There was a picnic table in the backyard of the Santaniello home in Springfield, Massachusetts, and when Andrew was a youngster his dad would tell him to go out back and pound nails into it. It kept him busy for a spell. Before very long, the composition of the table had changed from wood to metal. The notion of doing a job right started there.

Andrew’s parents came to America from Italy as adults, learned the language, worked hard, and were sustainable well before the term came into vogue. They started their own businesses, tended a big garden, made homemade wine, and sewed his sisters’ dresses. Andrew liked to sketch early on and was into understanding how things went together in metal shop and drafting classes in high school. He took to the digital world right way, in particular the graphic programs. He pursued his Bachelors and Masters in Architecture at Norwich University in Vermont, and after working for another Connecticut firm, he joined Centerbrook in 1996. He was named an associate in 2005 and senior associate in 2017.

Andrew has been project manager for a number of high profile jobs, including the Sullivan Museum and History Center at his alma mater, the national headquarters for Welltower in Ohio, and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut. This last complex project encompassed 173,000-square-feet and cutting edge research laboratories; it also entailed coordinating design and construction management with a large team of architects, consultants, contractors, and state and local officials.

Andrew approaches such challenges with positive thinking: “I have learned that the most important thing about getting a project done right is the relationships you foster with team members. I enjoy getting to know people, all kinds of people, and sharing a laugh down in the trenches. And these relationships are important when you are solving problems in the home stretch during construction. You have to be firm, you can’t avoid difficult issues, but you can also be respectful and polite while not taking yourself too seriously.”

FACTS

  • Gave a presentation on design at the opening of an architectural exhibit at Norwich University, in the building he helped to design
  • Played varsity basketball in college, but could not dunk