Collaboration is Key: CREW Greater Philadelphia Firms Join Forces on ECRI Campus Reimagination Project

May 2, 2023
Written by: Jacqueline Trost, CREW Detroit
The new ECRI campus in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, completed by CREW Greater Philadelphia members.

Collaboration and networking play a significant role in the construction and real estate industries, and were the foundation for the recent renovation project at the ECRI campus in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. This project highlights the positive impact of organizations working together, and the benefits of leveraging professional relationships.

Kathleen Fahy, director of business development, Irwin & Leighton, Inc. and past president, CREW Greater Philadelphia, and Stacey Boston, Mid-Atlantic regional director, Haworth, were instrumental in the completion of the ECRI campus renovation after Irwin & Leighton, Inc. was awarded the project. Utilizing CREW Greater Philadelphia’s network of members and member companies, several CREW member firms collaborated on the project, demonstrating the value of fostering professional connections.

Irwin & Leighton, Inc., a five-year CREW Greater Philadelphia member firm, was selected by ECRI to lead the comprehensive renovation of their campus. ECRI is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing health care safety, quality and cost-effectiveness for over 50 years. Their outdated headquarters required modernization to support employees returning to the office following the pandemic.

The design-build nature of the project necessitated that Irwin & Leighton, Inc. assemble an innovative, efficient and effective team. After a rigorous RFP and interview process, several CREW Greater Philadelphia member firms were awarded contracts. A total of five additional CREW member firms joined the renovation project, exemplifying the importance of engaging CREW members' vast expertise. These firms included Haworth, Bala Engineering, Meyer Design, Kleinfelder and K&H Custom Window Treatments.

Once the project was awarded, there were a few challenges that needed to be overcome. First, there was aging equipment – like chillers and HVAC – that were not included in the initial scope of work. The team needed to adjust the budget to accommodate those unexpected upgrades. Second, the project team and their client knew it would be a culture shift to move from the original building to the new one. As a result, the team was mindful to employ a variety of change management techniques to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.

ECRI headquarters before and demolition

ECRI headquarters before renovation and during demoliton.

According to Boston, one of her favorite parts of the project was “Watching the project transform from a 1970s dark, unwelcoming workplace into a bright, welcoming environment where employees want to come to work.”

CREW chapters, like CREW Greater Philadelphia, play a crucial role in cultivating professional relationships, leading to successful projects and opportunities for growth. The ECRI campus renovation is a shining example of the power of collaboration and networking in the CRE industry – and the strength of CREW.

Project leads:

Kathleen Fahy

Kathleen Fahy
Director of Business Development, Irwin & Leighton, Inc.

Stacey Boston

Stacey Boston
Mid-Atlantic Sales Director, Haworth


Additional CREW members involved in this project:

Sandra Kuhns

Sandra Kuhns
President, K + H Custom Window Treatments

Michele Segre

Michele Segre, WELL AP, LEED AP
FF+E Manager, Meyer Associates, Inc.

Bailey Wildasin

Bailey Wildasin
Project Manager, Kleinfelder

Tonya Zatko

Tonya Zatko
Marketing & Communications Manager, Bala Consulting Engineers

About the author:
Jacqueline Trost

As Chief Marketing Officer at Lee Industrial Contracting, Jacqueline Trost leads the organization’s strategic marketing and communications function, including branding, design, digital experience, advertising, social media, public/media relations, market strategy and strategic partnerships. Jacqueline currently serves as the Chair of the Finance & Budget Committee of CREW Detroit, and is also a member of the Communication & Editorial Committee of CREW Network. In addition, she serves on Central Michigan University’s Broadcast and Cinematic Arts (BCA) Department’s Alumni Advisory Board, a group that develops and implements strategies for engaging alumni and professionals in support of the BCA Department’s students and overall efforts.

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