This month’s FM spotlight is Daniel Crespo. Daniel is an energetic, detail-oriented Facilities Management professional with over 10 years of experience. He has an excellent knowledge of building maintenance and operations, outstanding service orientation and a proven track record of building team engagement and improving operational efficiency.
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“I have a passion for coaching youth baseball. When I am not working or spending time with the family, I am at a baseball field or indoor baseball training facility with my son.”
How did you get into the Facilities field?
“My first exposure to the Facilities field was in 2004 while working at Fish & Richardson as an Office Services Supervisor. At the time, the Office Manager was extremely busy handling other projects and asked me to meet with the general contractor to go over a few minor repairs that were needed in the office. I was hooked from that day forward. I began to look for entry level positions and in 2006 I landed my first full time Facilities position as a Facilities Coordinator at the law firm, Heller Ehrman.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight
“While working at Dechert in 2013, I was part of the team that took the existing high-density file rooms, over-sized case rooms and over-sized paralegal stations, and created an interior attorney office - the first of its kind. The cost of Real Estate in Manhattan was at an all-time high and E-Discovery was evolving in the legal industry. Due to these factors, the firm determined an interior office structure was the best course of action towards maximizing the space’s potential. So, we got together with the design team and asked the architect to put a few sketches together. We presented three design options to the managing partner, with our recommendation. He provided his input and we began the scheduling process for the project. It is pretty remarkable when you see something go from a sketch pad to a fully built out, finished product.”
What is your greatest success story?
“One of my greatest success stories involved utilizing modern technology to improve an existing design. We had a few hundred MR-16 halogen fixtures in the office. As many in the Facilities world know, these fixtures burn extremely hot, therefore the bulb needs to be changed often, which creates a secondary problem that the sockets then burn out or it begins to malfunction.
I sat down with our electrical contractor and HVAC contractor, and came up with a cost analysis regarding heat load, cost of electricity and maintenance with the existing bulbs. Then, we did the same analysis if we were to replace all of the existing halogen MR 16 with Phillips LED MR16. With that data we were able to convince the Director of Facilities to approve this huge undertaking of swapping out every single plug and bulb in the office.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“My biggest challenge was while doing the project at Dechert while the floors were fully occupied. The project team met every day to put together communication for the occupants regarding the noisy work being done the next day. If you have ever worked in Facilities at a Law Firm, you know how difficult this can be. But, we had such a great team between the GC and IT and Administration that we pulled it off. We finished the project in 12 weeks on schedule.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“I would tell future FM’s to not be afraid to ask questions and to create a network of 'go-to' people. If you have the opportunity to have great mentors like I had, take in as much information as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they got to their position and what you can do to improve, so that you can advance in your career. Stay hungry for knowledge, the Facilities Management industry is constantly evolving.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary