PMA People

Q&A with our People

Steve Rusteika

, Boston

What current project(s) are you working on?

My group currently has 25 open projects that we are managing. I spend the bulk of my time on the Town of Marshfield Police Station and DPW Facility Projects, the City of Quincy Public Safety Complex, and three projects in the Town of Andover: West Elementary School, New Ballardvale Fire Station, and Andover Senior Center. We continue to be actively involved with projects at Harvard University, MIT, and Northeastern University, and in the construction of the new YMCA Facility in Lynn, MA. Recently, we were selected for two new projects: an expansion of a food processing plant in Danvers and a sludge processing plant in New Jersey. The group continues to be very busy.

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

I really enjoy mentoring and guiding people so they can always improve and grow professionally, like I did early in my career. PMA has always been employee focused and this COVID 19 pandemic we are experiencing has made that even more clear. We are successful because we have great people who work very hard and are committed to each other, our clients, and PMA. I enjoy helping people achieve their goals.

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

For me, the top three are the historic restoration of the McKim Building at the Copley Square Library, the Albert Sherman Center at the UMass Medical School in Worcester, and the Renaissance Boston Marriot Waterfront Hotel in Boston.

The McKim Building at the Copley Square Library was the first publicly funded municipal library in the country. It is simply an astounding building with many treasures from books to paintings. I managed phase II of the historic restoration as one of my very first projects after joining PMA. I still like to sit in the Bates Hall reading room on the second floor and just stare at the beauty of the building.

At $442 million, the Albert Sherman Center at the UMass Medical School in Worcester is the largest project I have managed to date. The project not only included the Sherman Center but also a major expansion of the co-generation power plant and the new Plantation Street Garage. As the Chancellor has repeatedly stated: The research being done at the Sherman Center will change the world forever and save many lives.” It feels wonderful to have been involved in the project. The Sherman Center was the last project that my friend, confidant, and mentor, Scott Libby, and I worked on together. I will always have great memories of those days when we were together.

The Renaissance Boston Marriot Waterfront Hotel was a unique experience. PMA was already working with Marriott in providing planning and scheduling support for the project. Marriott asked PMA step in to fill the role of general contract/construction manager while Marriot held all the subcontracts. Several PMA folks were involved when that happened, including Chris Carroll, Dr. Gui, Bob Sanders, Gary, and me. It was the toughest and one of the most rewarding projects I have ever worked on.

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

I am always pleasantly surprised by the new people joining PMA. The more we grow, the greater the diversity and breadth of knowledge I see and experience. This keeps me fresh and focused on always improving what we do and how we do it. I find myself learning every day. It is exciting and something I look forward to.

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

Every project or assignment is transformative, challenging, and unique. No two projects are the same; every project is like starting a new job. Clients, team members, projects, issues, etc. are all different. There are unique challenges, personalities, and complexities to manage and deal with. This is what keeps it interesting. Each project or assignment has made me better at what I do. This is one reason I have stayed at one company for thirty years, along with really liking what I do, the people I work with, and the company.

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

This is a hard question with several answers. First, as many of us have experienced in our professional careers, I have had the huge benefit of working with people who have inspired me. There was Paul Tibbetts at Modern Continental Construction, Vic Hagan and Lisa Chapnick at the City of Boston Public Facilities Department, and many at PMA. They were all outstanding in their own ways and showed me that hard work and a thoughtful approach to resolving issues and planning ahead are critical to success.

Secondly, I watched my father and father-in-law work blue collar jobs to make a better life for their families. My father worked for forty years at the Boston Water & Sewer Commission and my father-in-law worked two jobs as a glazier and car cleaner. They were an inspiration for me.

Lastly, I am motivated by my own family. My wife, Kitty, and I just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. We have three children, Matt, Tim, and Anne, a daughter -n-law, Katrina, and two grandsons, Simon and Eliot. Life is wonderful.

I have learned much from all of them and continue learning new things every day.

What university or college did you graduate from?

I attended Northeastern University in Boston, and received my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil Engineering. When my children were looking at colleges, they asked me how I selected Northeastern University. It was simple, I was living at home in South Boston and the university was accessible via public transportation.

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

If I had to pick one, it would be Fenway Park. The Red Sox have always been my favorite local sports team to follow and watch. Attending a game at Fenway Park is something very special and just awesome. The feeling of ascending the ramp out of the lower level into the Park is unexplainable. It’s my favorite place.

Provide a fun fact about yourself?

Every year, I take the plunge into Boston Harbor on January 1st. I have been doing it for many years with family members and friends. It is always a great way to start the new year.

Do you have any secret talents?

I am really good at reading books to my grandsons and playing with them.