This month’s FM spotlight is Floyd Primavera, Director of Facilities at the largest media investment company in the world, GroupM. Floyd manages 400,000 sq. ft. with over 1,800 employees and is responsible for the day-to-day facility operations which includes maintenance, reception, concierge, mailroom, security, cafeteria and duplications services. Floyd is also a CFM and was the IFMA Facilities Manager of the Year in 2013!
“Floyd masterfully manages multiple facilities in NYC and has oversight over other GroupM locations around the country. Providing facilities management services to a company of 4,000+ people is no easy task and Floyd does it with the utmost professionalism and optimism. In additional to providing the customary facilities services, Floyd is adept at leading our re-stacking and inter-facility move initiatives necessitated by our significant growth. In addition, Floyd has taken a leadership role in managing all facets of our future relocation to 3 World Trade Center. He’s a key member of my leadership team and I truly value his perspective.” - Mark Sanders, CFO - North America, GroupM
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“Outside of the work environment I go by the name Chip. It’s a name that was given to me by my grandfather who I am named after. I was known as Chip from grammar school right through college. I still remember my first job hearing the name Floyd over the PA system; I cringed then understood that was the name my colleagues knew me as. To this day, I continue to be called Chip by family and friends.”
How did you get into the Facilities field?
“I began my professional career in the purchasing field as an expediter, which eventually lead to a Purchasing Agent position working for Baxter Healthcare, Weyerhauser Paper company. It wasn’t until the mid 80’s that I decided that I wanted more of a challenge which is how I began my career in facilities management. I hit a bump in the road with a job loss due to a company merger.
Fed up with corporate America, I opened a bagel shop which I owned and operated for five years before selling. It was this period in my life which changed me both personally and professionally. I understood that every problem had a resolution. I learned that when confronted with a problem , not to immediately react but to take a step back and think about next steps to ensure positive results. I learned how to deal with people in all situations both good and bad. I learned not to second guess the knowledge and value that I would bring to an organization.”
I re-entered the facilities arena holding positions at Toshiba and Sharp Electronic before seeking employment in NYC where I worked for Draftfcb before joining GroupM in 2006.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“Some of my favorite past projects were several space build outs ranging from 20,000 sq. ft. to 100,000 sq. ft. which included managing a warehouse build from the ground up in McAllen, Texas. I was also an integral part of the space utilization on several floors in our current building to increase density. I am very excited that I will be overseeing and managing the build out of the World Center project which is referred to as WTC. GroupM will have nine floors which are approximately 515,000 sq. ft. and we are expected to move in 2018."
What is your greatest success story?
“I have worked hard to elevate the level of service we provide to our employee population. Though we continue to be the guys behind the circus cleaning up everyone else’s mess, we have earned their respect and have become a valuable asset to the organization seeking our input and opinions on facility related matters.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“A challenge that I face is supporting six operating companies all with different cultures and ideals while maintaining processes and procedures for the benefit of the organization as a whole.
Another challenge is being the jack of all trades, juggling and tracking problem and issues that arise and Nnt letting these problems consume you. Being everyone’s go to person, containing costs while ensuring the facility is safe, functional and operational.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“Be hands on and proactive; anticipate the needs of the organization before they arise. Be flexible and open to suggestions, be a good listener. Continue to learn both inside and outside of the facilities field, follow trends, network, and join a professional organization.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.