As a fine art photography student at the Art Institute of Boston, Greg
Premru loved what he was learning, but, he says with a laugh, he had “no
idea what to do with it.” Then one day he was asked to help at an architectural photo shoot and, just like that, he knew.
Premru’s protégés typically work for him for several years before leaving to start their own businesses. The photographer does not perceive this
as a threat. “An early employer told me that the only
way you will get the best people is not to be afraid of
competition,” he says.
Sharing his knowledge and experience is part of
the joy he finds in his work. To follow that bliss, he currently teaches at New England School of Photography
and previously taught at Boston Architectural College.
“Greg’s freelance assistants are there to learn
and have creative input, not just schlep around cam-
era equipment,” says Lauren Carter, marketing coor-
dinator at LDa Architecture & Interiors in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. Says Robert Ernst of FBN Construction in Boston, “I have
seen Greg as he mentors anyone from a designer to a builder or architect in
how to be a good working team member.”
When not on location, Premru works out of his office-studio on Main
Street in postcard-pretty Groton, Massachusetts, where he has lived for 20
years with his wife, Cyndy. The couple have a son, Will, 18, and a daughter, Maddy, 16.
“I see wonderful architecture and design,” says Premru, “and the best
part is that I get to work with such creative people.” Mentorship, he notes,
isn’t always about a formal relationship. “I feel that I have very much been
mentored, not just by other photographers but by my clients.” —regina cole
MENTORING, A FINE ART
Allison Iantosca (CENTER IN PHOTO BELOW) is a respected
building contractor, a career that followed jobs in acting
and theater management. Now, in addition to leading F. H.
Perry Builder in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, she’s founded
a theater workshop for teens.
Those who know her say her concern for others and her
ability to listen are what make her an outstanding mentor.
“She sees the best in you,” says Jenny Tredeau, a sales
consultant with appliance distributor Clarke. University
of Puget Sound student Emily Katz recalls how Ianto-
sca not only introduced her to design but also showed her
“how to be successful as a woman in a male-dominated
field.” Samantha Poutré worked for
Iantosca last summer right after
graduating high school. “Allison took
me under her wing,” she says, adding
she gained “a greater self-confidence
and understanding of who I am and
what I want to do with my life: be the
next Allison Iantosca.”
“She is always there when I need
inspiration and a lift in spirit,” says
Nancy Goldstein of Light Positive
in Marblehead, Massachusetts. In the design and con-
struction industry, “she is an invaluable resource among
women,” says Goldstein.
When asked about her success, the self-effacing
Iantosca credits her own mentors. (Her father, company
founder Finley Perry, was Design New England’s Mentor
of the Year in 2014.) “Everybody is already his or her best
self,” she says. “So you ask them what they dream about
and what they bump up against. And then you listen with
your whole being and allow them a pathway to discovery.”
— william morgan
LISTEN TO THEIR DREAMS
F. H. PERRY