Traci Benson, Facility Manager
How long have you lived in San Diego? If you are not a native, where did you live before and and what brought you to this city?
I have lived in San Diego for 20 years. I grew up in northern California but moved to San Diego after spending a winter in Colorado Springs in -17 degree weather. I was ready for some sunshine! I packed up my car and put the little money I had in my pocket. Off I went…. and I have been here ever since.
Are there any specific fields of work that you would like to see join IFMA that we don’t have members in now?
I would like to network and gain more knowledge from Real Estate and CAD/Revit/CAFM/IWMS experts.
What was the best advice you ever received in your career?
“Be true to yourself and stand up for what you believe in” Politely and professionally of course!
How did you end up in facility management or the position that you are in?
In college, I worked as an office manager at a hair salon. I met many fantastic professionals working there. Once I graduated, I received an offer to come work for one of the client’s from the salon. After 3 weeks of working as their receptionist, they asked me to interview with one of their top executives. After my interview, she said, “You are an organizer, a planner, and a detail orientated person. You would be perfect as our facilities coordinator. I said “Sounds great”, not knowing what was in store for me. I launched my FM career. I learned everything I could from my boss. I went on to take AutoCAD classes from UCSD and then obtained my FMP and CFM designation through IFMA. I hope to continue learning and expanding my FM knowledge. There is always something new and exciting to learn in Facilities.
How do you “de-stress”?
I de-stress by hanging out by the pool with the kiddos, or grabbing a Starbucks and heading to the beach with my family. Love it!
What is one of the oddest resources you have needed during your career in and explain?
Well I am not sure this counts but…..I had the President of one of the companies I worked for tell me that he wanted the same exact toilets that Starbucks had in our office buildings. He was convinced that they were the top of the line and had such good “suction” that nothing would make them clog or break. “Do you know how many people go to Starbucks? I am impressed every time I am there. They have such ‘power’.” Hahahahahahahaha, so his wish was my command. Off to Starbucks I went with my pen and paper to get the specs. I installed “Starbuckstoilets” in every office building. Theydidn’t break or clog while I worked there….so maybe he was on to something. LOL
What is your personal secret to success or personal motto?
Keep it simple…I know that sounds too simple, but too often projects and issues become too complicated when they don’t need to be.
If you were to sum yourself up in one word, what would it be?
I am a planner through and through…on and off the clock.
What has been the most important aspect that has contributed to your success?
Education and always asking questions….there is always more to learn.