Featured Author

Brian Ferry

Marketing Manager

Skanska, USA

  • Member, SMPS-NY
  • Director, Sponsorship

It was a picturesque backdrop to a sensational event. Snow falling as commuters walk in the shadows of Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, and the ever-growing steel core of One Vanderbilt.

Mixed in with those daily commuters were more than 100 professionals from the architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate industries, converging on the luxurious Grand Ballroom at The Yale Club, site of the 2018 SMPS-NY Principals’ Breakfast.

Fresh off the heels of a very successful panel on development in the five boroughs, the New York Chapter’s Programs Committee, led by Director Christy Rose, Liebhaber Company, and Committee Chair Matthew Barlow, Dattner Architects, planned a fresh and engaging event. This year’s Principals’ Breakfast catapulted the chapter’s most highly anticipated panel event back into the lead of the region’s best networking and market forecast receptions.

Presented in coordination with Professional Women in Construction (PWC), attendees took in an outstanding panel discussion that covered topics as broad as waterfront development, public infrastructure, and retail repositioning to MWBE opportunities, driverless cars, and the Internet of Things. Principals and creative staff alike gladly helped themselves to a new and improved “breakfast” buffet; mini bagels and fruit were still there, but were complimented by a savory spread of scones, scrambled eggs, and an El Capitan-sized monolith of bacon.

Moderator Jessica Walker, president and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, kicked the program off and guided the discussion in a very understated and effective manner. Amy Plitt, editor of Curbed NY (@curbedny), and Neysa Pranger, director at Strategy Consulting Intersection (@intersection_co) complimented one another in a discussion of the future of transportation and innovation within the five boroughs (Pranger’s company is the brains behind the city’s LinkNYC WiFi kiosks). Ward Dennis, partner at preservation specialists Higgins Quasebarth (@hqpreservation), effectively provided insight and commentary on building repositioning in East Midtown and beyond. CREW NJ President and Land Use and Construction Law practitioner Jennifer Mazawey of Genova Burns (@GenovaBurns) contributed vital perspectives on development projects throughout New Jersey, including those taking place in Harrison and Journal Square and what’s planned for “The Other Waterfront” in Bayfront, the 100-acre development site on Jersey City’s west side.

“I love meeting people … but I appreciated the excuse to meet and network with people who sat at my table,” remarked Laura Patel, a DIRTbag (their title, not mine) and Director of Global Partnerships for DIRTT Environmental Solutions. Patel referenced the speed dating-style warm-up, facilitated by SMPS-NY President Alexis Newman, where those seated at tables of 10 had one minute each to tell one another one success from the prior year and one goal for 2018. “For me I found that to be exceptionally valuable; that was the thing that really stood out.”

Photos from the Principal’s Breakfast can be found here in the Spotlight Blog Gallery!