, Owner/President of Anna Leavey, LLC
Anna is currently the Owner/President of Anna Leavey, LLC, a consulting firm collaborating with several nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis area. The firm was started in 2018 with a focus on providing design and construction management consulting from initial project idea through planning, design, construction, and close-out. Anna has extensive experience working in traditional architecture firms for 12 years and as an Owner’s Representative for more than 18 years for organizations such as Panera Bread, BJC HealthCare, Gateway Arch Park Foundation, Great Rivers Greenway, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Anna is also a registered real estate Broker-Salesperson in the State of Missouri, and a Master Gardener.
Q: When did you decide to get into the commercial real estate industry? Was it always your focus?
A: As an undergraduate student at Smith College. I was interested in both biology and art history. The combination of science and art led me to Washington University and a Master of Architecture degree. After 12 years in a traditional architectural role, I realized that the part of the project process that I enjoyed the most was being on a job site and seeing a project come to life. So, I went back to Washington University and earned a Master of Construction Management degree. My focus now is on strategic thinking, guiding the project process, community engagement, and bringing together teams with different technical skills to implement transformative projects.
Q: What are some of the things you love about your job?
A: The ability to wear many hats throughout the day makes my job interesting. On any given work day, I may be giving a presentation, on a construction job site, or in client meetings to solve their design or construction needs. So, each day is a challenge and there is rarely repetition. I love being able to work on many projects across multiple disciplines and collaborate with many team members and the community. I appreciate the strategic and collaborative process and building meaningful relationships as much as building the final product!
Q: What is your CREW-St. Louis origin? When did you join? Why did you become a member?
A: I am a recent CREW member having joined in 2022. I have enjoyed CREW programs for many years and even spoke at a few events between 2014 and 2018 as part of the CityArchRiver project. I decided to become a member when I realized that not only are the programs insightful, but the network and connections are invaluable, especially for someone growing a small business. I just wonder what took me so long to join and realize the benefits!
Q: What was the first CREW event you attended and what were your impressions?
A: From the first CREW event to the most recent CREW event, I am always impressed by the authenticity and support offered by the CREW community. It is always a welcoming and inclusive experience. I feel that CREW has so much to offer in terms of professional relationships to help elevate one another and the industry as a whole.
Q: Please name a few of the projects you’ve been involved in, specifically in the St. Louis area, that you are proud of.
A: Director of Construction for the CityArchRiver project (2013-2018 on staff, 2018-2022 as a consultant)
Program Manager for the Brickline Greenway (2018-present)
Program Manager for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra renovation and expansion project (2018-present)
Q: What other associations or volunteer activities are you involved with?
A: St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (Executive Committee)
Washington University School of Engineering (Mentor/Mentee Program)
Missouri Botanical Garden (Master Gardener volunteer)
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted you and your organization?
A: The Covid-19 pandemic started a shift in many industries to online communication. For me, that shift was relatively easy since I had been working with design teams across the globe for many years. We were already used to relying on technology to develop a project design across various virtual platforms and file-sharing websites. The pandemic sped development of improved communication platforms and more consistency in the technology. Now, the Covid-19 impacts are more focused on the construction phase challenges – supply chain issues, rising costs, and labor shortages are a few issues that are impacting the industry. Advising clients on the best way to manage and mitigate those potential construction-related risks is proving to be the greater direct impact of the pandemic on my work.
Q: What else would you like your fellow CREW-St. Louis members to know about you?
A: When I am not developing projects for clients, I am working on restoring a 1905 home and garden in the CWE. It is a project that is ongoing (20+ years!) and may never be “done”!