By Eric Gneckow, Jeff Quackenbush and Dan Verel, Business Journal Staff Reporters
VP, Facilities & Planning Buck Institute for Research on Aging, 8001 Redwood Blvd., Novato, CA 94945 415-209-2056 buckinstitute.org
Professional background: 1998 to Present with the Buck Institute. 1988 to 1998 with the Lucas Family of Companies. 1985 to 1988 with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. Self-employed in construction and real estate for years before Fireman’s Fund. Professional Associations: Associate in Risk Management, Insurance Institute of America;
Education: Attended Arizona State University a long, long time ago. Attended Sonoma State University a long time ago. Majors included industrial arts architecture and law. Lifelong learner in addition to formal education.
Staff: Excellent staff of 7.
Describe the facilities you oversee: A biomedical research facility comprised of three buildings situated on 417 acres. The buildings total 245,000sf and house laboratory and support facilities along with an auditorium, atria and conference facilities.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I enjoy the mental and physical challenges of construction. The entire process is part knowledge, part experience and has elements of an elaborate risk/reward game. Even as a child I spent many happy hours building and demolishing structures and machines of all kinds. I enjoy sports of all kinds and they have been an important part of my life. I learned what it means to be part of a team and how individual effort can lead to group success. One of my earliest construction projects was a large “fort” built from discarded Christmas tree and snow structures in a Midwest winter. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to do work that I love with outstanding people.
What do you see as the role of the facilities managers within your organization?: The Buck Institute, like many facilities, is like a small town. Our role is to foster and promote a pleasing and productive work environment for our staff, visitors and guests. We do this by doing our best to assure that the buildings and grounds are in good operating order. Moreover, we are responsible for the health and safety of hundreds of people who work in our labs and visit our auditorium on a daily basis. I like to refer to facility management professionals as asset managers. The asset value of the facilities and grounds of any organization is second only to the value of the people in that organization.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: The recently completed laboratory building at our research campus.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Balancing operating costs and expense with revenue. As an independent non-profit research institute, the more we can do to operate the facility as efficiently as possible returns funding to the important research housed at the Buck Institute.
What the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: We intend to produce all the energy we consume on site through renewable energy sources.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?: Computer assisted facility planning and management software.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: Energy management will become a key component of facility management. Facility managers will also increase their effort in regulatory compliance activities.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: It is impossible for me to single out one person. I have the privilege of interacting with outstanding professionals from all facets of the construction, real estate and facility management industries.
Current reading: Shape Shifters by Tony Hillerman
Most want to meet: Thomas Friedman
Stress relievers: Gardening, humor, basketball, golf
Favorite hobbies: Gardening, home remodeling
Words that best describe you: Problem solver, helpful, reliable
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