Northstar News

Back to Northstar News

Janet Tse and Katherine Kenney Featured in NEREJ’s Women in Construction Spotlight

March 2023

Two of Northstar’s talented project managers, Janet Tse and Katherine Kenney, were recently featured in the New England Real Estate Journal’s Women in Construction Spotlight issue.

Below are the excerpts from what they had to say about their most notable project in the last 12 months and what made them interested in seeking a career in the A/E/C industry.

Janet Tse, Senior Project Manager 

What was your most notable project in the last 12 months?
As an owner’s project manager for MITIMCo, overseeing the design development of a 300,000 SF ground-up residential tower at the Volpe Redevelopment Project in Kendall Square, Cambridge has been an extraordinary experience. The development project includes six mixed-use buildings sitting atop a connected underground garage, necessitating extensive collaboration among seven different project teams, including project managers, architects, engineers, consultants, and general contractors. The overall site development and ground plane activation require careful coordination among all parties involved. Exchanging ideas and working alongside over 200 real estate professionals to create a resilient, welcoming, and inclusive neighborhood is an incredible opportunity.

What made you interested in seeking a career in the AEC industry?
After watching Extreme Engineering’s Tokyo’s Sky City episode, I was inspired to design the world’s most signature buildings one day and started my career as a structural engineer. However, volunteering to manage a water-sourcing project for an orphanage in Zambia during a month-long break from work changed my career trajectory. In this project, I performed engineering design and led a small local team to bring clean water to the students. This experience sparked an interest in being a project facilitator and making a difference. It motivated me to shift from engineering to project management and to use my skills to bring projects from concept to completion.

Janet has 10 years of experience working in commercial real estate and engineering industries, specializing in managing portfolio-wide building improvement projects. Her experience at Northstar includes various completed capital and operating projects driving the planning, design, construction, and close-out phases for higher education clients in Greater Boston.

Katherine Kenney, Project Manager 

What was your  most notable project in the last 12 months?
In the past year, I assisted in successfully delivering Sanofi’s North American headquarters — a project four years in the making which included two buildings totaling over 900,000 SF. The goal was to consolidate seven R&D facilities and one administration office scattered across Massachusetts into two adjacent buildings. The consolidation’s main intention was to bring the different departments together to drive collaboration across the science. Now when walking the 11 floors of the R&D space or sitting in the cafeteria for lunch, I see the different departments intermingling; I can only imagine the incredible discoveries they are making. 

What made you interested in seeking a career in the AEC industry?
Untraditionally, my interest in the AEC industry was sparked after graduating with an undergrad degree in Public Relations. Post-graduation, I worked in an admin role at an architecture firm, where I saw firsthand the excitement, pride, and change a real estate project can drive. In the AEC industry, we are constantly creating positive change, whether as big as a ground-up job, changing the skyline, or as small as an office refresh. I knew then I wanted to be more involved and went back to school for a master’s in project management of construction, ultimately becoming an OPM.

Katherine has over seven years of professional real estate experience. She has experience managing projects through all phases including planning, permitting, budget, design, construction administration, and close out. Currently, she assists in the development of research and development spaces, most notably Katherine has spent the last three years working on all project phases of Sanofi’s new North American headquarters in Cambridge, MA.

Link to the NEREJ Article: NEREJ Women in Construction 2023 Spotlight