Catching Up With Gerry-Lynn Darcy
Starting with a strong foundation, this woman has built a powerful career in a traditionally male-dominated industry
With a pink hard hat, manicured nails, a bright, white smile and not a hair out of place, Gerry-Lynn Darcy is an unexpected figure on a construction site.
“It’s a challenge to be a woman in a man’s world,” Darcy said. “A lot of people question your ability.”
The questions are unfounded. Darcy has a degree in economics and management, along with an unrestricted construction license which allows the North Andover resident to pull building permits all over the state.
She also has a Massachusetts Realtor license, which puts her in the unique position of being qualified to build and sell her own properties.
“One of the things I specialize in is doing model homes,” Darcy said. “I design the interiors of the homes I build. I’ve developed a diversity in myself.”
These days, Darcy works as a manager of marketing and sales for Lennar at Hewitts Landing, a 150-unit luxury waterfront home community in Hingham. Construction on the project began a year ago and it’s a Lennar community.
She also has done a lot of work more locally, and believes she benefits professionally from her “deep roots” within the community.
She grew up in the area, attending North Andover elementary and later Brooks School, also in North Andover, and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.
“(Most of the developments in North Andover) either my father or myself were a part of, such as Cobblestone Crossing, Phillips Crossing, Meadows, Kittridge Crossing and the Super Stop & Shop,” said Darcy, who has worked in the industry for 15 years.
“Growing up I was surrounded by construction and architecture,” she said. “(My Dad) was constantly designing things, so it was in my blood.”
Weekend trips to his sites sealed the deal on her future aspirations.
“It was fun,” Darcy said. “(My Dad) would explain to me what was happening. We would have the architectural plans laid out on the table and he would go through and explain it. He taught me how to read plans at a very young age.”
She said she always remembers being enamored with the finished artistry and details in the properties. That passion, plus the enjoyment she gets from working with people, have made her career a natural fit.
“I can interact with customers. And then I can go out and deal with the subcontractors and I can speak their language,” she said. “I understand what they’re doing. Initially people are like, ‘Who is this?’… It’s almost as if I have to prove that I know what I’m talking about.”
Darcy is well aware of how the recession has affected her industry.
“I’ve been through a couple downturns, so I’ve seen the best and the worst of this business,” she said. “It’s made me resilient.”
Despite the ups and downs, she has not considered getting out.
“The best part is getting a piece of dirt and creating something that is going to live beyond my years,” Darcy said. “That is pretty amazing to me.”
By Jill Diver · July 2010 · The Andovers Magazine