Morgan Richie, Project Manager of the Month, on Supporting Resilient, Sustainable, and Energy Efficient Facilities
Tetra Tech CEO Dan Batrack created our Project Manager (PM) of the Month award to honor PMs who demonstrate excellence in supporting our clients and perform projects to the highest standards of quality and fiscal discipline.
“As an expert communicator, Morgan has blazed a trail for non-engineer project managers to thrive in a technical environment.”– Neil Steiner, Managing Director
Morgan Richie is Tetra Tech’s August 2022 PM of the Month. She began her career at Glumac, part of the Tetra Tech High Performance Buildings Group, in 2014 as an administrative assistant, progressing quickly to be an office manager, project coordinator, and now a leading PM.
“As an expert communicator, Morgan has blazed a trail for non-engineer project managers to thrive in a technical environment,” said Neil Steiner, Managing Director. “Always self-aware and organized, Morgan continues to reliably execute scope and provide ongoing client satisfaction.”
Beyond her communication skills, clients consistently recognize Morgan for her accountability, reliability, and meaningful leadership. As a regional project operations lead, she oversees project managers in three northern California offices, ensuring consistency in project management practices and tracking financial performance.
Morgan has managed complex projects at various scales and across multiple sectors, with a particular emphasis on providing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design (MEP) and energy and sustainability consulting to technology and government sector clients. While clients in these sectors have distinct needs, they both tend toward high owner involvement.
Morgan holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Northeastern University and is based in our Folsom, California, office.
We talked with Morgan about how her work helps create smart, sustainable buildings in the advanced technology and government markets.
How does your work as a project manager support resilient and sustainable communities?
Our mission is to design green buildings that work. As a project manager, I try to get the right people in the room to not only meet the client’s needs, but also present new solutions they may not have considered. I have an incredibly strong, innovative team, and our collective skills drive resiliency and sustainability across our projects.
What is your approach to managing a successful project team?
Starting on the administrative side of the business gave me a unique perspective coming into project management. I try to empower those around me because I know that project success depends on recognizing the strengths of your team members. It’s essential to draw on the knowledge of your peers to be successful. As a regional operations lead, I want to be a resource for the other PMs in my region, so I hold biweekly or monthly one-on-ones with each PM in the region. We use this time to dive into their project performance, share ideas, and problem-solve so that we can report back to the rest of the group at our weekly meetings and grow together.
It’s also important to continually evaluate yourself to improve your ability to manage people and projects. Being open to feedback and striving to improve processes is paramount to success as a project manager. Meaningful leadership requires you to take accountability for project performance and the growth of your team members. I want everyone on my projects to feel responsible for and proud of the work we deliver, and that starts with a sense of ownership from project leadership.
How do you maintain client satisfaction across a wide variety of complex projects?
I’ve worked on all types and sizes of projects across multiple sectors and have learned that client satisfaction requires clear and consistent communication. One of the keys to successful communication is active listening, and it’s a skill I am constantly developing. Most clients want to feel heard and informed, and it’s my responsibility as project manager to meet these fundamental needs of the client.
With the growing size and complexity of our projects, it’s equally important to maintain the same standards and reliability on every project. By adhering to internal processes for financial management and quality control, we generate an experience and a product that clients keep coming back to. Developing long-term relationships with clients also helps position our experts to work on future opportunities.