Associate Supervisor of Facilities, Quintiles

Clean Up2 2011

Michael has occupied his current post with Quintiles for a little over three years. Before that, he worked with a Los Angeles-based internet company. Less than a year after becoming a member of IFMA San Diego, Michael joined the Membership Committee. He now holds the position of secretary on the Executive Board.

What was the best advice you ever received in your career?

Being part of a customer service group I learned not to take anything personally. There are a lot of times in facilities when we have to say no even though it’s hard to do.

Do you have any superstitions when it comes to performing your job?

It’s not really a superstition but I like to walk the space by myself so that I can see things before they happen. Being alone in the space is helpful when it comes to preventative maintenance.

What was the greatest challenge you experienced in your career?

I enjoy challenges and I had a lot in this big project I just did. I learn a lot from other people. Sitting back, being quiet, soaking it all in and learning from challenges helps you grow in the future.

What is your biggest pet peeve at your job?

When people come up to you during the day and ask for things and it pulls you away from work and the project you’re doing. It can slow down your tasks but, going back to the customer service part of the job, you have to respond to those. Not being organized is another pet peeve.

How did you end up in facility management?

I was an underwriter for an insurance company and then a larger entity that owned it. Every so often the FM would come in and walk the space. His office was right next to mine and he liked how I handled my customers and thought I would be a good fit for facility management. In my first position I was maintaining 30 sites from Oxnard to San Diego. I would be traveling Monday through Thursday visiting these different sites each week. I enjoyed it and liked experiencing different personalities. I’m dealing with executives and contractors and all different levels of the business.

How do you de-stress?

Going out and being social, going to dinners, social events, happy hours, things like that. I’ve been told I’m a people person and I like talking to people because I’m interested in them not because I have to.

What is your number one priority to provide in facility management?

The customer.

What is the best and worst aspect of the technological advances in your career?

Systems to fulfill requests often disconnect you from the customer. Let’s say someone submits a request on a web-based system; you fulfil the request and close it out and that’s it. I like looking at what the problem is so that the customer can put a face with the person who’s taking care of the request.

If you could delegate one thing that is constantly on your plate, what would that be?

Lifting heavy things. Because I’m a bigger guy and I’m in facilities people are always asking me to move things.

What is your favorite time of the year and why?

Winters. I like cold. Not the rain so much because that slows everything down and water can start coming in through windows, but I like winter.

If you were to sum yourself up in one word, what word would that be?