After nearly three decades in the Greater Boston design and construction industry, Aurora Cammarata was ready for a mid-career challenge.
Three summers ago, Cammarata accepted a position as vice president of business development at Canton-based Timberline Construction. During her interview with CEO Stephen Kelly, Cammarata sensed the opportunity to join a company that’s poised for a growth spurt.
“We felt like there was a need in the open-shop market,” Cammarata said. “There’s certainly room with things as good as they are for another company to make their mark. And we decided we were going to be it.”
At Timberline, Cammarata said she uses her one-on-one skills to recruit and retain clients. The company is specializing in small- and medium-sized fit-outs for tech and life science companies in Northeast markets, along with higher education, restaurant and multifamily projects.
As in her previous jobs, Cammarata said she gets satisfaction from participating in a team-oriented approach. In the 1990s, when she was business development director for Tishman Construction, she helped the company land the 3,000-space West Garage construction contract at Logan International Airport. The job was considered a coup for the New York-based company, which had little experience doing work in Massachusetts.
“We were hot to pursue work at Logan and we were kind of the carpetbaggers,” she said. “In those days, we were seen as ‘the New York company,’ but we ended up getting a great assignment. And they’ve been working at the airport ever since.”
The team-first approach extends beyond her own company. Cammarata is a founder member of Women’s Exchange for Leadership and Learning (WELL), a mentorship program for young and mid-level professional women seeking advancement in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. Founded nearly a decade ago, the organization emerged from after-work get-togethers and evolved into a formal structure hosting quarterly meetings to discuss gender equity issues.
“We have made a lot of progress, but it’s still not equitable,” she said. “We don’t know how to act, and we need to train ourselves a little better in how to present ourselves to get equitable pay. And we also have to raise consciousness within companies.”
In addition to her work with WELL, she has served on the board for both the Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MassKids) and Old Colony Hospice, and currently serves on the board for Corenet Global New England Chapter, where she oversees the annual Awards of Excellence Program.
“Though her title has always highlighted her role as a business development and marketing professional, Aurora’s impact on the firms she works with reaches beyond bringing new opportunities to the table,” Timberline’s Senior Marketing Manager Elizabeth Musacchio wrote in her nomination of Cammarata. “Her ability to recognize the incremental steps a firm can take to bring their profitability, culture and stability to the next level have earned her a reputation as an exceptional business woman.”