This month’s FM spotlight is Ken Abrahams, Director of Real Estate and Facilities at the nation’s recognized leader in home health benefit management solutions – CareCentrix. Ken’s background includes an MBA in Finance, a certificate of Real Estate from NYU and 30 years of experience working in the NYC area with Prodigy Internet, American Express, Prudential Finance, The Bank of New York and Morgan Stanley.
“Ken has clear expertise in his field and adds significant value to CareCentrix. He is extremely independent and proactive, and handles his responsibilities with minimal oversight. It has been a pleasure working with Ken as his projects have been on time, within budget and most important with no surprises! - Steven Horowitz, Chief Financial Officer - CareCentrix
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“I am a fitness fanatic who cycled 115 miles for my birthday last year and I have been playing in the same pickup basketball game for 18 years.”
How did you get into the Facilities field?
“I was taking a real estate finance class in graduate school when I decided that the field was of interest to me. I liked that you get to deal with people and you don’t spend your whole day glued to a desk.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“Shortly after I started at CareCentrix, the CEO wanted to open a new satellite office that looked totally different from our other locations. Having come from the big corporate world of large real estate departments with abundant resources and consultants.... suddenly all the design and construction was on me! I discovered that furniture vendors, building design teams and contractors are invaluable collaborators and sources of information and ideas. Additionally, we were able to design a space that was within our tenant improvement allowance by locating and leasing a layout that required little changes.”
What is your greatest success story?
“I have spent most of my career doing leasing, so project and facility management are new additions to my responsibilities. A great success at my current job is, while working with a limited $0 budget, I will create a space management system based on linked excel files that allows each local associate to input data that in turn gives senior management a consolidated high level view.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“The greatest challenge is keeping up with the pace of things. Although I have always been an early adopter and have kept up with technology, real estate issues don’t always work themselves out at that speed. My favorite saying to my stakeholders is that when speaking to me you are talking to ‘the man of the future.’ Real Estate projects don’t happen overnight so we need to be looking 6-18 months down the road at all times.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“The most important thing about remote facility management is constant communication from the associates in your facilities and maintaining a good relationship with building management. Every time I visit our facilities I make sure to meet with the building managers and my local site managers. Despite all our wonderful technology, this is still a people business!”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.