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JC&A Blog | Meet Christie Muilenburg

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The decision to join JC&A comes about differently for each one of our team members. While some may spend months or even years deciding whether they are ready to take the next step in their careers, others are drawn to our family immediately. The latter was the case with Christie Muilenburg, a Project Manager at JC&A who felt an immediate connection to the JC&A family and knew right away that she had found her new home.

“JC&A was actually a last-minute recommendation to me by a local recruiter after I had already decided on another company in Boston,” Christie says. “I knew immediately after meeting with Jimmy, Chet and Dave that JC&A is where I needed to be.”

Christie, who joined JC&A one year ago as an Assistant Project Manager and was recently promoted to Project Manager, made the brave decision to move to Boston without knowing anyone in the area.  As such, she was able to find a particularly special kinship with her JC&A coworkers–many of whom have now become her first friends and family away from home. As a result, Christie’s team members are particularly important to her and a consistent reminder of why she continues to put her best foot forward every day.

“That’s essentially what “The JC&A Way” means to me–working hard for my team because they’re doing the same for me,” she explained. “It means providing the best experience possible for clients, coworkers and acquaintances, because I know firsthand that the relationships you make truly matter. It means going to work Monday-Friday knowing that I have the tools and support to be successful in this career.”

In addition to the close relationship Christie enjoys with her colleagues, her JC&A career has also consisted of other special moments. One example is her participation in the client interview for 880 Winter Street during her time as an Assistant Property Manager:

“It’s not often that an APM gets the opportunity to prepare for and partake in project interviews–especially for projects as large and complex as 880 Winter Street,” she said. “I would say it’s the proudest moment of my JC&A career so far, and I’m immensely grateful to the entire team for the effort and dedication they have for this project.”

For this reason, it comes as no surprise that Christie counts 880 Winter Street as among her favorite projects. Others include Enbridge and Acceleron, during which projects she worked with teams including Garrett Zetocha, Chet Braun, Steve Copeland, Chelsie Gilbert, Molly Gates, Ryan McDonald and Steve Gavin.

In addition to the outstanding work that Christie and her coworkers do, Christie is also particularly proud of JC&A’s philanthropic efforts.

“Our team puts a tremendous amount of thought and effort into the charities and events that JC&A continues to participate in,” she said. “JC&A encourages employees to contribute on a higher level than just donating money, and involvement comes from every level of the company. This makes a real difference in creating a work environment based on kindness and compassion.”

JC&A Blog | Meet Kensley Beaucejour

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Kensley Beaucejour joined J. Calnan & Associates’ team as an Assistant Project Manager in February of 2020–a particularly volatile time for many industries. However, after over a year of career and personal growth, Kensley has no regrets.

“Honestly, when COVID-19 hit while I was still a newbie, I certainly didn’t think that I’d be getting this far,” he says. “I clearly thought wrong. It warms my heart every day knowing that despite all of the craziness currently happening in the world, I get to be part of such a great family.”

The JC&A family, however, is not what initially drew Kensley to our firm. Nor was it our annual Christmas Party, which he now lists as his favorite JC&A tradition. Following his prior work as an Assistant Project Manager and Construction Manager at Manganaro North America, Kensley found himself particularly intrigued by the wide variety of projects JC&A takes on. Over the past 25 years, our firm has built itself up to be one of the best construction management firms in the Northeast, tackling a wide variety of projects that have helped shape cities and communities throughout. So far, Kensley has had the opportunity to work on some of these projects himself, citing Berkshire Grey and Moody’s Investments as among his favorites.

Where Kensley’s passion truly lies, however, is in improving the lives of those around him–and learning how to better himself along the way. This is reflected in his own interpretation of “The JC&A Way:”

“To me, The JC&A Way is an informative mindset and environment that’s markedly unique and different from anything else I’ve experienced,” he says. “Being a part of the JC&A family and growing from within that family has allowed me to improve my character and how I see things in a way that expands far beyond the workplace.”

His commitment to helping others is far from just talk; Kensley also helped found and serves as Co-CEO of the KOLS Foundation, a group dedicated to aiding in the development of children around the world, most recently in Haiti and Guinea. After moving to the United States following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Kensley’s focus on assisting those other than himself has become a significant part of every aspect of his life.

“I would say I’m ultimately most passionate about helping the less fortunate,” he says. “I’d like to achieve my fullest potential, and for me that means bringing people together to build homes/communities and participating and contributing to all aspects of life.”

Today, that dedication to building communities has led Kensley to JC&A, where he complements his work at KOLS by working to build homes, communities, and shelters throughout the country. With his expertise, determination and passion for his work, Kensley is and always will be a cherished addition the JC&A family, and we’re proud to work alongside him as he continues his personal mission of being a force for good.

