Mike Keaney joined J. Calnan & Associates in the late 1990s as a Construction Superintendent and in 22 years has built a high-growth career that has led him to being named Director of Field Operations.
One of Keaney’s favorite JC&A traditions is the regular hosting of company-wide get-togethers that help employees build and maintain relationships with colleagues at all levels of the company. These get-togethers also help new employees experience the firm’s culture and help them put a face to a name when meeting other groups within the organization. These events are part of the JC&A Way, which differentiates it from firms in the wider construction industry.
The JC&A Way embodies integrity and teamwork, according to Keaney. Working together as a team to achieve project goals is a guiding principle that has created a family-like atmosphere of inclusion and respect. The emphasis on integrity and teamwork strengthens the team and builds trust in idea-sharing, so that clients will benefit from a holistic approach. This is how JC&A is able to partner seamlessly with owners, clients, owner OPMs, engineers, architects, subcontractors and vendors to share the right information to be fully informed and make recommendations in a timely fashion.
One of Keaney’s proudest moments at JC&A was experiencing how the firm rose to the occasion and worked through the Covid pandemic with grace and integrity. During an unprecedented time when companies around the world were making tough personnel decisions, JC&A’s partners decided to keep moving forward and retain all employees. The pandemic did not bring JC&A to a stop but allowed the firm to define itself as a company and problem-solve the best ways to keep employees healthy and safe during their workdays. Crucial decisions were made head-on regarding procedures, PPE, equipment and materials needed on-site and in the office so that JC&A staff felt healthy and confident. Sanitizing and wash stations were built and written programs were created to reopen sites. All of these steps were taken proactively so that construction projects could resume as soon as local and state authorities permitted.
This approach reflected JC&A’s culture of responsiveness and accountability, and how its teams see it as second-nature to pitch in as needed for its work and surrounding community.
“You get to stand very tall when a group and community you are associated with, like this one, does not give up but looks for ways to resolve problems and make things work. This is the group you want to go through the thick of things and tough times with,” Keaney said. “I’m lucky to have them all around me.”
Keaney is also proud to work with JC&A for its open-door policy that encourages employees to reach out to higher-level managers and means management is always willing to hear employee ideas.
In 22 years, Keaney has participated in more than 100 construction projects for JC&A. One of his favorite projects was 200 Forest Street in Marlboro. The scope of work involved taking a vacant, older multi-story building and repurposing its 800,000 square feet for office space. Keaney and his team updated the MEPs, added new windows, cafeteria and fitness center, in addition to cleaning and abating the building of all hazardous materials. Exterior improvements included new parking lots, covered delivery areas for vehicles and the updating of underground utilities. The building now houses health care offices, biological testing labs and several other offices that created about 4500 new jobs in the area. And in an example of how things come full circle, one of the site’s tenants became the first in the state to step up and take on testing for the Covid-19 outbreak, showing other facilities the proper testing procedures needed to help get the deadly virus under control.