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Congratulations Fall 2019 CI Graduates!

Posted By Chris Kullstroem, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

This November, CI proudly acknowledges 20 graduates for successfully completing their Certificate Programs!

CI's Project Management Certificate graduates include:

Christopher Babon from Cushman and Wakefield

Matt Norris from Danbury Hospital
Kate D'Albis, Tyler Desilets, Robert Flament, Emily Haynes, Aaron Hoffman, Jack Kane and Octavia Plesnik from Haynes Construction
Patrick Johnston from FirstLight Power
Tim Schnetzer from McPhee Electric
Justin Gonet and Jully Patel from Standard Builders
Michael Vittorio


Each PM graduate enrolled in CI's blended learning program, enabling them to complete one session of each workshop on their own time online before attending live instructor sessions in Hartford. 

"The experiences of the speakers provided an easy-to-understand approach," said Pat Johnston of FirstLight Power, who completed both the Facilities Management and Project Management programs. "It felt like mentoring sessions in a classroom." 

Courses in the Project Management Certificate Program include:

Principles of Project Management
Project Scope Management
Project Communications Management
Budget Management: Managing Project Costs
Project Schedule Management: From Project Initiation to Closeout
Management of Legal Exposures

For the final course in the program, attendees were able to choose from multiple workshop electives. Selections included Environmental Health and Safety, Construction Contracting and Change Orders and Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities.

Six participants in CI's Facilities Management Certificate Program include:

Ray Bennett, Michael Gath and Christopher Pomeroy of Danbury Hospital
Patrick Johnston of FirstLight Power
Douglas Rogers of CREC Construction Services
Richard Presner of Crown Properties, Inc.

"I found interaction with the knowledgeable industry professionals (both those teaching and those taking the certification program) to be the highlight of the program," shared Ray Bennett, Facility Design Engineer and Project Manager with Danbury Hospital. "I've created and started using custom spreadsheets I learned about through the classes."

Each graduate completed five, 4-hour workshops covering various aspects of facilities management at CI's Hartford location. Their fall schedule included:

Facilities Operations and Maintenance Management
Facilities Construction and Project Management
Facilities Planning and Design Management 
Financial Management of Facilities 
Fundamentals of Facilities Management

CI's final, fall graduate includes Jeffrey Libby of Standard Builders who successfully completed his Construction Management Certificate Program. In addition to taking four workshop requirements in construction management, Jeff chose elective workshops Becoming a Problem-Solver: Dealing with Conflict as a Normal Part of Business and Principles of Project Management for completing his program.

"The highlight was each curriculum tied with personal experiences," Jeff shared. "Through so much group involvement I was able to put myself in other people's shoes and understand both sides of how things can be interpreted."


CI Certificate Programs are available during fall and spring semesters. For more information, head to or contact Chris Kullstroem at or 860-768-5869.

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How Professional Education at CI Will Improve Your Team's Engagement

Posted By Chris Kullstroem, Tuesday, July 16, 2019

As any manager will tell you, adding National Doughnut Day to the staff calendar perks up the whole office. And why shouldn't it? Who wouldn't be motivated by the thought of starting their day with a Boston Cream or Powdered Jelly? Or both?


Managers also know that, beyond doughnuts, employees are motivated by different things. For some, it's a sense of financial security. For others, it's a feeling of inclusion and being part of a group. Many are motivated by the chance to shine: demonstrating their unique skills and acquiring new ones through constant learning. According to Chief Learning and Talent Officer Kelly Palmer, the top four employee drivers are directly linked to career development. Opportunities for learning how to do their role better while opening up possibilities for advancement is a major factor in how workers view their position in a company -- and can contribute to that company's success.


If this wasn't reason enough to accompany that Boston Cream, a huge benefit of prioritizing employee motivation is that it allows your staff to feel valued. In her article "The Psychology of Motivating Employees through Training and Development," training professional Joan Tannerexplains that when employees feel valued and their career goals are heard -- and acted upon -- it boosts their self-esteem. This directly impacts one's emotional attachment and loyalty to their organization and brings heightened enthusiasm to the workplace. As a result, "employees feel happier in their work, become more excited about the prospect of success and develop a higher self-worth."


What's the easiest way to find out what motivates your workers? Ask them. What do they want? How can you help them achieve their goals so the future is something that you, as their employer, help shape? If you're in the AEC industry and your employees want a future in management, consider enrolling them in a CI certificate program in Construction ManagementFacilities Management or Project Management. Learners can complete all requirements for the program in a single semester with classes running September-December. Is your staff interested in leadership? This fall, CI is rolling out a brand-new Leadership series. Classes include Change Management,Coaching for ManagersConflict Resolution, Sexual Harassment Prevention and more. Enrolling workers from multiple departments also brings additional advantages: it allows people from different positions to gain skills in tackling projects together, and it builds connections that foster a stronger, happier workplace.


