President & CEO
New York, N.Y.
Barbara Kushner’s first day on a construction site was love at first sight. She was an intern at Bechtel Corporation, assigned to work on a three-unit nuclear power plant. “I was completely struck by everything, from the people to the equipment to the methods of construction to the logistics. It was a done deal,” she declares.
That day proved life-changing indeed. Today, Kushner is the founder, president, and CEO of award-winning Armand Corporation, a construction management and program management firm. “I enjoy making things easier for clients, and showing them that their project means everything to me and to my company,” she states. Those clients include some of the largest municipal agencies in the country, such as New York City’s Economic Development Corporation.
One particularly meaningful project required her to finish the work on a school for it to open on time, even though she was hired in the middle of the project. “I had very few records from the original construction manager, and very little time to recreate systems and processes,” she recalls.
She succeeded, however, and the school opened on schedule. “Teachers, parents, politicians, and superintendents were so appreciative. I was there until midnight the night before, arranging and dusting off those little desks. It was stressful. I gained a few new gray hairs!” she recounts. Another career highlight was Armand’s contract to provide services and design for a complex data acquisition system for the U.S. Navy and Marines.
Kushner, who holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from Thomas Edison State University, has guided the firm’s recent growth in the disaster recovery market. “Our work first minimizes and manages risk and then provides resiliency and reconstruction,” she explains.
Kushner advises others in construction to learn from the trades. “They are the experts. Make them your friends in knowledge,” she counsels.