New York, NY The New York Real Estate Journal recently sat down with its executive of the month, Scott Harrell, LEED AP and partner at Mancini Duffy, for a question and answer session.
Mancini Duffy is a full-service design firm specializing in architecture, planning, and interior design. Headquartered in New York City with a branch office in Millburn, N.J., the practice complements its 100 years of expertise with contemporary entrepreneurial spirit and technological skill, delivering innovative solutions for the commercial, education, financial and professional services, retail, sports, tech and media sectors. The firm’s clients include AOL, American Airlines, Aramark, Estée Lauder Companies, the Federal Reserve Bank, and Sterling Project Development Group.
Q: How did you get started in this business?
A: As a kid, I always had a pen, pencil, or crayon in my hands doodling something. I think when I took a drafting class in my junior year of high school it all started to come together. From that moment on, I loved sitting at the big drafting tables using T-squares and compasses. We have come a long way since those days! As the industry evolved to computer-assisted design, I adapted well, and enjoyed working with a variety of software. I found I had a passion for managing projects and clients and focused my career in that direction. This year I became a partner at Mancini Duffy, where I continue to create and build new relationships for the firm.
Q: Of all the roles you’ve played, what has been the most instructive?
A: It was during my years as a project manager, when I was able to mentor junior staff who were looking to evolve and learn exactly what goes into being a project manager. I don’t think anybody really knows what their special abilities may be until they have experienced all aspects of the practice, from design and technical roles to purely managing projects. I’d like to think that I have given everyone that I have mentored enough knowledge and insight to guide them in their own career path.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced working your way up?
A: I worked hard early in my career and gained valuable knowledge along the way. I took what I have learned through the years and continued to apply it toward the next level. One of the biggest challenges I faced was to learn to be patient and not rush into things too fast. I felt a slow and steady pace, methodically moving through the industry, allowed me to become better prepared to be part of the leadership team at Mancini Duffy.
Q: What would you consider some of your notable achievements at Mancini Duffy?
A: I worked with the New York Mets organization on the design of their new office space at Citi Field. During the course of the project, I was able to see the transformation of the original Shea Stadium to the successful completion of the new Citi Field—a really meaningful event for this lifelong Mets fan! Another achievement has been being able to develop long-term relationships with clients. I have been fortunate to have worked with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for almost 20 years. It is one of my passions in the business to foster trust-based relationships with all of our clients—past, present, and future.
Q: What do you think your clients value about Mancini Duffy?
A: We take pride in providing exceptional, individualized service. For every project we undertake, our commitment is to quickly comprehend the unique strategic drivers behind the assignment, and to deliver customized results within the parameters of the client’s vision, goals, budget, and schedule.
Q: What sectors are you currently targeting for growth?
A: Recently, we have been providing interior design services to the aviation sector. We just completed a 25,000 s/f renovation of American Airlines’ new flagship premium lounge and Admirals Club at JFK Terminal 8, and we’re about to start construction for a new premium lounge and Admirals Club at Philadelphia International Airport. In addition to these projects, we are also involved in the LaGuardia Airport transformation, working with LGP on the new Terminal B interiors and supplying interior design services for American Airlines’ co-location project at Logan Airport in Boston.
Harrell joined Mancini Duffy in 2004, and became a partner at the firm in 2017. With more than 20 years of project management experience in all facets of interior architectural design, he has headed up projects in the entertainment, sports, education, technology, and financial sectors for a broad roster of clients, including AOL, American Airlines, Aramark, Estée Lauder Companies, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Machete Group/Brooklyn Nets, the National Basketball Players Association, Sterling Project Development Group/New York Mets, Teachers Retirement System of the City of New York, and Time Warner. Harrell holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute.