Get to Know Account Executive Terrance Blakely

Terrance is currently an account executive for our Energy team and has been with McKinstry for nearly seven years.

“I feel very fortunate every day that Terrance made the move to our Energy team,” said Rosemarie DeLuca, Terrance’s manager. “He is very thoughtful and intentional in how he approaches whatever situation is at hand, and he brings a real wisdom to anything that he works on or approaches. Also, he has a terrific sense of humor and is a joy to be around and interact with.”

In the Q&A below, learn more about Terrance and the passion, drive and positive outlook he brings to his work and life every day.

Learn More About Terrance’s Experience

What is your background?

My degree is in finance and accounting, and I started my career as a loss mitigation analyst at JP Morgan Chase in Dallas, Texas. After a short stint in commercial lending, I switched to the financial services team at Mercedes Benz, where I got first-hand experience with supply chain dynamics and the relationship between manufacturer and the product’s end user. Even though I wasn’t in the automotive world for very long, I cherish my time because of what it did for my professional development and the relationships it brought into my life.

What drew you to the industry and to McKinstry?

I happened to be in a steakhouse one night and met a gentleman who ran his own commercial concrete firm. After talking, I remember him saying, “you seem pretty good with numbers, and I can teach you construction.” I was already contemplating a career change, so I moved back to San Antonio, Texas, and that’s how I originally got into the industry.

When I decided I wanted to move back to the Pacific Northwest, I connected with Matt Allen, who introduced me to James Miller, vice president of operations for Construction. The rest is history! I’ve been with the company for almost seven years, originally beginning my career here as a senior project engineer with our New Construction team. I sometimes feel like I’m late to the party because I didn’t start out in the industry, but all the experiences I’ve had influence my approach, which makes me a better construction professional. I really love what the future looks like, both in my professional career and for our organization.

Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on?

I’m a loyalist, so I’m biased towards my first project — shoutout to Building Cure (Seattle Children’s Research). I loved my first project because it was such a great learning experience, and the entire team was incredibly gracious with their time. We created something special and developed a trust where we all leaned on each other from our leadership down. Best job I’ve worked on, but every project brings a new perspective.

What do you find most rewarding in your current role?

As I continue to grow in my career at McKinstry, I’m gaining a greater understanding of the consultative piece that we provide. As an account executive managing clients in the higher education space for energy services, what’s interesting for me in switching to this side is really putting myself in our clients’ shoes and working to partner with them on their journey to a new reality. You must be able to deeply understand a client and where they want to go in the next 10 or 20 years and be part of that development process with them. You’re taking on a higher level of accountability for the client.

What’s your favorite part about working at McKinstry?

I love the potential for growth. Immediately when I came into the organization, I had one rigid viewpoint of what growth looked like, both for myself, but also for the organization that I was joining. I think McKinstry has challenged that for me in many positive ways, which has allowed my definition of success to evolve beyond title or salary. Because of that, I’ve never felt like I could bring more of myself to my work than I do now in my current journey.

What do you do when you’re not working?

I’m constantly chasing my 2-year-old around, and she’s giving me more than I can handle! I’m a big fitness guy and a former basketball player (and sometimes play for the McKinstry basketball league). I love traveling with my family as well.

I try to balance my life by being present. It’s something my father pushes on me a lot when he hears me talking about my workday. It’s just like, “hey, remember that life is good.” It’s important to take a step back and make space for the things that bring you joy. For me that’s getting in a (long) workout, going on a walk with the family, or being fortunate enough to go back to Costa Rica. It’s cool to just be present in those times.

Any wisdom you can share?

Lead with grace because life can be hard. Instead of thinking that people are trying to make your life harder, or that they’re out to get you, remember that they could be going through something as well. We all have things on our shoulders, and I think if we lead with grace, we could see each other a little better. But I think what’s important is it’s just to understand how to how to have grace for people through courses of change, no matter what stage is going on in that.

Steward a strong career. It is no one else’s job to get you where you want to go because no one else can see the vision you have for yourself. Be an active participant in your own rescue. When you fully take ownership, you start looking at things differently.

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