy and working efficiently. He implemented the company’s first IT Help Desk and then outsourced that activity so he could concentrate on becoming the Network Administrator.
Anthony was born and raised in Boston and now lives in Brighton with his girlfriend and their three children. Anthony describes his youngest son Anthony Jr. as being more like 30 years old than eleven. “He runs the house. He knows everything there is to know about everything – or he’ll Google it.” The family also has two female Shiatsus (a mother and daughter duo) and one old cat.
Before getting into technology, Anthony worked for the Department of Youth Services – providing behavioral help for at-risk and incarcerated young men and women. He was also an Assistant Director at Bridge Over Troubled Waters, an organization that provides aid to homeless teenagers. During those years Anthony says he developed a thick skin and a great deal of patience –qualities that will hold him in good stead as our IT Support Specialist!
When Anthony isn’t hard at work deciphering IT issues, he enjoys reading (mostly tech stuff), sports, mountain biking and fishing. He has his own little fishing boat that he takes out to the Cape on Sundays with his dad.
Kevin joins Commodore from Groom Construction – a North Shore construction management firm, where he worked as a project manager for the last six years. During Kevin’s time at Groom, he managed projects that ranged from multi-million dollar private residences to 40,000 SF mixed-use commercial projects, on the North Shore and in downtown Boston.
Kevin graduated from Union College, with a degree in Civil Engineering. After Union, Kevin went to work for an engineering firm doing surveying, site development and design. He moved to Boston and joined the engineering group at Natgun, a Wakefield-based specialty contractor – where he soon made the transition to the construction side of their business. From there he made the jump to Groom, where he was exposed to the full range of construction management services. Kevin says, “I always had an interest in framing homes – something that must have started with the tree houses in my youth.”
Kevin lives in Newburyport with his wife, Stefanie and their children, Bella, Cade and Bode. When Kevin isn’t working, he and Stefanie get to the gym as often as possible. The family skies together during the winter – enjoys the town of Newburyport on weekends and gets to Disney whenever they can…so far, that’s 9 times and counting! Kevin runs and plays golf – but these days it’s the frequent soccer games and the kids’ activities that claim the majority of his time away from the office.
Victor joins Commodore as an Assistant Project Manager in our C.O.R.E. training program. The last time we saw Victor, he was concluding a very successful Estimating internship and embarking on his master’s degree in Architecture at Wentworth.
Victor grew up in New Jersey…and in New York…with a few years spent in Bangladesh, while his parents, both doctors, were working there.
He now lives in Mission Hill. Since leaving us to pursue his master’s degree, Victor has travelled to Portugal to study advanced architectural topics that inform his own work. While he was there, he met famous architects practicing in Portugal and came back with themes that have inspired his thinking and interpretations.
During school, Victor spent summers working Tennessee, building decks and hardscapes, rock walls and patios. What he enjoyed most about that work was the ability to apply his architectural skills, while building in the outdoors – as a foreman – hands-on and seeing the final product.
Victor says, “My love for construction and design goes all the way back to the days when I was a kid building forts outside. As an adult, I realize I need to be away from my desk at least some of the time and I need to be interacting with people. Construction is a profession that allows me to do both. It’s most closely attuned to my skill set…and by understanding how things are built I will also be able to design things more practically.”
Victor’s goal at Commodore is to get immersed – to learn as much as he can – as fast as he can. “I’m looking forward to getting a true sense of the construction business and how projects evolve into something very real.”
Mike comes to Commodore from Charter Environmental Inc., where he was the Senior Project Manager in charge of the Federal work done by the firm. Charter Environmental focuses on civil and site remediation, as well as marine environmental work.
Mike is a registered PE. He’s a LEED AP with a degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova and a Masters in Construction Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mike’s 2+ decades in the construction business have focused on construction contracting, and design-build projects, like the Home Goods distribution warehouse he built in CT and the Lindt Chocolate Factory he built in New Hampshire. He was with Dacon for 10 years, as a Project Manager and then Director of Construction Operations. In a previous two-year stint with Kiewit Building Group, Mike worked as the estimator and scheduler for the Quincy Sludge Plant, a part of the massive Boston Harbor clean-up effort.
Concurrent with his civilian construction career, Mike was a Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, until his retirement in 2006. It was in 1990, during his time in the Sea Bees, that he met Joe Albanese. The two have been in touch ever since.
Mike lives in Natick with his wife and they have 3 children. When Mike’s not working, he is most likely running or snow boarding. He’s participated in three marathons (swears he won’t do a fourth) and frequents Wachusett Mountain and Sunapee for winter activities.
According to Mike, “I’ve known about Commodore since Joe started the company. I’ve always admired it from a-far, as a professional and well-regarded firm. Now, I look forward to contributing what I can to the future success of the firm.”
Sally joins Commodore as our newest Project Administrator and a member of the Strategic Projects Group.
Sally is a 2014 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a major in International Affairs.
Consistent with her major, Sally has lived in 6 different countries: The US, Spain, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Argentina. Each of these countries represents an independent program she participated in, either as a volunteer or while studying aboard.
Following graduation from college, Sally headed for the West Coast – to Newport Beach, California, where she worked for a property management company. In that position, she collaborated with vendors, interacted with tenants, showed properties and managed office administration.
But family ties and the weather – (Sally actually LIKES the cold) – beckoned Sally back to her roots in New England. Sally is an avid competitive skier. She races sailboats, plays tennis and speaks fluent Spanish.
Karellis was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She came to the States when she was twelve. She spent the next six years with her family in New Jersey – before coming to Boston to attend Wentworth. She eventually transferred to Mass College of Art where she graduated with a degree in Architectural Design.
Karellis lives in the Fenway with her three children. It’s no surprise that Karellis says she has a super-busy lifestyle. “We love the outdoors – indoors is for work only. When we’re not working, we’re biking around town”. Karellis leaves a little bit of time for indoor recreation that includes great wine and fine dining. Her goal is to eat in every good restaurant in Boston. And she’s well on her way. A recent favorite is the Back Bay Social Club. She highly recommends the mango mojito.
Mike comes to Commodore from the national law firm of LeClair Ryan, where he was a partner in the insurance coverage and litigation practice groups.
Mike has almost 20 years of experience working as a practicing attorney, which includes four years working at Willis Towers Watson, a global insurance broker. During his legal career, Mike has represented contractors, design professionals and owners in all phases of real estate development and construction, from contracts to claim litigation. He has also represented companies in a variety of arbitrations, mediations, employment and wage matters. He obtained the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation from the Insurance Institute of America in 2007. This wide range of professional experience in construction, insurance and business law makes Mike the perfect fit for the role of Commodore’s first General Counsel. Mike’s role as General Counsel will include responsibility on all legal, human resources, insurance, surety and risk matters.
Mike and his family have deep roots and strong ties to the Boston community. He was born in Dorchester and raised in Quincy. He attended BC High and graduated from Providence College with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration. Mike went on to earn his law degree from Suffolk University Law School’s Evening Division. His career followed in the footsteps of his dad who spent his career as an attorney for the City of Boston working on the City’s public facilities, neighborhood development and construction projects. That’s where Mike got his first exposure to the legal side of construction as a student.
Mike met his wife in his first class at Suffolk Law. They live in Marshfield with two sons and a dog named Marco (after Marco Island, FL). The family goes to the beach and skies together. They also do a lot of sports-related travel for both kids – primarily for summer baseball. Mike coaches youth baseball in Marshfield and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Marshfield Education Foundation. When Mike isn’t working or spending time with his family, he enjoys running and golfing – as time permits.
I love going to Red Sox games and I love New England in the fall. But most of all, I love to travel. I try to immerse myself in the different cultures of whatever country I’m in, to try to blend in as a local. My life goal is to travel around the world and I’m half way there! Israel is as far East as I’ve gone and Hawaii is as far West. I’ve been almost everywhere in between, including hiking glaciers in Iceland and wining and dining my way through Europe. I love to read, but these days I find myself doing most of my reading out loud to my two kids. Their favorite book is, of course, “Good Night, Good Night Construction Site”. They love the illustrations of the heavy equipment hard at work with rough and tough construction play.
Kat joins Commodore from Gilbane, as an Assistant Project Manager.
Kat graduated from the College of Holy Cross with a degree in Physics. She played on the Holy Cross varsity softball team during all four years. When Kat graduated she took a job at Boston University, working in a biomedical engineering lab that was researching early detection techniques for identifying cancer, using optical properties. Kat helped to develop a device to aid in this research. After working on micro-level sciences for over a year, Kat decided that life under a microscope was not as much fun as she anticipated.
Looking for a bigger picture perspective, Kat turned to her life-long fascination with construction. “I was always intrigued by the process of how structures are installed – like bridges, buildings and transit systems. Growing up, I would explore possibilities by building Erector Set cities.”
When Kat took the position with Gilbane she instantly knew construction was the right career path for her. She says her background, particularly playing team sports, has positioned her well for the requirements of a construction career. She says, “It’s wonderful to be part of a work place environment and a team effort where each individual is working to create something bigger than ourselves.”
Kat was born in Texas and raised in Boston’s Back Bay. When Kat isn’t working, she coaches 16 and under Junior Olympic Softball in Abington. She is a self-described board game enthusiast, she rock climbs and she has played the harp professionally for the last 15 years.
Keivan joins Commodore as an Assistant Project Manager. Prior to his arrival, Keivan spent over three years at Votze Butler Associates, a construction management firm based in Lowell, MA. Keivan worked as an estimator and a project manager, on projects that ranged from office renovations to the construction of multiple data centers.
Keivan is a 2013 graduate of Wentworth. He holds a degree in Construction Management. Keivan was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Framingham. Keivan’s dad was working for Chubb Insurance and was offered the position in Sydney, which was just too good for his future parents to pass up. Keivan was born there a year later. The family loved Australia, but they started getting homesick when no one was willing to take the 24 hour flight to visit them – so they came home.
Keivan says he grew up working on residential properties that his parents owned. He and his father were always renovating something. When he graduated high school he went to Roger Williams to study Civil Engineering. That lasted for just a semester before realizing Civil Engineering wasn’t the right fit…and he wanted to be in Boston.
So, after working in the field as a laborer for 6 months, he decided to follow a path into the construction industry. This time, Wentworth was the perfect fit. Keivan says, “The city became my campus and I met some lifelong friends, in addition to going to school for exactly what I wanted.”
Four years and two internships later, Keivan graduated and joined Votze Butler. Now, with his new position at Commodore, Keivan is looking forward to building on his experience, expanding his exposure to different kinds of construction projects and to working with a dynamic team.
When Keivan isn’t working, he likes to snowboard, surf, mountain-bike and go spear fishing in Mystic, CT – a town he considers his second home. Recently, Keivan bought his own first home in Framingham, which he is now busy renovating. He says, “I’m really excited to finally be working on my own project!”
Jessica joins Commodore from the sunshine state of Florida, where she was an estimator and assistant project manager for Wichman Construction. During her five years with Wichman, Jessica was responsible for a wide range of responsibilities. She handled accounting, assembled bids and supported project managers on-site. One of her most interesting assignments was the construction of a roller coaster at Busch Gardens. The coaster spanned the entire park, travelling through five animal habitats.
Jennifer says she chose to join Commodore because, “I liked the scale of Commodore and the pride I sensed in the people who work here.”
Jessica is a Massachusetts native. She attended the BAC before moving to Florida, where she’s been for the last seven years. She grew up in Canton, and went down to Florida one spring to visit her grandparents’ home in Daytona….and didn’t come back! Jessica and her husband George, have a baby girl named Hannah. With Hannah’s arrival came the couple’s decision to return home to New England to be closer to family.
When Jessica isn’t working or spending time with Hannah, she likes to attend spin classes.
John joins Commodore from Garland Building Corporation where he worked as a super for the last four years. Before joining Garland, John spent three years at Tishman and fourteen years at Payton Construction. During his career, John has supervised projects that range from a 500,000 SF renovation of State Street’s 1776 Heritage Drive facility, to the total rebuild of department stores and the construction of new high tech chemistry labs at Tufts.
John’s portfolio is diverse, but one element remains constant throughout – his focus on heavy mechanical infrastructure. John’s sweet spot is the technically demanding project, with complex mechanical issues. Chillers, cooling towers, Liebert units…are what get John’s problem-solving juices flowing! He has tackled structural challenges for some of New England’s largest corporations, retailers and universities.
Born and raised in Hopkinton, MA, John lives there still, with his wife Joanne and their four boys. John says that he had one household rule while the boys were growing up, “We all sat down and had supper together every night – no matter how hectic our schedules got.”
The family still likes to hang out together. John says, “We go camping – often still with all the kids – to places like Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. We’re always outdoors, kayaking the Sacco River or scuba diving in Plymouth. In July, we’re planning a trip to Lake George.” John and his wife enjoy weekend day trips on John’s Harley Ultra Classic motorcycle. The Patriots are a favorite team – and the family jumps on the Red Sox band wagon whenever they make the play-offs.
Kathleen joins Commodore as a Project Administrator. She brings with her a diverse background of experience. She has worked in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments – including architecture, construction project management, advertising and as the co-founder of a construction firm. She has even launched multiple health spas and most recently, has consulted in the real estate industry. In every endeavor Kathleen has worn multiple hats. She has maneuvered under pressure and served clients by maintaining a keen focus on details.
Kathleen graduated with a degree in Interior Design from Chamberlayne College. Later, during her years working at Digitas, in Boston, she went to Northeastern University to study Marketing.
Kathleen says, “I enjoy the details. I love process. I’m known for getting things done – and for serving my clients. In every position I’ve ever held, my strength has been the ability to keep things moving and to make things happen. It’s what I do best. That’s how I’ve made my reputation with clients and colleagues.”
Kathleen was born and raised in Billerica. Today she lives in Peabody. When Kathleen isn’t working, she loves to run – the Boston Marathon included. Kathleen savors days at the beach and R&R with family and friends.
John joins Commodore from CWC, a general contractor focused on the low income housing sector. John was a superintendent there for the last 8 years. During that time, he restored a textile mill in the Appleton section of Lowell – rehabbed the YMCA in Cambridge – and redid practically every BHA property building in Boston.
Before joining CWC, John worked as a project manager for a large framing contractor. John says, “I grew up around construction. My father was a carpenter. And I just fell into the industry. The thing that makes me unique is that I like to do what others don’t. I like work that isn’t easy.”
John was born and raised in Uxbridge, and he lives there still, with his wife and their three children. When John isn’t working, he likes to take his boat out on Whallen Lake in Douglas…or go skiing in the winter. He says, “If my kids can ride it, they’ll try it, whether it’s on snow or water.”
Joe comes to Commodore most recently from Cutler Associates, where he worked as an Estimator for 2 years on projects in the institutional and assisted living sectors.
Joe comes from a family of masons. He was born and raised in Shrewsbury and now lives in Worcester. “I was 14 when I started laboring for cousins and uncles in the business. My Dad builds houses – which is what I thought I might end up doing, too – but the opportunity to move into commercial work came along and I couldn’t pass it up.”
Another thing that came along a bit more recently is Joe’s daughter, Lydia. According to Joe, he and his wife Ashley are “ecstatic – sleep deprived- and very happy!”
When Joe’s not working, he’s either tuna fishing in the summer or duck hunting in the winter. He says, “I can’t get enough of either sport. Since Joe was a kid, he’s been going to his family’s home on the Cape, where he learned from his grandfather the finer points of both sports.
Russ comes to Commodore from Consigli, where he was also the firm’s Senior MEP Estimator. Prior to Consigli, Russ worked as an MEP Estimator for the Logan Company, an MEP estimating firm located in Concord, MA. That’s a lot of MEPs – for a reason. Russ has spent his whole career in the business of estimating construction.
Russ is a graduate of the Radiology program at Armstrong State University, in Savannah, Georgia. He’s a Master Electrician, and he holds an HVAC systems design certification from Northeastern University. Russ has contributed to numerous biotech projects, including ones for Shire Pharmaceuticals in Lexington and for Biogen in Cambridge. He has also focused on microelectronic facilities, like the 3.5 million square foot Global Foundries facility in Malta, NY.
Russ enjoys the wide variety of projects that an MEP Estimator is exposed to. “It’s never the same thing twice,” explains Russ. “There’s nothing cookie cutter about the systems that go into a building. What I like best is being knowledgeable about this facet of construction that so directly impacts the owner, the occupants and the whole construction team. You don’t see the MEPs, but they affect all the creature comforts and the productivity of a space.”
In his leisure time, Russ is an avid fisherman and a woodworker. He fishes all over the region and builds furniture in his converted two-car garage. The family enjoys taking vacations together and spending time together on the weekends.
My dream is to hike and explore every inch of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. But, I would still need a job, since I don’t think I would do well as a cowgirl or white water rafting guide…so I’d want to be an estimator for Commodore West. That would be nice.
Chris joins Commodore from Walsh Brothers where he worked for 14 years. Chris joined Walsh right out of college and worked his way from entry-level Assistant Project Manager up to Project Executive. During those years, Chris developed a broad portfolio of projects in the Healthcare sector. He has constructed numerous projects on the campus of Rhode Island Hospital, including the 250K SF new construction of a parking garage, emergency room and patient rooms. He also managed the construction of a 2-story cancer center, and extensive utility upgrades on the same campus.
Chris was the Project Executive for the 140K SF new addition of the single patient NICU at Women’s and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, which as the time of completion, was the largest single patient NICU room east of the Mississippi. He has also completed projects for Whidden Memorial Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber.
Chris is a graduate of Wentworth. He holds an Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree in Architectural & Engineering. Yet, when he graduated from college, Chris says he decided he’d rather get his hands dirty than sit back and draw. That was not a surprising trajectory, since Chris had taken a year off after high school to start his own residential company. Chris says, “It was my brother-in-law who made me go back to college – which was the best thing I could have done. During those five years of school I retained my passion for construction.”
Chris was born and raised in Norwood and lives there still with his wife, Charissa and their twins Vivienne and MacGregor. The Sharkey family lives in the house Chris grew up in. Chris says, “Back then I was one of eleven in my family living there. Today the house is completely renovated and there are only four of us. There are no more bunk beds, but we DO have a dog – named Hannah.”
Chris is a hockey fanatic by his own description. He’s a youth hockey coach and Viv and Mac are among two of his many players. Chris is on the board of Norwood Youth Hockey and laces them up himself whenever time allows. He says his family lives in the rink during the winter months and loves to vacation on Nantucket in the summer. They have also travelled to Europe…and look forward to returning.
Jenn comes to Commodore from Unispace, a construction management and design firm based in Westwood. Jenn worked as their assistant accounting manager and project accountant. Before joining Unispace, Jenn spent 10 years working in the concrete and civil engineering industry, responsible for a wide range of financial management activities.
Jenn says, “The diversity of responsibilities in the construction industry and the need to develop systems to keep everything organized is what I love most about this business.”
Jenn was born and raised in Rehoboth. She lives in Norton with her husband, Craig and their two sons, Shane and Brady. Jenn describes their household as loud…with a lot of sports activities that need constant juggling. The couple divide and conquer on the home front…but then come back together for family trips to Maine. In the summer they spend weekends at the beach and in winter they enjoy the locals and evenings by the fire.
Back at work, Jenn explains that she chose to join Commodore because of the open environment she sensed during her first meetings with us. “I love the emphasis that Commodore places on its people. From the start I felt like it would be a really good fit for me personally and professionally…and now I’m here!”
“Common things, done uncommonly well, bring success.”
– H.J. Heinz
Jason was born and raised in Upstate New York, but Boston has been the place he calls home for over 10 years. Jason graduated from Oswego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
He has managed a diverse portfolio of projects including restaurants, retail, university, multi-unit residential and his specialty, downtown tenant interiors. Jason has managed projects for clients that include Oracle, Bank of America, Boston Properties, UnitedHealth Group, Town Sports International, Boston University and the Boston Society of Architects.
Jason is a second generation builder, the father of two sons and an avid cyclist and snow boarder. He works hard to achieve the delicate balance between family, outdoor sports and the passion for his career in commercial construction.
For the last 25 years, I’ve been working my way up through the industry…from my beginnings as a residential carpenter, to foreman and now to superintendent . My goal in life is to never stop learning…and to always excel at what I do. I’ve often been referred to as the type of guy who can step into any situation and do what’s required to get it done. I benefit from the mistakes I make by chalking them up to learning experiences. And I always end my day with a quick drive home to spend the evening hours with my wife and two daughters.
Andrew joins Commodore from Symmes Maini & McKee, where he worked as an Electrical Designer for just over four years. During that time, Andrew worked on projects ranging from elementary schools to Tier II data centers. His role as an Electrical Designer began by designing the electrical infrastructure of each project, and then continued by providing the construction administration services required throughout the construction process.
Andrew graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He says he was originally interested in the areas of both chemistry and electrical engineering. He chose to pursue the latter because of his lifelong passion for figuring out how electronic devices work. As a kid he would take radios apart. (We won’t talk about the fact that he never put them back together). He loved puzzles and he built computers in high school.
Andrew’s decision to move from the world of design to the world of construction has evolved over time. Andrew says, “Being on the design side, there is less exposure to developing relationships and to the hands-on experience of solving problems. I get more satisfaction participating in a project from start to finish. That’s something you just don’t get as much of when you’re working on the design side.”
Andrew was born and raised in Melrose and still lives there. When he’s not working, Andrew is an avid gamer and golfer – which he describes as weird – but true. He’s a regular at LA Fitness. He plays softball in the summer and in the colder months he snowboards in New England and Colorado.
Scott St. Aubin
Greg St. Mary
Greg is an Assistant Project Manager who joined Commodore in 2010.
In college, Greg started out with an interest in architecture, but quickly realized he was more interested in the construction side of the business. He switched majors and graduated from Fitchburg State University with a degree in construction technology.
Greg has over 10 years of experience in the management of commercial and institutional construction projects. Throughout his career Greg has demonstrated his passion for dominating the details of construction. Greg says, “There’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes from witnessing the development of a project from plans to reality. I enjoy starting a project, finishing it and then moving on to the next one – all the while changing the landscape around us.”
When Greg isn’t working he loves to spend time with his wife, their two young sons, and their beagle Murdock. He likes to go fast and he loves the outdoors! He enjoys mountain biking, road biking, and running 5k’s. He prefers the woods to fancy hotels – craves great music and is a fanatic about seeing live concerts. He’s seen so many concerts that he started keeping track when he was 15 and he’s kept his concert list current ever since!
Born and raised in southern New York, Jim grew up playing sports. In high school and college Jim played soccer and skied competitively. He attended Norwich University – The Military College of Vermont – where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
After graduation, Jim returned to New York and started his first job as a Junior Estimator for a site work company. He moved to Connecticut and to Suffolk Construction. A Boston fan since college, he continued to make his way north, becoming an estimator for a Massachusetts-based company. There he won his first competitive bid, working on the Tsongas arena in Lowell. He moved on to Shawmut, where he gained experience in conceptual estimating and the acquaintance of Joe Albanese. Over the next five years, the two developed a mutual respect. When Joe founded Commodore, he knew just who he wanted as his first estimator.
In 2003, Jim joined Commodore…
What’s the best advice your parents ever gave you?
Being an only child, there was no shortage of advice. Honesty is essential in every aspect of your life. Never lose your hard work ethic, and build your life on strong family values.
Why did you choose this career?
At the end of the day I need to see that I’ve done something worthwhile…I’ve always liked math…I like to look at a plan that’s not 100 percent finished and conceptually piece together what it’s going to take to build the project. I enjoy working on lots of different projects and I have a passion for focusing on the details – it’s what I do best. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new…and you never see the same thing twice.
How would you define the difference between Good and Great?
Good is a round of golf. Great is a round of golf at Pebble Beach on a blue-bird day when you shoot a 72 with three of your best friends.
In this business, being Good is setting the bar way too low. People can jump over it…and they will. Good is an obstacle to being great because it’s comfortable. Good gets you projects on time and on budget. Great gets you Raving Fans. I’m having a Great day when the client and the design team are equally happy with the results of a project and they can’t wait to recommend us to others.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
There are so many different places that I haven’t been to that I’d love to see and experience – and some others where I’ve been and enjoyed my time there so much, I’m looking forward to going back. The recent travel trend has been warm and sunny destinations; Mexico, Miami, Palm Springs & Scottsdale… in the next few years, I’d have to say a trip to Carmel to play some golf (Pebble Beach, Spyglass & Spanish Bay) followed by a few days in Napa Valley is at the top of the list. A little later in life, when my family is older, I’d like to take a family trip to ski the Austrian Alps.
What’s your dream project?
I used to think designing/building/renovating my own home would be a dream project – that was quite an idealistic view. Now that we’ve purchased a home, torn it apart, rebuilt it, added on to it and continue to renovate it, I no longer think of that as a dream project. The client is way too particular, and is always looking at value engineering!
Is there a philosophy you live by?
I try to make time to appreciate every day. I’m in a position that I love, so it would be easy to be consumed by all the deadlines and the constant last minute changes. I make the time, so I don’t lose track of how precious time is and how fast it goes by.
Where does your fulfillment and motivation come from?
My father worked tirelessly his entire life to ensure his family was provided for, and so I had the means to succeed in life. He took immense pride in everything he did – it wasn’t OK to just get it done, it had to be done “right”, even if it took several tries.
That work ethic helped me get through four years of military school, and two economic downturns. It fuels my drive to not only be successful, but also to be proud of my work and to strive to have a positive influence on everything that I am involved with. Working at Commodore has afforded me the opportunity to grow and to lead a group of highly skilled estimators that all share the same vision. While I am proud of what we have achieved so far, I am motivated to continue to grow our group, and continue to improve our scope of services to be the best in the industry.
Beth comes to Commodore from the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association where she wore many hats – as the director of marketing and membership, the book keeper and the administrative assistant for the entire organization. That multi-faceted assignment required Beth to be very organized, adaptable, and detail oriented – gee…sounds like the perfect qualities for a Commodore PA!
Beth was recommended to us by Chris Guarino. The two moms have children who’ve been friends since kindergarten and both have held positions on the PTO Executive Board for the Wakefield elementary schools. They’ve also spent countless hours together cheering for their kids at rinks and ball fields.
Beth says she chose to join Commodore because she has always liked the construction industry. She says, “The job offers a diverse set of challenges and a solid family oriented organization that I can grow with.”
I got married in 2010 to a man I dated in high school, but hadn’t seen in 20 years. We reconnected at our high school reunion. We have a 100-lb black lab that we love to take with us everywhere we go! We also recently adopted a 2nd dog, a female lab mix who was found wandering in Tennessee, who we named Lucy!
In our “spare” time, we have been doing a lot of renovations on our house. Luckily, my husband is a contractor, so we do most of the work ourselves. Exhausting, but rewarding!
Jon comes to Commodore from Suffolk Construction where he worked as a senior project manager on projects that included the $40M renovation of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University and the highly visible historic renovation of the right field roof at Fenway Park. After the Fenway project, Jon left the States for a 2-year stint in Algeria, building the $40M Sonatrach Petroleum Club and Resort – a 350,000SF luxury campus with a four-story hotel, a two-story conference center and a gym/spa complex. The property ultimately became the retirement home for the president of Algeria and a playground for oil executives.
The Algeria project honed Jon’s capacity to overcome extreme logistical difficulties and to conquer cultural and language barriers. He says, “Any time you have the opportunity to experience a new culture, it contributes to your personal and professional growth. I loved the experience in Algeria – I’m glad it’s over – but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was a tough duty, with a lot of AK47s and military security to contend with.”
Before joining Suffolk, Jon worked for the Tambone Investment Group – and before that, he worked at A.J. Martini for 7 years, on a myriad of condominium and commercial projects, including $34M of corporate office buildings at 601 & 701 Edgewater Drive, in Wakefield.
Jon was born in New Jersey and raised in Newton. He attended the University of South Florida, in Tampa, graduating with a degree in Economics. Right out of college, Jon worked for his dad, who is still a practicing architect. Jon built spec houses on the Cape and then joined Beaver Builders. Beaver, which was later bought out by Peabody Construction, provided Jon’s entry into Commercial construction – which has been the primary focus of his work since then.
Jon lives in Winchester with his wife, Amanda and their two sons. Jon is an avid skier and sailor, a reticent golfer and an above-average tennis player!
Scott joins Commodore from Whiting Turner where he worked as a Project Engineer. Scott has worked on projects that include the UMass Physical Science Building, the Storehouse #2 renovation in Nashua, NH and renovations to the New Hampshire National Guard in Manchester. These projects exposed Scott to the details of historical preservation, the erection of structural steel, the coordination and installation of extensive laboratory case work and the challenges of hazardous waste abatement.
Scott graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Civil Engineering and a focus on Structural Engineering. Project management runs in Scott’s family. His dad is a regional project manager for Eversource and his mom works there, too, as a Scheduler. But Scott is the first in his family to apply that project management talent to the construction industry. He says, “An early internship in construction management is what convinced me that I would rather be working in the field, seeing things come to fruition, than sitting at a CAD station designing the bits and pieces of a building.”
Scott was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is currently planning a move to the Somerville area. When Scott isn’t working, he likes to ski, play hockey and golf. He enjoys spending time with family and friends and is an avid sports enthusiast.
Dave joins Commodore as a Project Manager. He comes to us from Shawmut Design, where he was most recently based in New York City, managing a $10M lobby and cellar renovation for Park Avenue Tower on Park Avenue. Dave spent nearly 4 years working at Shawmut, mainly on national retail accounts coast to coast, from Houston to LA and back to Connecticut.
Dave was born and raised in Northborough, MA. He attended Algonquin Regional High School where he played football and baseball. He attended University of Connecticut where he earned a degree in Sports Management, Coaching and Administration and continued to play football. After college, he joined the Chicago Bears as a kicker and moved to the Windy City. He attended preseason camp, but was cut in the preseason and returned to Boston. Dave says, “Professional football isn’t glamorous. It’s a business. A tough business. And I had no illusions. I don’t regret the experience I had being part of the team.”
Back in Boston Dave connected with a family friend who owned a glass and glazing business in Washington D.C. The offer was made to join the firm and Dave began his career in construction. He says, “I loved the construction business. It was like coaching. In sports, there are players to manage, the staff and even opponents. In construction, you have to get the internal team, the subs and the owner all working towards the same common goal. It’s as close to coaching as you can get in business.” When the opportunity arose to join the CMST program at Shawmut, Dave took it.
When Dave isn’t working, he likes to play golf and spend time with family and friends. He also coaches high school kids who are trying to get into college to play football.
Dave says, “The thing I am looking forward to most at Commodore is learning from a new group of people and being the best I can be. I’m already enrolled in Lean training and that’s the kind of learning velocity I’m looking for and I’ve found it here at Commodore.”
Jason comes to Commodore from Shire, a specialty biopharmaceutical company where he was a Senior Capital Projects Manager. Jason’s time at Shire was spent in a group that managed over $500M of manufacturing, lab, office and warehouse projects that provided the infrastructure to support Shire’s huge growth – growth that occurred despite the economic downturn.
Jason has spent most of his career working closely with – or as – the client for major Life Sciences construction projects. He graduated from Clarkson University with a dual degree in Civil Engineering and Engineering Management. Right out of school he joined Kiewit, a Fortune 500 company and one of the oldest and most respected construction organizations in North America. He worked on a 100-year old rehab of a historic swing bridge in New Bedford and on the Brooklyn Battery tunnel in NYC. Then he tackled the Big Dig, working on the South Boston Interchange – what he calls “an awesome project.”
After five years with Kiewit, he moved on to Architectural Environments, a construction management firm and preferred service provider for Biogen. Jason spent four years there, managing Biogen projects – mostly in building Bio 2 – Biogen’s manufacturing facility in Cambridge. That was also Jason’s first experience with Commodore – as a competitor! (In his new role at Commodore he’ll be back, managing the Biogen account.)
Jason moved to Jacobs Engineering, a global design and construction company and one of the largest players in the life sciences sector. Jason remained there for four years, managing numerous manufacturing-related projects for the pharmaceutical giant Wyeth, now a part of Pfizer.
When he joined Shire, Jason became Commodore’s client. He got to know our company and our people, including Tom Comeau, Brian Baynes and Bob McAuliff. Jason explains that the more he got to know us, the more he realized that Commodore was the place for him. “Commodore has exactly what I desire,” Jason explains. “I think this company has the right approach; the right mentality in dealing with clients; strong senior leadership and a family atmosphere. Those elements are extremely important to me. Leadership is what makes a company successful.”
