Ken Abrahams – CareCentrix

Janet Acevedo – Hedge Fund

Luis Acevedo – Major League Soccer

Jacqueline Anderson – Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Kelcie Azevedo – Standard Chartered Bank

Tito Bacarella – Branch Real Estate

John Barrie – Soros Fund Management LLC

Ken Beck – Société Générale

Gene Boniberger – Rudin Management

John Boyd – Liveramp

Christian Bryan – IAC

Chris Butterick – LinkedIn

John Buzzeo – NFL

James Camille – Blackrock

Katie Campofelice – LinkedIn

Robert Capua – Global Real Estate and Domestic Facilities for Alliance Bernstein, L.P

Larry Charlip – Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Jonathan Coun – Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.

Daniel Crespo – Facilities Management Professional

Steven Daza – Uber

Jim Derasmo – AIG

Jay Feiertag – Fedcap Rehabilitation Services, Inc.

Emily Feld – Datadog

Gary Fescine – BlackRock

Sally Fisher – American Red Cross

Brian Foreman – IPG, Mediabrands Worldwide

Mark Freda – Soros Fund Management

Saeid Garebaglow – WeWork

Pamela Georges-Cohen – The CDM Group

Rick Goff – SiriusXM Radio

Stuart Goldberg – SiriusXM Radio

Paul Haley – Wolters Kluwer – Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) Division

Phillip Henry Jr – Coty

Rosie Hobbs – Flatiron Health

Frank Horak – Arnold & Porter LLP

Kiley Larsen – Dentsu Aegis Network

Alex Liz – Duff & Phelps

Peter Lorenz – Kaye Scholer, LLP

Edward Luciano – Endurance

Michael McCabe – Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

Teri Meek – Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP

Andrea Megnin

Ayda Melo-Taveras – WeWork

Rosalie Mignano – IMG Worldwide

Thomas Miner – Kaplan

Colleen Moran – NBCUniversal

Nancy Ng – The Rockefeller Foundation

Anne O’Driscoll – Young & Rubicam

Lorien Olsen – OnDeck

Katy Ostrander – The Community Preservation Corporation

Lawrence Palfini – Tiffany & Company

Daniel Pego – Con Edison of NY

Joseph Portelli – Marubeni America Corporation

Floyd Primavera – GroupM

Irving Ramos – Kantar

Michelle Reynolds – Robert Half

Marc Rubin – Moet Hennessy USA

Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux – BuzzFeed

Joe Russo – Conde Nast

Larry Sadler – AOL/Oath

Audrey Schultz – Pratt

Martin Sillen – Ogilvy CommonHealth

Lydell Simmons – E*TRADE Financial

Carl Thomas – Kaplan

Sherrylynn Trotta – Proskauer Rose LLP

John Vazquez – Verizon

Annette Vega – Comcast NBC Universal

Erick Velez – Yext

Richard Warner – Evercore

Brigitte Zaki – Apollo Global Management, LLC

Jill Zunshine – Hewlett-Packard Company

Michael Zwang – BDO

FM Spotlight

Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux – BuzzFeed

This month’s FM spotlight is Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux, Sr. Director of Corporate Real Estate & Facilities for the internet media company BuzzFeed.

Gabrielle is responsible for the procurement, fit-outs and facility operations for BuzzFeed's Global Real Estate. She is based in New York City and manages the portfolio spanning over 350,000 sq. ft. with 19 locations worldwide and counting.

“Gabi is a perfect blend of owner's rep and project manager. Her project experience, flair for design and organizational skills make her the ideal team leader. She speaks the language, understands the process, knows her clients and culture, and moves quickly and efficiently to get the job done. It has been my pleasure to collaborate with Gabi on several complex projects that were completed on time and within budget.” - Christopher J. Spano, President - CJS Builders

What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“Most people don't know that I own a self-defense business. I have been a martial artist for most of my life and this is my way of paying it forward. The business wasn’t planned, as most of the best things in life aren’t, they just happen. It organically came to light when my mom, a real estate broker, wanted to teach her colleagues how to be safe when showing apartments. The whole point is to be ahead of a bad situation, not learn how to protect yourself once someone already has their hands on you. It feels good to make people feel empowered and more confident. I find that my martial arts background helps me to feel grounded in the fast paced world of real estate and facilities.”

How did you get into the Facilities field?
“I fell into it. I went to school with a focus on Media Arts. I landed my dream job at MTV and quickly moved into the world of producing events. When my career brought me to 19 Entertainment (American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance), we were undergoing an expansion and renovation. I raised my hand to oversee the project as we didn’t have anyone in house to handle it. I quickly realized that the same skillset of making decisions quickly, troubleshooting on the fly, managing a bunch of people and a budget was very closely related to the world of producing events. I never looked back.”

Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“I am really proud of the BuzzFeed NY office project. I was recruited to BuzzFeed when they had procured the lease of the office but hadn’t started any work on the buildout. We had a year left on the current office so I already had my deadline. I quickly rolled up my sleeves, put the team together, programmed the fit-out, and got to work. We cut a four-story staircase, a 1500 sq. ft. atrium, and completed six floors and 166,000 sq. ft. in only 22 weeks of construction. I am so proud to say that a year from when I started was the exact day we moved into our new office. When my boss told me he wanted to schedule my one year review I told him we were standing in it!”

What is your greatest success story?
“I would simply say the trajectory of my career. The best success stories are the ones when the hero has no clue what he is going to do next, doesn’t have it all figured out, but dares to be great. You have to believe in yourself, not hear the voices of others who doubt you, yourself included, and jump in with both feet with a huge splash. If you told me on the day I was holding my diploma, thinking I was going to be making movies, that down the line I would be running facilities and real estate and doing office interiors I would have side-kicked you.”

Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“I think one of the hardest things is getting your arms around just how much space you are going to need. In a growing company it is difficult to know how you are going to ramp up. Will we continue to hire this many people at this rate or will we let it bake? You also don’t want to secure an office that is more space than you need. If it looks/feels empty, it is not cost effective and doesn’t allow your office to have a certain buzz.”

What learning experience would you pass onto future FMs?
“Be organized and be ahead of it. You are the nucleus of your organization and are the wizard behind the scenes. When people ask what my job entails I tell them, "if you don't know then I'm doing a good job". Meaning, if there is a rodent problem, busted A/C, or broken furniture, they would know very quickly who to come to. Make contacts and network. I pride myself on sharing best practices, trading info on vendors, services, and programs with other people in this industry. I am always happy to talk shop either to learn or mentor. I hope to connect with everyone reading this!”

Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.