Focus team members discuss the firm's 30 years of impact

24 February 2023

When Focus turned 30, we asked our team members what they thought the milestone reflected about the company. Here is what they had to say.

Joe Vartanian

Project Executive

Focus is a special place to me because of the people that work here and our commitment to doing things the right way. I believe that starts at the top with Tim and the management team. The importance of working with high integrity and transparency comes from the top and resonates through all aspects of what we do. The projects we've delivered are a testimony to all that hard work. Over the past 30 years , Focus has been dedicated to positively impact the lives of people in the communities we work.

Bhavin Pardiwala

Project Manager II

Congratulations on 30 years! It comes with no surprise that Focus has reached this milestone. The values of the company are instilled within each employee which creates ownership for all and a desire to make great contributions together. As I approach 6 years with the company, it is clear to see that the firm is dedicated to growing talent internally and that they are uniquely focused on helping people grow their talents and ultimately their careers. The teams at Focus strive for continuous growth and have made big impacts in the communities where they work. Here’s to another 30 years!

Aisha Johnson

Director, Accounting

I joined Focus in 2017 and in the last 5 years, I’ve received hands-on support and purposeful career planning which put me on a path of promotion to Director of Accounting where I manage a department of 9 accounting professionals. It was this type of decisive encouragement that I’ve seen time and time again from the leaders at Focus, raising up team members and providing them with the support they need to reach that next level.Having searched for a firm with shared values during my 20+ years in the construction industry, Focus was the first to deliver on their promise for the type of culture they would support. Founded on core values like teamwork and building community, the firm provided me the opportunity to play an advisory role on the internal committee tasked to support minorities in real estate development and construction. By creating initiatives that emphasize justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion I am able to play a direct role in furthering our shared mission while simultaneously pursuing a career that I love.

Wade Giorno

Senior Project Manager

I’ve been a part of the Focus team for 25 years and there are three things that stand out most to me about the firm: ambition, culture, and leadership.

Though Focus is a relatively small company, we build big projects. We compete with some of the largest developers and general contractors in the business and we succeed. For example, I am currently leading the construction team tasked with the redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall, a multi-phase massive undertaking which is a critical cornerstone of the Village of Vernon Hills.

Second, there is a culture of continuous improvement, and everyone has the opportunity to affect change quickly. Focus has always invested in its people. Whether it’s a culture group to improve the work environment in the office, to personal growth opportunities like training seminars or coaching, you are empowered to provide solutions and lead change.

Lastly, the leadership, starting with Tim Anderson, has always set high standards for quality, integrity, and growth. The leaders in the firm, including its founder and CEO, are invested not only in the bottom line but also in the day-to-day project work, the growth of their teams and the imperative to leave the communities where we build better than before we were there.

Vic Howell

Senior Development Manager

What makes Focus special is the commitment to a set of company values, an intentional culture which focuses on supporting people who can work towards a common goal. Company leaders believe that success can only be achieved by supporting all members of the team. By providing continued education, growth opportunities and a true support system, employees can perform at their best and grow in their careers while supporting growth for the company.

Success does not come without challenges, but it’s how you respond to the challenges that shows who you truly are. No construction project is perfect, and there are always problems that must be solved. I’ve been confronted with monumental challenges while at Focus and it would have been easy to accept defeat, but in those times, the Focus team has always pulled together. There is no finger pointing or blame, but instead teams look forward and collaborate on solutions.

I’m personally grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to own my role while having an ever-present team ready and willing to lend support and guidance when needed. And now, after 5 years with the firm, I’m able to pay it forward and support new team members in the same way. Encouraging them to own their projects and reassuring them that they can always come to me for support.

Eric Guajardo

Superintendent I

I have worked with several construction companies, but nothing compares to the sense of family and community at Focus. During my time with the company, I’ve had the pleasure of working with motivated individuals who genuinely care for each other.

Born and raised in Chicago, I grew up in the Logan Square area and as a teenager I shopped at the Mega Mall, which was eventually replaced by Logan Crossing, a project I worked on.

In the past I visited the mega mall for local events including pony rides, and my BB’s first ride happened onsite. Having fond memories of the community and being an integral part of the Logan Square project, has given me a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Having been with Focus for almost a decade, one thing is clear – a “typical day” is anything but typical. The company has encouraged me to explore my talents and challenged me to learn something new every day. For this, I am very thankful.

Jill Fiandaca

Project Manager II

I have been with Focus for over 10 years and in that time, Focus has provided me with the tools and the opportunities needed to grow my career. One example of the career development support I’ve received was through the MORE mentorship program. In that program, I was paired with an internal mentor who provided me with the tools I needed to address complex scenarios and to successfully navigate complicated situations. With the support of my mentor and Focus, I’ve grown substantially in my ability to support my team, have hard conversations and succeed as a project leader.

Focus has also always pushed me to grow by trusting me with increasing levels of responsibility. For example, I was able to step up as a leader while working on the Link Evanston, a project which faced unforeseen delays and an unexpected change in project leadership. Though the circumstances were challenging, armed with Focus’ support, I had the tools I needed to step up and deliver the project successfully. That experience changed my perspective and gave me the confidence I needed to keep pushing myself. I am grateful for my career with Focus and the support they’ve provide for me to achieve great things, push my limits and make my dreams come true.

Courtney Brower

Vice President, Development

Over 8 years with Focus I've had the opportunity to oversee multiple projects from conception to completion. During my time at Focus, I have always been impressed by how well the construction team works alongside the development team. They collaborate on everything from building systems to efficient upgrade opportunities. Their ownership mentality ultimately results in a better buildings and demonstrates to our partners the value in Focus' integrated, collaborative model for development + construction. Teams are always willing to go the extra mile.

To learn more about Focus, or to explore open opportunities with our firm, try our About Us page. If you have a specific question or would like to discuss partnering with us, reach out today.

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