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Make Yourself at Home at Work Elizabeth Pinkham on the office redesign that’s helping Salesforce feel like a family P. 78




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Viceroy Hotel Group

P. 12

The Building Blocks of Hospitality We highlight three hotel executives who are laying the foundation to help their industry evolve

Marriott International

Cover Photo by Gillian Fry

Hersha Hospitality Trust

P. 19

P. 22


We’re Powerhouse Retail Services: an army of dedicated people who work tirelessly on projects and stop at nothing to make sure our clients have success. Our clients aren’t just a number on a board to us; they’re our partners – we work together to get the job done. We continually invest resources to develop seamless processes and protocols that ensure we do the best work possible. And how do we do that you ask? We craft playbooks packed full of the smallest details and couple that with internal program design meetings which create a map leading only to success.

812 S Crowley Rd Ste A, Crowley, TX 76036 • • (817) 297.8575



(Clockwise from Top) Courtesy of Williams Sonoma, Courtesy of Shake Shack, Bruce Damonte, Eric Piasecki

Retail, Renewed Theresa Joy Hannig is breathing fresh life into Williams Sonoma P.141

A New Nick Nickelodeon’s new campus is as colorful and creative as the network itself P.100

Shake It Up Shake Shack is expanding globally—but thinking locally P.30

The Art of Architecture Suzanne Lovell on the perfect marriage of design and fine art P.167





ABC ABS 67 B&B Theatres 97 Banner Health 111 Buechele, Tom 173 Burger King 63 Buzzfeed 123 Cardona, Sandra 22 Carpenter, Chet 202 Cavagnero, Mark 70 Cheniere 38 Chipotle 199 Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden 187 Culligan 50 DEF Dental Care Alliance DiCola, Jerry Di Sciullo, Alan Edwards, Kip Evans, Jim Evoqua Fenton, Vicki Fisher, Mark Fjeldheim, Norm Fossil Group FreshDirect

35 107 182 111 220 135 100 187 205 169 89

GHI Gordon, Jonathan D. 161 Hannaford Supermarkets 139 Hannig, Theresa Joy 141 Harte, Jim 191 Hersha Hospitality 22 Higgins, Bob 169 Hildebrandt, David 176 Hogan, John 19 Horizon Pharma 107 Hudson Group 194 Illumina 148 IMG 156 Invista 202 JKL Johnels, Anders Johnson, Craig Jones, Leizl LaBelle, Ben Lamkin, Jeff Leal, Richard Lehotsky, Ed Lovell, Suzanne

194 115 148 139 46 89 38 167

MNO Marc Realty Capital 161 Mark Cavagnero Associates 70 Marriott International 19 McCaughan, Andrew 30 McIntire, Dennis 97 McPhie, Craig 67 Mezinis, Courtney 127 Mignano, Rosalie 156 Mississippi State University 92 Mochak, Frank 50 Mott, Chris 63 Murphy, Jim 42 Murray, Craig 35 Muzzi, Tim 92 Nickelodeon 100 PQR Palo Alto Networks Paneri, Michael Pinkham, Elizabeth QTS Data Centers Reed, Mike Rubin Deveaux, Gabrielle Ruttenberg, David

84 12 78 52 179 123 161

STU Salesforce 78 Sanofi Pasteur 115 Santander 207 School of the Art Institute of Chicago 173 Sevan Multi-Site Solutions 220 Shake Shack 30 Sea Oats Group 46 Shearman & Sterling 182 Skanska 55 Southeastern Grocers 118 Studio Gang 58 Suzanne Lovell, Inc. 167 Topco 191 Trip Advisor 146 Tyndall, Matt 52 VWXYZ Verizon 127 Viceroy Hotel Group 12 Vitaligent 179 Walgreens 213 Walker, Weston 58 Weber, Jeremy 199 Weinstein, Nancy 207 Weis Markets 42 Wild, Christopher 135 Williams Sonoma 141 Willow, Thomas 84



VP of Creative Kathy Kantorski

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Correspondents David Baez Zach Baliva Galen Beebe Alex Borkowski Kasey Cheydleur Danny Ciamprone Randall Colburn Peter Fabris Lori Fredrickson Russ Gager Rodric J. Hurdle-Bradford Joseph Kay Russ Klettke Karen LeBlanc David Levine Lior Phillips Jeff Silver Paul Snyder Pamela Sornson Jacob Winchester Clint Worthington Billy Yost


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Changing Spaces Before I started working for American Builders Quarterly, I didn’t always notice the impact that my physical office space has on the way I work. But now, it feels like I can’t stop noticing it. Here at Guerrero Howe, our creative department works in an open-concept office. This makes it easy for our designers, editors, and photographers to collaborate throughout the day—and collaborate we do. My colleagues and I constantly pop our heads over open rows of desks and around computer screens to talk about the best angle for a story or check in on the status of an illustration. When we need to work together more intensively, we step into one of our four conference rooms. That’s where you’ll find us poring over selections from a photo shoot, or furiously writing and rewriting headline ideas on a whiteboard. And when it’s time to come together and celebrate our wins, our office architecture again shapes what we do. We head next door to our new event space, the Annex, for company-wide meetings and parties, or we gather at our communal lunch tables to share a meal together. Many of the executives in this issue have seen firsthand how changing their workspace can change their company culture. Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux (p. 123) designed a rooftop space for Buzzfeed that has enabled a flurry of photo and video shoots, special projects, and collaboration across departments. Thomas Willow (p. 84) oversaw the development and construction of a brand-new, 1 million-square-foot campus for Palo Alto Networks, and he says that employees have a new spring in their step. Elizabeth Pinkham, the subject of our latest cover (p. 78), spent 16 years in event production for Salesforce, so she knows as well as anyone how physical space can affect people. Now, as EVP of global real estate, she’s bringing that experience to a redesign of Salesforce’s global offices. The company’s new Ohana Design takes its name from the Hawaiian cultural concept of family, which is one of Salesforce’s core values. “We wanted this to feel more like a home than a workplace,” Pinkham says of the redesign. The company accomplished this by building living room-inspired lounges with comfortable couches and arm chairs and dining rooms with farm-style wooden tables. Salesforce also dedicated the top floors of its buildings not to offices for top executives but to Ohana Floors: adaptable, communal spaces that can bring the company together. Changing the design of a building can turn a sterile office into a warm, collaborative workplace in a way that’s almost magical. There are many examples of that type of magic throughout this issue, and they’ve inspired me. I hope they inspire you, too.

Guerrero Howe

All the best,

Beth Hyland Editor



patterns Taking notice of the new and innovative initiatives in the industry by highlighting the executives at the forefront of these developments




The best hospitality lies in the smallest details, and those details start from the ground up—literally. When you walk into a hotel, every detail—from the construction of the foundation, to the art installations in the lobby, to the layout of the hotel bar, to the carpet under your feet in your room—has been carefully considered to make your experience the best it can be. The three executives featured in our Patterns section have considered all of those details and more. The hotels and resorts they work on may be different, but the thought that goes into the decisions they make is the same: what will best serve our guests? What guests want is changing in response to our changing world. The hospitality industry is changing, too, and these executives are some of the people driving it forward.


Please, enjoy your stay.




by Lior Phillips

The Guest is Always Right Michael Paneri and his team at Viceroy Hotel Group build properties of impeccable quality, tailored to the evolving needs of the company’s customers

Early in his career, Michael Paneri was the architect of record on the Venetian Las Vegas hotel. He and his team at WATG were tasked with developing an experience for visitors that would approximate some of the opulent architecture, design, and feeling of the legendarily beautiful Italian city. Though he was honored to be part of the experience, there was something about building a canal through a hotel and approximating traditional Italian architecture in the middle of a desert that didn’t sit quite right. “I was troubled by the un-authenticity,” he says. “We called it fake-itecture.” However, he understood the impact it would have and knew he would need to take the mission extraordinarily seriously. He and his team took two research trips to Venice to photograph, measure, and study what they could replicate for the Venetian. And while the impressive results have amazed millions of visitors since the hotel’s opening, Paneri has since wanted to work on hospitality projects that will still thrill visitors with innovative experiences while also honoring their surroundings. Paneri found that perfect match when he joined Viceroy Hotel Group in 2005. The hotel and resort leader encompasses more than 20 active and in-development locations spread around the world, ranging from a gorgeous ski resort in Snowmass Village, Colorado, to

the distinguished luxury of Yas Island in Abu Dhabi to the sunny seaside beauty of Riviera Maya in Mexico. When Paneri was offered the opportunity to join the company as its senior vice president of hotel development, it was a perfect merger of his exposure to design, construction, budgets, and scheduling as an architect and his experience in the hospitality sector, which he first built up in a position with Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. One important lesson he learned early on with hospitality projects, he says, was to always look at things from the guest’s point of view. Architects and designers may dream up innovative designs, but owners may opt to find the most cost-effective solutions; Paneri, meanwhile, finds a way to take the best of both to serve the customer. “You have to embrace compromise and find a solution that meets all of the stakeholders’ needs,” he says. “I frequently say to my design teams, ‘I appreciate and respect you, I want you to go crazy, I want you to create the best possible solution for us that you can, but in the end, you are not going to get everything that you want.’” Instead, he helps them pick the most important elements of the design and then helps convince owners of their essential benefit. Whether designing the entryway for a hotel or placing electrical outlets in a room, Paneri ensures that every decision is made

Jennifer Chong


Michael Paneri — SVP of Hotel Development — Viceroy Hotel Group




with the customer in mind. In the past, AAA and Mobile ratings would hold sway, but now the Viceroy team is able to hear from the customers themselves. “In the past, if you had four or five stars on your hotel, you were the king,” Paneri says. “We still pride ourselves on that, but TripAdvisor has become the benchmark by which we live. We take that very seriously, and I would say that it informs and guides us.” Unsurprisingly, a lot of the feedback of late has been related to technology. Paneri understands the importance of speedy WiFi and copious electrical outlets for business travelers and vacationing families alike—and in fact, he recently published an article on the evolution of the luxury guest room. While it takes three to five years from start to finish to open a hotel, technology moves much more quickly. “We try to future-proof our product as much as we can,” Paneri explains. Because of this, his team focuses on the backbone of the hotel and then supports it with decisions on innovations such as communication, access and entertainment systems, and network connectivity closer to the hotel’s opening. Paneri makes sure that new products and projects always fit the Viceroy brand while also appealing to the majority of customers, balancing innovative thinking with simplicity and comfort. For example, while he’s seen that they will make a big impact on the future of the industry, Paneri is not in a rush to install app-driven management systems or augmented reality—though he’s not ignoring their potential, either. Instead, Viceroy finds the common denominator that appeals to everybody. “We’re dealing with some people that are tech savvy and some people that aren’t,” Paneri says. “Some people want a simple light switch and not an iPad to control things. We try to keep it simple and give people the option of always going back to the old-fashioned way, while at the same time looking for exciting, new innovations.” That said, Viceroy understands its customers’ appetite for easy, on-demand services, and now customers in some hotels can order in-room dining through the TV system or even preorder it from an app before getting to the room. And while technology is important, Viceroy knows that the human touch is just as cru-

“You have to embrace compromise and find a solution that meets all of the stakeholders’ needs.”

cial to the customer experience. “In the end, it all comes down to guest service, and that starts for us at the door,” Paneri says. “When you enter our hotel, we want there to be a handle for a doorman to grab and open for you, not an electric door. They’ll greet you by name and wish you a great day. Our guest-services colleagues at reception are still very engaging. That connection is important.” That connection extends to keeping an eye on each hotel’s unique location. Developing a hotel in Serbia, Paneri explains, necessarily involves different decisions than developing one in San Francisco. “Being very flexible and willing to let each product and project take on its own personality and aesthetic is essential to our brand,” he says. That said, Viceroy is an international company attracting guests traveling around the world— which is another reason why Paneri makes sure that there’s a state-of-the-art infrastructural backbone that unifies every Viceroy site. Remaining authentic to the location and culture is a big part of the Viceroy vision as well. “We give a lot of leash to our design teams to be as creative as they can, but they must use the local culture, the environment, and the location as the inspiration,” Paneri says. He and his “lean and mean” team of four cover the world, handling everything from



Viceroy L’Ermitage, Beverly Hills



Bocas del Toro, Panama

Frequent Flyer Considering Michael Paneri’s work takes him all around the world, he gets a lot of questions about favorite places. “I’ve been to over fifty countries now in my career, just all over the place,” Paneri says. While he works to make sure that all of the Viceroy Hotel Group’s properties have a certain level of consistency, they each must have their own unique qualities influenced by their surroundings. As such, his favorite seems to be whatever exciting property is coming next. The recently completed Viceroy Chicago received a lot of Paneri’s passion, but he quickly turned his eye to the next set of properties opening in the next couple of years: Ombria, in Portugal, and Bocas del Toro, in Panama. “These are going to be our latest and greatest representations of the brand,” he says. After that, his next favorite will be a location opening in Buenos Aires, a beautiful city in need of a new top-tier hotel. “I don’t have one place that I would say is my absolute all-time favorite,” Paneri says. “What makes my job interesting is that it’s always changing.” Ombria, Portugal





Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia

Viceroy Arzana Morocco

Viceroy Quinta da Ombria Portugal

Congratulations We are honored to collaborate with Michael Paneri and Viceroy Hotels and Resorts As a visionary design professional, We admire your focus, imagination and passion

Explore more at

strategy planning architecture urban interiors landscape

“We try to futureproof our product as much as we can.”


assessment of potential new sites to meetings with design teams. There’s a lot on their plates, seeing as their “clients” include Viceroy’s internal corporate team, design teams, and project owners, and Paneri regularly flies around the world to ensure that Viceroy can continue to deliver top-tier quality and find new opportunities to thrill customers. “My day is filled from beginning to end with really different tasks, including design, programming, and branding police work,” he says. “But we rely heavily on the design teams to create the beautiful places that we have. In our new Viceroy Chicago, our designer researched a local Native American tribe and incorporated symbology into pillow designs. In Viceroy Bocas [del Toro], in Panama, while much of the project has a modern design, we intentionally took the approach with the spa to have a light footprint on what is a very special jungle environment and are designing some of our treatment rooms as treehouses.” That ability to blend styles and create unique experiences has led Paneri toward making Viceroy a leader in its industry.

Experience has made McGuire Builders the industry leader in hotel renovation and construction since 1985. The cornerstone of its success has been the longevity of its client relationships due to its innate understanding of the special needs and expectations of hotel developers, owners, and operators. Recently completed high-profile projects include the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, the Westin Snowmass Colorado, the Sheraton Los Angeles, and the St. Regis Aspen Resort. McGuire Builders offers sophisticated building solutions and an unwavering commitment to quality, schedule, and client satisfaction. For more information, visit


by Billy Yost

Like Turning an Aircraft Carrier John Hogan explains the challenges of working to make an impact on a larger scale for Marriott

John Hogan was concerned that he’d developed a nickname. After nearly 25 years at Marriott, Hogan had been responsible for the full-service hotels in the Americas for Marriott, Delta, Renaissance, and Ritz Carlton. But it was the last 14 years working with the Ritz Carlton brand that he thought may have earned him his moniker: The Luxury Guy. “In a big organization, you don’t want to be known as the guy who only does one thing,” Hogan says. When Marriott acquired the Starwood brand in 2015, Hogan saw the opportunity to apply his experience to a wider breadth of hotels—so wide, in fact, that it encompasses the largest hotel chain in the world. As vice president of design and project management for the Marriott, Sheraton, Delta, Gaylord, and nearly 25 other brands, Hogan is tasked with, among other responsibilities, repositioning the Marriott and Sheraton brands while continuing to oversee a number of mammoth projects. Hogan says that the transition from working with a small number of luxury hotels to

overseeing a team that is responsible for two of three top money earners at Marriott wasn’t without a learning curve. “It’s easier to move the needle when you have less than 100 hotels,” Hogan says. “You can impact the brand’s reputation very quickly with a handful of hotels.” But Marriott and Sheraton comprise hundreds and hundreds of locations worldwide, and Hogan says that the long game takes some acclimation. “It’s the difference between turning a jet ski and turning an aircraft carrier.” One of the first steps of that long game was working to distinguish the Marriott and Sheraton brands, both now under Marriott ownership. “The swim lanes are rather narrow now,” Hogan says, and working to better define the two brands is one of his highest priorities. That starts from the ground up: a Marriott guest room features a hard-surface floor, whereas a Sheraton or Delta hotel almost always means carpet. Decisions about flooring might be cut-anddry, but Hogan say that every decision after that becomes much more complicated. Each




