Operations Director, Pharmaceutical
Consultancy, North America
As an expert in pharmaceutical projects, Jon has built his career and his team around his clients’ needs. With a wealth of experience under his belt and a passion for innovation, he’s been well placed to develop some of Mace’s biggest projects and longest running client relationships.
- How did you get into what you do?
After I graduated from university in the UK with a degree in quantity surveying I joined a global construction consultancy company and over seven years worked on projects in oil, gas, education, pharma and retail.
In 2000 an ex-colleague tempted me out to Oregon, USA to work in the high-tech sector. It was initially supposed to be a short-term move for my wife and I but 17 years later we’re still in the US.
In the USA I’ve worked in high-tech, data centres, manufacturing, offices, retail and high-rise but for the last 15 years I’ve focused on pharma. In 2013 I joined Mace to work with GSK on one of the company’s largest national programmes.
- Why Mace?
I’d worked with Greg Parker [Managing Director for Mace, North America] previously and he invited me to join the team. I could see that Mace was a progressive company and that was something I was very passionate about. I’d worked for small QS companies but they lacked the development opportunities and courage to be innovative.
Mace has supported my outside the box thinking - to change the way we do things - and, because everyone is like-minded you find yourself in a culture of constantly challenging the status-quo. It’s that deep routed ethos that sits behind Mace’s success.
- What is your proudest achievement at Mace?
It’s got to be the Places Programme for GSK. It was my first project for Mace and it allowed me to build a team around our client’s needs as the relationship developed. It also marked the start of Mace developing a successful pharma sector in North America and we’ve grown the team significantly, bringing in experts in science and technology related projects. We saw an opportunity and we made it happen.
- What motivates you?
Early on in my career it was the control over each project and the need to be accurate. A QS’ background is very numbers based – it’s about setting out what needs to be done and getting it right. I’ve always enjoyed the mathematical certainty that the role of a QS applies to each project.
Now it’s probably more about the passion I have for supporting my direct reports to grow. I’ve spent so long in the pharma industry and have all this experience that I want to share.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I’ve been involved with a charity called Good Works for 14 years. We help veterans or people who have lost their jobs, or have had a house disaster, by helping to reconstruct houses in and around the suburbs of Philadelphia. It’s no secret among my colleagues through; last year I roped them in – we had a great time.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
My big, big, big passion is scuba diving – my wife and I have been diving for 18 years. We’ve achieved Master Diver level which is the highest grade of the scuba world. What really attracts me is the non-conformity of the ocean – it’s a world away from defined cities, buildings and roads - it just grows how it wants to grow which means it’s unpredictable and always different.
“Mace supports outside the box thinking - to change the way we do things. It’s that deep routed ethos that sits behind Mace’s success. ”