This month’s FM spotlight is Marc Rubin, Facilities Manager for the leading importer and marketer of luxury wines, spirits and champagnes in the U.S., Moet Hennessy USA.
Marc oversees 56,000 square feet of the Moet Hennessy Corporate Headquarters in New York City and manages all day-to-day Facilities operations. In addition, he is the Fleet Manager of 140 vehicles assigned to salespeople throughout the United States.
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“Prior to starting my business career, I wanted to be a radio DJ and was on my college radio station and served an internship at a local Long Island radio station. While they eventually offered me a position, the pay was too low and I started my career at CBS, but continued to do private DJ work. I have been a Rock & Bowl DJ at Herrill Lanes Bowling Center in New Hyde Park, Long Island for 30 years and have had the best time ever playing the greatest hits to a live audience every Saturday night!”
How did you get into the Facilities field?
“I began my career in Facilities Management in 1980 in the position of Manager, Administration/Office Manager, for CBS Records (eventually Sony Music) where I was responsible for managing various facilities projects including the office relocations of a 75 person and eventually a 250 person department to a new facility. I was involved with everything related to the moves other than the IT requirements and I learned a great deal about attention to detail from that experience. I eventually moved on to Summit Bank where I held a similarly titled position and was responsible for a department of more than 300 employees. From there, I moved to Lebhar-Friedman, where I managed all office operational functions and event planning for a publisher of retail trade magazines. Currently, I am the Facilities Manager at Moet Hennessy USA in New York City, where I manage all USA related facility operations, fleet vehicle management and real estate projects for a leader in the wine and spirits industry.
The most enjoyable part of my job is managing a fleet of 140 vehicles for our salespeople. While I will be retiring this July, I would love to continue somewhere providing fleet vehicle management services.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“Some of my project highlights include the implementation of computer acquisition procedures at CBS Records that resulted in annual savings of $400,000. While there, I also reduced yearly software maintenance costs by over $200,000 by investigating actual requirements.
At Summit Bank, I developed and implemented the "Dinner On Us Employee Recognition Award Program" and managed the successful office space build out of over 90 employees. I am very proud of my development and promotion of monthly charitable and social events as Chairperson of the Corporate Activities Committee for 1,000 employees.
At Moet Hennessy, I was Project Manager for the development and opening of a new regional sales office in a major market area. I was instrumental in improving our fleet vehicle management program with better and safer vehicles for our salespeople while keeping the program cost relatively flat. Finally, I was responsible for the creation of a greatly expanded and computerized Shipping and Receiving Mailroom Program that has more than doubled the volume of incoming and outgoing shipments over the past four years.”
What is your greatest success story?
“While office relocations, event planning and cost savings have always been important and exciting, my greatest success story occurred last year at Moet Hennessy when a water pipe burst from several floors above and flooded our Board Room, Reception area and front entrance Elevator area. I remember the cascading water at 4:00pm that Tuesday afternoon and immediately started preparations for demolition, checking for mold remediation, and planing for a timely reconstruction of the affected areas. Once senior management determined how they wanted to rebuild the Board Room, I promised to have the room operational within 30 days. The Director of IT and I worked long and hard with the room being completed and ready as promised.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“The greatest challenge throughout my career has been the knowledge that everything is important and everything affects someone. As any Facilities Manager knows, there are hundreds of major and minor projects going on daily that require attention to detail and if even one project or task is not completed properly, and in a timely manner, someone is going to notice.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“I learned early on in my career at CBS Records that "anything can be done given enough time, money and manpower." The critical issue is being sure your senior management team is supportive of this fact, otherwise the project will either be delayed or not done properly. I learned that a Facilities Manager must be able to convince management why something is important and should be done in the manner being presented.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.