Spotlighting Kristen Tomlinson

Tocci Stock

What was your first job out of college? Land Surveying. I was rodman on a survey crew. Upon promotion to transit-man, I became a member of the International Operating Engineers Union, Local 15D, NYC. I worked on building and bridge projects in and around Manhattan.

What do you love about the construction industry? Constant change – there’s nothing static about creating a building.  Evolve with it, or be left behind.  When one project ends and the next begins, it’s a new chapter – different location, team, and challenges.  Bonus: it’s great exercise to run up and down stairs every day while checking jobsite progress.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? The anticipation of finding out what the Universe will bring my way during the day.

Why did you join the Tocci team? During my interview with our Chief Enabling Officer, I found myself in agreement with his philosophy on IPD, BIM, and O/A/E/C project teamwork.  I admired his vision of a changed industry; even more, his pioneering attitude toward developing one.  After promising myself I wouldn’t accept an offer from a “status quo” company, how could I not join the Tocci team?

What are your thoughts on the state of the industry?  Companies that survived the recent downtrend – and used it as a springboard to educate their people, acquire talented staff, assess their business model, and streamline their processes – are poised for an upswing in work.  The resulting innovations are sure to raise the standards in our next “boom” cycle.  This is an exciting time.

What is your guilty pleasure? At work:  cost control – picking apart estimates to ensure accuracy.  At home: chocolate fudge ice-cream with dark chocolate coated pretzels.

What is the best advice you were even given?  “You can’t take anything personally.  Leave your emotions out of it.”  (From a Project Executive, advising me on how to handle an unhappy subcontractor.  I promptly started crying at his desk.  Fortunately I’ve come a long way toward mastering the concept.)

What is the coolest project you’ve worked on?  225 Binney St., one of the Alexandria Center at Kendall Square Cambridge projects, is my current assignment. Working in the spirit of IPD (less the contractual obligations), the Architects, Engineers, CM, and Subcontractors are co-locating with us – modeling, questioning, and solving problems in real time.  Come visit our field office to experience how cool CoLo is.

How are you redefining the construction industry?  Spreading the TBC mission – and choosing to do it with kindness and understanding.  It’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone say, “but we’ve been doing it this way for 20 years.”  Which is a good thing – and saves me from my “Why Doing It For 20 Years Doesn’t Mean We’ve Been Doing It Right” speech.

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