PAUL RIGHENZI, PROJECT MANAGER
Employed by KBE for 4 Years
What was your job position when you were first hired by KBE and what is your job position today?
I started at KBE as an intern in the summer of 2015, and then finished my B.S. in Construction Management degree at Roger Williams the following May. I started full-time with KBE right after graduation, working in the field as a Project Engineer. My first projects were with Mike Newton at the Lock-Up in Arsdley, NY and the renovations for First Niagara Bank in New Haven, CT with Adam Moore. I really appreciated the interest KBE showed in me during and after my internship. They told me they wanted to hire me after I graduated, and it was a sense of them putting their trust in me and me putting my trust in them.
How has KBE supported you in your career growth?
I would say that my career growth here has definitely been very fast. What’s really helped has been having Tony Maselli, our VP of Field Operations, as my mentor and guide as I’ve progressed in my Project Manager role. He’s always been there for me whenever I have a question or need some advice. And truly, everyone has been there for me as I’ve learned the ropes.
What makes KBE stand out among other employers?
It’s interesting – my friends in my graduating class all went different ways – a lot of them ended up at the “big” companies – Gilbane, Turner, Shawmut. We all stay in touch, and from what I’ve seen, I’m still here at KBE and a lot of my friends are on their second or third job. If I had to guess, it’s because construction is a tough field and it’s not for everyone. You’re not going to be happy anywhere if it’s not what you love.
What do you most look forward to in your job each day?
To be honest, I didn’t think I would be in this position with so much responsibility so fast. But I know I’m not alone out here, it’s not sink or swim. I’m definitely getting the guidance I need to grow and learn.
In one word, describe the culture at KBE.
Loyal. KBE is very loyal to our people. That’s what I tell people who are younger or newer to the company – if you are loyal to them, you’ll get it back.
How are employees empowered to help shape or participate in the corporate culture?
The fact that we’re doing this interview right now shows that they are interested in what I have to say.
How has working at KBE allowed you to realize your career goals?
To be honest, school doesn’t even prepare you for everything a construction job entails. You really need to experience it to see if you really want it. Thus far, this makes sense to me. I like how things are really black and white. The problem is that everything has the same deadline. Time management really is the hardest part of my job – trying to do a million things at once.
How have you seen KBE grow throughout the years?
When I first started, we were predominantly New England…it really blew up with NVC [Scottsdale, AZ] coming on and KBE-NY [metropolitan NY & NJ] – that’s a huge growth. I think it’s a healthy thing for the company.
What is one thing that KBE does well for its employees?
I think that compared to other construction companies, KBE tries to keep everyone in the know, what with our company wide meetings, weekly town halls, newsletters, PM/super meetings. KBE really works to keep us connected.
What is one thing you would tell someone who is interested in working at KBE?
I’d tell them that they need to be an extremely hard worker and someone who is very committed to the company. If you can do the job and do it well, KBE leadership will recognize and remember that – and show you their appreciation.
How would you describe KBE’s leadership?
They will put a lot of trust in you at the start. You will be put in tough positions to see if you handle it, and you’ll be challenged to see if you can learn from your experience and your mistakes. And they will help you and not penalize you if you screw up.
What is your favorite thing about working at KBE?
I never feel that I am micromanaged. I’m trusted to do my work, set my agenda and goals. It might be difficult but I think it’s pretty cool that I am in charge of these projects.