Name: Carrie Villani
Title: Director of Marketing
Company Name: LERA Consulting Structural Engineers
What was the most challenging part of working during the pandemic?
Not seeing my coworkers, clients and colleagues in person was hard. The energy we share and spontaneous interactions are so valuable and the thing I look forward to the most in the future.
What was your most notable project, deal, or transaction in 2020?
Winning the next phase at Schuylkill Yards which was just announced as the new pandemic proof office model. Seeing developers and designers pivot to create solutions for these unusual times is really amazing. LERA also designed new COVID testing labs in New York City, the design and construction were fast tracked projects and were open to the public in just weeks. Seeing design teams come together and thrive and help their communities has been the best part of this year.
What aspects of working from home did you enjoy most?
The ability to maximize each day with back to back meetings even in different cities and different countries. Video meetings became accepted overnight and now we do have more flexibility to meet with clients even if they are in another location. In addition, being able to attend events all across the country is fantastic. I have expanded my network with Society for Marketing for Professional Services (SMPS) and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). I have hosted a series of events for SMPS and am glad to have attendees from other regions as well.
What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2020?
Getting involved in new organizations! The Association of Medical Facility Professionals launched a New York Chapter and I am proud to be a founding member of the Communications Committee. I also joined the Elevate AEC Cohort, Professional Women in Construction and the Legal Marketing Association the year. I really value the fantastic virtual community we have.
What are your predictions for commercial real estate in 2021?
Life science and biotech projects will continue to thrive. The real estate industry is ready to help prepare existing spaces for these lab and research clients and find places for new facilities to be built. Enabling these clients to perform their life saving research is truly a career high point.