Warehouses, casinos included in manager’s work
In six short years, Lenny Simonelli, a project manager/estimator in Ontario’s construction industry and George Brown College Continuing Education graduate, has amassed an incredible $200-million portfolio of completed and current projects.
Currently with Belleview Construction & Management, a 50-employee firm based in Vaughan, Ont., Simonelli leads a team of four and oversees the development, pricing and cost control of a variety of industrial, commercial and institutional projects, including office buildings, warehouses and racetrack casinos.
“For me, work is not work, it’s my passion. There’s a lot of variety and I get to meet a lot of interesting people,” says Simonelli, 29.
In 2000, Simonelli was completing a BA in Architectural Science, but was unhappy with the program’s lack of practical education. Having heard about the solid, skills-based training George
Brown offered in his field, he turned to Continuing Education’s Technology and Trades department and, over the next four years, completed three certificates: Construction Project Management, Construction Estimating and Mechanical Estimating.
Simonelli soon found himself immersed in what he calls “real-world” training in courses such as Overview of the Construction Industry, Construction Cost Control, Construction Planning and Scheduling and Mechanical Estimating.
“I had thought up till then that construction was mainly a pick and shovel industry, but this course taught me that there’s a lot of science and skill involved in managing and controlling the many costs of a project,” says Simonelli.
What also impressed Simonelli was the opportunity to learn about the field first-hand from seasoned professionals.
“They really knew their stuff and were enthusiastic about the course material,” he says.
“It really affects the students when they know the teacher enjoys being there.”
One year into his George Brown training, Simonelli began working in the industry, and found he was able to immediately apply his classroom lessons to his daily work activities.
Despite the jam-packed schedule he’s kept since graduating, Simonelli felt compelled to give back to the college that’s helped him achieve so much. Last April, he completed teaching two semesters of Architectural Technology, which covers architectural drafting.
“My George Brown training was a key component in helping me excel more quickly than I would have,” he says. “I wanted to come back and teach students the practical skills they need to succeed.”
For more information on Continuing Education courses and programs in Technology and Trades, call 416-415-5000, ext. 4861, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.