By Peter Murphy
Published November 8, 2021
Civil engineering alumnus Joe Mannarino (PhD ’01, MBA ’90, BS ’88) and his company Buffalo Construction Consultants, Inc. won UB’s Inaugural Fast 46 Competition.
“I’m a UB guy through and through. I’ve been here since 1984,” said Mannarino, while accepting the award for first place in the University at Buffalo’s Fast 46 competition. “This is very fulfilling for me, to have our team recognized like this.”
UB’s Fast 46 Award, named in honor of the University’s founding in 1846, recognizes and celebrates the success of 46 of the fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UB alumni or former students around the world. Each finalist must demonstrate they meet a set of criteria, including number of years in business and verifiable revenues. Mannarino’s firm, Buffalo Construction Consultants, is the first organization to win the competition.
“It means the world to me to receive this recognition. I only wish my dad was still with us to see what we have accomplished,” Mannarino says. “To start a business and compete with many local and national companies and gain our share of the market in a short period of time has been exhilarating.”
“We’re proud of Joe, and all of our alumni honored with this recognition,” says Kemper Lewis, dean and Moog Professor of Innovation in UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Our graduates are industry leaders and these organizations have experienced significant growth. It’s great to see them earn this distinction.”
Mannarino began his career as an estimator in 1990 with a local construction firm, working primarily in the firm’s home office. His first job in the field was as project engineer for a major renovation at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. Mannarino was project manager for the stagehouse expansion of Buffalo’s largest performing arts center, Shea’s in the late 1990s. He supervised the inaugural phase of the $1.3 billion Buffalo Public Schools program, and several other school districts in Western New York, including West Seneca, Lancaster, Depew, Maryvale, Cheektowaga and Clarence. Over the course of his 30-year career, Mannarino has filled nearly every position within a construction organization from estimator to president.
Buffalo Construction Consultants is a construction management firm and provides agency and at-risk construction management services to its customers. The firm also provides design, build and general construction services along with owner representative services for both public and private clients.
Mannarino co-founded Buffalo Construction Consultants with William Mahoney in 2017. The decision to start the business came out of necessity, Mannarino says, as the company he had worked for decided to wind down operations, and he was not ready to retire. He and Mahoney invested in themselves to form Buffalo Construction Consultants and, according to Mannarino, it has been one of the best decisions of his life.
“I guess it starts with a vision,” Mannarino says. “We knew we were skilled in managing construction and felt that we could build something sustainable. Through my years of teaching at UB, I had hired many quality engineering and architecture graduates who were willing to take a chance and join us in our new business. Construction management is a people-driven business and we have the right people.”
Mannarino received all three of his degrees, a PhD, MBA and BS, from UB. He also taught courses in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering for 16 years, and has served on the Department Advisory Board for eight years.
“I have always been a big proponent of UB and the tremendous education I received,” Mannarino says. “It has been great to give back to the University through my years of service. The friendships I have made through my connections at UB have lasted my lifetime and been influential in my success. I could not have gotten here without my education, and I owe a debt of gratitude to all of my past professors and advisors in helping to make this possible.”
In addition to Mannarino and Buffalo Construction Consultants, 12 SEAS alumni and their organizations were honored during the ceremony honoring the Fast 46 finalists (listed in rank order):
The UB alumni office also honored alumni in leadership positions at companies operating for 36 months or less, that also met capital funding thresholds. Leda Health Corporation, co-founded by UB alumna Liesl Vaidya (BS ’18, Computer Science), was one of the Three under Three recipients.
The Fast 46 competition recognizes businesses owned or led by UB alumni across all fields and disciplines at UB. Learn more about the competition here.
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