14D — October 21 - November 17, 2022 — Women in Business — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


Women in Business

Member of ASHRAE Mary Acciani, PE, CEM, GBE, MBA: Senior Project Manager at AKF Group


career maintaining work life balance is much simpler than earlier in my career when I had a growing family. I started my own engineering consult - ing firm when my two oldest children were 1 and 3 to al - low me to have more control over my time. I eventually had a third child and having my own firm allowed me to schedule my time around the children’s school days – often doing engineering after they went off to bed until well into the early hours. What were some of your early goals and did any- thing happen in your career

ell us how and when you began your ca- reer in the profes-

/profession to enhance or change them? Two of my early goals were to have my own business and obtain my MBA. I ran my own consulting firm for 14 years when I had the opportunity to join Rowan University as a Project Manager. Although it meant giving up my consult - ing business it made it pos - sible for me to obtain my MBA and to experience being an “Owner”. I was promoted to Director of Planning and Con- struction and enjoyed being part of the exponential growth at Rowan. I really enjoyed the development aspect of my job there and being involved in the entire building process from the environmental im- pact statement to move in. What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most suc- cessful in your profession? I tend to see the forest first as opposed to the trees. This is especially important as a project manager because you have to understand how your piece of the project interacts with all the other pieces. The optimal solution for a chal - lenge in your piece of the project may not be the best solution for the project as a whole. You may need to go with the next best solution for your piece. What challenges and or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to be- come as successful as you are today? I feel the biggest challenge was building credibility. As one of very few women in the engineering field when I en - tered it in 1979, I always had to prove I knew what I was do - ing. It was important to me to gain appropriate credentials – my professional engineer - ing (PE) license, my Certified Energy Manager (CEM) cre - dential, my Certified Green Building Engineer (GBE) credential and my MBA. What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young woman about to go into the field of com - mercial real estate or your allied field? I would advise her to al - ways speak up. Women are sometimes overlooked for opportunities, and they need to let people know they are capable and interested in professional growth and op - portunities. MAREJ

Mary Acciani, PE, CEM, GBE, MBA Senior Project Manager AKF Group Years with company/firm: 4 Years in field: 43 Years in real estate industry: 40 Real estate organizations / affiliations: ASHRAE

sion you are in: After graduation from Rut - gers with my BSME I ini - tially worked in the nuclear industry. I did that for almost three years until I moved to a position at an Engineering/ Architecture firm working on HVAC projects for buildings. What is your current position? I’m a Senior Project Manager at AKF. Why did you choose the field/profession you are in today?

an Architect, but life led me to Rutgers and Engineering where I became very interest - ed in energy use in buildings. How do you manage the work/life balance? At this point in my life and

Growing up, I was fascinat - ed by buildings and thought it was the coolest thing to take an empty spot of land and create something lasting there in the form of a building. I initially wanted to become


Creating flexible spaces that inspire people as they live, learn, work, heal, and explore.


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Project Featured: Drexel University College of Medicine, Tower Health Campus

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