This month’s FM Spotlight is Luis Acevedo, Senior Director of Facilities and Administration at Major League Soccer (MLS). Luis created the Facilities department at MLS from the ground up in 2012 and oversees Facilities Operations, Real Estate, Construction, Space Planning, Sustainability and Corporate Travel. Prior to joining MLS, Luis managed class-A properties in Rockefeller Center for Tishman Speyer and Viacom’s headquarters in Times Square.
“Luis is a valued senior leader within Major League Soccer. His thoughtfulness and strategic mindset have enabled him to develop a facilities program that encompasses superior services and caters to the growing needs of the business. His passion and commitment to the league are evident in the transformation of the Facilities Department over the last six years. We rely on Luis to continue perfecting the future of the Facilities Department at MLS” – JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer, Major League Soccer
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“Most people don’t know that I am a Volunteer Fire Fighter in Fort Lee, NJ. I have always had a passion for public service and feel honored that I get to serve my community as a first responder. Being a Volunteer Fire Fighter requires many sacrifices, such as waking up in the middle of the night to attend to a fire after working a 10+ hour day, doing shifts at the fire house and spending weekends taking hands-on training and education classes. It is very demanding, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, because the fulfillment of helping others outweighs the challenges.”
How did you get into the Facilities field?
“When I was an Assistant Property Manager, one of my tenants suggested that I explore moving into a Facilities role. Given that many of my tenant contacts were Facility Managers, I was able to see first-hand what their responsibilities entailed, and it seemed like Facilities Management was a natural progression for the next phase of my career. As soon as an opportunity presented itself, I made the transition to Facilities Manager of Viacom/MTV Networks.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“One of my favorite project highlights was introducing a new facilities work order, vendor COI and preventative maintenance software system to Viacom. This application completely streamlined the facilities operation. I lead the implementation and staff training of the new system throughout the company’s global offices serving over 10,000 employees.”
What is your greatest success story?
“My greatest success story has been building out the Facilities Department at Major League Soccer over the past 6 years. I utilized my experience from Viacom and Tishman Speyer to develop a fully functional and successful department that services over 300+ employees at the League Office. It is a privilege to be entrusted to grow this department with my vision. I don’t take it for granted and I challenge myself daily to continue to positively shape the Department to exceed the expectations of a fast-growing professional sports league.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in Real Estate/Facilities world.
“A challenge that I face, is trying to establish a Real Estate plan when long term headcount projections are not in place. It creates a reactive approach to solving space constraints. This challenge, however, is an opportunity to work closely with senior leadership on the Real Estate strategy.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary