This article continues our series on the men and women who make magic happen here at Metropolis Group. If you would like to recommend someone for a future employee spotlight, please email us with your nomination and let us know why you love working with this team member.
Metropolis Team Member Since . . . May 2014
Richie started his career in the construction industry during summers as a high school student, working for a family-owned window manufacturing company. He began in a manufacturing role and worked his way up to the office, a full-time role that he accepted upon high school graduation. Richie’s position evolved into a multi-faceted role that included sales, service and consultation, particularly in regard to egress requirements. “I loved the business aspect of the position,” says Richie. “I became a specialist, and that was a great feeling.”
After nearly a decade with the same employer, he needed a new challenge and new opportunities for growth. Richie knew he wanted to stay in the construction industry. “I love the before and after aspect of the business,” he says. “The act of breaking something down and rebuilding it, it’s a beautiful process, and the end result is rewarding.” His search soon brought him to Metropolis Group, which offered a unique opportunity “to reshape the New York skyline.” How could he not be intrigued?
Role at Metropolis
Richie joined Metropolis as an assistant project manager, learning about construction codes. He had worked with blueprints and certain aspects of the building code in his previous role, but on a much smaller scale. His enthusiasm and dedication earned a rapid promotion to project manager, partnering directly with clients to help them realize their creative visions in compliance with the city’s complex construction regulations.
Richie reviews the often-changing requirements of the Department of Buildings (DOB) with clients. Then, he applies problem-solving and creativity to find solutions that satisfy both his customers and the relevant city agencies. “Clients provide preliminary drawings, and our job is to consult with them and figure out how to get their ideas approved.” He attributes his success rate to a combination of persistency and positivity.
According to Bruno Caligara, Director of Project Management, “His precision and accuracy during the filing process, along with his clear communication and professionalism, is an asset and a true reflection of how Metropolis conducts business.”
One of Richie’s favorite properties to work with is the commercial building at 50 Broad Street. Each time a new tenant moves in, he helps guide the interior renovation through the DOB approval process. He enjoys working with the client team, which embraces collaboration in achieving their shared goals. “It’s always about working together, not shirking responsibility,” says Richie. “Everyone is willing to do whatever is needed. We have a great relationship.”
Best Part of the Job
In addition to the satisfaction that comes with reshaping one of the world’s iconic skylines, Richie enjoys the camaraderie and teamwork at Metropolis Group. “We have an amazing team here, and it’s good to work with people who can teach you things.” Each day, he tackles his role, armed with the confidence that he has the support of his colleagues. “There’s a lot of back and forth in the office. People are always willing to help.”
When he’s not working or hitting the gym, Richie creates abstract and modern paintings, primarily working with acrylic. He got his start after some friends invited him to help with some street art installations, having seen Richie’s drawings—a lifelong pastime. “I kept on drawing, drawing. One day, I picked up a paint brush and never stopped.” He posts images of his work on Instagram (@artbyrisz). So far, he has sold paintings to collectors across the United States—from New York to Miami to California—as well as to collectors in the United Kingdom and India.