2019 Women in Building Services: Mary Serafy, BRP Companies

February 19, 2019 - Spotlights

Name: Mary Serafy

Title: Managing Director

Company Name: BRP Companies              

How many years have you been in your current field? 21 

List up to three CRE organizations that you are currently a member of: 

  • NYSAFAH
  • Building Skills

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? 
The Crossing at Jamaica Station, a 30-story, mixed-use building consisting of 669 affordable units has been the most complex project I’ve worked on to-date. It has also been the most rewarding, as it will be iconic for Jamaica, Queens when it’s completed later this year. Although I’ve been in this industry a long time, I’ve learned so much during this process, being that this is my first high-rise. It has been challenging due to the complex site conditions we encountered; the site is sandwiched between the below grade MTA station and the above grade LIRR Station and Air Train. 

What trend(s) do you predict to dominate your industry in 2019? 
Energy Code. NYC DOB is making big moves in terms of energy requirements that will ensure building envelopes are tightly sealed, and loss of heat is to a minimum. This change will be shifted across all trades, including façade and mechanical systems. In terms of façade, it will allow for more creative ways to tighten up our building envelopes and save energy due to efficient mechanical systems that will also save costs for both the landlord and tenants. Overall, this will be positive to the general maintenance and lifespan of future developments.

Which of your philanthropic endeavors are you most proud of? 
We’re proud to work with nonprofit community organizations during both the development and construction phases of our projects. We work either on the front-end, as a joint venture with not-for-profits, or at the tail-end, by fitting-out needed space for community facilities. Creating a home for these facilities helps enrich the neighborhood overall. In addition, as a board member of Building Skills, we help provide job opportunities in the construction/maintenance field for individuals within their own communities. 

What does it mean to you to be a team player? 
I believe there is no task too big that is not achievable with a team in place. I find that I work better as part of a team, as it creates a setting where everyone is motivated to reach the end goal. Development is a process with many moving parts, so being a team player is a necessity. One of the main reasons I shifted from an architectural firm to a development firm was to incorporate all aspects of a team, while fully understanding and being part of the end goal in providing needed housing to our city.

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