This month’s FM spotlight is Ayda Melo-Taveras. Ayda is a Facilities Director for WeWork, providing Central Support in developing standards and strategies for scalability to all Regional Teams. She has a background in Architecture and Construction Management and has utilized those skills to understand and manage the built environment. Ayda's focus is to continuously look for opportunities to improve process in efforts to support the reduction of OpEx, minimizing defects, and improving member experience. She is an active member of the IFMA NYC Chapter as Vice Chair of the Networking Committee and a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee. She is also being honored as a Woman of Valor at the 2018 St. Francis Food Pantries & Shelters Awards Tea.
"Ayda’s passion for facilities maintenance is inspirational. A day doesn’t pass where she isn’t advocating for the people operating our buildings, launching new processes to improve efficiency, and thinking progressively about how we can scale our facilities framework. She is a strong leader that truly cares about making an impact on the industry, and we are lucky to have her driving our Facilities department at WeWork." –Leigh D'Ambra, Head of Building Operations, WeWork LLC
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“I love exploring and learning about other cultures and their history.”
How did you get into the Facilities field?
“Facilities Management was always an industry that I was interested in because of the relationships you build with end users. When I first came to WeWork, I joined as an Assistant Construction Project Manager and part of my responsibilities were to manage the handover process from Construction to Operations. At WeWork, member engagement is part of our culture, therefore because I value customer service, I transitioned into Facilities Management to better serve our members.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight
“My first few years at WeWork are by far my favorite project highlights. Our first few build outs were intense and scrappy. I was challenged every time there was a new opening. Now, every first of the month is a highlight at WeWork where we open several phases or locations in different parts of the world. We strive to provide the facilities services and every bit of effort that goes into that is worth it.”
What is your greatest success story?
“I'm a young leader in a company that is experiencing exponential growth. I have developed an innate ability to problem solve with practical solutions by driving proactive planning utilizing technology and data to minimize defects and increase efficiency. This presents the ability to achieve small wins with high impact. This builds my greatest success story.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“Automation of services and technology are becoming key aspects of any company to effectively manage their assets and be an industry leader. Technology, particularly for Facilities Management, isn't necessarily cutting edge.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“Building relationships is key. My success is driven by the relationships I build and how I leverage those resources. Today, the workplace is changing and consequently impacts the future of Facilities Management. It is quickly evolving where decisions often need to be made on the fly. The chances of executing effectively under those circumstances are much higher when you have resources and tools that you can depend on.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of Colliers International, IFMA NYC Secretary