ann klee

What is the most exciting thing about working in this business? What is your professional passion?
I love being a change agent, so this is an incredibly exciting time to be at Suffolk as we lead the fundamental transformation of the industry. We are so much more than just a traditional construction company. We bring a unique platform of solutions for our clients and drive innovation – we’re constantly focused on delivering great outcomes and continuously improving. And it motivates me every day to think about what I can do to help the team.  

I’m passionate about building the best and most diverse teams, helping people grow professionally, and having fun. When you’ve got a great team and a great vision, coming to work every day is energizing.

What do you love to do when you aren’t at work? What is your personal passion and why?
I’m a huge believer in the importance of enjoying life outside of work. Whenever I can, I hang out on our farm with my two very large, drooly dogs (140-pound bloodhounds), I love to cook (mostly French or Italian food), and I work on my photography projects. I’m also a CrossFit fanatic.

What was your favorite family experience?
My mother was French so growing up, we spent summers in Southern France and traveled through Europe as a family. I have so many wonderful memories of searching for truffles with my grandfather, learning how to ski with my father in the Alps, windsurfing on the Mediterranean, and eating absolutely fabulous meals that my grandmother would prepare, accompanied of course, by terrific local wines (watered down for my younger self).

What sport did you play and how did it help you professionally?
I grew up playing everything from touch football in the neighborhood (I was a receiver) to high school field hockey and lacrosse to competitive swimming and tennis. To this day, sports are an important part of my life both as a participant and a spectator. For me, being an athlete truly instilled a competitive spirit, the drive to win and never give up, and an appreciation for the value of hard work and staying focused on the goal. Practice is hard and mentally grueling but knowing that you’ve put everything you can into a game or event makes it all worthwhile, especially when you win. Most importantly, I learned the value and camaraderie of working together as a team. There is nothing more rewarding than achieving something you never thought possible, whether an upset victory or just a great game, as part of a team that’s put their heart and soul into the effort.

What is your favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes (although I’m not sure where I first saw it): “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”

What book has helped you most in your career?
I love reading books about leadership and almost always find at least a few great nuggets that I try to apply to become a better leader. One of my favorite books is Team of Teams by Stanley McChrystal who was the commander of operations in Afghanistan and helped defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq. The book is about his experience transforming conventional wisdom to defeat the enemy. He broke down military silos, leveraging technology to create a “team of teams” focused on a common objective, and created a culture of candor and transparency, empowering every member of the team - which consisted of thousands of people spread across multiple regions - to perform at their best. It’s an incredibly inspirational read and had served as a framework for how I try to lead.