This month we meet Stuart Goldberg from SiriusXM Radio in our FM Spotlight. I recently had a chance to meet Stuart at their NY headquarters located at 1221 Avenue of the Americas and tour their facilities including over 30 studios, a performance space, a 24x7 control center, data center for music storage, and offices for all major company functions including the CEO, HR, Legal, etc.
“Stuart is that rare combination of intelligence, curiosity, attention to detail and affability that assures not only that the project will be well managed but that it will be a pleasure to work on as well. There was never a request that was not handled with diligence and expediency, whether it be from his CAO, or us as the Architects. He was always available to handle the myriad of coordination details and did so with great equanimity. It was truly a pleasure to work with Stuart and we look forward to doing so again.” - Robin Pendleton, LEED GA, Director of Interior Design, Kostow Greenwood Architects
How did you become a Facility Manager?
“Ever since I was young, I wanted to be an FBI Agent. In college, I studied Psychology and Communications at the University of Buffalo and then got my Masters in Criminal Justice at George Washington University. I earned free tuition in grad school by working as a campus police officer for the University. I did internships with local police and the US Marshals. However, when I actually applied for jobs I quickly learned that unfortunately, not having a sense of smell disqualified me!
Unable to pursue law enforcement professionally, I went into Security Management and teaching Criminal Justice. I was running security at a hotel and teaching at a technical college when I was recruited to head up Security for XM Radio in Washington, DC. There are many similarities between hotels and radio – both are 24/7 operations that can’t afford down time, they both involve a lot of off-hours work, many special events, and handling VIP’s. I was promoted to Director of Security, but also began taking on more facility functions. When XM Radio merged with Sirius in 2008, I transitioned completely to Facilities. I moved with the company from Washington, DC to New York in 2011.”
What do you love about working at SiriusXM?
“I love the diversity of the staff at SiriusXM. We have rock stars and rocket scientists, punk rock DJ’s and classical music experts. We have over 170 different radio channels and I get to meet our talent from across the political spectrum, all types of music, comedians, news, religious, and LGBT programming. One of our most exciting areas right now is our growing Latin programming. We also continue to offer the most sports coverage in the industry. Our employees and guests reflect the diversity of our listeners. Of course I also work with all our behind the scenes staff including IT, Listener Care, and all the corporate folks of a traditional office environment.”
What are your FM responsibilities and who do you support?
“I directly oversee three sites in NYC, of about a dozen in our corporate portfolio, plus I support all of the locations, including managing most of the corporate-wide contracts, such as copiers, refreshments, and office supplies. The mailroom and maintenance functions report to me, as well as our janitorial and other operational vendors. Then there are Capital projects, such as building out new spaces and renovations.
Please let me give a “shout out” to those who support me! Facilities Management is a team effort, and I could never be successful without the hard work of the people who work for me, as well as other departments and vendors, and the support of my boss.”
What projects are you most proud of?
“One of my favorite projects so far was the build-out of a new floor at 5 Penn Plaza because I got to work on it from start to finish. It is always fun to be part of a team that brings something off paper and into reality, problem solving along the way.
I have also really enjoyed working on a major renovation of our corporate headquarters, which included installing an impressive LED-lit architectural feature wall made by Seeyond, a 16 screen video wall by Cinemassive, and new stone floor and carpeting from RD Weis Flooring Solutions. This was particularly challenging because we were working in the space while it was occupied. Kostow Greenwood Architects was an awesome partner on this project and I have really enjoyed working with them.”
What lessons would you share with the next generation of Facility Managers?
“It really comes down to communication. There are three important skills that I have found are key to being a successful Facility Manager:
1. Communicate well with your internal clients and find out their needs
2. Set their expectations and keep them informed
3. Learn to work well with different personalities
You can build rapport with your end users and set expectations with little steps to communicate with them. For example, I have found something as simple as putting an “Out of Order” sign on a broken sink goes a long way to easing their frustrations and letting them know you are on top of the problem and working on a solution.
I’m a people person, not an engineer or mechanic. One of the reasons that I love my job is because I get to work with so many different personalities. If you can be versatile to work with all types of people then you will be a successful Facility Manager because at the end of the day we are here to meet the needs of people by listening to them and responding in a way that makes them feel valued.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.