Gaylord Rockies, Aurora, CO

John Hogan — VP of Design & Project Management — Marriott International

Marriott hotel or portfolio of hotels is treated as a unique and location-specific project, whereas the Sheraton and Delta floorplans need to be able to be readily implemented and not overly embellished. Hogan finds the design process for each Marriott project extremely rewarding, but also has enjoyed the challenge of finding a universally applicable design that can work virtually anywhere for the Sheraton and Delta brands. The Marriott and Sheraton redesigns are primarily renovation projects, which Hogan says present their own share of challenges. “It’s a whole new level of dual intrigue in doing a renovation, because you don’t know what you’re getting when you open up that wall,” Hogan says. “You have to be more creative and thoughtful when you are designing the room, because it’s an operating hotel. You have to consider how’s it going to affect the guests.” As renovations continue, Hogan also has his eye on design and construction for three gargantuan projects that have all begun un-

der his watch: the Houston Marriott Marquee, the Chicago Marriott Marquee, and the Gaylord Rockies. The Marriott Marquee in Houston features 1,000 guest rooms in the city’s downtown convention district. The hotel, which opened December 26, 2016, had a hard, fixed deadline: it was to serve as the NFL headquarters for the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston. That meant that the hotel had to be ready in January 2017 for the NFL employees who arrive a month before the big game to begin preparations. Luckily, Hogan’s project manager was up to this challenging task. “You can imagine the scrutiny that individual was taking to ensure that we were able to deliver the hotel to our guests’ expectations,” Hogan says of the project manager. “He was working closely with the owner to make sure what was delivered met the expectations on time.” 1,000 miles away, in Chicago, Hogan was overseeing construction of another massive Marriott Marquee near Chicago’s McCormick


Place convention center, the largest convention center in North America. The hotel was built by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority in Chicago, and Hogan helped to ensure that the design of the hotel met the needs of the modern Marriott guest experience while also serving the considerable size considerations of the project. The hotel broke ground on July 28, 2015 and opened on September 10, 2017. “If you can imagine a 1,200-room hotel with 100,000 square feet of functional space, starting and finishing from a blank piece of ground to a complete hotel in just over two years is nothing short of a miracle,” Hogan says. “The quality that we got from Clark Construction was outstanding.” The hotel features two ballrooms, each with a wall comprised of 30-foot windows that look out onto a park on the site’s north side. Hogan says that natural light is a brand requirement that Marriott takes seriously because it’s important to their guests. The 40-story hotel also features functional space on the 33rd floor that can convert to an outdoor covered event space with a view of Chicago’s skyline to the north and Lake Michigan to the east. The Gaylord Rockies, located in Aurora, CO, was in the design phase when Marriott acquired the brand in 2015. With Marriott’s involvement, the project changed architects and interior designers (to HKS and Looney & Associates, respectively) to tackle Gaylord’s thematic approach to its brand. The hotel will open in December 2018 and will feature 1,500 rooms and a staggering 500,000 feet of functional space. Like the Gaylord Texan or Gaylord Palms, the Gaylord Rockies works to define the guest’s geographic expectations before they even step foot outside the hotel. The hotel includes an atrium directly facing the Rocky Mountains and includes an indoor water park, among countless other amenities, making it a one-stop destination. The sheer scope is staggering, covering roughly 48 acres, and Hogan is confident the design elements will feel region-specific in all the ways that have come to define the Gaylord brand. Hogan moved away from the field of luxury hotels and has overseen projects that are daunting in both size and difficulty. But changing roles allowed him to learn the a key lesson: effecting change is like steering an aircraft carrier. Learning to steer slowly has been instrumental to his success, he says. “It’s knowing that the result comes in the long run, not the short one.”

“It’s easier to move the needle when you have less than 100 hotels. You can impact the brand’s reputation very quickly with a handful of hotels.” For 16 years, we at Fairmont Designs have been creating products that stir the imagination and bring life to your hospitality furnishing dreams. Our team embraces your design themes and helps transform concept to reality. With our professional design and international marketing expertise, we’re uniquely qualified to be your total design resource.




by Kasey Cheydleur

A Nontraditional Path from Art to Development Sandra Cardona’s love of creativity and background in architecture help her manage luxury hotel projects throughout the country for Hersha Hospitality Trust

Sandra Cardona’s path to working in hospitality started with her love of art. Growing up, Cardona wanted to be an artist. In college, that love of creative expression led her to major in architecture, where she promised herself to lean into the creative aspects of the discipline whenever possible. After graduating from Pratt Institute with a bachelor’s in architecture, she took a position with William B. Tabler Architects, a respected New York architecture firm that specialized in hotels and hospitality design. It was there that she honed not just her architecture and design skills but also her ability to get things done—and done well. From there, she took several different positions in the hospitality design field and worked on a variety of projects, including restaurants, luxury hotels, and spas. Then, in the early 2000s, she began to connect with Hersha Hospitality Trust. She initially worked with them as a client representative, but when they were looking to open an in-house management team in 2011, Cardona knew joining them full-time could be a mutually

beneficial fit. She started as a senior director and has since become the vice president of development and capital planning. “It was a subtle connecting of the dots that wasn’t a stepping-stone approach,” she says of the path that led her to her current role at Hersha. “I took many lateral roles that had a common thread, but it was never really a traditional path.” That open-mindedness toward lateral moves is something she would advise for anyone interested in the hospitality field. “I would say don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with working in positions that are not an obvious step up—that may be a lateral move—as it may expose you to something that ultimately can give you more experience in an area that could then take you to the next level,” she says. In her current position, Cardona is responsible for guiding projects through the different stages of the construction process. She has a hand in everything from assigning projects to project managers to evaluating the scope of projects to working with owner-


St. Gregory Renovation

Brandon Barre

St. Gregory Hotel, Washington, DC

In Washington, DC, Cardona’s team is focusing its energy on the phased renovation of the St. Gregory Hotel, where it recently completed an extensive public-area renovation that successfully repositioned the lobby to flow seamlessly into a new restaurant and bar. And, with recently completed model rooms, the hotel’s guest room renovation is on track for 2018.




“I took many lateral roles that had a common thread, but it was never really a traditional path.”

Sandra Cardona — VP of Development & Capital Planning — Hersha Hospitality Trust

ship to determine a budget and a schedule. She leads a team of 11, who have a diverse array of specialties and levels of experience. Cardona is proud of their work and likes to think of the eclectic group as the “A-Team.” Because most of their work is behind the scenes, Cardona feels like they are able to slip in, do what needs to be done, then hand the project over and disappear. Cardona believes that her previous experience as an architect and designer has been key to her success while working in development. “Even though on paper my role might seem far from where I started, I feel like my architectural background has been invaluable to me,” she says. “It has allowed me to collaborate with all the consultants I work with and really engage with them, given my experience as a designer and architect.” Her experience allows her to feel a true rapport with any design team she works with, which is helpful in creating a sense of collaboration. That rapport is important when working on as many large-scale, geographically diverse projects as Hersha does. The company’s 51 hotels totaling 7,804 rooms are located in New

Saving a Piece of History In Miami, Hersha is working to rebrand the historic, oceanfront Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach into an Autograph Collection hotel—a complete redesign that will include new guest rooms and corridors, a new lobby, and a revitalized restaurant and tiki bar right on the boardwalk. The renovation will also include exterior enhancements to the site’s historic pool, the cabanas, and the landscaping.

Improving Public Spaces Also in Miami, Hersha is currently working on the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove luxury property. The current renovation is focused on the public areas, including a repositioning of the restaurant and bar, landscaping, and revamping of the pool areas. Hersha is also in the process of constructing two model rooms for a planned guest room renovation project later in 2018.


Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach, Miami, FL

Courtesy of Bill Rooney Studio

Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami, FL



Fully Outfitted In Coral Gables, Florida’s Merrick Park district, Hersha is developing a groundup 135-room luxury hotel that will feature 20 suites and one penthouse suite as well as an indoor-outdoor café, a full-service restaurant, a fitness center, a rooftop garden, and a pool.

York; Washington, DC; Boston; Philadelphia; Miami; and select markets on the West Coast. Currently, Cardona’s projects span from Florida to Washington, DC, to California. Her projects and team keep her busy, but when she gets a moment to relax, Cardona returns to that initial love that spurred her along her path from the beginning: art. She has continued to pursue art in her free time, primarily through painting with mixed media. Currently, she is working to build a body of work, with the aim of eventually displaying them publicly. In art and business alike, her desire to express creativity and connect with people through her creations has driven Cardona’s success—and will continue to drive her as she looks ahead.

We are proud to have been the General Contractor to work with Sandra Cardona at Hersha Hospitality on the Courtyard Cadillac in Miami Beach. We are a reliable, fast and value-oriented general contractor and construction managers. Our experience has given us the tools to provide construction solutions to a variety of different projects, both large and small. Our services are customer focused and we strive to understand the needs of our customers. G.T. McDonald Enterprises, Inc • 400 S State Road 7 • Plantation, FL 33317

PH: 954.584.3060 •

Courtesy of Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe and Associates, Inc.



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framework Setting the stage and implementing the building blocks for what will soon be state-of-the-art facilities and designs from difference makers in the building industry



A Take on the Shake Andrew McCaughan jumped on a good thing when he signed on with the nascent Shake Shack organization eight years ago. And now the Shacks are going global—but keeping a local ethos.

by Russ Klettke


Courtesy of Shake Shack

Patrons wait in line for burgers outside a Shack Shack location in Los Angeles’s West Hollywood neighborhood. The chain has at least 150 locations, and Andrew McCaughan maintains their signature look.



Andrew McCaughan, vice president of development at Shake Shack, believes in the power of restaurants to bring people together. “Our program is to create a great community gathering place,” he says. “When customers walk in, we want them to have that same feeling people get at the Madison Square Park Shack.” He is referring to the original, wildly popular Shake Shack in the Flatiron District of Manhattan that opened in 2004. What started as a hot dog stand—installed to draw more people to the park itself by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, who ran a restaurant across the street from the park—grew into a local hot spot. The food was the main draw, but so, too, were the outdoor seats and an overall casual dining experience. By design, it felt like a modern-day version of the old-fashioned roadside burger stand. The new-concept quick-service restaurant chain has taken hot dogs, burgers, fries, and, of course, shakes, to a whole new place. The brand is developing an almost cultlike following as the company grows quickly following its 2015 IPO that brought in $1.8 billion. As of October 2017, there were 150 Shacks, with more than 90 locations across the US and more than 50 in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Russia, Turkey, and the UK. McCaughan has been with the company almost from the beginning: he joined in 2010, when it had only three locations, and he came with an enviable hospitality pedigree, having worked for several years in Chicago for star restaurateur Rick Bayless. Working with Bayless taught him the restaurant business from soup to nuts to grills, marketing, leasing, and design. His move to New York put him in the right place at the right time to join something new and exciting. Growth for Shake Shack is all about setting up communal gathering places that are centered around a brand identity. But this is not about cookie-cutter aesthetics. The distinctive Shake Shack logo, in its Neutra typeface, is consistently used everywhere, and a wedge-shaped roofline is repeated in one version or another at most of the chain’s freestanding locations. But, as McCaughan puts it, all locations (which measure 3,000–3,500 square feet) are designed to fit the context of their neighborhood. Many of the Shacks are in downtown high-rise buildings, each a distinct street-level presence set within a dominant, hulking structure. He describes one such location in downtown Chicago, in a former private club built in 1893 that was recently converted into a hotel. The logo is on the exterior, but diners find their way through the main lobby to reach the restaurant. “We kept the original floors and millwork of the building,” McCaughan says. “But we created a unique design that pushes clear sight lines. And instead of corrugated metal paneling [used in many freestanding Shacks], we have slatted wood.” Those sight lines are no mere design whim. They’re an example of an intentional focus on transparency that’s

Andrew McCaughan VP of Development Shake Shack

part of the company ethos. Shake Shack’s beef, chicken, and pork are 100 percent natural, devoid of any hormones or antibiotics and humanely raised. Their vanilla and chocolate custard is made with real sugar, not corn syrup, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge never to use artificial growth hormones. Every Shack recycles its bottles, plastics, and cardboard, and their cooking oil is reused to produce clean energy. The company also engages in another form of recycling, which involves creatively repurposing materials. Many of the Shacks use recycled Wyoming fencing as a wall treatment (Centennial Woods is the supplier), and

Ryan Pinto


(Top) Masaya Yoshimura Photography, (Bottom) Courtesy of Shake Shack


Corrugated metal and neon signage help freestanding Shake Shack locations stand out without disrupting their surroundings.

The chain’s locations built into existing structures, including this one in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, find ways to blend in with established aesthetics while still making a mark.


“We didn’t invent hamburgers, so we look for communities where we can create good energy in a cool and interesting way.”

Committed to Excellence in





17 -











tabletops are made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes (provided by CounterEvolution). New lumber is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council and provided by Staach, and other tables, chairs, and banquettes come from Uhuru and are custom-made of sustainable materials. Is it hard to maintain company-wide standards for building materials that are recycled? McCaughan says they have to be vigilant, but he credits his internal design team as well as a network of suppliers, millworkers, and other craftspeople with pulling it off. The company sites its new locations based on the data-analytics methodologies that most retail organizations use, McCaughan says. But, he adds, it’s more than just numbers. “When we go into a new market, we spend time there to connect with people,” he says. “We didn’t invent hamburgers, so we look for communities where we can create good energy in a cool and interesting way. Then we design for it to be a gathering place. We want to be the restaurant that gives you a hug.” Shake Shack’s continuing expansion means that more and more people will be able to get a hug—with a side of fries.


75 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923 480 Bedford Road, Chappaqua, NY 10514 781.246.9400 -

cm&b, Inc. extends our congratulations to Shake Shack and Andrew. We are proud to have partnered with Shake Shack on the construction of 13 Shake Shacks spanning the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.


Customized Facilities, Customized Care Craig Murray and his team create patientfocused environments for Dental Care Alliance


by Jeff Silver




Established in 1991, Dental Care Alliance (DCA) is one of the country’s oldest and largest dental-service organizations, with more than 260 affiliated practices in 13 states. Craig Murray, vice president of real estate and strategic initiatives, helps the company maintain its forward momentum by identifying the most desirable sites and supporting the development of patient-focused practices. When Murray transitioned from large-scale construction projects—such as a 15-story patient tower at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston—he assumed that new construction and renovation of dental offices would be simple by comparison. He discovered, though, that this wasn’t the case. “Every practice is different and caters to the preferences and routines of the professionals who work there,” Murray says. “So, even though we work with standardized modules for different areas of each office, they’re always customized to suit the clinical team.” Murray characterizes 2,800 square feet as the sweet spot both for his construction and design teams and for his architectural and equipment partners. A typical design revolves around nine operatories, with priorities placed on efficient flow and utilization, maximization of revenue-producing space, and patient comfort and convenience. “Whether we’re building from the ground up or remodeling and refreshing, flow and efficiency are essential: wasted time, effort, and movements add up over the course of a year—or many years,” Murray explains. “That influences everything from staff energy to how patients feel about their experience and, ultimately, the bottom line.” Some of the construction and design details that go into a patient-centric project range from televisions and video games in the waiting area, to easy access to office staff, and even back-office systems (also handled by DCA) to make the overall experience as effortless as possible. Other elements include medical-grade vinyl in operatories for easier, faster cleanup and matte finishes on walls for a look that stays clean, even if a framed picture is moved to a new location. “It’s no secret that most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist,” Murray says. “We design our offices to be soothing and welcoming to patients while also providing an efficient workflow for our teams. It’s important to us to create a warm, comfortable atmosphere that matches the high quality of customer service and clinical care that our team provides.” Dental practices have been undergoing a transition for the past several years, similar to what banks experienced a decade ago. Hours are being extended to stay open later, often including on weekends, and offices are being drawn to traditional retail locations. As more and more brick-and-mortar retailers have closed, they have presented Murray with a tremendous opportunity to develop partnerships between DCA and commercial developers and landlords.

