Carol Speredelozzi: Operations Leadership in Life Sciences Real Estate for 14+ Years

Photo: Carol Speredelozzi

Carol Speredelozzi Receives the 2023 Corporate Property Management Award

BOSTON- Holding operational leadership roles in biotech for more than a decade and expertise in office management, design and construction, real estate, and administration, Carol Speredelozzi is a leading member of Boston’s vibrant life sciences real estate community. She has been in operational leadership roles for more than 20 years, with 14 in biotech: from start-ups to clinical-stage and venture capital companies focused on biotech company creation and investing.

Most recently, Speredelozzi was the Senior Director of Operations for Third Rock Ventures, a leading healthcare venture firm focused on advancing disruptive areas of science and medicine to deliver breakthroughs to patients. In her role there, she was responsible for all the company’s day-to-day operations, and I worked closely with our COO on the real estate strategy for both the firm and their portfolio companies. I helped the partnership manage its four properties in Boston and San Francisco. I consulted with several portfolio companies on building out their first lab and office space in Cambridge, overseeing the space selection, the design and construction, and the initial set-up of their space.

201 Brookline

The last big project Speredelozzi oversaw for Third Rock was the relocation of their Boston office from the Back Bay to a brand-new Life Science building in the Fenway at 201 Brookline Avenue. Speredelozzi played an integral role in ensuring the space would work optimally for the next stage of Third Rock’s growth and helped support Third Rock’s vision to expand Boston’s biotech hub into the Fenway.

The relocation of the Third Rock Boston headquarters to the Fenway last year was a significant project for the company after 15 years in the Back Bay. Speredelozzi and Third Rock’s goal was to help establish a new thriving biotech hub in the Fenway and shift from a multi-floor office-heavy space to a more open, collaborative, and continuous space. She worked hand in hand with the company to ensure there was a clear vision and that every detail of the project came together to ensure optimal space utilization. They faced the challenge that so many companies faced at the time, of creating a space that responded to the changing needs of the office environment post-pandemic. They needed to introduce as much flexibility as possible and make the space as welcoming and inviting as possible, not only for the internal team but to the expanded life science community as well. Speredelozzi and Third Rock Ventures assembled a project team including Leggat McCall Properties as project managers, Elkus Manfredi as designers, and Corderman & Company as the general contractor, and the firm could not have been more pleased with the results.

Speredelozzi‘s first leadership role was as the Director of Operations for an architectural and interior design firm, ADD Inc (now Stantec).  After 8 years there and overseeing the relocation of their corporate headquarters to the Seaport, Speredelozzi moved into the biotech space, helping to start up multiple life science companies at various stages of development, such as Tempero Pharmaceuticals, a former GSK Company focused on drug development for immunoinflammatory diseases, and Voyager Therapeutics, which focuses on breakthroughs in gene therapy for CNS and other diseases. Speredelozzi started with operations for a design firm early in her career proved to be very valuable as she moved into operational roles in the life science space.

She studied English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, and she is passionate about supporting organizations that do great things and make a big impact on the people and communities they serve.

Here is a Q&A with Speredelozzi.

BOSTON REAL ESTATE TIMES: Can you provide a brief overview of your background and early life? 

CAROL SPEREDELOZZI: I grew up in Braintree, MA, in a family with eight children and two very hardworking parents.  My father worked for the MBTA for 43 years, and my mother worked her entire career in visiting nursing.  They both instilled many of the lessons I hold firmly today.  We were taught to consider others and always to do the right thing.  Our family remains extremely close, and I owe so much of my work ethic to all of them.

BRET: What inspired you to pursue your current field or career?  

CS: When I was in college, I worked in office jobs over the summers and discovered I had a knack for operations and enjoyed helping companies keep the trains running.  Fifteen years ago, I had the opportunity to help a start-up, a new biotech company, and I learned how inspiring it was to help companies build a strong foundation for the development of treatments for patients.  I found it extremely rewarding, and I have been on the path to support biotech companies ever since.

BRET: Could you share some of the major milestones and accomplishments in your journey so far? 

CS: My first major role after college was at ADD Inc (now Stantec), an architecture and interior design company where I worked for eight years.  I went from Sr. Administrative Assistant to Director of Operations and Associate Principal. The most significant project I did while in that role was to relocate their headquarters from Cambridge to a newly renovated artist building in the Seaport in the first wave of revitalization in that neighborhood.  It was a very challenging and rewarding opportunity and taught me a lot about design and construction from both an owners and tenant perspective.

From there I moved into Biotech and helped start-up and set-up the first of a number of companies that would keep me busy and challenged over the next 14 years of my career.  The biotech companies I helped launch and establish operations and physical spaces for include Tempero Pharmaceuticals, Voyager Therapeutics, Onduo, Vida Ventures, MOMA Therapeutics, Faze Medicines, and Flare Therapeutics.

BRET: What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them? 

CS: One operational challenge a new biotech company faces after they are launched is scaling up and supporting the various operational needs of the company as the team and science grow rapidly.  Often additional space is needed sooner than a new space can be secured and set up, which requires some creative solutions.  Strong partnerships with brokers, landlords, incubators, and an extensive biotech network are critical in overcoming these challenges.  Investing in these relationships and partnerships allows options for flexibility and growth while companies work towards longer-term solutions.

BRET: Was there a role model or mentor that influenced your path, if so, how? 

CS: My first female manager, Jill Rothenberg, at ADD Inc., served as a great role model for me early in my career, and I still lean on her as I navigate my way.  She taught me a lot about empathetic leadership and hard work and about the importance of raising people up.

BRET: Can you talk about a particularly memorable or impactful moment in your career/life? 

CS: Earlier this year, Third Rock hosted an open house to welcome its external partners in the biotech community to its beautiful new home in the Fenway.  The response to the space was positive and wonderful to see. I am very proud of the role I played in making that happen. I know the space will serve as a great launching pad for a number of really innovative companies solving the challenges of patients and countless unmet medical needs.

BRET: What motivates you to keep pushing forward and striving for excellence? 

CS: I really believe in the power of maintaining a growth mindset, and this has fueled me from the beginning of my career to today.  Being a part of something greater than yourself and that gives back to the community is all the motivation I need.