Experienced People

Bill Handel

Operations Director

Consultancy, North America

In charge of one of our biggest trans-Atlantic relationships, Bill Handel is one busy guy! As one of our most experienced project managers, Bill manages the highly complex GSK Project Places programme - that is when he's not squeezing in the odd game of golf.

How did you get in to what you do?
I've always wanted to work in project management. There's never been another career option for me. I graduated from university and began working for a construction and engineering company in Chicago. After several years there, and a stint in the Middle East, I changed tack and completed my MBA, which led to jobs in investment management, asset management and in project management for commercial real estate before the role at Mace came along.
What do you most enjoy about your current role?
I'm currently working with GlaxoSmithKline, Mace's biggest client in North America. We have a programme management agreement with GSK for the transformation of their research and development facilities across the UK and the US. Mace has worked with GSK for over 15 years and the relationship will continue well into the future. I've really enjoyed working with the client and I get a real sense of satisfaction from finding solutions to their needs.
What has been your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement has undoubtedly been my two children, who are doing wonderfully. My son and daughter have both graduated from university now and are really great.

Early on in my career I was responsible for the overall operation and financial performance of a non-regulated power generation facility in New York State. I took the assignment when the facility had been struggling to operate successfully and make money, and in less than 12 months we were able to turn things around and make a profit. I was extremely proud of the success my team achieved in a relatively short time.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?
You have to be a good communicator and a good listener, and you have to be patient. When things are going crazy and you're dealing with issues, being patient and solutions-focused is key.
What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do?
Be open to new opportunities. Take an interest in what you're doing and pursue every avenue that you can.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I like travelling with my wife, especially to visit friends and family. My children have moved away from home so we visit them whenever we can. I also enjoy playing golf... I'm not very good at it, but I like to play anyway. Practice makes perfect so I haven't ruled out playing the Masters yet!

“I’ve always wanted to work in project management. There’s never been another career option for me.”