PMA People

Q&A with our People

John Sheridan

, Boston

What current project(s) are you working on? 

Primarily, I am helping analyze and negotiate large time entitlement and cost disputes. My largest focus is supporting MTA on several East Side Access capital projects and analyzing a claim for a large New York bridge project. I am also working with Gary Jentzen on an Eversource assignment and on Nantucket Cottage Hospital, and with Steve Rusteika on the Marshfield DPW and Police Department projects.

Do you get to do something at work every day that you love? If so, what is it?

The reason I am still at PMA after 30 years is because I get to work with bright, talented people, both staff and clients, on large, challenging construction projects. I have a diversified portfolio of assignments that allows me to collaborate and work to resolve complex issues and do it with some of the brightest people in the industry. I have been spoiled at PMA, surrounded by a special group of leaders and professionals who have worked with me for many years and who have a work ethic that is second to none. I also get to draw on the talent from across the company to help with these efforts.

What is your career highlight so far? (at PMA?) 

There have been many shared successes over the years, culminating in where I am today as Division Director. PMA NE has continuously been one of the largest, most successful offices within PMA over the years, and that is the result of the excellent team with which I have had the pleasure to work. PMA NE’s success is also a testament to the many, many successful assignments/projects this regional team has pursued and executed, several of which received national awards. The Boston Business Journal award recognizing PMA NE as a “Best Place to Work” is also special to me.

What is something new or innovative happening in your industry that makes you excited about the future?

Not by choice, but the recent events that have forced people to work from home has given PMA another option in its “tool belt” to better service clients. Combined with the variety of services we can provide, excellent communication tools like Teams and NetPoint as our standard, and clients who are more receptive to consultants performing their work remotely, PMA can better service existing and new clients using our “bench” wherever it may be located.

What was a transformative project or challenge that you did at PMA?

If I had to pick one project, the Albert Sherman Center Project (a $420M Life Science Research Facility with supporting Power Plant Upgrade and Parking Garage) might be the best example of great work by the team that I worked closely with. I believe today PMA has name recognition as an organization that provides superior services to its clients. However, in November 2006, this pursuit was considered a huge reach/risk when PMA proposed and beat out the largest program management firms to win this assignment. PMA then executed and received multiple national awards for this project, which helped put PMA’s name on the local map as one of the top OPM firms in New England. The rest is history…

Who/what inspires you to push yourself? (Personal heroes, family members, ideas)

Sports has been a big influence in my life growing up in NY, especially the concept of “team.” I admired many sports heroes from a bygone era, including Mickey Mantle, Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jack Nicklaus, etc. However, the biggest inspiration to be the best I could be came from my parents and family. I was the firstborn of Irish immigrants who had nothing when they came to this country, and they worked hard to raise a family in the Bronx. Nothing was taken for granted, you appreciated what little you had, and understood the value of family and friends. Education was the door opener and you gave 110% whether on the court or in the office. I have always valued and appreciated those who are closest to me. Still do…

What university or college did you graduate from?

My education was all NYC, starting with parochial grammar and high schools, and matriculating to Manhattan College in the Bronx. I received my BS in Civil Engineering in 1976 from Manhattan and then attended Brooklyn Polytechnic for my Masters in CE, finishing it in 1978. Two other prominent PMA leaders who graduated from Manhattan College were Tim McManus who opened the Boston office and Bruce Stephan, our West Coast ED.

What is your favorite local establishment/feature (restaurant, museum, stadium, etc.)?

Ember and Oysters were a couple of Marshfield restaurants that Laura and I often would be seen in on a Friday night, sitting at the bar to enjoy a small bite with the locals. If we got the chance, we would head up to Portsmouth, NH and look for a spot to dine overlooking the water. However, recent events have changed that to just enjoying meals at home.

Provide a fun fact about yourself?

Not sure if it is a “fun fact” but those who know me are aware I try to stay active, sometimes with results that were detrimental to parts of my body. For many years, both staff and clients expected me to show up for meetings wearing some bandage or splint based on my last “healthy sports event” (generally pick-up basketball). The only advantage to getting older and slowing down is that there have been fewer bandages!

Do you have any secret talents?

I wish I could claim “fish whisperer”, but alas, no secret talents…what you see is what you get.