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From scallop fishing to coworking: Brendan Quinn’s unique story

Brendan, traveling in Norway.

Brendan Quinn joined Groundwork shortly after we reopened in June. Brendan has spent 10 seasons working on commercial scallop fishing boats before diving into his current role with Xodus Group, where he plays a pivotal role in the development of the offshore wind industry here on the South Coast. What’s even cooler is that he’s working closely with another Groundwork member, Alex Thillerup, who we introduced you to just a few months back! Read on to learn more about Brendan’s unique and inspiring career.

What’s your profession?

I work as a Renewables Consultant for a company named Xodus Group. I am currently working to help develop the offshore wind supply chain in the Greater New Bedford area, as well as to give local insight to my company about the different communities since I grew up around here.

Describe a typical work day for you.

I typically arrive at Groundwork slightly before 8:00 am and begin by going through emails that may have come through overnight from colleagues at our international offices. I then have a few virtual meetings throughout the day and generally collaborate with my colleagues from our Boston office in person a few times a week. I am also working to get a PhD in Marine Science and Technology from UMass Dartmouth so I may be having some longer days when my online classes start up in a week or two.

What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?

This is the first job that I’ve ever had that has required me to come into an office. In the past I have typically worked outside or in a warehouse where I usually worked with my hands. This has been somewhat of an adjustment for me, but it is a welcome adjustment as I am not as tired at the end of the work day.

Do you have a morning routine?

Yes, I typically wake up around 6:30 am and make some lunch for the day and relax for a bit before heading to Groundwork. On the way to work I like to take the longer route so I can pass by Padanaram Harbor in Dartmouth and by the fishing boats in the New Bedford Harbor while on my way to the office from home.

What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?

I never drink full cups of coffee, I only drink half cups to give me short bursts of energy when needed, I don’t want to completely rely on coffee to stay awake or productive.

I enjoy having lunch outside to get some fresh air, even if the weather isn’t ideal, it helps me to focus in the afternoon.

What do you listen to during the day?

Sarah usually has an awesome playlist going at Groundwork during the day, so I love listening to that. It is usually at the perfect volume so that you can hear exactly what is playing, but it does not disturb you at all.

How do you benefit from using a coworking space?

If I were to be working at home at this time I feel as though I would become distracted quite easily and focusing on things other than work. Having a structured environment where I can focus on work and only work is a nice thing to have this day and age.

What’s in your digital toolbox?

I use all the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in my personal time. On the other hand, I am using services like Confluence, G Suite, Jira and Pipedrive for the work that I am doing.

What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your life?

Before I was hired at my current job with Xodus Group, I worked as a deckhand on two commercial scallop fishing boats out of the Port of New Bedford for ten seasons beginning when I was 16. I have been out at sea for weeks at a time as well as in every season and weather condition. My favorite conditions are when the seas are flat and calm in the summer; I really do not like going fishing during the major storms in the winter, but I have done it in the past. A nice thing about me working for Xodus Group is that I have the flexibility to go on fishing trips throughout the year.

Working at his previous job as a deckhand on a commercial shipping vessel.

What inspires you?

I am mostly inspired by the friends that I have made over the years. I have been fortunate enough to make lasting friendships with people of many different backgrounds and from places all over the world. The inspiration comes from all the hard work that each of us has put in to get to where we are today. While each of us may have had to work under different conditions or in different fields altogether, it is truly inspiring to both watch and be a part of your friends’ successes and failures. I am certainly always rooting for my friends to succeed, but it is extremely important to be there for them when things do not pan out exactly as planned.


We are so happy Brendan joined the Groundwork community and look forward to watching his career unfold. For more info on some of the offshore wind partnerships happening here in New Bedford, check out this Standard-Times article from May. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates on coworking, events, and more!

Caitlin Joseph