"Pete is one of the most resourceful guys that I know. He will always find a way to resolve any problem" -Tom Kane, Former Director of Operations for CBS
IFMA Communications Committee member Sonya Verny had the pleasure of meeting with Peter Lorenz, Facilities Manager at Kaye Scholer, LLP. Peter holds a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. Something you might find particularly about Peter is that he has his "Secret" Security Clearance from the Defense Security Service (DSS) for government-related assignments.
How did you get into facilities?
“I started my career in 1990, in retail security. From retail security, I moved into hotel security and worked as the Assistant Director of Security and Safety at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, NY. It was a very exciting job and I worked many prestigious events. After hotel security, I moved into Security and Operations at a division of Mattel, Inc., specifically, American Girl Place-NY, as the Director of Operations, also located in New York City.
I then moved into Facilities and Building Operations, as the Assistant Director of Building Operations at the CBS Corporation located in New York. This was a great job where I learned a great deal and worked on many improvement projects, such as, floor space renovations, office renovations, and general space renovations.
Finally, I arrived at my current position, as a Facilities Manager at Kaye Scholer, LLP, an international law firm with offices in both the United States and abroad.”
What are your most memorable projects that you have worked on?
“I have worked on many projects throughout my career; however, two of the larger projects that I have recently worked on were the construction of the firm's 30,000 sq. ft., Operations Center in Tallahassee, FL and the firm's new 300,000 sq. ft., Corporate Headquarters in New York, NY.”
What are some learning experiences you have had throughout the years?
“My credo is ‘everything happens for a reason’. In other words, you have to learn from every situation and make the best of every opportunity. I am more than a ‘glass is half full or the glass is half empty’ type of person. I am just glad there is water in the glass-meaning, I am an optimistic and opportunistic person when it comes to my job and career path. I believe that good things can happen if just try your best and make the best of every situation.”
What do you find most difficult about this industry?
“There have been many challenges in my career, but finding a job with a good work/life balance is most important. You won't be happy at work, if you're not happy at home and vice-versa. You need to have a challenging and rewarding job."
What advice would you give FMs in terms of challenges, obstacles and takeaways?
“There is no one person that is more important than another. You never know where the next good idea or suggestion might come from. Treat everyone fairly and listen to their comments and suggestions. Just because you have more experience than someone else, doesn't mean that someone else's opinion doesn't matter. Listen!”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.