Real Estate Developer Joe Fallon, CE ’77, Visits Campus

November 21, 2014

President Zorica Pantic and Joe Fallon, CE '77

President Zorica Pantic and Joe Fallon, CE '77

As the man behind the transformation of Boston’s waterfront and the Innovation District, Joe Fallon is one of Wentworth’s most recognizable and successful alumni. On Thursday, November 20, he spoke to Wentworth students, faculty, and staff about his rise to the top of the Boston commercial real-estate world.

Fallon, a Class of 1977 civil engineering major, sat with Caleb Cochran, Wentworth’s director of communication, marketing, and public relations, to discuss his career and answer questions from the Beatty Hall audience.

In a packed Multipurpose Room, Fallon described his participation in the very first co-op opportunity at Wentworth—through developer Thomas J. Flatley—setting in motion a love of the real-estate business that continues today.

“Mr. Flatley took us out to various projects and introduced us to the business,” Fallon said. “I stayed focused on it after that point.”

Fallon is the CEO of The Fallon Company, a real-estate development firm responsible for projects including Fan Pier, Twenty Two Liberty, One Marina Park, the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, and Park Lane Seaport, among others. He credits his great success in part to his education at Wentworth and a strong work ethic.

“We work hard. I’m in at 7:00 every day, usually not out until after 7:00 at night. If you love what you do, it’s not difficult to work hard,” he said.

“I can also tell you that, in this business, there’s a high regard for Wentworth graduates. Students are taking part in great programs here,” he continued.

Fallon explained that his beginnings were humble ones. A former resident of Milton, Mass., he purchased a two-family, converted it into a three-family, and then continued to buy additional homes until he had a full-time business. In 1991, that world came crashing down when he “lost everything” during the recession, but he ultimately built himself back up. His advice to students is to stay persistent and not be afraid to fail.

“Think big and challenge failure,” he said. “Bring yourself to the brink and continue to push yourself. That’s how you’ll succeed.”

Asked what he looks for when hiring people at his company, Fallon related that attitude is an important consideration. “We want everyone to have the same great attitude. I like to have fun and make sure that everyone is loose,” he said. “But when you’re applying to a job, any job, be aggressive and let [the potential employer] know how you can help them.”

--Greg Abazorius

 

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