JC&A Blog | Meet Megan Kukal Sabourin

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Megan Kukal Sabourin’s continuing JC&A career is as much a story about family as it is about the projects she has worked on and managed. Since joining the firm 15 years ago, Megan has grown alongside our team in a way that extends far beyond professional relationships, making JC&A an extension of her own family in many ways.

One of my favorite traditions at JC&A has to be the day before Thanksgiving. I think back fondly to my son meeting Santa and having him join me for a day at work. “Receiving and making my first Bongi turkey was also a moment that I still hold dear to this day,” she reminisced.  Traditions like these make the JC&A team much more than a group of colleagues; they’ve become part of my family.”

While Megan originally came to JC&A with experience working at larger and start-up firms, she knew that she was still trying to find the “sweet spot.” What began as a Fall co-op position where she’d hoped to gain more experience soon evolved into where she is today – a highly respected  Senior Project Manager with 15 years of extensive and varied experience.

“When I came to JC&A, I was still trying to figure out what sized company I would enjoy working for after graduation,” she explained. “I quickly came to realize that JC&A is where I wanted to end up, and nearly 15 years later the JC&A family has grown substantially, and I still know that it was the right move.”

The road to Megan stepping into the Senior Project Manager role is one that she takes great pride in. In fact, she describes the project during which she was promoted to Project Manager–the completion of 200 Forest Street–as one of the proudest moments of her JC&A career. She places it alongside other pivotal moments such as her ten-year anniversary and her work on Bioverativ, a 100,000 square foot fit-out where the firm converted a chemistry lab into one which focused primarily on biology.

“Those projects were rewarding, but one of the most rewarding parts of being at JC&A is seeing so many PCs and APMs I’ve worked with grow in their careers,” Megan said. “It makes me so proud to witness them evolve to become more confident, capable, and responsible for managing the amazing projects that we undertake. It reminds me of my own days starting out  here and the ways in which the team has helped me grow professionally  and personally.”

That pride is something that Megan brings with her everywhere she goes. She describes pride as the true meaning behind “The JC&A Way,” saying that, to her, it refers to approaching each project and client in a way that demonstrates deep respect and care. Doing so helps build mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationships with clients and leads to sustainable, efficient construction practices.

“Pride and respect are important in letting clients know that you’re here for them,” Megan explained. “Not only does this make the construction process as painless as possible, but it also eases clients’ transitions into their new space.”

Each member of the JC&A family has a different story to tell and a unique perspective on what the firm means to them. For Megan, JC&A is as much a construction management firm as it is an organization that has helped her grow her own family and create precious memories. The pride and care she brings to her work truly exemplify the JC&A way.

JC&A Blog | Meet Luke Griffin

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Luke Griffin’s story of joining JC&A embodies the firm’s familial approach to team-building and emphasis on professional development. Griffin has been with JC&A for more than five years, not counting the two years he spent as an intern (which Jim Cahill is quick to point out).

Griffin started working as an intern while still attending Tufts University and has worked his way up to project manager. During his first year as an intern, he was mentored by Mike Wilson and took in everything he could about the industry from him, including the importance of building relationships.

As a project manager, Griffin says that he continued to be mentored by and learn from his colleagues, including the best superintendents and project executives in the business.

“I gained all of my construction knowledge by sitting in the room with my teammates and learning why they do the things they do and how they do them,” he said.

These countless hours spent walking the jobsite with superintendents provided invaluable learning opportunities. He is grateful that his mentors chose to spend time teaching him when they could have been heading home following a long day at work.

Looking back, Griffin credits his decision to join JC&A to Jay Calnan and Jim Cahill. He grew up playing hockey with Calnan’s son Chris and knew nothing about JC&A. “All I knew about Jay was that his son was one of my best friends and that he has an incredible ability to talk to anyone and truly care about what they are saying,” said Griffin.  “He told me to reach out if I was ever interested in getting into the business.”

It was while interviewing with Cahill for his internship that Griffin realized he wanted to work at JC&A.

“When I met with him in the office for my interview, he immediately cracked a joke and told me to call him Jimmy. At that moment and through the rest of the interview, it was like I was talking to a friend I had known for years. That is the type of guy he is. He will always make everyone around him feel comfortable and be themselves. After my meeting with Jimmy, I knew this was the place I wanted to work.”

Luke’s proudest moment at JC&A was completing the Kronos headquarters project in Lowell, Massachusetts. Though there were many moving parts and multiple teams, the project proceeded smoothly, a testament to the JC&A Way, which Griffin likens to “hard work and dedication.” For this major project, he worked alongside an expert JC&A team led by Jeff Cameron, Mike Keaney, Larry Thibodeau and David Perry, as well as the external design team, led by Perkins Eastman and WB Engineers, and the Kronos internal team.

JC&A Blog | Meet Mike Keaney

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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.