IFMA communications committee member Sonya Verny had the pleasure of meeting Rosalie Mignano, Vice President of Global Real Estate & Facilities Management for the Global Sports and Media Business company, IMG Worldwide.
Rosalie is someone who always strives towards excellence – from taking a job to pay her way through college to working at some of the most prestigious companies in the world.
Stucture Tone was the general contractor for IMG Worldwide’s NYC headquarters. Here’s what Thomas O’Halloran, VP of Business Development at Structure Tone had to say about Rosalie Mignano: "Rosalie is a true team builder. Her wide range of real estate, design and construction knowledge is commanding and her engaging and genuine personality fosters real team spirit and a fun and creative environment. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Structure Tone team when I say that it is a pleasure working with Rosalie on any project, large or small."
Your NYC space has been nominated for the IFMA Design and Construction of a New Facility Award. Tell me about your stunning space.
“We have 27,000 square feet at our Executive Office at 200 Fifth Avenue. Our office occupies half of the seventh floor in the busy Midtown location. The project included an open floor plan featuring several high-end finishes including glass office and conference room fronts, a kitchen and eat-in café area and a file room. Design elements includes textured millwork, light fixtures form overseas, rugs and carpeting, polished concrete and mosaic tile floors and acoustical ceilings in the reception area. Unique features of the space include a textured wood wall that runs form the reception area into the back offices. Adjacent to that runs a white Krion wall, which protrudes slightly into the hall to give it a 3D effect. Heavy A/V works were provided to accommodate the multiple TV screens set up throughout the office.”
When did you realize that you wanted to make facilities your career?
“I needed to pay for College so I decided to take a job at Iona College. I was reporting to the VP of Facilities and Property Management as an admin assistant. I was helping him with anything related to construction and the management of facilities for the college. He had me take a class – Intro to Facilities and Property Management - so that I could get a better understanding of what it is that I would actually do. I loved the course so much that I ended up changing my major from Business to Facilities & Property Management.”
Where did your career take you after Iona?
“I had the chance to work at some of the most prestigious companies and build my skills and experience starting with Alliance Capital Management. I was a facilities assistant in the Administrative Services Department, working my way to Facilities Manager.
Then I went to work at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art, as the Assistant Director of Building Services because I wanted to get more experience in building operations. After 2 years, I returned to AllianceBernstein because I wasn’t ready to be away from Corporate Services where I had access to things that help your career progress, including IFMA.
I loved my time at AllianceBernstein and it felt like the position was for me. Part of why I loved it was because it was more international in scope and I managed operations from a global level. It combined real estate and facilities which was a real strength and I was eventually promoted to VP.”
What has been a favorite success story for you?
“Now I work as the VP of Global Real Estate and Facilities Management at IMG Worldwide. One of my career highlights has been the redesign of our executive offices at 200 Fifth Avenue. I had the opportunity to work with great partners from Structure Tone and STUDIOS to design and build an open plan concept that we moved into in July 2013. It was the vision of our CEO that created a very dynamic space to support our collaborative corporate culture.
In my current position, I have the freedom to really do my job and I don’t have restrictions on being creative in regards to designing the space and fulfilling the requests of my clients. It’s very freeing not having to deal with a lot of red tape. This type of autonomy brings out my entrepreneurial spirit and allows everyone to be more creative.”
What are some challenges that you experienced?
“This is ultimately a customer service position and it is important to remember that I am the customer service rep to my clients.
Sometimes you will have easy going clients and then you will also have difficult clients. Each experience teaches you how to deal with different people and really learn to “listen”. I don’t interject my thoughts but have learned the best process to explain why I think that something should be done in a certain way. Communicating by listening and understanding is a key to success in this role.”
If you could give advice to our FM’s and future FM’s – What would you say?
“There are so many lessons that you will learn in your career. You are a jack of all trades. As a facilities professional, you always need to understand the client’s position and look at the situation through their view point. It will serve you well to learn how to see it through their eyes.
You also have to understand the mechanics of Facilities Management and have empathy for how the client feels. A great example is when one client is hot and the other client is cold. You will never be able to please everyone all the time so it’s a big balancing act. You just work to satisfy the majority knowing you did the best you can.
It helps to understand that you are the compliant department and this part can be a thankless job. All in all Facilities Management is truly a passion for me. I love what I do!”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.