THG Leadership Spotlight: Getting to Know Lea Cosenza

Do you have a favorite project that you have worked on with The Harman Group?

Currently, 2400 Market is my favorite project that I’ve worked on.  I enjoy the fast-paced nature of the job and the challenging aspects of design that this specific project brings.

Lea and the THG team at on on-site tour of 2400 Market

What do you enjoy most about working at The Harman Group?

The quality of work The Harman Group produces as well as the knowledge and expertise of each of my coworkers.  I have learned a significant amount since I started here, and continue to strive to be a better employee because of the talent around me.

Is there a dream project that you would like to work on?

I would love to work on a building in which the structure is highlighted and the connections become part of the architecture.  Most of the time the structure is hidden and therefore not celebrated in the same light as the rest of the building.

Can you share a story about what you feel is one of your biggest professional career accomplishments?

I would have to say, one of my biggest professional accomplishments was my first construction management project.  It was extremely challenging but I learned a lot not just about that project, but how to be more successful in this role.

It was also very humbling for me, since I’ve worked with contractors who have tremendous amount of experience in the industry.  This allowed me to not only learn a lot and gain new insight, but also see different perspectives and points of view.  Once you can experience the construction side of the projects you design, you gain another level of experience that can’t be taught at school.

Outside of your work, are you involved in any other organizations or nonprofits?

I’m involved with the local branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters. The nonprofit helps children realize their potential through thoughtful mentorship programs.  I’m proud to be a volunteer with such an impactful organization!  Learn more about them here.

What is your favorite/most challenging part of your job?

Designing within a project’s budget.  Each project is unique and as engineers we need to fully understand what the budget it.  Part of the challenge is to determine which is more important, the budget, the aesthetics, or the design and construction time frame. All of these factors can impact the the way a project is analyzed, designed, and built.

Although this can be tough at times, it has also been very helpful in my professional growth. Through these experiences, I’ve learned me to learn how to be more economical in my design choices and detailing, which is something not taught in the classroom.

What trend is exciting you most?

Overbuilds are a major trend right now which I find to be very interesting.  Instead of demolishing existing buildings, more developers are looking to build over an existing building. We’ve done a few projects like this at The Harman Group, which has been great. Overbuilds excite me because I enjoy the challenge of  keeping the existing bones of an older historic, building while giving it a face lift.

What do you like to do when not at work?

I love spending time with my two girls! Some of our favorite activities to do as a family are arts and crafts and spending time outside with our family dog, Cocoa.  To relax, I enjoy cooking, baking, working out, and reading a good book.

Learn more about Lea by checking out her bio here