NYREJ’s 2021 Women in Commercial Real Estate Spotlight: MDA Project Manager, Sarah A. Bigos
New York Real Estate Journal 2021 Women in Commercial Real Estate Spotlight: Sarah A. Bigos, Montroy DeMarco Architecture
Name: Sarah A. Bigos
Title: MDA Project Manager
Company Name: Montroy DeMarco Architecture
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
I believe my biggest contribution to maintaining a positive work environment is mentorship of junior personnel. The competitiveness of the design and architecture industry can be challenging to young staffers and undermine the professional satisfaction of creating spaces for people to enjoy. I work hard to support the creativity and enjoyment of design work among my younger colleagues. I also strive to help them find their strengths, address their weaknesses, and value the wealth of information and expertise offered by other professionals in the design industry. I also teach young professionals to not be afraid to ask others for advice. My father, who works in construction, once told me that people won’t learn what they’ve done wrong if they are only reprimanded, as that leads only to covering mistakes. If you instead explain the problem and process, they will always remember that lesson. I apply this idea to managing my project teams.
How do you advocate for your fellow women in real estate?
I advocate for my fellow female professionals through example; by being involved in women-led and -focused organizations; engaging in mentorship programs; and by just being an advocate in my daily practice. As a senior leader of a mostly female team, I’m proud to bring my job captains and designers to the forefront of projects and give them a place at the decision-making table. Strong support from experienced female professionals definitely helps women in a male-dominated industry to find a voice and maintain it with the respect our male counterparts sometimes take for granted.
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of maintaining an engaged and dedicated design team during the remote work period. I am also proud of being able to quickly address the immediate office redesign needs of our clients in response to the pandemic. Despite the challenges of working during the COVID-19 health crisis, we have continued designing commercial interiors, developing some of the first practical design solutions to creating workplaces that can properly and safely function during the pandemic. Among the interesting projects I have worked on were the new offices of A Place For Mom and Investors Bank, both in Manhattan; a new office of the non-profit organization Brooklyn Legal Services in Brooklyn, NY; and a call center in Kansas City, MO.
Source: New York Real Estate Journal (NYREJ) / Photo Credit: Michael Levy Photography
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