Senior Project Manager at LaunchPM: Meet Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit is an industry veteran with more than 22 years’ experience as a senior project manager. Prior to joining LaunchPM, Chris held director/vice president level positions in operations where he developed expert knowledge in project estimating and pre-construction.
During the course of his career, he’s worked on ground-up construction projects, as well as renovation and tenant improvement.
His colleagues describe him as a strong communicator with excellent organizational skills, which allow him to effectively work on multiple LaunchPM projects simultaneously. We recently sat down with Chris to learn more about his role as a Senior Project Manager.
Tell us a little bit about what you do as a Senior Project Manager at Launch PM?
As a Senior Project Manager at LaunchPM, I work with our team to take client projects from the very early inception phase through final completion, facilitating the entire process. To walk them through the programming phase, it is important that we understand how their business operates. Part of my job is to transfer that knowledge and information into a space plan that best fits the operation of the business. We hire an architect with the background and experience that aligns with the needs of the client and enlist their help in the planning process. Once we finalize plans, we bring in general contractors to provide pricing, obtain permits, we hire a contractor and oversee the build out of the space. For some projects we also manage the client’s IT needs, security, audio visual, artwork selection, signage, access control and the final move-in. In a nutshell, we support our clients from the onset of a project all the way to opening the business in its new space and beyond. Learning what’s important to them and how the office/practice runs day-to-day is vital to providing them with a timeless and highly functioning space. My success as a project manager relies on building strong relationships and staying in constant communications with our clients, their teams and the vendors we work with on any given project
What led you to pursue a career in this industry?
I was always attracted to construction and design. From a very early age, I built forts in my backyard. I grew up with family in the business and spent summers beginning in high school painting and framing houses. In college I studied construction management and architectural design. After graduating, I spent the next 20 plus years working for the commercial general contractor side before transitioning into my current role. For me, working as a project manager is the perfect combination of design and construction.
What are some of the challenges your clients face and how do you help them to overcome those challenges?
I think one of the biggest challenges is helping clients understand how the simple things in the design or construction of their space can impact their day-to-day operations. To overcome this challenge, I focus on educating clients through the process and providing them with thoughtful questions and input to help them consider how their space can function more efficiently and effectively. It is difficult for people without a design/construction background to interpret and visualize two dimensional plans, which can lead to questions about the outcome, if things are not explained up front. We try to paint the picture for them by providing tangible examples, such as 3D images or walking through a similar space to avoid any surprises.
Can you tell us about an interesting project you have worked on recently?
Honestly, it’s hard for me to pinpoint one project. My favorite thing about my job is the variation of projects and industries that I get to work on. I also enjoy getting to know our clients and learning how their businesses operate. One day I can be working on an eye doctor’s offices where we need to provide an operating space, and the next I can be managing the build out of a manufacturing facility that needs to have an area that maintains a constant 120 degree temperature and another that needs space designed similar to a clean room. The overall process is interesting and enjoyable for me; I am constantly learning about new businesses and how we can transfer our knowledge and experience into their design.
When you are not working, what do you like to do to relax and unwind?
Anything with my family and anything outdoors. I love to be outside, whether it’s working in the yard, attending my kids’ sporting events or hiking and camping. As a family, we love to experience new places; we travel and camp all over Arizona, which I think is one of the most amazing states in the country. In my mind there is nothing better than sitting by a fire with people you enjoy. When I am forced to stay indoors, I love to draw and read.
If you are interested in learning more about how Chris Benoit and the LaunchPM team can help with your commercial build outs or tenant improvement projects, contact us and let’s talk.