Recognized for his professional achievements, community leadership, and contributions to the AEC industry, senior project manager Ali Shams was named a Los Angeles Business Journal Leader of Influence: Thriving in Their 40s. Read more about Ali below and in his Los Angeles Business Journal feature here.

From Dubai to New York to Los Angeles, Ali has built some of the most impressive structures in each city, shaping the fabric of different communities. As senior project manager, he is currently leading the construction of what will be one of the largest cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings in Los Angeles at 843 N Spring Street. The five-story, 122,000-square-foot office and retail building is environmentally forward-thinking and is a model for sustainable office design, incorporating a rooftop PV array, bike stalls and EV charging stations, and biophilic materials inside and out.

Since joining Shawmut, the projects Ali manages have quadrupled in size and scope. As Shawmut’s West region has grown, so has Ali’s skillset and expertise in innovative construction delivery methods, as well as his business acumen in both preconstruction and construction—from budgeting and scheduling to logistics and implementation.

An integrated project delivery that started preconstruction during the height of the pandemic, Ali championed partnership and collaboration at the outset of 843 N Spring Street, before the project even broke ground. A believer in frequent and transparent communication, he ensured all key stakeholders were at the table, including major subcontractors. He worked through complex logistics including partnering with LA Metro so the tower crane needed for the project could be safely erected and utilized without interfering with the Chinatown Metro stop right across the street. Working with Shawmut’s engineering services team during preconstruction, Ali and the project team digitally constructed the structure using Building Information Modeling (BIM) for clash detection and coordination, able to identify changes as small as cutting ¼ inch off of a CLT panel ahead of time, to ensure the building erection and CLT installation were as seamless as possible.

Another one of Ali’s marquee projects was Silver Lake Pool & Inn, which adaptively reused a former motel, renovating and expanding the footprint to bring Silver Lake its first boutique hotel. The 54-key destination features bespoke finishes and a new restaurant and pool, opening to national recognition and acclaim.

Ali understands the importance of building up the next generation of AEC industry leaders, which is why he dedicates time to acting as a mentor to the project managers, assistant project managers, Construction Management Skills Training program trainees, and interns on his projects. He teaches them technical skills, including project and construction management software and digital building programs.