Jim Grossmann

What is the most exciting thing about working in this business? What is your professional passion? 
For me, it’s the people. Every day we interact with a broad spectrum of personalities and backgrounds. That diversity is exciting to me. Whether it’s the designers explaining their amazing concepts, the developers pushing their vision for a parcel or the carpenters installing their work, the interactions with the people are what excite me about being in this business! 

What is your favorite community cause or philanthropic organization to support and why? 
I am most passionate about the Work Force Residence Job Policy programs we have in place for our projects. I was first exposed to a large scale construction project when I was 18 years old and living in a housing development in Boston that was being redeveloped. The Boston Residence Jobs Policy was enforced on that project, and because I was a resident (Section 3, Low Income) I was given an opportunity to work on the project and eventually gained access into the Carpenters Union. This opportunity to join the union allowed me to pay for and complete my college night courses while maintaining my full time position in the union, which helped me advance my career into management. I am passionate about creating these same kinds of opportunities for people with similar backgrounds as me. I am a firm believer in these programs and the good they can provide people who just need an opportunity to prove themselves.

What is your greatest Suffolk memory? 
My favorite Suffolk memory is receiving the Certificate of Occupancy at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences in Boston. At the time, this project was the largest and most complex project Suffolk had ever built. It took a dedicated, and extremely talented, staff of 30 plus people to complete this project. Throughout all the significant challenges on that project, our team stuck together until the end. The certificate of occupancy was the final victory after a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication.

What innovation have you seen in the construction industry that has made the most impact?
Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) has changed the way we plan our projects. The integration of virtual design into our projects has allowed our construction professionals to understand and plan through challenges in a more precise and thorough way than ever before. While VDC is not a silver bullet to solve all project challenges, it is a facilitator that unlocks the knowledge of our professionals and allows them to fully engage all project constituents in finding solutions. It has also eliminated much of the conflicts far earlier in the process, when making changes is less expensive and time-consuming. I am thrilled to see our senior superintendents utilize this tool in their planning because I believe it’s a real game changer for Suffolk and the entire industry. 

What is your favorite quote? 
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams