Milly Baker, Senior Medical Planner

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months?

Last year, I had an opportunity to work on a once-in-a-lifetime project as a healthcare planner for a hospital of the future. I loved working for a client with tremendous aspirations for change and improvement, and I was thrilled to work with a very talented team of international partners.

But I have recently joined Margulies Perruzzi and am honestly looking forward to my greatest achievement in the coming year: helping to continue to build our healthcare practice within an acclaimed Boston firm.  I know that we can make a positive impact on the local professional market.

What has been the driving force behind your success in the AEC industry?

I credit two major drivers to my success.  First, I am passionate about working with clients who are making history, saving lives, and dedicated to patient well-being. It is an honor to work with clients who embrace improving the clinical experience. Second, my work brings me in contact with so many wonderful partners, including engineers and consultants, for whom I have enormous respect. Healthcare architecture is particularly challenging to respond to the wide range of goals, including, best clinical practices, technical and IT integration, building codes, sustainability, and accessibility, and it takes a great team to create a great building.

What is your favorite / most beneficial part of Women in Construction week?

I love hearing colleagues’ stories about their paths to success.  There are so many women in so many different fields that our network is growing exponentially.  Architecture seemed to accept women earlier but engineering and construction is catching up and you never know who you will meet. 

What are your goals for the future?

I would like to become more involved at a local level with projects that contribute to healthier communities.  Health does not come from hospitals alone, we need to build up our entire network of healthcare support services, education and housing to grow strong communities.  There is something special about projects in your own back yard that you know will interject a moment of beauty and hope.

Jeelan Shaker, Job Captain

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months?

My most notable project was converting a sports club into a cGMP facility for a life sciences company. I worked as a process architect on the master planning for 75,000 SF of manufacturing space with a very complex program including clean rooms and cold storage. The project team jokingly called it the “Rubik’s cube” project. I had to be very flexible to work around issues that arose during design and construction. It’s a cliché, but we had to think outside the box in order to meet the client’s important program needs.

What has been the driving force behind your success in the AEC industry?

I listen more than I speak. That way, I can provide a thoughtful response. I teach this value of listening to my children. Every day, I share with them what’s happening on my projects and that sometimes I have to explain the reasons behind my design decisions to the project team or client. I always listen first and accept all the feedback, but I am not afraid to provide reasons for why I designed the program the way I did. I remind myself that I am a talented architect who brings value to the project.

See Milly and Jeelan featured in this year’s NEREJ Women in Construction Spotlight. 

As Director of Lab Programming at Margulies Perruzzi, one of New England’s most innovative architectural and interior design firms, Jane Kepros, LEED GA, is responsible for programming and planning laboratories, specialty suites, manufacturing facilities, and support spaces for a variety of scientific and industrial clients.

After graduating from Boston University with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Jane spent eight years working as a biomedical engineer, molecular and cell biologist, and project coordinator at Synta Pharmaceuticals. After studying architecture at the Boston Architectural College (BAC), Jane transitioned to a new career as a lab planner. For over twelve years she has worked for a variety of design firms leading lab programming and planning efforts for dozens of clients.

Jane’s advice to women starting in science today would be to be open to new opportunities.  There are a growing number of niche roles that are fulfilling unmet needs in the industry.  Positions that did not exist 10-15 years ago.  One should be creative with their career path and not be afraid to define their own role.  Examine your work and team efforts and look for how you can improve efficiency, communication, or processes.  Follow your passions and allow them to change.  Find a mentor and be your own champion.  Never let someone else’s dream overshadow your own dream for yourself.

In her spare time, Jane is involved with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Softball League (MSBL), ISPE Boston’s Women in Pharma, and Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

This WIC profile was originally featured in High Profile Monthly.