Spotlighting Jennifer Heikkinen

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A little bit more on Jen Heikkinen, Senior Project Manager

What do you love about the construction industry?  I love that every new project is a fresh start with its own set of challenges and opportunities, colleagues, clients, engineers, architects, and craftsmen.  Each new project is an opportunity to apply what you learned (or think you have) on previous projects, allowing for continual improvement and professional growth.  The variety of project experience and knowledge on Project Teams makes construction quite different than other industries.

Why did you enter the construction industry?  My dad is an electrician and would often take me to jobsites and to the electrical supply house as a kid.  Because of my strength in math and science prior to college I was encouraged to become an engineer.  As I explored engineering careers, construction seemed like the best fit for me.  I like being “in the trenches” on site and seeing how the job comes together.  Sensory memory is interesting; once the building envelope gets closed in, the job starts to smell like my dad’s work van and the electrical supply house and makes me remember my electrical “apprenticeship” days with my dad.

Why did you join the Tocci team? I joined Tocci to stretch my innovation muscles.  A few years back I had seen a presentation by Tocci explaining the merits of on IPD, Lean construction, and how to leverage BIM and VDC for the benefit of all stakeholders.  The concept of aligning interests and incentives in a unique project delivery resonated with me.  After being exposed to this philosophy and seeing that these were not just concepts, but powerful tools that work to improve the quality of the finished project, I couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore.  I wanted to experience it firsthand.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?  Boomer, my 4-legged 80lb Labrador retriever is my alarm clock.  When the regular alarm goes off he knows it’s time to eat; attempting to push the snooze button would be futile.

What is your guilty pleasure?  Do I have to have just one?  Ice cream and my DVR.

What is the best advice you were even given?  If you can’t be on-time, be early.

What is the coolest project you’re working on?  I’m working on a campus of projects that are all innovative in their own way.  One project is utilizing intense co-location of the design and construction teams to produce 100% construction documents that are also 100% coordinated and fabrication-ready.  The projects are using sophisticated construction techniques such as up-down construction, soil mix walls, and filigree construction.  All projects have energized, highly collaborative project teams blurring the lines between design and construction.

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