Episode 13

Published on:

24th Jan 2024

John Fish – Suffolk

John Fish is Chairman & CEO of Suffolk, a national real estate enterprise that builds, innovates and invests. Under John’s vision and leadership, Suffolk has grown into one of the most successful privately held builders in the United States, with $6 billion in revenue, 2,600 employees, and a value proposition, commitment to innovation and corporate culture that is redefining the built world. Suffolk truly is “America’s contractor” and manages some of the most complex, sophisticated projects in the country, serving clients in every major industry sector, including healthcare, life sciences, education, gaming, transportation/aviation, government, mission critical and commercial. With main offices in Boston (headquarters), New York City, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Estero, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Virginia and Maine, Suffolk is omnipresent in active real estate markets around the country.

John is a fixture on numerous Boards focused on economic stability and real estate industry growth. He is the Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable, a non-partisan organization that represents the largest and most successful real estate developers in the country and is the most influential voice in Washington, D.C. for more equitable policies for economic growth.

John also serves as Chair of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, sits on the Executive Committee of Mass General Brigham, and is the Chair of the Board at Boston College, his second time serving and the first non-alum to ever fulfill that role. In recent years, John has chaired both the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and he is a founding member and director of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP).

Our conversation with John begins with an overview of the ever-innovating Suffolk, including a discussion around Suffolk’s platform verticals which support the core mission of the company. We then take a step back, and hear from John about his academic experiences at Tabor Academy and Bowdoin College, tackling and embracing his dyslexia, and his entry into the construction industry, in which the Fish family had deep roots. We then move onto the formation of Suffolk, the early years and the evolution of the company in its early years as a non-union business. John shares with us candid insights into the challenges and struggles of growing the company in a politically-charged construction environment, and the relationship building that served as a catalyst for long-term growth of the company.

We cover a lot of ground outside of Suffolk, and John was generous in sharing his unique perspective on policy, politics, and economic issues at hand today in the US. Finally and maybe most importantly, we discuss John and Cyndy Fish’s extraordinary commitment to caring for their community, and their incredible leadership in countless philanthropic endeavors.

This was one of our most-requested and highly-anticipated guests, and we sincerely appreciate John sharing his time and insights with us and our Good Dirt audience. We look forward to having him back again!

For more information on Suffolk, visit www.suffolk.com

Tom Greeley



Mike Greeley



Show artwork for Good Dirt: Conversations with Leaders in Real Estate & Beyond

About the Podcast

Good Dirt: Conversations with Leaders in Real Estate & Beyond
Interviewing Leaders in Real Estate and Beyond
Welcome to Good Dirt: Conversations with Leaders in Real Estate & Beyond - interviews with some of the most interesting and respected players in the commercial real estate industry, with a focus on investors, developers, and equity allocators that are shaping the built world around us. Hosted by Mike Greeley and Tom Greeley, brothers and teammates within the Newmark capital markets platform.

Because the real estate industry is hyper-connected to all sectors of commerce, we will also regularly be hosting friends from “beyond the business”, including luminaries from the private equity and venture capital arenas all the way to restauranteurs, consumer retail entrepreneurs, tech founders and a few politicians.

We look forward to bringing you discussions that profile our guests’ career journeys, investment strategies, building and growing of their businesses and thoughts on current market opportunities, and we’ll also delve into human interest topics, non-work pursuits, daily routines, and (perhaps most importantly) giving back. Join us as we learn from the industry’s best and brightest and have a few laughs along the way!

We hope these discussions will be noteworthy for plenty of people beyond our reach, so please share with friends, colleagues, and clients if an episode is especially topical. We also hope you’ll consider sharing this podcast with aspiring commercial real estate professionals, as each episode will be a case study on its own and in the aggregate, a crash course in this dynamic industry.

Mike Greeley

Tom Greeley

About your host

Profile picture for Thomas Greeley

Thomas Greeley