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Libby & Terri
Terri Murphy: Libby and I have been going to work together since she was in first grade.
Libby Murphy: It’s true. My mom was the receptionist at my elementary school, and it was great. I got to have whatever the teachers were having for lunch.
I got detention once in the fourth grade because I didn't turn in my homework. The teacher asked why, and I said, “I wanted to ask my mom questions on it, but I couldn't talk to her because she was on the phone with you all night.” She was like, okay, you have detention now. And I had to write over and over: I will not talk back to the teacher.
TERRI: And I purposely left right on time and went home so her dad had to pick her up after detention.
When Libby got to high school, I knew we had college coming up for her and her older sister, so I decided I needed a full-time job. That’s how I ended up at Suffolk, supporting the estimating department.
LIBBY: I’m glad she did because when I was filling out my college applications, I yelled downstairs to her, “Mom, what should I write for a major?” She said, “Put down civil engineering. It’s math. You’ll like it.” Because of that, I studied civil engineering and then started working with her again — this time as a construction management intern, starting in 2006. And we were together until she retired in 2017.
My friends make fun of me because I don't say my mom. I always just say Mom because everyone knows that she's the mom of the group. Anyone can go and talk to her, which came in handy for me during some tough moments at work. A lot of my friends at Suffolk go to her for advice, candy and hugs if you needed it. She was just the office mom.
Anyone can go and talk to her, which came in handy for me during some tough moments at work.
LIBBY: The culture at Suffolk now is 100 percent because of the culture created by people like my mom. Mostly my mom. Remember when I beat you at the pasta salad challenge?
TERRI: We had a cookout and I made a big Bobby Flay-type of event where people signed up to bring in a dish, then we voted on who made the best one, whether that was pasta salad or steak tips or whatever we were serving. Everything was up for grabs and I went around the office making sure people signed up for something.
LIBBY: Well, I beat Terri Murphy with her own recipe.
TERRI: Yes, she did. Because she beat me to the punch by putting in what she was making: my pasta salad. So I couldn't make my pasta salad and I had to find another dish. The judge stood up on top of a table and said, “Well, this is a new one. The student has beat the teacher.”
TERRI: Honestly, Libby has not changed a whole heck of a lot since she was little. I’m thrilled she picked construction management as her career. It’s perfect for her. And she is exactly who I expected her to be: strong, independent, lovely. When I tell stories about her, like getting the badge made up for the Girl Scouts, my friends say, “I'm not one bit surprised. That’s been Libby since day one.”
LIBBY: I'm extremely grateful that I've been able to go to work with my mom for so long. She helped me out of trouble when I was younger but was there for the maternal advice that I needed when I was an adult. The last few years since she's retired haven’t been the same. I don't have that person right down the hall, but I know that I can call her at any point, and she gets it right away. It means the world to me.
Libby Murphy is a project executive at Suffolk and has been integral to our Rebuild the Ratio efforts, which remind her of her days as a Girl Scout — her mom was, naturally, her troop leader. Terri retired from Suffolk’s estimating department in 2017. She and Libby’s father Bob have their daughters over every Sunday.
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