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Steve Giordano

DNA of a VP of Construction

Steve Giordano HeadshotWith 20 years of New York City construction experience, Steve Giordano joined LPCiminelli to establish the firm’s NY metropolitan operations. He combines his architectural sensitivities, planning ingenuity and construction expertise to deliver superior results for clients in the tri-state area. Steve began his career in architecture, but his interest in being involved in a project from start to finish steered him toward a career in construction management. He is known for his strong organization, communication, and follow-through skills which help him balance design creativity with constructability to successfully deliver projects for our clients.

Steve Giordano
VP, NYC Office
LPCiminelli

LPCiminelli

Was construction always your career path?

I originally undertook a degree in Architecture and worked in an architectural practice during my five years at college. I soon realized that I wanted to be more involved in the project from start to finish, so I minored in Construction Management and pursued construction from there.  

As soon as I started in construction it was the right fit. I love being challenged and every day is different.  

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced along your career path and how did you overcome it?  

I was a quick learner so I was given big responsibilities and complex tasks at a young age. Because of this, I found that people would always judge me by my age before seeing what I was capable of.   

By doing my homework, planning, working hard and making sure I did my job better than what anyone would expect, I earned their respect. It was also important for me to build relationships with people and to learn from them and their experience.  

What technical skills do you think are integral to role?  

For me, training as an architect helped with being able to read blueprints easily and thoroughly, and understanding the design intent. In construction you need to be able to see both the big picture and the smallest details – and be able to know which approach is right for each situation. You need to be able to visualize and explain or draw detailed field conditions, and you also need to be able to see the broader process and how the pieces fit into that.  

What attributes/characteristics do believe are integral to the role?  

At a VP level, you need to be have strong people management skills – you need to learn people’s strengths so you can build a successful team. I have an open door policy so that everyone knows they can speak to me at any time so my team is proactive about asking questions, confirming details and preventing problems. Providing leadership is key because you need people to know that the team is moving towards success.  

What is your advice to someone who is moving up the ranks in the field and wants to pursue a management/executive career?  

First and foremost get your technical skill where it needs to be – learn and execute your job well. Try to be an asset to your direct report and company, and learn your manager’s responsibilities so that, one day, you can step into that role.  

What’s your favorite part of your job?  

There are two parts. The first is having the opportunity to interact with and getting to know a broad spectrum of people. Secondly, it is being part of an industry where you are building buildings that contribute to society, such as schools and hospitals. You can see the impact you’re having on the community.  

In your opinion, how important is networking?  

Networking is very important. Building relationships with your employees, design consultants, sub-contractors and clients will all be key to your success.  

Has networking played a role in you achieving your career objectives?  

Yes, building one’s network and reputation is extremely important, and I made sure that people who had an experience of working with me realized that I am honest and always trying to do the right thing.  

In your opinion, how important is social media for networking/helping one achieve their career goals?  

I think it is becoming more important as the culture shifts towards the use of social media for networking, but nothing can replace face-to-face interaction with people.  

Compared to 5 or 10 years ago, in your opinion how would you say your role has evolved?  

When I was given the opportunity to start up the New York City office for LPCiminelli, it started off as just me with the task of building the downstate business. Over the past 3 ½ years we have grown to 30 employees in the NYC office so my role has evolved considerably, and it will continue to evolve as we continue to grow.   

What advice would you give to the next generation of professionals aspiring to become a construction leader? 

There is no shortcut to the top. The only way to decrease the amount of time it takes to reach your goals is to greatly increase your efforts in learning, take on new challenges and exceed expectations so that you can move upward in your career.