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John Fish

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

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Years at Suffolk:

42 year(s)

years industry

Years in the Industry:

42 year(s)

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- Boston Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in Boston” 2020
- Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology
- Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Regis College
- Honorary Doctor of Business Administration, Curry College
- 2020 Corey C. Griffin Humanitarian Award

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- Chair, Real Estate Roundtable
- Chair, Brigham Health
- Executive Committee Member, Mass General Brigham
- Chair, Boston College
- Board Member, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health
- Member, Business Roundtable
- Advisory Board Member, Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard Kennedy School
- Director, Real Estate Board of New York
- Member, Partnership for New York City
- Member, New York Building Congress
- Member and Co-Founder, Massachusetts Competitive Partnership

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Community Involvement

Founder of Scholar Athletes
Senior Advisory Board, Boys and Girls Club of Boston

What is the most exciting thing about working in this business? What is your professional passion?

The people. Building relationships and helping people grow personally and professionally is my passion and the most exciting part of being in the construction business. I often say “we don’t build buildings, we build people.” Being a part of corporate culture that values building people is a great honor and privilege for me, and it’s just another reason why I consider myself so lucky.

What is the most important characteristic of a strong leader?

Caring. The strongest leaders truly care about their people and their communities. Despite the many challenges we continue to face as a society, we are all human beings dealing with our own unique challenges in our own unique ways. Strong leaders understand this and are empathetic with their people. They understand everyone is in this together and that we need each other to survive, thrive and be successful. At Suffolk, caring is more than just a word. To our people, caring truly matters and makes us a stronger organization and family.

What does innovation mean to you and why is it so important for the construction industry?

Innovation is about challenging yourself and others to think bigger and bolder. It means being curious and always seeking a better way. It means taking chances and not being afraid to fail. Innovation is the key to forward progress and a better world. The construction industry is ripe for disruption. Inefficiencies and lack of productivity have plagued construction for far too long. For the construction industry to thrive, it must abandon “the way it’s always been done” and continue to evolve and push boundaries. At Suffolk, we see this as a defining moment to think bigger and leverage sophisticated technologies and processes that will help us reimagine the construction process, add real value for clients and prove impossible wrong. We want to redefine what it means to be a builder. To achieve that ambitious goal, we are thinking differently and finding new, innovative ways to add value and deliver on our promise to clients.

How does Suffolk plan to achieve this bold vision?

Our diversification strategy, Vision 2025, focuses on our core competency of construction management services but expands into vertical service lines such as real estate development funding, self-perform, technology R&D and investment, and design-assist, among other vertical service lines. Our diversification approach adds value for clients across the entire building lifecycle and establishes us as an end-to-end business capable of delivering on our value proposition “Invest. Innovate. Build.” We believe our in-depth knowledge of every project phase and proven expertise in constructability will allow us to deliver faster, more efficient services and better outcomes for clients across the entire lifecycle of a building. And we believe our approach will change the way buildings are envisioned, planned, designed, built and managed in the future.

What innovation or technology will have the greatest impact on the construction industry?

Virtual design and construction has had the greatest impact on the industry over the past fifty years and it will continue to evolve. By allowing us to build buildings virtually before we actually build them onsite, virtual modeling tools has given teams the ability to build sophisticated, complex buildings more safely and efficiently than ever before. While virtual models have been the most important technology in construction to date, I believe the future of innovation lies in data. By leveraging a clean data lake with metrics and key performance indicators pulled directly from project sites, teams can more closely monitor and measure project team performance and make the necessary adjustments to mitigate project risk and continuously improve

Name a technology you wish existed.

I wish there was a technology that could give me more hours in the day. I love what I do and 24 hours never seems like enough!

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