For Melissa Gerard, our Vice President, being a project manager is like planning an event—one that’s big and tangible and lasting. Each piece needs to be precisely made or procured, and choreographed to fit exquisitely into the bigger picture. Melissa (maiden name Manners) grew up around residential construction, while LMA Group was getting its start. Melissa earned a B.S. (business administration) at Skidmore College, and a French cooking certificate from the French Culinary Institute. Then she pursued marketing and events planning—first at the prestigious B.R. Guest Restaurants, then at the French Culinary Institute. She coordinated media events, charity functions, parties, and classes. But the nonstop pace of nights and weekends—common in hospitality—wore her out. By the time Melissa joined LMA Group, she was able to apply her skills—event planning, attention to detail, customer orientation—to Project Management. She completed construction management classes at New York University. The more she learned about high-end residential construction, the more she loved being involved in such a crucial and personal aspect of her clients’ lives. “Lee is so passionate about his work—and it’s completely contagious,” she says of her father. Now, Melissa leverages her fondness for working with people into developing new business and cultivating new relationships. She works closely with Lee and LMA’s site managers to choreograph their residential projects to precision, including completing estimates, coordinating schedules, and ordering materials.