On The Spot with Sam Garry, Development Manager, Neenan Archistruction
Shane Ferraro & Trevor Zalkind
- When people ask you what you like most about your role at Neenan Archistruction, what do you tell them and why?
I love that walking into work every day there’s almost always a novel problem to be solved or something new to be learned. Real estate development offers a constant stream of occasions to be more creative, to do something a little better or to take a new perspective on an opportunity. Very infrequently does work feel stagnant or routine. To be trite: I really do learn something new every day.
I also work with tremendous people. The culture of integrity and collaboration at Neenan is remarkably genuine. It is a relationship-centric organization, and the opportunities to mentor and be mentored are abundant. It’s a great place to grow as both a professional and as a person.
- How do you see Colorado’s real estate development industry changing over the next several years?
I see housing affordability continuing to be a big issue, especially along the Front Range. Attracting talent is currently so important to employers that it seems to affect all dimensions of the market, and cost of living is a big concern to many prospective employees. Water availability will continue to be an issue in Colorado, and construction costs are high. Unless someone can figure out how to build more affordably, we may see policy changes that will surely affect the real estate development industry. I’m curious to see if the recent condo law changes will have any significant effect on affordability in the Front Range.
- What do you consider to be the best part of Colorado?
Colorado has so much to offer that it’s hard to choose! I’m a proud native of Fort Collins, but if pressed, I’d have to say Steamboat. I’m a devoted skier and the area has some of my favorite backcountry and Nordic spots. Steamboat mountain is one of my favorites in Colorado, and I’m firmly convinced there’s no better place for an after-ski beer than T-Bar.
- What’s the best professional advice you’ve received?
A mentor once advised me to take the time to figure out what’s important to the individuals you work with. It can be tough to step out of your own complex world to look at things through others’ eyes, but I’ve almost always found my ability, or lack thereof, to do so to be a good indicator of how well I’ll work with someone. Relationships and team dynamics are critical to the success of a project, and since I work with different teams and personalities, it’s important to take the time to tailor communication to the individual and understand each person’s concerns and values. Finding win-win solutions is one of the most fun parts of my job.
- What’s a fun fact about you?
One of my favorite travel stories happened while working in Kabale, Uganda, after college. A producer friend in Kabale brought me and a mutual friend to his studio to make a song. (Note: My musical experience is limited to two years of middle school orchestra!) I later learned that one of his colleagues got his hands on our track, and it got played all over the city and made an appearance on a radio station’s most-requested list for a few weeks. Its popularity is still a mystery to me; my friends who have heard it unanimously agree my musical career should’ve begun and ended there!