Meet the AFT Team
Susan Cenatiempo – Project Coordinator and Estimating Manager
Next up in our Meet the AFT Team series is Susan Cenatiempo, our Project Coordinator and Estimating Manager.
Susan does a fantastic job of taking care of a lot of the behind the scenes work that is essential to ensure our projects run as smoothly as possible.
Here is more about Susan:
Project Coordinator and Estimating
What does your role entail?
I assist with the bids and estimates at the start of a project, coordinate design features and the trade pricing for finishes. As the project progresses, I write subcontract scopes, pursue pricing for any changes the client requests, and then create change orders. I also support the field staff and coordinate between the architect and designers. At the end of the project, I create the warranty and closeout materials.
Right out of college I was a certified dental assistant until I took a few years away from the workforce to raise my 4 children. My husband works in the construction industry, so during those time off years, I helped him run his own business and also had my own business in direct sales.
When I reentered the workforce I got a job as an office manager for a commercial concrete tilt-up developer and found that construction hours, 7 am to 3 pm, worked better for my family’s school and work schedule.
I then worked for Rowland Luxury Homes, in a similar position to what I do now for AFT, then started with AFT in March of 2013.
What do you enjoy about working in the construction industry?
It never gets old. I learn something new every day.
I also love the people I work with. My co-workers at AFT are like family and are really pleasant to see every day. I also appreciate the trades we work with. Most are honest, hardworking people who want to do a good job and be helpful. I think working in construction has also fostered a belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. In construction, you learn to think outside the box and figure out creative ways to overcome any obstacles you come up against. You learn to be a problem solver.
What type of construction is your favorite?
I would say new builds. You can start fresh and create optimum conditions for a great finished product. Remodels are a challenge because you sometimes have to work around challenging existing conditions.
What do you enjoy about working for AFT Construction?
The people. Our AFT team is the best. They make coming to work a pleasure.
What was your first job?
My first job was at House of Fabrics. I took sewing in high school and could sew a lot of my own closthes, so this was a fun job for me.
Where were you born?
San Jose, CA
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a home remodel or building a new home?
Hire us! I would say hire a good architect and a good designer.
Make sure these professionals create very good plans and specifications. While it’s tempting to use a less expensive architect and designer, it could cost a lot later on when you have to deal with incorrect plans, plans that don’t work, or are so unclear the trade bids aren’t accurate. Same with designers. Spend a bit more on a good designer, who creates clear and concise drawings and selection pages, so the pricing can be accurate. This will alleviate surprises and headaches throughout the build process.
Best advice you were ever given?
I guess it would be from my mom, “what could have been is never as good as what is.” In taking that advice, I try to look forward, not worry about past decisions or paths not taken, and live in the today, with an eye to the future.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I play the piano, had 6 years of lessons.
When is the last time you climbed a tree?
Probably about 7 years ago, I climbed a tree with my grandson. I’m not as agile as I was when I was younger, I noticed.
What is your favorite drink?
Perrier with lime.
Are you usually early or late?
I tend to run late, not because I want to be late, but I try to squeeze in too many things before I get out the door. I’m on time when I need to be, though.
What age would you permanently be?
I’ve always liked the age I’ve been when I’m that age. Maybe I’d like to be 38, but with the experience I have now.
Frequency with Dennis Quaid. I like the story and the 2ndchance and the happy ending, but it had suspense as well.
Lightning by Dean Koontz. It’s just a suspenseful, cool book.
Favorite TV show:
Justified. ‘Nuff said.
Favorite place you have traveled to?
Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled extensively. I love Sedona here in AZ, but I do love the CA coast as well. Growing up in San Jose exposed me to a lot of beaches, the redwood forests, the Sierras, and lakes in northern CA. Our family did a lot of “local” vacationing.
Where would you like to travel to? Dream vacation?
I’d like to go to Hawaii sometime soon.
What skill do you wish you would have learned?
I would like to learn how to do stained glass.
Christmas. I love the season, the generosity of spirit the holiday brings, despite all the stress. I like 4thof July too.
Favorite sports team:
When I was a kid I loved the Oakland A’s. Then I was a Laker’s fan when I lived in S. CA, although I was really a Pat Riley fan.
Favorite thing about living in Arizona:
Swimming pools! I love to go swimming!
Favorite kind of birthday cake:
White cake with white frosting. Wedding cake.
How to narrow it down?! I’d say my least favorite food is lima beans.
If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time or into the future?
The future, but more as an observer. I don’t know if I could wrap my head around too many crazy changes.
Would you travel back to meet your ancestors or into the future to meet your descendants?
I would like to meet my ancestors. And I hope to live long enough to see as many of my descendants as possible. My kids have grown up to be really nice adults. I have a lot of fun with them, and their spouses, and the grands.
What is #1 on your bucket list? It used to be going skydiving, but I did that.
If you could live anywhere in the world for 1 year, where would you live? At the beach. If I didn’t have to commute and work and do, I would live at the beach.