By Eric Gneckow, Jeff Quackenbush and Dan Verel, Business Journal Staff Reporters
Senior Director for Facilities Management, Capital Planning, Design and Construction, Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park 94928; 707-664-2870; www.sonoma.edu
Residence: Sonoma County
Professional background: Architect
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, University of California Berkeley
Staff: Responsible for overseeing 96 Employees within the Facilities Management and Capital Planning, Design and Construction Department,
(6 Directors, 4 Managers and 86 staff/skilled trade employees – California State University Employees Union, (CSUEU) and State Employees Trades Council, SETC).
Describe the facilities you oversee: As the Senior Director for Facilities Management and Capital Planning, Design and Construction I oversee and have stewardship responsibilities for the physical plant campus-wide and the University’s Preserves, which is a comprehensive portfolio. I am in charge and accountable for all aspects of the development, sustainability, and operations and maintenance programs for Sonoma State University
The portfolio includes:
- Sonoma State University campus: 269 acres with 2,296,379 gross square feet of buildings, of which 904,585 gross square feet are student housing.
- Mendocino Community College: 2,880 gross square feet
- Fairfield Osborn Preserve: 411 acres
- Galbreath Preserve: 3,670 acres
- Los Guillicos Preserve 43 acres
Capital planning, design and construction responsibilities ensure that the vision of the physical development of the campus supports the academic mission of Sonoma State University and the campus master plan.
Typical responsibilities are five-year capital-outlay programming, campus master planning, modifying and renovating spaces, managing the facilities database and general-purpose classroom furniture inventory, assisting with implementation of university policies and managing the riparian area of Copeland Creek, which runs through the campus.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: As far back as I can remember, I have been passionate about and have wanted to be an architect and draw, I have always been captivated by and gravitated to buildings and art. It was a privilege for me to have attended the University of California, Berkeley pursuing my architectural dream and becoming a licensed architect. I am extremely proud of my 29 years of combined experience in the field of architecture and facilities management. Over the past 12 years it has been a privilege to be associated with and linked to Sonoma State University; to be associated and part of so many great projects and working along-side so many dedicated people.
I have also been fortunate enough to work with many prominent architectural firms in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Sonoma County in my career. Each of these experiences has provided me with a broad, diverse base and comprehensive understanding of senior level architectural design, facilities management, construction contract administration, and managerial experiences.
What do you see as the role of the facilities manager within your organization?: The role of the facilities manager is to be accountable for all executive level management responsibilities within the organization. The position within the Facilities Management Department is all-encompassing with broad oversight responsibilities to ensure that appropriate resources are directed toward meeting the requirements of proper operations and maintenance of the campus physical plant. To be directly responsible for overseeing the trades groups within the Facilities Management organization, including: Maintenance, Mechanics, Carpenters, Plumbers, Electricians, Painters, Lock, Auto and Engineering Services; Landscaping and Grounds; Custodial and Housekeeping Services; and Environmental Health and Safety.
Additional responsibilities include, acting campus Deputy Building Official and Building Coordinator duties. Responsible for developing policy and providing operational direction for the campus-wide capital planning, design and construction five year capital outlay planning process, master planning, design, and construction, management oversight of all campus buildings, sustainability programs, and energy utilities management for Sonoma State University, its auxiliary organizations and Preserves.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: I have been very fortunate to be part of many outstanding projects not only in my architectural career in the private sector but also in my tenure at Sonoma State University, including the design and construction of two new Student Housing Villages, a new Recreation Center and Student Center, the renovation of Salazar Hall and Darwin Hall and new Environmental Technology Center. There are a great many accomplishments I am extremely proud of at the institution in support of the mission, vision and core values of the University. Two projects genuinely stand out for me: to be part of a conscious effort to build a world class concert hall at Sonoma State University, the Green Music Center, and to be directly responsible for its implementation is very gratifying. To be in charge of managing all levels of the architectural and engineering master planning efforts, design process and construction, leading to the Grand Opening Gala event in September 2012 is an honor.
The other project at the University that is an honor and a privilege to be part of is the Holocaust and Genocide Memorial and the Anne Frank Tree project and proposal. To be part of the team working along-side the artist to construct the Holocaust and Genocide Memorial project, and instrumental in writing one of the winning proposals selected by the Anne Frank USA Committee, as one of only eleven host sites around the country to receive the Anne Frank tree sapling, (from the 150 year old chestnut tree that grew outside Anne Frank’s hiding place in Amsterdam) is very exciting for me personally and for the University.
What is your biggest challenge today?: I believe the significant challenges facing the Facilities Management Department today are the ever-increasing responsibilities within the university and decreasing resources, employees and funding support. Facilities management is in a stewardship role for the largest capital asset on campus, (buildings and infrastructure), and must be accountable for the assets entrusted to it. The current state of the State and the challenges we face ahead with the capacity to implement needed improvements is tempered by the realities of limited resources and funding. Too often Facilities Departments reflect an organization’s short-term resources rather than its long-term needs – reacting rather than being proactive. As important is the ever-changing marketplace as it relates to technology and trying to keep pace with its integration into the Physical Plant.
What is the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: As mentioned earlier, I have been very fortunate to be part of many outstanding projects over my career and specifically with Sonoma State University. The next major capital outlay projects under way are the master planning effort, design and construction of a high quality outdoor music venue to complement the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Concert Hall on campus, and the current construction and opening of the Student Center at the University in the summer of 2013.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?: If I had to select one product that would assist the Facilities Management Department and me in my area of responsibility, it would be the integration of a new comprehensive work management system CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management System. It is a necessary tool to support a productive and effective facilities management organization. The CMMS program is effective in capturing enough information and monitoring the performance of the facilities portfolio: monitor key performance indicators and financial reporting, work order tracking, tracking cost of equipment, systems and building maintenance, equipment maintenance history, preventive maintenance protocols, inventory control – location of parts and materials, work scheduling, rework tracking, tool management, track crew assignments and campus user interface on the status of work orders – online. I believe with the limited resources and funding available this improvement will enhance efficiency and increase the front line Directors/Managers effectiveness.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: From my perspective I believe the significant changes that will be felt by facilities management departments, and indirectly to architectural and engineering firms as it relates to the Public Sector work, are the challenges with declining funding support for deferred maintenance and capital outlay projects, (energy, capital renewal, minor and major capital projects). It is increasingly difficult to keep up with the level of managed care for deferred maintenance of aging facilities and infrastructure. Funding is always one of the key issues and will continue to be a challenge in the future for the facility manager to manage efficiently and effectively.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway
Current reading: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I enjoy reading non-fiction mostly, world history, biographies, architectural and art history.
Most want to meet: Living: President Bill Clinton and Warren Buffett. Historical: Robert Kennedy, Mother Theresa, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Frank Lloyd Wright, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent.
Stress relievers: I enjoy my time with my family and cycling, backpacking, camping, walking … any outdoor activity.
Favorite hobbies: Drawing, watercolor and acrylics painting, stamp collecting (for the graphics and the artwork, not as a serious collector), visiting art museums and reading
Words that best describe you: Integrity, accountable, persistence, fair-minded, dedicated, family man, loyal and strategic
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