Commercial Development Resources would like to honor AJ Calabrase as an outstanding member of the team. In the three years AJ has been with CDR, he has contributed to and managed several major projects. Coming from a construction background, AJ was excited to shift into the design field. He appreciates the valuable experience he has gained by working alongside Director of Engineering, Mario Lomeli.
“CDR has offered great opportunities for growth. I’ve built up my experience under the guidance of our team, and gained new responsibilities over the years. Making the shift into the design field with CDR has been exactly the change in my career that I was looking for,” AJ said, reflecting on his experience with CDR.
When asked what some of his favorite projects have been, AJ mentioned his involvement with the San Diego Safari Park. He has contributed on four different projects, all currently still in process, and he loves the setting it embraces. “It’s nice to work in different environments and projects, so that there’s always a new challenge, and getting to make site visits to the park is always a plus!” Another major project AJ has contributed to is The Village at Montclair, where he worked on the public utility plans to install all the sewer, water, and storm drain systems in the public streets. He has enjoyed the challenge that working on The San Gabriel Medical Center has provided, commenting that it took a lot of groundwork to get the city to approve such a big parking structure and mid-rise medical building.
A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, AJ earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology, which prepared him to apply design and conceptual engineering to construction. AJ has enjoyed seeing the application of his education reflected every day on any given engineering job site. While in school, AJ captained the R.I.T. Commercial Build Construction Management champion team in the AGC Construction Management Competition, as well as participated in the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition (which after further investigation is just as interesting as it sounds).
Originally from Long Island, New York, AJ has made a new home for himself all the way across the country in California. After graduating from RIT, AJ finished up his final internship, packed up and moved out west with his best friend since high school, and now fiancée. Although he now resides on the opposite side of the country from his family, he remains close with his two sisters and parents who have been extremely supportive of his move out West.
When he isn’t on site or at the office, AJ and his fiancée can be found hiking, kayaking, and exploring the many beaches and waters of California. They frequently go on day trips to explore the beautiful state, and always try to discover “weird little tourist places.” Aside from enjoying the outdoors, AJ confesses to an artistic new hobby that may come as a shock! “My fiancée and I have taken up ceramics classes. Surprisingly, it’s quickly become something I really like doing!”
AJ’s favorite part of working at CDR is the company culture. “I really like that everyone working here is set on making sure we’re all happy coming to work and that we all feel like an important member of the team,” he explained. AJ feels that at CDR they cultivate an environment that provides team members the opportunity to gain experience in as many different aspects of land development as possible. This gives team members a chance to find out what specific things they like to work on, and what they are really good at!
“I look forward to working with AJ every day,” said Aaron Albertson, Principal of CDR. “His passion for civil engineering and land development is contagious. He is a leader by example and is not afraid to confront project challenges head on. I am so impressed with his communication skills internally with our team and with our clients. CDR and our clients are blessed to have him on the team!”
AJ went on to say, “CDR is my favorite place I’ve ever worked. Our team is always wildly busy and learning a lot. We’re all friends trying to help each other whenever someone needs it. If you plan on getting engaged while working here, just know everyone expects an invite!”