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Joseph Colapietro, Jr.

DNA of a VP of Construction

Joe Colapietro Headshot With over a decade of professional experience in multifamily, condo, high rise and renovations projects, Joseph specializes in the mid through ultra-luxury markets. Joseph oversees all projects located within GAIA's Northeast portfolio while assisting acquisitions, asset and property management teams with technical issues. He is responsible for coordination of design, development and execution of all capital improvements. Joseph earned a B.S. in Architectural Technology with concentrations in Construction Management and Advance AutoCAD from New York Institute of Technology.

Joseph Colapietro, Jr.
VP of Construction
Gaia Real Estate

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

There are times that everyone has some input or direction that they feel the project should go.  The “too many chefs in the kitchen” situation. It’s a touch scenario because often everyone has expertise and has reasons for their opinion, but when there’s no process or communication between parties then it just becomes messy. If you don’t draw a fairly strict line then you can try to incorporate everyone’s ideas instead of putting together a cohesive plan. 

Everyone needs to come together in person or on a call to discuss critical paths and move on from there. Project to project you need to go back to core principles and then build your plan from there. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can optimize the outcome by incorporating the best ideas, information, and practices. It’s a balancing act, and it does require a project manager who can listen, and who can analyze different suggestions to create a project plan that is forward-thinking and ambitious, without being fragmented. 

What technical skills do you think are integral to role?  

An overall understanding of the process. Everything from design, estimating, procurement and construction. This allows you to oversee the management of your team(s) on a daily basis and understand all the moving pieces, which helps in forecasting and establishing goals.   

What’s your favorite part of your job?  

I love coming to work and not having to perform the same exact task day in and out.  The process is generally the same but the topics change daily. I’m able to learn something new every day.    

What is the one thing you have to have to be a VP (or above) of a construction company in your opinion? 

Versatility – you have to be able to wear many hats. You are the construction lead for your company, and you’re also the mediator, accountant and customer service. To develop versatility you need to be proactive. The more prepared you are in advance the easier you will find it to switch between roles and tasks. Develop a broad knowledge base, get experience in a range of parts of the business, and build relationships that will enable you to get the right advice and insights. You need to have the right foundation and the right resources at your fingertips, and that’s something you can only build with time. 

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

Never feel that you know everything. Daily learning is part of the industry. There is always something new you can do to make yourself better each morning.