Tammara is a top-performing project manager who focuses on life science facilities. She joined Lewis in 2015 with a well-rounded background on the “owner” side at the Allen Institute and Amgen, with contracting experience and even a stint with architect Perkins+Will as well.
She is team-oriented, technically proficient and focused – outstanding traits in life science construction. In her free time, Tammara is more about relaxing with music and friends.
MH: You have spent nearly your entire career in life sciences, starting with Immunex. What interested you in this?
TB: I’m drawn by the opportunity to contribute in a small way by building research and manufacturing facilities for organizations that are trying to cure and treat grievous illnesses.
MH: Is your owner background useful on the contracting side?
TB: Having a 360 degree view (via owner, design, and construction experience/roles) of how projects are designed and built has proven to be very useful. I understand client needs and the challenges they face internally because I have been there. I think it’s great that Lewis values this experience and empowers me to implement what I’ve learned in creating successful teams and projects.
MH: Speaking of what you have learned, life science construction gets pretty technical.
TB: Life sciences projects can be very technical and can have very specific requirements. This is when my experience on the owner side comes in handy, as well as really understanding the client’s internal processes. The team can stay one-step ahead and be proactive with providing solutions and knowledge.
MH: What is the best part of your typical day?
TB: There is not a “typical” day when running projects, and that is what I love about project management. You have a variety of issues you deal with on a daily basis. It never gets boring!
MH: Any advice for up-and-coming project managers?
TB: Have a mentor and take advantage of all learning opportunities even if it is just sitting in a meeting observing – be a sponge. Ask questions and take the initiative in reaching your professional goals. Technical skills are key of course, but also learn the importance of great interpersonal skills. It always comes down to the relationships, which either make or break a team and their success.
MH: What is your philosophy as a supervisor?
TB: Surround myself with people who are smarter than I am!
MH: What does our motto of “Working Safe for Life” mean to you?
TB: It means everything. It is our biggest and most important responsibility. We must be diligent at all times to ensure everyone is safe and goes home every night to their families and friends.
MH: What would surprise people to know about you?
TB: I’m pretty much an open book! It might surprise people to know I love animals and would love to have a farm.