This year, provide opportunities that let your workers know you value them as much as you value their work. Invest in them and your company's future with professional education... and a stop at Dunkin' Donuts.


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How is Construction like Golf?*

Posted By Nancy Greenwald, Sunday, July 14, 2019

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” – Arnold Palmer

As the Construction Institute’s 25th Annual Golf Classic approaches, it is time to reflect on the parallels between golf and construction. 

Both require mental preparation

Some of the best golfing minds have said, golf is 80-90% mental. In this respect, golf is not unlike design and construction, where mental preparation translates into advanced planning, including detailed drawings and specifications, and the greater the emphasis on completeness before breaking ground, in other words the better the “mental preparation” the more successful the process.  

Both involve simplicity and complexity

Hitting a golf ball may seem like a simple act, but it involves complex input, for example, calculating distance, taking wind into account, mastering your physical stance and balance, and transferring energy from your swing to drive the ball in the right direction for the right distance. Similarly, the simple beauty of a completed building, bridge, or other structure, does not reveal the underlying complexity of the design and construction process. As in golf, no one thing makes a system complicated. In a construction project, it’s an accumulation of thousands of small details and actions over time that form a complex system.

Experience matters in both

On the golf channel they claim that an average proficient golfer takes about 300 weekly lessons while playing at least 32 holes per week over a period of many years.  When each construction project involves a unique design, tailored to meet the owner’s needs, zoning and environmental requirements, and involves unique field conditions, a depth of experience is invaluable.

Relationships matter on the green and on the job

Good business relationships depend upon experiences shared and connections forged. This happens over time in construction as companies work together successfully on projects. Shared experiences and connections are forged as well on and around the golf course as players support each other’s efforts and enjoy each other’s successes. Our mission at the Construction Institute is to promote cross-industry collaboration - on the job and on the course!

Join us for the 25th Annual Golf Classic! Register now!

*This post is adapted from an article written by Nancy Greenwald that first appeared in the New England Real Estate Journal on August 19, 2016.

Tags:  #golf #leadership #networking #AEC 

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Construction Institute Leadership Blog: A Combination of committee members’ perspectives

Posted By Leadership Program Taskforce, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

We are in a precarious period of transformation across the A/E/C industries and looking for ways to incorporate new techniques and philosophies into our own business.  We want to know how to become effective leaders in this environment. All of us know people who lead organizations.  Some do it gently while others take a more combative approach.  Although, it does take certain characteristics such as discipline, understanding, and passion we know that there is no solitary style of leadership.  The real trick is to know when, and how to use your skills. 


At the Construction Institute’s First Annual Leadership Conference each of us has an opportunity to learn, interact, and hear from industry leaders such as, Jim Cramer, Former EVP, AIA, Founder, DesignInteligence, Vaki Mawema, Senior Associate, Gensler, and Susan Klawans, Lean Strategist Consultant, Former Senior VP, Director of Operational Excellence and Planning, Gilbane Building Company.  The full day program will also feature two panel discussions focusing on navigating leadership in the changing A/E/C industry, and the second panel on technology, entrepreneurs, generational differences, and delivery methods.  In addition, the program will also offer 8 breakout workshop sessions to choose from including such topics as “Listening Like a Leader”, “Building a Bulletproof Business”, “How to Create Systems to Allow for Change”, and “Starting Your Path in Other Realms of Leadership”.  This event is to take place on Thursday November 15th at Eversource in Berlin, CT.  Learn more at



Tags:  leadership 

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IndustryREdesign: Hear From Those Who Attended

Posted By Brent Robertson, Fathom, Thursday, January 11, 2018

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What have your learned from IndustryREdesign?

Posted By Brent Robertson, Fathom, Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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IndustryREdesign Workshop #3

Posted By Brent Robertson, Fathom, Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Over the past year, attendees of IndustryREdesign workshops have been exploring collaboration as a vehicle for more creativity, satisfying relationships and much more successful projects. In the first workshop, we explored, why collaboration matters and over the course of a project, what kind of collaboration has the biggest effect. In the second, we used those ideas to inspire a creative exercise to design a pitch where the winning firm won by proposing the most collaborative approach to a kickoff meeting.  


In the third workshop, we will challenge one of the biggest limiters to collaboration, contracts. We will create, in real-time, a manifesto. A set of principles that if followed, would set teams up for success right from the start, and have the benefits of collaboration be fully realized by all involved. Join us, and be an author of change. 


As always, attendance is limited.  Click here to register.



Reports from previous workshops:


Related articles:

High Profile (Feb 2017) - Collaboration is Your Competitive Advantage


High Profile (Sept 2017) - What Living on Mars Taught Me About the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industry



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