Sitting down with Rectenwald Brothers’ Art Rectenwald

The President and CEO of Rectenwald Brothers Construction Inc. on why Starbucks Iced Americano is his go-to morning starter, the importance of focusing on what you can control and how his mother's example keeps him charging forward.

What is the most cherished item in your office?

Most cherished are the photos of my three daughters and my parents. I have a pretty cool aviation themed office designed by my wife, which includes a model of my plane and a plaque commemorating my initial pilot license from 2008.

What is your favorite time to get things done?

Depends: Early morning with coffee at home is my time to wrap my head around the day and get my inbox cleaned up. Lunch meetings are most effective for me to get updates on our projects and team. Afternoons are when I do the heavy lifting of business stuff.

What is the soundtrack that plays in the background of your office?

Mostly classical new age piano for a calming background that doesn’t distract me. If I’m in a great mood and want to listen, I choose hits from 1976. If I’m in a bad mood I play heavy metal.

Name the band you cannot take off your playlist.

Linkin Park.

What does a typical workday look like?

When I am in town, I usually work on emails and workflow approvals at home until 8 a.m.-9 a.m., then I head to the office via Starbucks for an Iced Americano. If traveling, I’m usually flying myself and a VP or PM to a site, client or conference, so early morning is flight planning. Wheels up by 9 a.m., Uber by 10:30 a.m. and ETA by 11. Meetings etc., dinner, hotel and repeat.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on a job site?

There are many. One I can share is that a long time ago I had to leave on Easter night to travel to Philly to fire our foreman and get a job we were doing back on track. The following weekend I decided to correct the wavy ceiling grid myself, but forgot to turn off the industrial ceiling paddle fans. I stood up in the wrong spot. The emergency room nurse actually laughed out loud when I told her what happened..

What are you binge watching right now?

"Ted Lasso."

What is the coolest thing you have done since the pandemic hit?

Bought land and built our lake house.

What has this experience taught you?

It reminded me that some things are totally out of your control and the importance of focusing only on what you can control (serenity prayer basically).

If you knew what was going to happen, what would you have done differently?

Diversified our market sectors to essential businesses.

Favorite comfort food.

Eggs Benedict

Best advice you ever received?

My Dad and older brother always said, “The proof is in the pudding,” meaning talk is cheap and results speak for themselves.

Biggest influence in your life?

Tough to pick just one, but I’d say my mother who taught me so much and led by example. When she passed away last year, her current count of children (nine), grand and great grandchildren was at 80.

What trait do you most admire?


What advice would you give your younger self?

Golf lessons.

What is the first thing you are going to do when you are able to get back to some sense of normalcy?

I feel like we’re basically back, but I was most anxious to stabilize the business which we did. Personally, I wanted to get back to working on our dream home and get back to traveling.

CCR NYC September 28th, 2023 Noon to 4 PM at Penthouse 45.
The 14th Annual 2024 Hybrid Summit will be held January 2024, Date & Location TBD.

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January 26th, 2023
The 13th Annual Hybrid Summit was held on January 26th, 2023 Noon to 4 PM EST.

Virtual Women in Construction: Building Connections was held on December 14th, 2022, 1 PM to 2 PM EST via a Zoom. 2023 Virtual Women in Construction TBD.

2023 Virtual Men’s Round Tables

2023 Men’s Round Table #1 will be held Q3, 2023

2023 Virtual Women’s Round Tables

2023 Women’s Round Table #1 will be held Q3, 2023


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