top of page

General Contractor-Cambridge MA-Owner Biographies

Eric Dutra

Eric first started in the Construction Industry at the age of 15. He landed his first job working for a General Contractor who worked within the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. At this time, Eric did not have any real construction trade skills. But what he did have was a work ethic and a love for carpentry that was recognized early on by his employer. Eric began as a simple laborer/carpenter's assistant. His main tasks were to simply keep the job site clean, dispose of debris, and to assist his assigned carpenter with all necessary tasks. For many, this is where their journey in the industry stays. But Eric refused to be a simple laborer sweeping floors and taking out the trash for too much longer. From day one, he never hesitated in asking questions. Eric also never hesitated in picking up tools and learning how to complete any task he was allowed to try out. At first, as you would imagine, things started off slow for him. Workers had a job to do, and didn't want to slow themselves down by wasting time teaching a laborer that they weren't even sure would stick around.The Beth Israel Hospital is a high demand work area. Employees come and go all the time. Very few have been cut out to stick around throughout the years.

Eric understood this and refused to become just another temporary guy in the company. By the age of 16 he had earned the respect of many company employees. As a full time high school student, Eric had a choice to make and he made that choice without hesitation. He would work part time every weekend and off hours when asked during the week. School work would never take a backseat either, as he maintained his perfect 4.0 GPA throughout high school. Come the summer of his Junior year, he really showed how serious he was about his career. All the kids were out on the beach somewhere, while Eric was in his jeans, work shirt, and covered in sawdust.

Summers usually brought an unbelievable increase in work at the Hospital. Now at 17, Eric had earned a few more job titles; Plasterer and Painter. As a bigger part of the team, his employer called upon him for more hours as the small company was struggling to keep up with the added work. Eric was already working 52 hour weeks as a standard work week during the summer. Now, with the addition of overtime shifts during the week and Sunday work days, Eric was racking up 100 hour weeks at times. Very few can say they worked like that at 17. Very few can even say they do that today. It was after that summer was over that everybody in the company really reflected on what the new kid had done the whole season. The shifts weren't easy to begin with but Eric took on more than most of them, and no less than all. Only one other employee had matched Eric's output, his assigned carpenter. The summer had not only cemented him as a permanent member of this team, but had finally earned him the trust of both his co-workers, and his employer.

As the years went by Eric continued to improve and add to his long list of trade skills. He graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with his perfect 4.0 GPA still in tact. Eric went right into college, attending Wentworth Institute of Technology. His chosen major being Construction Management.

By the age of 19, he could call himself a plasterer, painter, carpenter, and floor guy. Eric never let his success go to his head, he continued to take on laborer duties whenever he was asked to, or whenever painting and carpentry work slowed down and he needed something to keep busy. By the age of 20, Eric's first Co-op semester was upon him. He had chosen to do his Co-op with the company he had worked for since he was 15. The opportunity to go to bigger companies was there, but Eric had a level of loyalty to the company that had given him his start. He was promoted to Project Manager, while still maintaining all of his other duties as well. Eric continued to paint, patch, clean up, take on small carpentry jobs, and do everything else he had always done. All he had done was add to his list of responsibilities. These tasks included receiving and signing off on deliveries, attending meetings on the owners' behalf, running select jobs and employees, supervising work, coordinating with subcontractors, and reporting back to his employer on the status of the job sites he was assigned to.

On October 2011, Eric made the decision with Thomas Russell to open their own Construction Company and to run it on the side. All companies generally start slow, and this case was no different. Eric continued to work for his original General Contractor in Boston, ran and advertised for his own company, and got another part time job for a painting company which served the entire Greater Boston Area. All this while still being a full time student and maintaining his high college grade point average. Upon Graduating and earning his degree in the summer of 2012, Eric parted ways with both his old general contractor and the painting company he had been working for during the past year. It was time to fully focus on his own construction company; D&R Construction. He had shown in college and in the field that he had what it took to run a business. D&R Construction has not only become his company, it has become his dream career.

Thomas Russell

Thomas Russell started in the Construction Industry at the extremely young age of 13. He started with his Uncle's masonry business. Masonry work is by no means a simple form of work; it's an extremely physically demanding job that will push a person to his or her limits day in and day out. Yet at 13 Thomas was able to handle it; never complaining or coming up with excuses. He remained there for a few years before parting ways with the business.

Thomas attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School with Eric. He enrolled in the Rindge School of Technical Arts Carpentry Program. Thomas completed the program and excelled in his carpentry work. A lot of his skills today, began back in that prestige carpentry program. At the age of 16, while still attending high school Thomas began working for a Residential General Contractor stationed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. So while Eric was busy in the Commercial Industry, Thomas was excelling in the Residential Industry. He began as a laborer, simply cleaning up after the carpenters and disposing of debris. But Thomas was not one to settle for any position. He has always had the drive to continue to push himself and climb the rankings of any business he works for. He quickly began picking up tools and learning the ropes. Thomas quickly became the new company painter/plasterer. He maintained these job titles for his first 2 years. At the age of 18 Thomas was promoted to a carpenter's assistant. He improved his carpentry skills and learned an extremely large and valuable amount about all sorts of residential renovations. 

Simultaneously at the age of 18, Thomas began attending Wentworth Institute of Technology, majoring in Construction Management alongside Eric Dutra. Wentworth offers an exceptional Construction Management program which forces students to work in groups to handle projects just like in the real world. Thomas and Eric were part of many of the same groups. While Eric was typically the best candidate to act as Project Manager, Thomas was able to act as many positions. He acted as Lead Estimator, Lead Scheduler, Safety Officer, lead designer, Site Superintendent, and many other job titles. All students at some point were given the opportunity to try out different positions. Some were great at managerial tasks such as Eric, while others were able to excel in many aspects of the team just like Thomas. But very few were able to succeed in such a broad range of positions. Thomas was one of those rare few. ​

Throughout the years from 18 on, Thomas continued working for his Residential General Contractor. At the age of 20, Thomas was contacted by Eric about a possible position for the General Contractor Eric had been working for at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Thomas accepted the opportunity and quickly became the new company employee. Work was picking up and Thomas proved to be an essential part of the team right away. He, like Eric, was a man of many job titles. Thomas was a plasterer, painter, laborer, mover, and carpenter. He simultaneously took on a third job for the same painting company Eric had also been working for. To work 3 part time jobs while attending college full time was an extremely difficult and risky decision, but Thomas knew he could handle it. Not only did he maintain his 3 jobs, but he maintained his high grade point average as well. Very few people have the will to work that hard. Thomas of course was just getting started.

In the Summer of 2011, Thomas approached Eric with the thought of starting their own business. They both agreed they could handle such a challenge, and opened D&R Construction Company in October of that year. Now, Thomas was balancing 3 part time job positions, a full time college obligation, and running and advertising his own construction company. 5 major responsibilities spread throughout the entire Greater Boston Area. Although extremely difficult and nearly impossible, Thomas was able to balance all five. Upon graduating from Wentworth in the Summer of 2012, Thomas parted ways with all three part time employers, in order to focus on running D&R Construction Company with Eric. Much like Eric, D&R Construction has become Thomas' permanent career choice. One he had always dreamed of, and one he will always take pride in.

bottom of page