The Binah team are excited to share the announcement of our newly formed Advisory Team. Our General Manager Marc Longo will take the first seat focusing on strategy and the expansion of our core business; he will continue to work closely with our Directors, Amen and Khalil.
Whilst we have had Marc’s guidance and expertise as our General Manager for nearly four years, he has been influencing the industry since the 1980s.
Join us as we celebrate his journey, story and his next chapter with the Binah family.
Where did you grow up?
I am a born and raised Sydneysider.
Who was your most influential person in your life when you were growing up?
My Dad – he was the most unambiguous person I have ever met – he was not always right and very tough, but you knew exactly where he stood on all matters.
What was your first job?
Removing rubbish from a nursing home at the age of 15.
How did you find your way into the building industry?
I had no idea what I wanted to do. After Year 12, my parents were doing some renovations on the family home. I liked the idea of working out in the open, so I ticked Construction on the university application form. That’s all the thought I put into it!
Did you find a mentor along the way who guided you professionally?
Stewart Wallis was my mentor when I was MD at St Hillier’s. He never told me what to do but simply listened to my thoughts and then asked the right questions to ensure I ended up with the right solution.
Who do you look up to and admire most – professionally and personally?
- I have had the honour of working with some incredible people over 40 or so years. I have worked with five different private companies, and each Owner has been a different challenge/opportunity.
- I have really enjoyed the last three and a half years working with Khalil and Amen.
- Personally, my wife Jenny is the best thing that happened to me. I still cannot believe she chose me as her husband – you have to get lucky sometimes.
Could you list a couple of career highlights?
At St Hillier’s, we did some iconic projects like NSW Parliament House, Art Gallery of NSW, NSW library, Melbourne GPO and Everleigh Workshops. The Western Boardwalk at the Opera House was not the largest project, but St Hillier’s was (and I believe still is) the only company entrusted with changing the external appearance of the Opera House.
What you do admire most about Amen and Khalil and the Binah journey.
When I first met Amen and Khalil, I was immediately impressed with their genuine passion for the Binah business and its employees.
As a first-generation business, there is a real drive to grow the business whilst not losing sight of the fundamentals of being good people.
Can you recall one of the most challenging situations you have found yourself in – how did you handle that?
There have been many challenging situations, but nothing really stands out. What I have learned is that no situation cannot be resolved if you apply a well-planned strategy and a positive and professional approach to negotiations.
Do you have a favourite failure? One that, in turn, set you up for success.
I was continually told earlier in my career that I was too loyal, and this got in the way of making me making hard decisions. One of my employers called it “blind loyalty”. Whilst I have trained myself to manage this, I still feel a great synergy with the people I work with and my close friends.
What piece of advice would you tell your 21year old self?
Do not let work get in the way of time spent with your immediate family. I travelled from Darwin to Melbourne (and every main city in between) for nearly 20 years. There are many events in my kids’ early lives that I missed whilst I was on a plane.
When all seems helpless to you, what is your strategy to overcome this feeling of overwhelm?
I am lucky that I do not really get overwhelmed. One lesson I have learned is never take work problems home. They will still be there in the morning.
Do you have a favourite book that made a big impact on you?
I am not a big reader – when you read Building Contracts for a living the last thing you want to do is read a book. I am far more into listening to music of all types, from Andrea Bocelli to Led Zeppelin.
Do you have a favourite memory or milestone as part of your journey with Binah?
On my first day in December 2017, Khalil took me to the UWS site which was still in structure phase and told me the project had to be handed over by March 18 (only some three to four months away). I immediately told him he should ring the client and advise them that we would not make this date.
Khalil just smiled at me and said, “Just wait and see!”
Over the next four months, I have never seen a better example of doing “whatever it takes” to meet a client’s requirements. Everyone on that project deserves a medal for what was achieved.
What advice would you give to a construction engineering student about entering the real world of Construction?
Keep your standards high in all you do – personally and professionally.
What is next for you, and can you tell us about your advisory role with Binah?
After that (COVID permitting), I hope we can get back to travelling to all the places I still have not seen.
The Binah Advisory Committee role would be the icing on a long and rewarding career. To have the opportunity to assist Amen and Khalil traverse this often cyclical and risky industry would be a great way of giving back to a company and industry that has given my family and me so much.