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Rich Pizzi




 What else are you into?

I’m certainly a sports fan. … If I could have picked another profession, it would have been political science.




Rich Pizzi
Architect

03/01/18



 Explain your current job.

My day-to-day work as CEO is kind of two-fold. One is the management of our firm. We are a 70-person architectural firm with offices in Manchester, Boston and Portland. We operate as one firm and between the 70 people we’re distributed between all three offices. And the other part of what I do is I’m an architect, so I am engaged in multiple health care and medical education projects, and my role in the project focuses on programming and design. I do a lot of other stuff, but that’s kind of, in a nutshell, my two primary goals.
 
How long have you worked there?
I’ve been here since 1994, so 23½ years.
How did you get interested in this field?
I wrongly assumed, when I was in high school, that if you were good in math and liked art and [were] good in art, that somehow that meant architecture. That was a mistake because, although math is important and certainly art is good, there’s a lot more to this profession than math and art. … What’s really key with architecture is it’s multi-faceted. It’s being able to be a creative thinker, it’s being able to think spatially, and, candidly, being able to work with people. This is a very complex and dynamic profession where every project has dozens of … individuals engaged in the project.
 
What kind of education or training did you need for this?
To be an architect, you need to go to college, and to be able to get your license you need to go to school at an accredited college or university of architecture. I went to Syracuse University, which has a five-year degree and it’s an accredited program. … Once you graduate and you start working in the profession, you need to get a certain number of hours under your belt working for a registered architect. And once you do that, you’re allowed to take the registration exam, which is, I believe, seven different tests. And after that, you can become a registered architect.
 
How did you find your current job?
I learned of Lavallee Brensinger Architects when the partners visited my school, Syracuse University, on a recruiting trip.
 
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
When you come out of school, you’re passionate about design and creating wonderful-looking buildings. What you learn is that the architecture that we create is really for the people who use the buildings. So it’s about creating an environment that allows them to do what they do better. It allows them to service their clients.
 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?
As much as the design aspect of the profession is really important, and it is, the other thing you don’t learn enough about in college is the ability to … communicate with people. … You need to be able to learn from your clients [and] ask the right questions.
 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
[You] dress based on what you’re doing that day. If you’re going to a client meeting and everyone in that room is wearing suits, then you’ve got to wear a suit. … Sometimes we are going to construction sites, so we’re wearing big boots and wearing hard hats. 
 
What was the first job you ever had?
The very first job was working with my dad, who was an electrician. 
 
— Ryan Lessard 





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