22 Nov An Interview with AnaTracey Hawkins
Office Insight: An Interview with AnaTracey Hawkins
AnaTracey Hawkins has been promoted to senior vice president of strategic growth at CNY Group, a construction and development services firm based in New York City. Since joining the company in 2018, Hawkins has increased brand awareness across both new and existing markets. Her promotion is recognition of this achievement, and she will continue to lead CNY Group toward future advancement. I spoke with Hawkins about her start in construction, and the importance of networking and mentorship.
Anna Zappia (AZ): AnaTracey, you grew up in New Zealand. Can you tell me about your time there?
AnaTracey Hawkins (AH): I grew up in the far north of New Zealand, about two hours north of Auckland. My father is a builder and my grandfather was a bit of a low-key developer. So, building is in my blood. My father wanted us to have the experience of growing up on a farm. We had a horse and there were sheep and cows, we were definitely in the countryside. As soon as I could, I moved to Auckland and studied quantity surveying, not because I had any true passion for building at the time, but because I thought it would give me opportunities to work overseas.
AZ:What happened when you came to the United States?
AH: I got an opportunity while I was living in Miami. I was here in the States for just a month or two. A Long Island based construction company called Stalco Construction wanted me to help with Business Development, particularly in the New York City market. The job came about randomly, and as soon as I heard more about it I knew I wanted the job. I’ve lived in multiple countries all over the world, and what I’m really good at is landing somewhere and figuring stuff out. I didn’t know New York, I wasn’t familiar with construction here, but I had this interesting challenge of how to figure out this puzzle. How was I going to get a Long Island-based company new projects when I had no network in New York?
That’s why I love construction. It’s fascinating, it’s always changing. You have to learn and you’ve got to be on top of your game. Something new is happening constantly. There are different types of personalities. It’s a very interesting industry.