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Q & A with 2018 Salute Honoree – Linda Chiarelli!

Next week we will celebrate our Annual Salute to Women of Achievement, this event gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the careers of women who are doing big things in the New York Construction industry. We are honored to be celebrating such smart, successful women. We asked this year’s Honorees a few questions and wanted to share!

Linda Chiarelli, Vice President for Capital Projects and Facilities, NYU

PWC: What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
LC: It would be hard to top the years on Barclays Center. I started that project while in the legal department and got to work on agreements with the state, city, and MTA.  By the time it was being built I was in the role of the Project Executive for construction. This project was so interesting because it had all the pieces of New York development:  like demapped streets, lawsuits, and a major subway hub.  2008 economic impacts drove a redesign.  There was a lot to overcome in this project, a lot of challenges.  But we had a great team that I still consider my friends.

PWC: One piece of advice for women getting into the construction industry?
LC: Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, one of the biggest mistakes someone can make is not knowing what you don’t know. There’s a lot of help out there, no one will think less of you.

PWC: What’s your favorite thing to do in New York?
LC: I walk a lot with my husband, we love to go on long walks through the city. Funnily enough, I always seem to bring us to a project that I’m currently working on. It helps to see my problem child in a different light. I thought that my husband didn’t realize, but he’s caught on that our walks usually revolve around my current projects.

PWC: What’s been your proudest moment in your career?
LC: Up to this moment, it would have to be Barclays Center. Towards the end of that project, Bruce Ratner pulled me aside. At first I thought something had gone wrong, but then he took me to look out on the bowl and told me to take a moment to appreciate what I had a hand in. It really brings it home when you realize you were a part of making something this big happen; it was really powerful.

PWC: What’s the best thing about your current job?
LC: Being a part of NYU’s mission is wonderful.   I enjoy trying to help figure out ways to better the process of education through the facilities.  Teachers and students need the right environment for education. My team is great, and the leadership is open and collaborative.

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