2021 Women in Building Services: Susan Kessel, CNY Group

2021 Women in Building Services: Susan Kessel, CNY Group

New York Real Estate Journal June 22, 2021

2021 Women in Building Services: Susan Kessel, CNY Group

Name: Susan Kessel

Title: Project Superintendent

Company Name: CNY Group

What did you want to be when you grew up?

With my love of music, growing up I wanted to be a sound engineer. My grandfather played the stand-up bass with Louie Armstrong for a good part of his life and my Mom played the flute and piano, which inspired me to learn and play several instruments.

In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?

I was the interior project superintendent for a 1.2 million s/f mixed-use project in Queens. It includes a 30-story tower and a 14-story mid-rise building. It was one of the proudest moments in my career. I was able to demonstrate my skills and expand my knowledge tremendously, which led to a successful and rewarding accomplishment.

What books or social media influencers would you recommend to other women?

I would recommend joining the National Association of Women in Construction. They offer support and networking to help advance careers and guidance to become strong leaders.

What led you to your current profession?

Back in 1994 I was a field office manager for a construction company. I spent five years on this project and I was lucky enough to part of a team that taught me how to become a leader and offered me a position to work in the field. It was an eye-opening moment for me. I decided right then and there to further my career and become a licensed superintendent.

Who was/is your mentor and how did s/he influence/help you in your career?

I was inspired by my Dad who was a private contractor. He would take me out on his jobs with him from time to time. Realizing how passionate he was about his work, I saw how rewarding it was and that it was proof that it’s never too late to challenge yourself.

What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months?

The world has changed due to the pandemic and so have the construction trends. Technology integration has skyrocketed, helping save money and improve productivity. Another trend is 3D Printing—by building structures first in 3D to make sure all materials are properly sized. This reduces the overall construction costs.

How do you contribute to your community or profession?

Breaking the mold and bringing my skills into the field as a female and by taking the time to document my ideas and practices so I can share with others to help them and help myself.

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