Craig Murray and his team fit Dental Care Alliance’s standard design details, including waiting areas with easy access to office staff, to a variety of distinct locations.

DCA is in an excellent position to develop those relationships due to its ongoing growth and the overall reputation of its practices as financially stable, long-term tenants, he notes. This reputation helps position the company and its associates as highly desirable partners. “In Florida, we want to be up and down both coasts and across Interstate 4, where we already added 11 offices in 2016,” Murray says. “And we’re looking at 20 different areas to add to our existing 109 statewide practices in the next three years. Those are great incentives when I ask developers what inventory they have available to help us fulfill our objectives.” Similar plans are in the works in the Atlanta area and in other DCA markets across the country. The momentum has also led to new partnerships with urgent care practices looking to establish non-emergency medical care destinations and co-tenant relationships. The pace of DCA’s expansion is currently 10–12 new construction projects, 10–12 acquisitions (culled from a pipeline of 30–40), and approximately 20 renovations per year. Special attention is also being paid to “tuckins”: underutilized or soon-to-be-retired practices that DCA acquires wholly or in part. This presents a number of attractive benefits, particularly for dental practitioners nearing retirement and planning to sunset their offices. “At the end of their careers, dentists who would like to continue working just a couple of days a week can rely on us to manage and supply whatever staff is needed and handle all of the back-office details,” Murray says. “They can go home at the end of the day without the hassle of


Craig Murray VP of Real Estate & Strategic Initiatives

“It’s no secret that most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. We design our offices to be soothing and welcoming to patients while also providing an efficient workflow for our teams.”

Dental Care Alliance

Erica Marten Photography

doing the books or finding a replacement hygienist or other staff members. We do all of that.” In the next two years, DCA is also focusing on streamlining its operational software and solutions. The priority is to standardize and migrate all processes to a centralized system so that efficiencies can be maximized. This will allow local office staff members to devote themselves to personal interactions with patients like handling billing questions and explaining treatment plans. All this is accomplished through extensive collaboration between DCA and other real estate industry players. Although the industry is large, the community itself is small and shares insights into various locations, best practices, new developments, and landlords. There is also tremendous teamwork among Murray’s staff. “I succeed because I have a team that likes to work hard, isn’t afraid to jump in to help out when it’s needed, even in unfamiliar areas, and takes pride in their work,” he says. “They’re why I succeed.” That kind of effort is one of the reasons patients can walk into a DCA facility anywhere in the country and always get the same consistent, high-level quality of care— which Murray believes is exactly what they should expect.

FrontStreet Facility Solutions is a proud partner of Craig Murray and the Dental Care Alliance team in supporting their growing portfolio’s facility-program needs. Congratulations on 26 years of providing quality service and resources to your customers.


» Multi-site, Multi-state Solutions » Repair & Maintenance » Remodeling » Capital Projects » Rollouts & Retrofits

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Disrupting the LNG Industry During construction of Cheniere Energy’s groundbreaking new Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi LNG terminals, Ed Lehotsky’s tight model kept things fast and under budget by Lori Fredrickson



Barrett Walker


When Cheniere Energy exported its first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Louisiana Sabine Pass terminal in 2016, it became the first company to deliver the resource to other countries from within the lower 48 states in more than 50 years. At a time when LNG was in high demand from international markets but had operated under limitations that made its shipment and delivery expensive, it set a major precedent. “We’ve really been a disrupter in the whole LNG industry, both in price and from a shipping model,” says Ed Lehotsky, Cheniere’s senior vice president of engineering and construction. Lehotsky had worked in the LNG industry for 25 years—primarily as an engineer and project manager with KBR, where he’d worked on projects all over the world— when he first joined Cheniere in 2003. He was initially charged with building regasification terminals where, to combat natural gas shortages in the US, the intent was to import LNG, regasify it, and send it out via pipeline. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass location in Louisiana was chosen as a regas terminal for its deep water channel, its remote location, and its proximity to pipelines, and construction was completed in 2008. But, with the development and use of hydraulic-fracturing technology immediately afterward, domestic natural gas supplies boomed, and LNG import projects became obsolete. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass location sat largely dormant, funded only by a few customers that had already signed take-or-pay contracts. Cheniere had also begun development of a regas terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas, but work on that terminal was suspended. In the midst of this seemingly dire situation, the team at Cheniere had a realization: because of the glut of natural gas in the US, the Sabine Pass site could be transformed to liquefy natural gas and export it to other countries, using the tanks, docks, pipelines, and other infrastructure already completed. Lehotsky immediately brought in Bechtel, the engineering and construction company he’d previously worked with. Bechtel also had significant experience building LNG plants using the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade process Cheniere selected to liquefy the gas. At that time, almost all other LNG export sites operated under destination clauses that limited them to the specific companies that they were servicing, which drove up prices. “What we did was charge for the service of liquefying the gas; they load it onto their ships and take it away,” Lehotsky says. “That was new and very innovative, and we had no trouble signing up customers.” Cheniere also introduced an innovative pricing structure that proved

Ed Lehotsky SVP of Engineering & Construction Cheniere Energy


“Our success has come from looking at opportunities, being a first mover, and knowing what we want and what the customer needs.”

attractive to importing countries around the world. Its success continued, and it soon began construction on a second liquefaction terminal near Corpus Christi. One of Cheniere’s early decisions, Lehotsky says, was to control changes, creating a model for an LNG train and duplicating its specs in each successive train as much as possible. Another key factor was finding highly skilled contractors and employees. “We had a fairly small group of about 140 owner’s representatives to oversee more than $19 billion worth of construction on both projects combined, so it was important to have people who knew what we were doing,” Lehotsky explains. In addition to Bechtel, Cheniere partnered with GE, Linde, Hudson, and SVT GmbH. “SVT supplied the LNG marine-loading arms for the Sabine Pass terminal and has worked closely with Cheniere and EPC Bechtel during the project’s engineering and execution,” SVT’s Uta Hummel says. “This resulted in the successful installation of the eight loading arms in 2008.” As the design of the terminals has progressed, Lehotsky’s team has focused on finding ways to mitigate environmental factors that might affect production, including the high summer temperatures in Louisiana and Texas. To adjust for this at Sabine Pass, Cheniere elected to inject water into the combustion chamber to give the system extra power while also reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants. At the Corpus Christi site, which does


not have a convenient source of fresh water but does have access to electrical power, a set of coolers will air-condition the air going into gas turbines. Cheniere got the projects permitted by working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other regulatory bodies. Throughout the process, Lehotsky and the Cheniere team regularly communicated with regulators, who until then had not worked with any companies exporting LNG. “We spent a lot of time educating the regulators and convincing them that we knew what we were doing,” Lehotsky says. And it’s clear that Lehotsky does know what he’s doing, according to the KBR Cheniere Project Team. “Ed’s vision and leadership are second to none. We look forward to continuing to work with him on the future growth of Cheniere,” they say. Since the Sabine Pass site opened, Cheniere has exported more than 160 cargo shipments of LNG with the three trains it has had up and running ahead of schedule and on budget. A fourth train is in commissioning, a fifth train is scheduled for completion in early 2019, and a sixth will come soon after that. Two trains will be completed at Corpus Christi in 2019, and a third has been permitted there.

Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction plant has already exported more than 160 cargo loads of liquefied natural gas.

