The Weekapaug Inn of Westerly is in the midst of a $17 million renovation this year that will preserve the waterside inn’s historic charm while incorporating new, state-of-the-art amenities.
That is just one of the projects occupying the time of Michael Alviano, director of finance for New England Construction, as the company enjoys one of its busiest seasons in years.
As the head of accounting and finance for the Rumford-based design-to-build firm, Alviano does the work of three people. Though that was not the company’s intent when he started working there four years ago as an account manager.
Soon after hiring Alviano, the company abruptly lost its chief financial officer. Alviano loaded on the responsibility, while the company scrambled to find a new finance head. But Alviano caught the management’s attention when he seemed to seamlessly acclimate to additional duties.
“We stopped and thought, ‘Let’s see if Michael can hold down the fort for a while,’ and slowly, we put more responsibility on his plate,” said John Pignataro, president and chief operating officer of New England Construction. “He very eagerly accepted the challenge.”
With only a few months on the job, Alviano went from managing basic payables and receivables to overseeing project managers’ budgets and finances for the entire business, as it contracted construction projects worth tens of millions of dollars throughout New England.
Pignataro realized the right candidate for the job was already doing it. Alviano got a promotion to director of finance.
Since then, the company downsized its accounting department from five people to two. Alviano supports project operations, invoices and billing, and corporate finance.
His background did not suggest that he would be ready to take on so many varied roles. A lifelong resident of Cranston, Alviano earned his bachelor’s in accounting from Bryant College. For 16 years prior to arriving at New England Construction, he worked for Advanced Business Machines, Energy Source Inc., and for a private CPA. But in his case, the past was a perfect preparation for the present.