PMA People: Laurie Blacker

Laurie Blacker, Senior Technical Administrative Assistant

Detroit, Michigan

What current project(s) are you working on?
I am supporting the Detroit office with all their administrative needs, in addition to reviewing and reconciling monthly project invoices for GLWA projects.

What is your career highlight so far?
It may sound trite, but honestly my highlight has been working with such a great group of people for all these years. I talk to people who have dealt with so many conflicts with co-workers or management on the job, but here at PMA Detroit I can count those issues on one hand. As our fearless leader Bob likes to joke, working here is like a fantasy come true. I feel very blessed.

What is something new or innovative happening in your industry (CM or PM related)?
From my point of view, the movement from paper to electronic documentation and correspondence is staggering. While doing spring cleaning from 20 years ago, I’m seeing shelves and boxes full of paper letters, faxes, and reports that are now pretty much all accomplished via email, with pdfs and electronic files replacing paper on a shelf.

What was a transformative project or challenge that you did at PMA
Actually, it was when I was assigned for 2+ years to the Marathon Detroit DHOUP project. Although I hated leaving “my” desk and “my” people and I loved coming back home to the Detroit office again, I not only learned a lot at Marathon, but have made lasting friends.

Do you get to do something at work every day that you love? If so, what is it?
First, interacting with such a professional, kind, and interesting group of people. Second, seeing how downtown Detroit has transformed since 1987. From a ghost town to the exciting place full of opportunity it is now, it’s been wonderful to be a part of.

From which university did you graduate?
Although I attended years of classes at both Henry Ford and Schoolcraft colleges, I changed my mind too much to actually obtain a degree. I guess you could say I graduated from the University of PMA.

What is your favorite local establishment/feature (restaurant, museum, stadium, etc.)?
I absolutely love utilizing the Detroit River Walk, a landmark that PMA actually helped bring to life. I can cross the street in front of our building during lunchtime, hit the River Walk, and enjoy a 2.72 mile stroll along the Detroit River, savoring the water, the boats and the birds, the landscape, and the people watching. It’s a very nice perk to have access to!

Provide a fun fact about yourself?
My wonderful husband and I host concerts in our back yard! We’ve hosted everybody from local artists just starting out to nationally touring musicians who have performed in front of thousands. As performers, they enjoy the intimacy of being able to look their audience in the eyes and talk with them afterwards. It’s an amazing experience to have such talent right in our own back yard – we have to pinch ourselves sometimes.