In total, the costs of developing, financing, and building these projects add up to more than $20 billion. But Lehotsky is confident that Cheniere will have no problems monetizing future trains. It has already exported to 24 different countries, with heavy interest in Japan, South Korea, China, and South America, and its largest current contract is with Shell. “Now that there’s a big amount of LNG about to be leaving the US, we’re going to be one of the biggest exporters, behind Qatar and Australia,” Lehotsky says, adding that Cheniere has other projects on the horizon, too. He’s currently working on an alternative design called midscale, customized for customers who want smaller quantities than Cheniere’s current customers. “Our success has come from looking at opportunities, being a first mover, and knowing what we want and what the customer needs,” Lehotsky says. “And that has completely upset the LNG apple cart.”

The KBR team looks forward to continuing to work under Ed’s exceptional vision and leadership in the development of the future growth of Cheniere.

Jason Carroll





SVT GmbH Loading Technology – Made in Germany History SVT GmbH, a member of the GESCO Group, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of loading systems for fluid and gaseous media. SVT’s reputation as a reliable and innovative partner for its customers is based on more than 40 years of experience in design, manufacturing, and maintenance, as well as its thousands of loading systems currently installed around the world. Philosophy Safety is priceless. At SVT, it’s included. The SVT LNG Marine Loading Arms are certified in accordance with the international standards like OCIMF, ISO 16904 etc. and set new standards in the industry for safe and reliable loading/unloading of LNG carriers. Setting Standards in Loading Technology Expertise and passion. This combination is what makes our employees experts! When things get complicated, we perform at our peak. That’s because SVT’s specialty is developing customized solutions, and at SVT these special solutions are always built on a simple, clear and intelligent idea. This is how we have been able to set new standards in loading technology for many years. And we are particularly proud of the passionate dedication of our 180 employees.

SVT GmbH • Eisenwerkstrasse 21-27 • 58332 Schwelm • Germany Tel. +49 2336 443-0 • Fax +492336 443-100 •



A New Way Forward

by Zach Baliva


How a modified design-build process is helping food retailer Weis Markets stay a step ahead



Jim Murphy first got to try out his new design-build approach to help Weis Markets more efficiently expand its distribution center in Milton, PA.




In the fall of 2013, when Jim Murphy joined Weis Markets as director of construction, the food retailer already had completed construction documents for a 100,000-square-foot addition to the deli and dairy section of its main distribution center in Milton, Pennsylvania. The project was an important one; it consolidated delivery schedules to save time and fuel costs and increased both productivity and competitiveness. But the process was slow. Murphy waited for various approvals and watched as plans went back and forth between owners, contractors, and architects. Finally, in April 2015, he and his colleagues held a groundbreaking ceremony. After navigating several design issues, they opened the doors several weeks behind schedule in March 2016. While the project was ultimately a success, Murphy knew there was a better way. As he watched it all unfold, Murphy looked for opportunities to influence strategy and met regularly with senior leaders to advocate for a modified design-build process he thought would improve efficiency, shorten construction schedules, and reduce the amount of change orders. Prior to joining Weis, Murphy worked for HEB, PetSmart, Wal-Mart, and Tyson Foods. The eight foundational years spent at Tyson opened Murphy’s eyes to the advantages of the design-build approach. As a project manager in charge of roofing, he helped a senior project manager complete a large-scale development that included a hatchery, a feed mill, and a processing facility early and under budget. When the contractor overlooked electrical components, his company—and not Tyson—paid for the remedy. Murphy became a design-build evangelist, and he has since developed the philosophy throughout his career. “Bringing the contractors in as valued partners early on a project has many advantages,” he says. “As a director of construction, I rely on their expertise because they build things on a daily basis. They see new materials and fresh concepts all the time, and they know so much that can help me on a job if I let them have input.” After several conversations with his leaders at Weis, Murphy had made some headway. “I think I wore them down,” he jokes, “but my boss gave me a chance to demonstrate the merits of the design-build approach.” Murphy got the green light to proceed with an important freezer-expansion project at the same distribution center. Armed with a floor plan and a scope of work, he set a pre-bid meeting with five design-build GCs. Then, each company developed a presentation for key players, including the internal construction department, the architect of record, end users, and Weis’s leadership team. Weis narrowed the field to two companies with freezer-expansion experience and gathered final guaranteed maximum price agreements before selecting Conewago Enterprises, Inc.

Jim Murphy’s Modified Design-Build Process With more than 200 grocery stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, two things are key for Weis Markets: consistency and quality. By implementing a modified design-build process, director of construction Jim Murphy ensures customers have the same experience at any Weis location. “Design-build puts everyone on the same page,” he says. “It reduces costs and increases speed without sacrificing on what we deliver to our customers.” Because Weis’s internal teams still handle all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, his design-build model is a modified or hybrid take on the delivery system. Here’s how it works: When Murphy knows Weis will build a new store or start another key project, he partners with a design-build GC as early as possible. Together, they examine the site plan to consider site impact, utility connection, parking, and other issues. The GC looks at historical construction costs to create a squarefoot price estimate. With that info in hand, Murphy can communicate accurately with senior leaders and other teams. Next, the GC helps Murphy select materials that meet the architect’s design intent without breaking the budget. Then, all parties meet for a drawing review at 25, 50, and 75 percent completion to redline drawings, evaluate progress, and examine pricing. Next, the team solicits at least three bids on every subcategory before the GC sets its guaranteed maximum price (GMP) based on information from selected subcontractors. For Murphy, the GMP is critical because it guides a buyout process done using a 60–40 split divided respectively between owner and contractor. The strategy incentivizes a GC to fight for an owner and search for cost savings and also promotes transparency. “Design-build changes the relationship between an owner and a contractor,” Murphy says. “We’re no longer adversaries. We’re partners working together toward a common goal.”

Jim Murphy Director of Construction Weis Markets

Once the contractor was on board, the project moved quickly. Conewago sent construction documents to Weis within four weeks, and soon, work was under way. “Design-build goes fast because the owner and contractor are in constant communication from the start,” Murphy says. “They know our goals and we know their process. There are fewer problems and surprises.” The process also allows owners to benefit from a contractor’s expertise and experience. After hearing that Weis was forecasting future growth, Conewago advised Weis to increase width and raise roof height during the freezer-expansion project. Murphy agreed, and together, the parties found a way to do so at no additional cost. The

The Future Of Damage Prevention Is Here! move allowed for more pallet storage space and eliminated a planned expansion. When the larger building plan encroached on an existing building, Conewago researched and found a precast wall that satisfied the concerns of the fire marshal. Murphy says the opportunities and savings may have been overlooked, had Weis attempted the design on its own. The results speak for themselves. Murphy and his team completed the freezer-expansion project ahead of schedule, and once the dust settles, he expects to receive a deductive change order from Conewago. Weis is taking this modified design-build process into the realm of new store construction. New store timelines have been reduced to 27 weeks. As senior leaders see results and embrace the approach, Murphy is looking forward to taking design-build to other areas. In doing so, he’ll help the company stay atop the fiercely competitive food retail market.

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Conewago Enterprises, Inc. is a leading design-build general contractor serving clients throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Proud to serve as an expert construction resource for distribution and manufacturing facilities for Weis Markets and other leading corporations. 660 Edgegrove Road • P.O. Box 407 • Hanover, PA 17331 • (717) 632-7722 •



Cultivating Community on the Coast Jeff Lamkin is pursuing a $2 billion plan to expand Sea Oats Group’s Cinnamon Shore development with family-friendly, neighborly, ecologically sound amenities by Karen LeBlanc

On an enviable one-mile stretch of the Texas Gulf Coast, on Mustang Island near Port Aransas, pastel-hued cottages and townhomes, most with waterfront views of the beach or Corpus Christi Bay, sit surrounded by dunes and linked by boardwalks and walking trails that seamlessly feed into community spaces and parks. This picturesque, master-planned site is Cinnamon Shore, a 300-home, walkable, family-friendly, beachfront community where front porches foster friendships and the town center serves as a social gathering place. The brain behind this Normal Rockwell-esque vision is Jeff Lamkin, a serial entrepreneur who founded and sold several companies before venturing into land development. Cinnamon Shore is based on his ideas of new urbanism, and he’s now carrying out a $2 billion expansion plan to build on the site’s success with more amenities, residential spaces, and retail projects. “We are designing

a community that reduces its carbon footprint because residents can walk, ride bikes, or drive beach buggies to get around,” says Lamkin, CEO of Sea Oats Group, which owns Cinnamon Shore. “It’s a balanced mix of higher-density areas and open community spaces.” Lamkin’s interpretation of new urbanism hinges on a healthy ratio of “rooftops to retail.” “It’s a slow, steady project where we are managing the supply and demand so that we don’t overbuild, we protect real estate values, and let the market naturally absorb resales and new builds,” Lamkin says. Here’s a closer look at his 20-year expansion plan for Cinnamon Shore and how its new amenities fit Sea Oats Group’s overall approach to coastal real estate in Texas.

New Housing Concepts for Millennials Future residential development will aim to attract more millennials with prototype beach vacation homes de-


Shannon Lafayette Photography

To evoke a sense of community, Cinnamon Shore’s millennial-friendly housing concepts include more gathering places such as porches and balconies.




Residents and guests of Cinnamon Shore can also enjoy the Dune Pool (pictured), an upscale spa, new restaurants—including a private dining room and a pizza parlor—and a chapel for weddings.

Shannon Lafayette Photography

In addition to building more gathering places into Cinnamon Shores’ homes, Jeff Lamkin and Sea Oats Group are including a variety of communal amenities meant to bring residents together.


signed to appeal to their sense of community. “We are basing the concept on third-place environments,” Lamkin says, “more intentional community spaces where people gather and hang out.” Cinnamon Shore is also planning to build more residential beachfront apartments and single-family homes that will draw curb appeal from their timeless architecture and neighbor-friendly front porches. “We are intentional about building family and community in a place where you can slow down,” Lamkin says. “We are not a resort town, although it looks and feels like it. We are really a beach village, where you come together as a small community and hang out.”

Destination-Worthy Retail Space Cinnamon Shore is developing an additional 15,000 square feet of retail space around its town center. Lamkin hopes to attract design professionals to set up offices and retail storefronts that will cater to homeowners and vacationers. “We have great retail spaces for furniture, home décor accessories, and art galleries,” Lamkin says. “We are working against the homogenization of society, so all of our retail will be independently owned and authentic.” A market and a liquor store will open this summer, and new restaurants are under construction, including a private dining room and pizza parlor. Commercial development will also include a new a luxury spa and an 18-room boutique hotel. “We will break ground in nine months on the boutique hotel, and I’m looking for an operator or partner to run the hotel that is not a major hotel chain,” Lamkin says, adding that Cinnamon Shore is also positioning itself to host destination weddings, with plans for a chapel and wedding barns.

Natural and New Amenities A big challenge for Lamkin, given Cinnamon Shore’s rare stretch of beachfront property, is to balance the promotion and protection of the community’s natural amenities. “We are really responsible about doing things that are eco-friendly and economically realistic,” says Lamkin, who purchased the land for Cinnamon Shore in 2007. “There is a very limited supply of Texas beachfront that can be developed because 86 percent of the Texas coast is environmentally protected. Nearly 30 million people live within a six-hour drive of Cinnamon Shore. Until our development, many had to travel to Florida for a worldclass beach vacation.” There are, therefore, plans to expand the community’s green spaces and trails. And, one of Cinnamon Shore’s marquee amenities will be a large pool built on an island in the middle of a 30-acre lake near the bay.

Jeff Lamkin CEO Sea Oats Group


Growth Guided by Community and Family Cinnamon Shore’s cultivated sense of community spills over into neighboring areas, including the town of Port Aransas, which suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Harvey. Cinnamon Shore, through its website, is raising funds to help the town’s residents and businesses repair and recover. “The town was totally devastated, according to the mayor,” Lamkin says. “We have a little survivor’s remorse. We are putting a lot of our energy into helping the town.” Neighbor looking out for neighbor and a strong community built on family values and togetherness are the hallmarks of Cinnamon Shore’s success and will continue guiding its future growth. “Cinnamon Shore is a legacy project that I want to pass on to my son to run one day,” Lamkin says. “We are trying to do something that we are proud of today and that my grandkids will be proud of in the future.”



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The Soft Solution How Culligan teamed up with Extended Stay America to provide lasting solutions to hard-water deposits

In many US households, it’s easy to take for granted the convenience of clean, fresh water. A simple turn of a faucet, the start of a wash cycle, or the steady stream from a showerhead isn’t typically given a second thought. That is, unless something goes wrong. Occasionally, before it reaches our homes, this same water can percolate through deposits of limestone and chalk made up largely of calcium and magnesium carbonates. The result is a substance known by a more common term: hard water. And, over time, it can cause major issues, including costly breakdowns in water-handling equipment such as boilers and cooling towers. Until recently, it was a problem that could have threatened Extended Stay America (ESA), which operates

one of the largest hotel chains in North America. With more than 600 properties located across 44 states, ESA has been in the midst of upgrading the guest experience at its locations for a more comfortable stay for travelers. Hard water, however, was threatening to disrupt that process. That is, until Culligan, an international water-treatment company, provided water-softening solutions to eliminate any threat of limestone buildup, thereby improving the customer experience, reducing labor costs, and protecting ESA’s boilers. Now that ESA has completed its $1 billion renovation and improvement program, the company is shifting its focus to a new prototype hotel that will offer guests enhanced features such as open and expanded common space, increased storage space in every room, a new kitchen design with open shelves above the sink, and faster


by Danny Ciamprone


Wi-Fi. And, depending on local water conditions, ESA will want to protect its investment against the risk of hard water. Studies show that hard water being used over a prolonged period of time can leave behind a visible mineral buildup, which can in turn increase chemical costs and cleaning time. In addition, hard water can also create large-scale buildup inside plumbing systems, which has the potential to create long-term problems—all of which ESA aims to avoid. After visiting ESA locations, Culligan provided ESA with a number of equipment solutions and offered an estimated return on investment, resulting in the installation of water-softening technology at about 100 individual properties. In each market, Culligan was able to tailor its softening solutions to the area’s specific water needs. “Culligan is a great partner to Extended Stay America, offering turnkey, high-quality water-softening products,” says Mike Kurcz, director of facilities for ESA.


The benefits were almost immediate. The soft water provided a vastly improved experience for guests, made cleaning easier and more cost-effective, prolonged the life of the boilers, and reduced electricity and detergent usage. It also set ESA up for further cost and labor savings down the road. “Culligan is responsive, price competitive, and proposes a turnkey solution to retrofit our existing mechanical rooms,” Kurcz explains. Throughout the renovation project, ESA has stuck to its roots of not being defined as just a hotel brand but rather a home away from home, with on-site laundry and household appliances. Thanks to Culligan, the same water convenience the chain’s guests expect in their households across the US will hold true at any of its locations. “It is convenient to have one contact with Culligan National Accounts that delivers exceptional customer support and consistency to our water-softening needs,” Kurcz says.

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Data Processing at Hyperscale While so much of what we do in life—for entertainment, business, shopping, and socializing—has shrunk down to little screens in our pockets, the data centers that process our connectivity have ballooned. QTS Realty Trust shows us how building them is happening as fast as possible.

by Russ Klettke



Courtesy of QTS


By 2021, data use by cellphones will exceed that of PCs. That same year, video-on-demand usage will be double what it was in 2016. And, by 2020, cloud computing, which can analyze everything from your taxes to your buying habits to how traffic is flowing on your commute to work, will increase by a factor of 3.7, a growth rate of 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year. All these technologies require data centers. And companies such as QTS Realty Trust are building those data centers as fast as they can. People such as Matt Tyndall, QTS’s executive vice president of property development and procurement, use the word “hyperscale” to help others understand the pace of market-need growth. “Hyperscale means we have to build new, greenfield solutions,” Tyndall says. Tyndall makes the distinction between greenfield and brownfield sites in part because his company originally focused on repurposing existing structures that provided neat and environmentally friendly solutions. But as businesses and consumers have ramped up their use of social media, e-commerce, videos, the Cloud, and devices connected to the Internet of Things, the pace has quickened. QTS was founded in 2003 as a real estate investment trust with a single data center in Kansas. Today, the company owns and operates 25 data centers, which collectively comprise 5.7 million net rentable square feet serving more than 1,100 clients.

