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Shane & Vanessa
Shane Kennedy: Our story’s a little bit backwards. Nothing we’ve done is on a typical timeline, so we always forget how long we’ve been married.
We worked together for a year and a half in Virginia and there was nothing romantic. I was finishing a job there, and then I was going to move back home and work for Suffolk on the West Coast. I told everyone at work a month before, and I’ll be honest — Vanessa is the one who took a shot. She said, “Hey, we should start carpooling.” And that led to us going on a date. After a few weeks, even though we knew I was leaving, we thought that we should just throw everything on the table and see if this is going to work. Let’s not waste each other’s time.
We did long distance for a while. We wanted to be together so bad that I told her, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I just want you over here.” She agreed and quit her job. When she moved in with me, I saw how much she was struggling with her immigration paperwork. I said, “Let’s just get married.” So, our marriage really started when we were first dating. We had been married for a year when I got her an engagement ring.
Vanessa Kennedy: I'm originally from Venezuela, so I'm used to the warm weather and having the water nearby. I would go to the beach a lot with my parents. So, being on the East Coast wasn't really working for me. Once we moved out here and I felt the weather, saw how welcoming the people are and how close we lived to the beach, it just really worked for us. It makes me feel like I’m at home sometimes.
And then he wouldn’t stop talking about how much I would love Suffolk. So I applied here and never looked back.
SHANE: People always ask us, “How do you spend so much time together?” I mean, we're best friends and we work well together. We both have two different aspects of the job — I'm in the field, and she's managing and coordinating and handling finances. I don't like doing that. And she doesn't like doing some of the stuff I do. It gels well together.
VANESSA: We’re good at disconnecting too. Whenever we want stop talking about work, one of us will say, “Okay, that's enough for now. Let's move on.”
Our story’s a little bit backwards. Nothing we’ve done is on a typical timeline.
SHANE: Our career is challenging and the demand is high, and having someone who understands that helps us get along way better. We also surf together in our spare time. That 45 minutes of relaxing with nature and each other before we have to go into an arduous project, that really helps with balance.
My favorite thing about Vanessa is definitely her sense of humor. She can always find something funny, even just the littlest thing. I don't know anyone who doesn’t like Vanessa. I've never met someone yet. She’s just a personality everyone wants to be around.
VANESSA: My favorite thing about Shane is his work ethic. Not only does he work hard for our projects at Suffolk, but he does it in our personal life too. If we need something, he will custom make anything. Right now, he’s making sure that everything is ready for the baby to get here. And he only likes to do things the right way. I love that side of him.
VANESSA: I'm very excited to show our son how Shane and I built our house inside and out. It’s not only our profession, but we also got to do it when we go back home. Having that space that he's going to grow up in, that both Mom and Dad built, is going to be very rewarding.
SHANE: We’re both construction nerds, so bringing him into that world is going to be exciting for me. As a father, showing him what his mom and dad did and how they built success, that means a lot.
The Kennedys are based out of Suffolk's San Diego office. Shane has been a superintendent since 2018; Vanessa joined on the project management side in 2020. The two welcomed their first child, Shane Jr., into the world in late 2022.
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