Name: Joe Recanatini
Title: Senior Project Superintendent
Company Name: CNY
Year that you entered your current field? 2005
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really smart and trusting senior superintendents/managers/executives over my career. They provided me with an enormous amount of training and lessons that prepared me for the tasks and issues we deal with daily. They also had the confidence in me to give me additional responsibilities that I may not have been necessarily ready for. A good part of my early career could have been characterized as a ‘sink or swim’ scenario; luckily I was able to develop the mental acuity necessary to overcome obstacles and succeed at the whatever task was assigned me. Those experiences prepared me to become a senior superintendent with CNY and help me be the lead on projects.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry?
Be a sponge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even if you think you’re annoying your superiors or peers. No one knows everything and you learn something new every day. Asking questions may bring something to light that others weren’t thinking of. The most important thing is to attack everything as a team. If you help the team succeed, everyone grows together. I’ve worked with a few senior supers that asked me to perform a task that could have been over my head, but I’d always rise to the occasion and get the job done for them. That benefitted my career, and I helped my superiors in the process.
If you have a mentor, who is it and how have they influenced your personal & professional growth?
I’ve never really had one specific mentor. I’ve worked for many great senior superintendents. Each one has taught me different lessons that I take and use to adapt how I manage and run construction projects. I’ve also worked under some supers that have given me great lessons on what not to do and witnessed management styles that didn’t motivate people to get the job done. Personally I’ve seen different ways of balancing work and personal time, which may be the most difficult task any of us have. My wife and I are planning to start a family and having a great work/life balance will help me grow both personally and professionally.
How have your life experiences impacted who you are professionally?
Ever since I was a child, my father was a role model and I was inspired by how much he achieved with hard work. That work ethic was instilled in me throughout my childhood. My parents provided me with the love and support that gave me the confidence to tackle problems head on, and that’s something you definitely need in the construction industry. My success and failures in school and sports may not directly translate to my career, but they laid the foundation that gave me the tools that I use daily.
What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?
Growing up in Brooklyn, we were the only family on the block with a swimming pool. Summers growing up, my sister and I would invite all our friends from the block to swim, play basketball and hockey, and engage in so many other activities. God bless my mother for basically running a summer day camp for the kids on East 12th St. She would make us all sandwiches and snacks. A typical Italian mother wouldn’t let anyone leave the house hungry!