Born and raised on Orrs Island, Maine, Jason spent his entire youth fascinated with bridges and tunnels. “I’d be crossing a bridge with my Mom, and ask her who does this? She would tell me engineers and so that’s what I decided to be. I pursued that passion right through college.”
Jason’s Dad is a residential contractor. Jason started working for him at a very young age, first as a laborer and later as a master carpenter. Jason continues to have a passion for woodworking and plans to build his own shop someday.
In the meantime, he lives in Middleton with his wife Kerry and their identical twin daughters, Mia and Megan. When time permits, Jason enjoys snowboarding, golfing and ice hockey.
I love living in Boston. There is nothing like spending a Saturday afternoon at the Red Sox or Bruins game and heading to the North End for dinner.
Joe joins Commodore as an Assistant Superintendent from Plumb House – a residential general contractor located in Milford, MA. For the last two years, Joe has been working as an Assistant Superintendent, based in the field, managing projects and working directly with subcontractors.
In his time at Plumb House, Joe was assigned the 80 Fawcett Street project in Cambridge, a 450 unit apartment complex. He also worked on the Mystic Valley Parkway project in Medford, a 160 unit residential complex.
Joe is a graduate of Wentworth, with a degree in Civil Engineering. Born and raised in Norfolk, MA, Joe now lives in Bellingham, where he recently bought his first home. He says, “It feels good to start crossing projects off my list. I’ve been living in drywall dust for months.” Joe says the house will all be done in time for his wedding on August 29th, 2015.
When Joe isn’t working in the field or on his new home, you can find him snowboarding or working out. He says he’s a big sports guy – mainly football and baseball.
Yerko joins Commodore as an Assistant Project Manager. He comes from Northeast Geotechnical Inc, an engineering firm based in North Attleboro. Yerko worked there as a field engineer on projects in the private, public and residential sectors. He collaborated with construction managers to ensure that all geotechnical requirements on site were met.
Yerko is a graduate of Merrimack College, with a degree in Civil Engineering. He was born in Santiago, Chile and moved to the States when he was six years old. Yerko’s grandfather worked in the construction business. Yerko’s father had a roofing business on the side and that’s the work Yerko did for summers throughout school. “I grew up curious about how things were built, watching them from start to finish. That has always been my favorite part of construction.”
Growing up, Yerko built remote control cars and catapults. Those were his two specialties. At home, there was always a renovation underway, since his dad was a big do-it-yourselfer. And at Merrimack he competed in numerous bridge building contests.
When Yerko isn’t working, he spends time experimenting with photography. He’s a self-taught travel videographer who has ventured as far away as the mountains of Chile, the Alps of Switzerland and of course, the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Yerko is big into New England sports. He has also worked with the National Soccer team. He attended Copa America in 2015 and 2016, travelling in Chile and throughout the States, working with the equipment managers on day-to-day operations. Yerko says, “That experience was like a dream for me. I became friends with players I had idolized and was on the field with them when they won their first cup.”
Adele comes to Commodore from Whiting Turner where she was both a PA and a superintendent. For those of you who think that sounds like an unusual combination of skills – you’re right – it is! But Adele tells us that over the last 16 years at Whiting Turner, there was hardly a job she didn’t do!
Adele is as comfortable in the field as she is in the office. She has held positions as Safety Officer, Client Liaison, Accountant, Contract Administrator…all for the same company! Now, at Commodore, she will be focusing her talents on the position of PA.
Adele lives in North Reading with her husband, Rob and their two children. Between the two, they keep Adele and Rob very busy. Adele confesses that her own personal passion is photography – she says she has a camera attached to her hip at all times! Get ready to say, “Cheeeese.”
The foursome loves to be together, having fun at the beach –and hanging out with their very large, very Italian family.
Adele chose to join Commodore because of the potential to grow with an expanding firm. “I’ve been juggling so many responsibilities for so long; it’s going to feel good to focus in on doing a few things really well.”
Rich joins Commodore as a senior superintendent. He comes to Commodore most recently from Shawmut, where he worked for 20 years as a senior super, general super, construction manager and the Managing Director of New England Field Operations. During those Shawmut years, Rich managed a wide spectrum of people and projects. His portfolio includes the New College Theatre at Harvard, the Apple store on Boylston, the 5-story vertical extension at Tufts Medical, along with tons of work at the Christian Science Church, Brown University, Yale, Harvard and UNH. Rich supervised the first LEED platinum new building construction in Connecticut, the Sculpture Building at Yale.
Rich grew up in upstate New York, in a town called Clinton, near Syracuse. He attended Utica College and graduated with a degree in Construction Management. He joined Morse Diesel right out of school and landed at the Charlestown Navy Yard, which at the time was the largest rehab project in the United States.
Rich lives in Concord with his wife and their daughter. Rich is an avid golfer. He says he bought the worst house in Concord 23 years ago and he’s been working on it ever since. “Between my work, the golf, the house and my daughter, there’s not much free time for anything else…except a little travel. Between 2005 and 2013 I can honestly say that if I was awake, I was working.”
Joe Albanese and Rich built the Liberty Tree building together. Rich says, “I’d like to think the reason I’m here is because Joe Albanese remembers my capacity for managing a lot of work. I’m looking forward to being part of dynamic growth again – to being a member of the team that helps Commodore reach its true potential. That’s what I’ve always enjoyed most in my career.”
Scott began working in construction when he was 12 years old, renovating apartments with his uncle. During those early years he learned the basics of construction and laid a foundation for an interest that has lasted his entire career.
Scott enlisted in the Navy right out of high school and discovered another passion – serving our country.
From then on, Scott chose to pursue a dual career, working in the private sector as a construction professional and in the public sector as a military officer. It was during these years that he met and served with Joe Albanese. During his time in the Navy, Scott went to college and was trained as a civil engineer corps officer, focused on facilities and construction management.
The training Scott received in the Navy provided him with the skills he would later need to lead the 3-year design and development process for the West Chester, Pennsylvania QVC Television Studios and Corporate Headquarters project.
He then went on to manage a 4-year design and development process for the 1.2M SF Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Headquarters in Collegeville, PA. After Wyeth, Scott returned to the Navy, dedicating the majority of his professional time to his military career, which culminated as the Deputy Commander of the Navy Facilities Engineering Command and Deputy Chief of Civil Engineers for the Navy. He retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral in the fall of 2013.
Scott says. “I have always respected the values Joe instilled in Commodore. I have a deep appreciation for his leadership and for the respect he has for his colleagues and clients. That’s what motivates me to contribute to this organization. I have come to know Commodore well over the last 3 years. What I’ve found here are extraordinary opportunities and a purpose you don’t find every day in other organizations.”
