Chief Executive Officer, Manning Squires Hennig
Years in current role: 5
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy the diversity of clients we work for. At some point pretty much every business needs construction and we’ve had the privilege of working for so many in the Rochester and Buffalo markets. It’s fun to build those relationships and see how the new construction helps take them to the next level.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The ever-changing regulations at the beginning of COVID were especially challenging — trying to keep people safe while also meeting contract obligations — there was a level of uncertainty we haven’t seen before. Our industry as a whole and our team specifically did a fantastic job of dealing with the ever-changing regulations around essential worker status and the emotions involved in dealing with the unknown.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the real estate and construction industries in the next 3-5 years?
Labor shortages are becoming more and more prevalent in the construction industry with increasing retirements and a lack of interest in joining the trades from the younger generations. That will start to become a major issue within the 3- to 5-year time frame. We started identifying our future leaders a couple years ago in preparation for this and hopefully we’ll be ready when the time comes!
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
I’m a board member at Foodlink and Chair of their Facilities and Technology Committee. I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with the work they’re doing — whether it be the build out of their 28,000-square-foot community kitchen, opening their brand-new Community Café or the expanded program spaces for nutrition education, volunteers and community engagement. The work has been meaningful because I am able to lend my skillset and industry knowledge to further advance their mission of a healthy, hunger-free community in a real tangible way.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
My father spent decades trying to make MSH a fun and rewarding place for employees to spend their time. When I took over about five years ago I made it my mission to make it an even better place to work with a new office, some additional benefits and more fun opportunities to spend time outside of work with fellow employees. I think we have done that, whether it be baseball games, cookouts, holiday parties or Bills games. I am really looking forward to getting back to all of that.
And, for anyone reading … we’re hiring!