Spotlight on New England: Message From Kay Barned-Smith

(Updated May 2017)

As we now are enjoying the beauty of the return of color to our environment, I’d like to review the work of our Chapter in this busy and successful season.

In addition to a number of interesting breakfast programs, the Chapter held its annual Owners’ Forum with our good partners at SAME. In spite of rescheduling due to winter weather, we had a good turnout to a series of interesting presentations by representatives of the UMass Building Association (UMBA), New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) and Millennium Partners. Our speakers included Patricia Fillipone, Henry Young and Kathleen MacNeil and was held once again at the Westin Marriott.

In April, a group of New Englanders traveled to New Orleans for the Capital Projects Symposium. The focus was on “helping the construction management industry build the skills needed to innovate, execute, and communicate across all disciplines”, and the conference offered an impressive and engaging range of projects, efforts and technologies to that end.  Also fruitful was the Chapters’ meeting before the official conference start, whereby the Chapters discuss needs and issues with the National organization. Bruce D’Agostino discussed the organization’s strategic planning goals, which I think we can all appreciate: (a) to improve the performance of the CM profession, (b) to address workforce needs, and (c) to improve the professionalism of CM. As we consider how these goals fit into our local planning, I am as usual interested in hearing your thoughts about these goals and what concerns, thoughts, and expectations you may have as to how either the local or national entities can better serve the industry.

Finally hats off once again to our Awards Committee, which has just concluded its 23rd annual awards programs under the able leadership of Dave Doane of Massport and Steve Eustis of Commodore. Ten projects across infrastructure, building and renovation/modernization were awarded and covered budgets from less than $10 million to greater than $100 million. Viewing these awardees’ work is truly encouraging and interesting.

This year, in a change of venue, the event was held at the historic Omni Parker Hotel. Maureen McDonough, now of Suffolk Construction, gave a moving tribute to her mentors as she received the Person of the Year Award, and Secretary Jay Ash of the Baker administration both amused and encouraged the audience with a discussion of the current administration’s efforts to move communities forward with economic development options. Congratulations, too, to our Distinguished Service Awardee, Rick Bessom of Massport, who is leaving our Board after 5 years service and several golf tournaments to his credit.

We also had the opportunity to introduce and celebrate our academic achievement awards, this year presented to Amairani Garcia of Northeastern University; Edgar Enrique Arrieche, Yongxin (Jennifer) Lin and Erica Stankus of Wentworth, and Margaret Porter of WPI . Each of our recipients receives a scholarship to help support educational costs, as we all know are enormous. Having chaired this committee for several years, I am aware of the careful effort that goes into this process and so hats off to chair Wendy Riggs-Smith, and the selection committee for another incisive review and selection of the finalists.

Finally, the Chapter continues to move forward in exploring and encouraging dialogue and shared ventures with other organizations whose focus is construction. We continue to look for ways to collaborate with our allies, and will be sharing those efforts and opportunities with you as they coalesce. In the meantime I urge you to browse our website, view all that is going on and contact us with any questions or suggestions on what may be additional support or direction we can provide.

Check out to see the events and resources on the national organization’s website.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any thoughts, questions or concerns you may have about the Chapter. It is our goal to serve the membership the best way we can and any and all of your thoughts are most helpful.

CMAA-NE President Kay Barned-Smith, CCM, AIA



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