Gary joins Commodore from JBM Builders, where he worked as a superintendent for 6 years.
During his time at JBM, Gary focused mainly on laboratory and office fit-outs, frequently at Harvard University. Prior to JBM, Gary spent 6 years at All Interiors, traveling from Virginia to Maine, renovating Sears retail stores. He was also a member of the Tierney team that built the Jiminy Peak ski resort in the Berkshires.
Gary has spent his entire career in the construction business. He says, “I’ve participated in all phases of construction. I’ve dug the holes…poured the concrete…installed the finished cabinets and everything in between. What I like best about construction is putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Gary lives in New Hampshire, with his wife Evelyn. When they’re not working, they spend their time outside kayaking, hiking, biking and doting on their granddaughter and grandson.
Cara joins Commodore from Suffolk Construction, where she was a VDC Coordinator for the last 2 years. In that position, Cara worked on projects that ranged from the $116M 24-story One Greenway project, a residential mixed-use building – to the Bean Addition – a $21M renovation and addition to the Maine Medical Center in Portland.
For each of these projects, Cara’s responsibility was to coordinate the architects, engineers, subcontractors and 3D models. This upfront, LEAN process allowed for less coordination in the field and ultimately less cost for all stakeholders.
Cara graduated from Wentworth, with a degree in Architecture. During her time in college, Cara interned with Skanska and then joined them immediately following graduation. She remained there for 2 years, working as a VDC Engineer, before joining Suffolk.
Brunelleschi’s Dome in Florence, Italy was Cara’s “aha moment” in architecture. She was there on a school trip with her family. Cara was in the 5th grade. She looked up…in awe. “That”, she says, “is the moment I knew I wanted to make buildings. I loved the artistry.” Cara says that growing up in a 200 year old house also increased her appreciation for history and architecture.
Cara was raised in a small town in Western, MA near the Quabbin reservoir. She was surrounded by cows – and a variety of American architectural styles – from Greek Revival, to Victorian and Colonial. She found beauty in each of them.
Today, Cara lives in South Boston. When she isn’t working she is a photography fanatic. She says, “I’ll take pictures of anything!” She’s a cook with a passion for Italian food and she loves to spend time with her family and her 100 pound black lab, who all still live in Western, MA.
Joe Williams has roots that go deep in Boston. He was born in the City and grew up in Roslindale, behind the first green of a neighborhood golf course. He used that real estate to master the game of golf and to learn every other sport imaginable. He even used the frozen ponds of the course to play hockey. He was fast…and smaller than all the other guys. He was a good skater. He could zip past checks and played the game until one day a stick in the eye nearly blinded him. Those were the days before helmets were invented for hockey players, so that was the end of serious hockey…but not the end of golf.
When he got to high school, Joe joined R.D. Kimball Engineers as an office boy, taking home $37 a week. After several months he had an opportunity to become a mechanical and electrical draftsman. He stayed a few years, went back to school at night and then joined a smaller engineering firm where he took on more responsibility, including early work on the design for a large project at Mt. Auburn Hospital.
He received a draft notice early in the Vietnam War and decided to join the Navy. The majority of his time in the Navy was spent in school. He completed his tour with the Aircraft Maintenance Department at Quonset Point in Rhode Island where he was in charge of maintenance for the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter’s Automatic Stabilization System, attached to the three aircraft carriers assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. When he was discharged from the Navy, Mt. Auburn Hospital was in construction and Vappi, the contractor, offered him a spot in the field. He had helped design it. Now he would help build it. That was Joe’s first exposure to construction, and he was sold.
Ten years later, he joined Macomber as a Project Manager. He was assigned to a Harvard Community Health Plan project and to a Project Executive named Charlie Albanese. The two became great friends. In time, Joe too became a Project Executive. One summer, Charlie’s son, Joe Albanese, joined Joe Williams’ team on a Boston high rise project. The two developed a bond that endured even after Joe Albanese left Macomber.
When Commodore decided to expand into the healthcare market, Joe Albanese knew just who he wanted to lead the team.
In June 2008, Joe Williams joined Commodore.
Why the healthcare sector?
I love to drive around New England, pointing out the projects I’ve been involved in – it’s something I’m truly proud of. I feel like I’ve left my personal mark on the city, in a way. Boston is a great place to live. We’re a leader in healthcare, with so many teaching hospitals and some of the most innovative healthcare delivery systems in the world. Brilliant minds are pioneering in this city. For me, working on facilities that help people get better and improve the quality of life is tremendously fulfilling.
What makes you tick?
I’m a people person. Times may change. Business may change, but the importance of relationships will never change.
What advice did you give your kids as they were growing up?
Be responsible for your actions. There’s a cause and effect in everything we do.
What are your hobbies?
I like a good golf match. I’ve been a member of the Charles River Country Club for over 25 years. I’ve served on the governor’s board and chaired the greens and grounds committee.
I have a fascination with race cars. I was a member of a pit crew for a NASCAR modified race team that competed in New England. It was very intense – knowing everything we did had an immediate impact on the driver’s safety. I love golf, too. It’s truly a great game for business and life. But it’s possible while playing for my focus to stray, thinking about business or other things. When I was racing it would never stray. It was too intense.
I’ve got a 1957 Chevy classic. They only made 1,100 models. It’s all done over with a new engine, interior and transmission. But there’s always something more to do on it.
When are you happiest?
I remember my first Hole-in-One. It took more than 45 years to get it and it made me pretty happy when I did. It was on the 16th at Sandy Lane in Barbados. But closer to home, what makes me happiest is when everything goes right. It doesn’t have to be work related, but I’m happy when I go home at the end of the day and feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I’m fascinated by watching my grandkids grow up. I have three daughters. I love spending time with their families.
What I love about this business is the satisfaction of simply building something – and solving all the problems along the way to get it done. I get a lot of pleasure from driving by projects that I’ve worked on over the course of my career – over a billion dollars worth.
In life, the things I love most are my family – golf –fast cars – my ’57 Chevy – steaks on the fire place.
As people, I don’t think we’re responsible for our actions today the way we once were. Everyone has an excuse for what’s going on in the world. Society makes excuses for why things happen. Call me old fashioned – but I think people should always be held accountable for what we do.
And I tell my grandson, try to learn something new every day. That’s what I do – and always will.
Tom joins Commodore from Redgate Real Estate Advisors, where he worked on Life Science projects for Alexandria Real Estate Equities, in Cambridge. Those projects included a cluster of Life Science facilities – including the 400,000SF ground-up 75/125 Binney Street project, the future HQ for Ariad Pharmaceuticals.
Tom has worked for Tocci and for Shawmut, but the majority of his career – 20 years of it – were spent working for Limbeck / Kennedy & Rossi.
Tom is a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering and earned his Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Dayton. After college, Tom joined the Air Force as an Engineering Officer. He spent four years there, highlighted by a one-year tour in Belgium where he worked on a nuclear missile base.
Tom climbed up the construction management ladder by working in virtually every industry sector, from life science to commercial, institutional and government. He’s managed design build projects, GMPs and lump sum projects. He just spent the last four years working in a collaborative co-location IPD environment – so there’s not contract type that Tom hasn’t seen!
Tom was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and insists on remaining a Green Bay Packers fan…going so far as to name his son after the former quarterback, Brett Favre! Today Tom lives in Marlboro with his wife, Carole and their son, Brett. (Unfortunately for Tom, Brett does not play football).
When Tom isn’t working, he says he spends time losing golf balls. He’s an occasional skier, taking up the sport just a few years ago. He likes bike riding and travelling and will sometimes join his son on Boy Scout camp outs.
Alex joins Commodore from Phoenix Mechanical Contracting, where he has been working as an HVAC Coordinator for the past two years. In this position, Alex was responsible for the coordination of all mechanical duct work and piping for a wide range of projects. He ran the group that coordinated office fit-outs, hospitals, school buildings and factories.
Now, as a member of our Commodore team, Alex is jumping across the table, from the subcontractor side to the client side. Alex says he is looking forward to taking charge of a larger portion of each project – extending his reach beyond just the mechanical aspects of a project, to include the coordination of all MEP and architectural details.
Alex graduated from Wentworth with a degree in Architecture. Back in high school, Alex took a course in Revit, where students designed houses using the software. That’s when he got hooked on architecture. But, he explains that the “artsy” side of architecture he encountered in college was not detailed enough to suit the technical side of his personality. So he gravitated away from schematic design and moved towards detailed construction.
When he graduated from Wentworth, Phoenix offered him the opportunity to get involved in a ton of up-front detailing. The responsibilities matched his through process perfectly. He says, “The move to Commodore is the natural progression of my career.”
Alex was born and raised in Lewiston, Maine. He says, “Making the move to Boston was a big deal and for a while I felt like a small fish.” But now, Alex is living in Waltham. He’s happy with the size of his fishbowl and with his proximity to Boston.
Alex describes himself as a huge sports fan. When he isn’t working he plays baseball in the Yawkey League in Boston. He golfs and plays tennis and spends a lot of time outside.
“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” Sai Baba
Jerry comes to Commodore from G. Greene where he was a superintendent for the last 2 years. During that time, Jerry worked on numerous projects for Mass General Hospital, in locations around the Boston area. Before his time at Greene, Jerry worked for Skanska. He was one of several superintendents assigned to the nearly $1B Bristol Meyers Squibb project, at Fort Devens. The 90-acre project included office fit-outs, a cafeteria, a manufacturing building, a central utility building and a flammable storage facility.
Jerry began his career as a carpenter in Local 33. He spent 11 years based on the main campus at Mass General, working for P& D Contractors. From there he advanced to the role of superintendent and the rest is history. Jerry says, “I enjoy the different coordination and design challenges that come with every new project. Working with a strong team, there’s no problem that can’t be solved.”
Jerry was born and raised in Revere and now resides in Lynnfield. He and his wife Denise have 3 children.
Jerry is a car buff. He likes working on his 1978 Corvette…he’s also a big golfer. He’s been golfing with the same group of friends for 25 years. When he’s not golfing, he enjoys watching his boys play hockey.
The People Behind Commodore
It’s our people who make Commodore unique. The way we think…the way we work together…all the individual experiences that make up who we are as a company. Click on our faces to learn something about each of us that’s not on our resumes!
Commodore. We work harder. We care more. We love what we do.
- Joe Albanese
- Jose Alcalde
- James Apodaca
- Chuck Arsenault
- Karen Babine
- Phil Balboni
- Brian Baynes
- Jimmy Belmonte
- Daniel Bien-Aime
- Rob Blanchard
- Nanette Boror
- Ashley Buckley
- Tom Buie
- Shawn Butler
- George Cantin
- Jeff Carpine
- Colleen Carr
- Hank Clark
- Peter Collura
- Tom Comeau
- Dan Connolly
- Ed Corey
- Rich Corton
- Tom Cowen
- Laura Crawford
- Sean Curtin
- Paul Daley
- Ralph D'Antonio
- Tina D'Antonio
- Maureen Doe
- Cara Donleavy
- Matt Draper
- Pete Duda
- Paul Dudek
- Tom Dumont
- Julie Erving
- Steve Eustis
- John Federico
- Amanda Finnerty
- Alicia Hobart
- Jason Flood
- Paul Genereux
- Ryan Gentile
- Susan Gleason
- Chris Glynn
- Kara Goodwin
- John Grady
- Dan Greene
- Chris Guarino
- Jim Hennelly
- Sarah Hotchkiss
- Brian Johnson
- Dave Jolin
- Krista Kelley
- Jonathan Krahl
- Lauren Larson
- Roger LeBlanc
- Elena Lelchuk
- Barbara Levesque
- Adam Lomnicki
- Jim Loud
- Dave MacPherson
- Bill Maddox
- John Maffei
- Paul Maneen
- Nancy Martini
- Paul Martini
- Nick McKenney
- Oscar Medua
- Nicholas Michelangelo
- Mike Morelli
- Jonathan Morini
- Carolyn Murphy
- Justin Nadolney
- Mark Nelson
- PK Nelson
- Ted Nevells
- Ed O'Rourke
- Larry Osmer
- Alec Paradis
- Anthony Perry
- Kevin Pessolano
- Victor Proops
- Mike Price
- Sally Randall
- Brad Reid
- Karellis Rivera
- Michael Roche
- Stacy Roman
- Kat Rosenthal
- Keivan Russo
- Jessica Ryan
- John Sables
- Kathleen Santoro-MacInnis
- John Savage
- Joe Scala
- Russ Schott
- Heather Seymour
- Chris Sharkey
- Jenn Sinclair
- Bob Small
- Jason Smith
- Jeremy Sousa
- Andrew Sparaco
- Scott St. Aubin
- Greg St. Mary
- Jim Stadler
- Beth Sullivan
- Karen Sullivan
- Jon-Erik Sutphin
- Scott Syrene
- Dave Teggart
- Jason Theberge
- Kellie Thompson
- Al Tocci
- Joe Tornabene
- Yerko Vega
- Adele Vittozzi
- Rich Waterman
- Scott Weikert
- Gary Wendell
- Cara Wilczynski
- Joe Williams
- Tom Winterhalter
- Alex Wong
- Paul Xavier
- Jerry Young