Paul J. Grillo 1

Paul J. Grillo

CPA, CMA, MBA

Principal, Chief Financial Officer

“Creative design solutions and prudent business management are not mutually exclusive goals.”

While Paul was pursuing his economics and finance degrees, he always chose electives in studio art. Those twin pursuits might explain why he enjoys leading the financial side of architecture firms. “I always thought architecture was a great way to blend the art and structural sides,” he says. “It’s important to recognize that it’s a business. If you don’t manage it well, you jeopardize the very cultural and creative aspects of what you want to do.”

Paul began his career in public accounting, followed by various financial positions in professional service firms. These included several years in management consulting, focusing on corporate reorganizations and restructuring of troubled companies, in multiple industries including hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, publishing, and banking. He took pride in helping the many stakeholders (owners, investors, lenders, employees, and vendors) of distressed businesses preserve their companies—even if it meant downsizing—to keep as many families as possible employed. Paul started leading the business side of professional-service firms as a result of friendships he developed in the construction business. There, he says, “progress is very tangible. The product of your services is right in front of you.” His proudest moment was steering an environmental and engineering consulting firm out of voluntary Chapter 11, helping it rebuild to become a profitable and well-respected company again. His takeaway from that painful, but ultimately satisfying, experience: Always be honest, always be open, accept where you are, chart where you want to go, and motivate those who are around you. “Where we are is the cumulative impact of all the decisions we make,” he says.

Our Perkins Eastman

Since joining Perkins Eastman in 2021, Paul quickly became known for his regular, highly detailed, and lengthy emails to the company’s leadership teams regarding the company’s finances, operations, and future goals. He’s known to invoke the likes of Tony Soprano, the National Hockey League (he’s a diehard NY Rangers fan), and Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, to inject both inspiration and humor—to the point where managers who’d rather design buildings than balance books tell him they look forward to the missives, and read every word.

Contact

  • Phone:

  • +1 (212) 353-0155
  • Email:

  • Linkedin:

  • Education

  • Rutgers University (Newark, NJ); M.B.A. Corporate Finance and Investment Analysis
  • Rutgers College (New Brunswick, NJ);
    B.A. Economics
  • Associations

  • Certified Public Accountant,
    State of New Jersey
  • Certified Management Accountant,
    Institute of Management Accountants