FM Spotlight

Luis Marcial – Red Bull

Luis has been with Red Bull for the better part of four years and manages all aspects of building services, including moves, build-outs, lease negotiations and space planning for the east business unit. His territory includes a portfolio of four regions, from Boston down to Philadelphia and across to Chicago; two gallery spaces in New York and Detroit; a recording studio in New York; and 22 warehouse locations spread across the East Coast and the Midwest equating to more than 115K square feet of space.

“Luis Marcial is always productive, positive and incredibly energetic! An excellent Facilities Manager who usually thinks outside the box, he is solution driven and reliable. He knows what needs to be done and how to meet customers’ needs by managing business units, vendors and coordinating with staff. Luis’s skill set, combined with both ambition and fun, upbeat personality, are what makes him able to be successful in any environment.”  — Carmen Miller, Vice President CRE Facilities Operations, Aspen Insurance

What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“It’s hard to find something that no one knows about me, as I am an open book…but something that is interesting about me is my sense of adventure. I have been cage diving with great whites in South Africa; I went abseiling off the side of Table Mountain; I’ve gone skydiving; and I’ve scaled Mount Whitney, which is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.”

How did you get into the Facilities/Workplace field?
“Facilities is something I have always done but never knew I was doing. I didn’t realize it was an actual career path until I decided to get a master’s degree. Through my research I found the definition of what a facilities manager is and found a master’s program that allowed me to add an educational background to all the “on the job” training I had acquired up to that point in my life.”

Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“‘Trial by Fire’ was my most memorable project. I started with Red Bull in August of 2015 in a facility of four floors and 41K square feet. Just a few months later, in October of 2015, the building adjacent to ours went up in flames at 3 a.m., and the FDNY had to use two of our floors to fight the fire. 

Our entire office was destroyed by water and smoke damage. It took me three months and ¾ of a million dollars to get our office looking exactly as it used to. This fire forced me to literally rebuild this office to spec without having knowledge of the original spec, as I was only two months into my tenure. Over those three months, I worked with a slew of people whom I had never met and pulled a preverbal rabbit out of a hat to have our year-end party at the office.  

What is your greatest success story? 
“One of my greatest success stories would have to be ‘Class Time.’ This was a project I implemented where I would do hands-on training with my two coordinators in the hopes that they would pursue a more serious role within the industry. In order to teach them, I would bring them along and have them complete such tasks as changing ballasts, troubleshooting the HVAC system, wiring cameras, working back-end systems on the BMS, etc.

I felt that this was the best way to give my guys a real-world view on some of the tasks that I had to deal with on a daily basis. ‘Class Time’ was super successful, and these individuals have both moved on to other positions within the industry.”

Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“The words challenge or obstacle don’t really resonate with who I am. But what I can describe is the opportunity I have had to enlighten others about what we do as facilities professionals. I have found myself having to explain my role to others in various instances because most people either don’t know about, or have a skewed view of, our industry. I am very proud of what I do and who I am because of the role I play within my company and the industry as a whole.”

What learning experience would you pass onto future FMs?
“Don’t take things personally. Our industry is one where we don’t get much praise or recognition for what we do. This doesn’t mean we are not respected; it just means we are doing exactly what is expected of us. My personal description of FM is that we are actually ninjas; our main goal is to complete our directives in the shadows to provide completed tasks before anyone knows that something needs attention.”

Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary.