FM Spotlight

Paul Haley – Wolters Kluwer

This month’s FM spotlight is Paul J. Haley, CFM/FMP, Facilities Manager for Wolters Kluwer – Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) Division.

Paul oversees approximately 170,000 square feet of office space and the day to day management of all facilities services at Wolters Kluwer headquarters located in New York. Additionally, he oversees all facilities related matters in over 40 other national offices.

“Paul Haley is the consummate Facilities Manager. He knows what needs to be done and how to meet his ‘customer’s’ needs. He does an excellent job in working with multiple vendors, contractors and employees from various business units. He effectively juggles all of his priorities to assist in making Wolters Kluwer a great place to work!” - Roger Eriksson, VP of Finance / Divisional Controller, Wolters Kluwer – Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) Division.

What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“I hate to cook and do not find it ‘therapeutic’ like others do. I find cutting up vegetables is extremely annoying. Landscaping is where I find peace and collect my thoughts and can do it until the cows come home (probably due to my maternal grandparents being farmers).”

How did you get into the Facilities field?
“Like most, I fell into it! I graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a BA in Philosophy and English, both interesting and fun educational pursuits but leaves very limited options when it comes to professional career paths (even though I can write a pretty impressive email when required).

But looking back, I strongly feel my career path has ultimately molded me to be a well-rounded and seasoned facilities professional today at Wolters Kluwer.

I wore many hats and bore many responsibilities while at my first ‘real’ job as Business Manager for the largest environmental abatement firm on the East Coast, USA Remediation Services, Inc. outside Washington, DC back in the late 1990s.

I was first bitten by the facilities bug upon moving to New York four years later where I became Assistant Manager of Facilities and Client Services at eFinanceworks Management Corp. But that adventure lasted for just a year as the turn of the century ‘dot.com bubble burst’ took its toll.

Shortly afterwards I became the Assistant to the Controller for Americon Construction, Inc. Along with overseeing the daily operations, the experience also provided me a solid background in both finance and construction.

I was able to refine all the above mentioned professional experience during my nine year tenure at ING Investment Management’s (now Voya Financial) New York Headquarters, working my way up from Assistant Manager to AVP of Corporate Facilities. It is during this time I also achieved both my IFMA FMP and CFM accreditations.”

“I had the pleasure of working with Paul during my tenure at ING and during an earlier assignment at a venture capital firm.

While at ING, Paul played a major role in our efforts to enhance and adapt our real estate footprint to meet business needs, while developing first class workplace accommodations and vendor management programs. His passion for the FM profession, his analytical skills and appetite for innovation have been his strong suit when faced with complex real estate challenges.

If you ever worked with Paul, you know that he has an obsession for keeping things simple. He is known for his hands-on approach and is widely recognized in the industry as honest, innovative, visionary and motivating. Paul is an experienced professional with a solid track record in the broad areas of Corporate Real Estate Services such as Facilities Management, Property Services, Finances, Administration and Control.” - Emilio Galanda, Director – Facilities Management, Americas North, American Express

Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“When at ING, I was involved in over $30 million in construction/renovations, all within 200,000 square feet of space with some being award winning LEED Gold Certified projects. While I largely played a supporting role in these projects, I didn’t realize how much I learned until I arrived at Wolters Kluwer and started leading my own. Despite being responsible for many sites across the country, I surprisingly seldom travel. In 2014 alone I successfully completed close to 60 national projects, both large and small, from my desk.”

What is your greatest success story?
“There has been many successes in my career, both large and small and too many to mention. I would say my greatest success was developing and maintaining numerous professional relationships (from fellow Facilities Managers to contractors/suppliers to Corporate Executives) over the years who I can always turn to with complete confidence. Even in such a large, dynamic city like New York, the facilities world is small and intertwined so it wise not to burn bridges and realize you are all in it together as a team and can depend and learn a lot from one another. No one is going to truly understand your professional joy or pain like another Facilities professional! As a strong supporter and participant of the IFMA Mentorship Program, I always make a point to emphasize the importance of business relationships to the mentees. It is also important to remain active in the local facilities community as I am a member of the Pratt Institute Facilities Management Program Advisory Committee (PAC) and involved in other IFMA related programs (Mentorship Program, Education Board, etc.).”

Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“Personally I am not one to shy away from a challenge and actually welcome them. And since challenges are plentiful in facilities, it makes the profession enticing, rewarding and fun. A specific challenge that is currently keeping everyone on their toes at Wolters Kluwer is two property management projects underway in our Google-owned building. Between the 170,000 square feet of renovations occurring on the floor above our space and the installation of elevator shafts that is cutting through our space (largely impacting the Executive Team area no less), Both facilities and the Wolters Kluwer corporate real estate team have been working closely with property management on both projects to ensure that we are keeping to the facilities pledge of ‘providing a productive, comfortable, safe and finally uninterrupted work environment’ to the approximate 600 employees, contractors, visitors etc. who occupy our floor on a daily basis.”

What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“Many! As previously stated, develop, nurture and maintain business relationships. Communicate!! Communicate!!! Communicate!!!! If you think you learned everything or that you are not capable of making mistakes there is a problem. Learn the ‘art of anticipation.’ Keep your strengths close, your short-comings closer.

Most of our colleagues like to end their email requests with “….at your earliest convenience…” but all mean something totally different. Some mean just that, some mean two minutes from now, while others mean last week. Effective Facilities Managers quickly learn what each colleague means to their advantage and success.

Finally, and most importantly, take your profession seriously, knowing it's ok to laugh and have fun along the way….”

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