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Building on experience

Woman in Construction of the Year

Tracey Schnick (Photo by Corey Hengen)

Attention to detail is essential in construction projects and it’s something Tracey Schnick brings to every project she works on, said Jim Fitch, special projects manager for Chicago-based Smith Senior Living.

“She has an incredible eye for detail,” he said. “She knows codes backwards and forward.”

Fitch is working with Schnick, a senior associate at AG Architecture Inc., Wauwatosa, on a $35 million addition to a retirement community in Orland Park, Ill. “We’ve been working with her on different projects since 2005 and she’s as good as they get,” he said.

Schnick’s passion for her work is apparent to clients and co-workers alike, said Ann D’Acquisto, an architect with AG.

“Tracey, aka ‘lady boss,’ is a woman who is extremely driven to succeed,” D’Acquisto said. “She’s a great mentor to those of us on her team.”

The fact that she’s a woman in a male-dominated profession hasn’t slowed Schnick down a bit, D’Acquisto said. Schnick specializes in designing senior living projects and worked her way up to senior associate at AG by age 35.

Schnick has shaped her career, in part, around her ability to build on previous experiences. She’s a wealth of knowledge and full of advice learned on past projects, said Susan Morse, who worked with Schnick on Three Crowns Park in Evanston, Ill.

“As a client building a new project, it was extremely helpful to hear what had and had not worked well for other clients,” Morse said. “I was amazed at Tracey’s command of and retention of the massive amount of detail that goes into a project such as this. … I’d sometimes call and ask why we made a certain decision to do something a certain way months ago, and she always remembered.”

Schnick’s expertise made a sometimes stressful project easier, Morse said.

“Tracey is the type of professional everyone dreams of working with,” she said. “Not only is she smart and in command of the project, but she is also a pleasure to work with.”

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