QTS Realty Trust often converts old buildings, like a former Sears distribution center or the Chicago Sun-Times’ printing plant, into stateof-the-art data centers.


Most of these data centers are located in what Tyndall calls “the NFL cities.” Essentially, data processing can be done anywhere, but it should ideally happen near where businesses operate. Larger cities have the necessary infrastructure, including fiber-optic networks and multiple power suppliers, as well as a skilled workforce. But some locations are chosen because of their large, existing buildings that can be converted from a previous use, typically something from the old analog economy. One perfect (and poignant) example is the conversion of the Chicago Sun-Times’ printing plant. The paper is still published daily, but declining circulation in 2011 led it to close its plant and share presses with its cross-town rival, the Chicago Tribune. But while print was dying, digital news and other communications were rising fast. This led to QTS’s acquisition of the Sun-Times’ 29-acre printing site, with its 317,000-square-foot building. The conversion from old to new typically takes between four and six months, Tyndall says. Speed to market is important, and it’s usually faster to repurpose an existing structure than to build new, which can take six months to a year. Other buildings that have been repurposed by QTS are in Atlanta (an old Sears distribution center), Dallas, and Richmond (former semiconductor-chip manufacturing plants in these latter two). In all, the company has repurposed a dozen buildings. As most green builders would attest, salvaging a building and giving it a new, productive life tends to be the most sustainable solution. The embodied energy in new


building materials, including the cost of transporting concrete and steel, makes old buildings attractive from a carbon-footprint perspective alone. The buildings have to be solid and able to withstand hurricane- and tornado-force winds because the costs of failure and shutdowns are enormous. The Ponemon Institute, a digital-security research organization, found that the average cost of an outage is close to $750,000 per incident. Land and energy costs are also determining factors. Raw real estate in those NFL cities tends to cost more, particularly in the most densely populated areas. There, the tendency is to build up, not out, with twoand three-story structures. In places with lower-cost land, including Phoenix and Fort Worth, Texas, single-story data centers are more common. Regions with lower temperatures—there are QTS data centers in Chicago, Toronto, London, and Amsterdam—offer lower cooling costs, an important advantage in containing operating costs. But, better cooling technologies have diminished that factor such that Phoenix, Sacramento, Miami, and Atlanta, near the QTS corporate headquarters, are viable homes for data centers.

Matt Tyndall EVP of Property Development & Procurement QTS Realty Trust

To meet market demand and satisfy investors, QTS has built more than a dozen ground-up data centers. Even in new builds, though, sustainability is important to Tyndall. “Every facility is LEED certified from Silver to Platinum,” he says. “We keep consistent with Energy Star principles. We provide value to customers, and our focus is on sustainable solutions that are most cost effective.” He points out that the economics of building and repurposing vary from site to site. “Greenfields can be much easier when we don’t have to deal with adverse existing conditions,” he says. “Brownfields can be faster, but they can have surprises. More planning is required before going to work.” Tyndall says the company is not abandoning its interests in old-structure conversions, though. “That’s in our DNA,” he says, adding, “There still can be cost advantages in repurposing.” One imagines the shift from newspapers to screens and from shopping malls to e-commerce will offer up some more attractive sites in the foreseeable future. “Speed to market is the key,” Tyndall says. “That’s what hyperscale is all about.”

Steve Hebert Photography



Bridging the Gap Skanska has helped revitalize infrastructure in New York City with a number of high-profile bridge projects


by Beth Hyland




You may not have heard of Skanska, but if you’ve ever been to New York City, you’ve definitely seen their work. The global project development and construction group has been a major player in infrastructure and transportation all over New York City and the tristate area, and they’ve had a hand in rebuilding and refreshing some of New York’s largest bridges. Here are just a few of the iconic bridges that Skanska has helped revitalize over the past two decades:

cial precautions to preserve its original elements. It was also painted using lead-based paint; Skanska removed the old paint, handled it with an eye towards being environmentally correct, and repainted the entire structure with environmentally compliant paint. Skanska also had to replace over 600 bridge bearings and reconstruct a number of approaches and ramps in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. The project was completed in 2014.

Brooklyn Bridge

One of Skanska’s most massive undertakings both physically and financially was the demolition of the Kosciuszko Bridge. The truss bridge, which connected Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Maspeth, Queens, was erected in 1939, but was not up to Interstate safety standards. The decision was made to replace it with a new bridge in 2009. Construction began in winter 2014, and by October 2017, it was time for the old bridge—all 5 million pounds

The Brooklyn Bridge first opened in 1883, making it one of the oldest bridges in the United States. Skanska was awarded a contract to rehabilitate the bridge by the New York City Department of Transportation in 2004, and they faced some unique challenges in the process. The bridge is a historic structure, so the company had to take spe-

Kosciuszko Bridge


of it—to come down. The span of the bridge was lowered 125 feet onto two barges in Newtown Creek. Precision was of the utmost importance, according to project manager Dan Murphy. “The jacking towers have to be plumb within a half an inch...the rods that we use to transfer the bridge originally have to be perfectly plumb, perfectly centered on the bearings, and nothing can be out of level more than a 16th of an inch.” Ultimately Skanska’s team was successful, and the span of the bridge was floated down the East River to a recycling facility. The new Kociuszko Bridge is expected to be completed in 2020.

Joseph M. Arseneau/

George Washington Bridge Also known as the GWB, the double-decker suspension bridge is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world, with a load of more than 103 million vehicles per year. It’s also one of New York’s most famous landmarks, and has come to be something of a symbol for the city itself. In October 2017, Skanska signed a $452 million-dollar contract with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to rehabilitate the bridge. The specifics of rehabilitation include replacing support structures, protective sleeves, and suspender ropes; rehabilitating the bridge’s main cables; installing dehumidification systems for the main cables and their anchorages; and replacing main span sidewalks and upper level railings with fencing. Construction is underway and expected to be finished in 2025.

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Carving a Space for the Sun When tasked with building a tower overlooking Manhattan’s High Line, Studio Gang found new opportunities in the challenge of preserving the public space by Galen Beebe

Courtesy of Studio Gang


Precisely cut and angled pieces of high-performance glass fill the carved-out portions of 40 Tenth Avenue, adding texture to the building’s facade.




In 1916, New York City passed a zoning resolution that required buildings to be set back from the street at a distance proportional to their height; the taller the building, the farther from the street it had to (and still has to) be. The goal of this resolution was to protect light and air at street level, and for the most part, it has worked. But, says Weston Walker, “the zoning never anticipated the High Line.” The hugely popular elevated public park, built on a former freight line, has presented a unique challenge and a significant opportunity for Weston Walker, design principal at architecture and urbanism practice Studio Gang: he’s designing a building, 40 Tenth Avenue, that overlooks it. The building, scheduled to open in 2019, is located at 10th Avenue, with 14th Street to the north, 13th Street to the south, and the High Line directly to the east. According to the 1916 zoning requirements, the building must be set back from the three adjacent streets, pressing it up against the High Line at a portion of the park that’s already flanked by towers. “Before we develop what’s going on inside our building, it’s a critical part of our design process to think about what’s going on around our building,” Walker says. “We came pretty quickly to the conclusion that we were going to need to do something different in order to protect the public space of the High Line.” To do so, Studio Gang decided to build as close as possible to 10th Avenue, which required variances from the city to work around the zoning laws. Because the development site is at the edge of Manhattan, with only a three-story building and two streets separating it from the Hudson River, 10th Avenue would have access to light regardless of the building’s position. “[We didn’t] just follow the zoning regulations but rather tried to distill the intent of the zoning—which is to protect light and air and the quality of the city’s shared spaces—and to propose a solution that is in that spirit,” Walker says. Even set away from the High Line, a conventional tower would block the park’s access to light, so Walker and his team cut into the building’s mass using a technique they called solar carving. They analyzed the sun’s path and identified the building shape that would allow the most solar access to the High Line. Then, they presented their plan to New York City’s Board of Standards and Appeals and were granted the necessary variances. The High Line isn’t the only thread that runs through the project’s particular city block. The development also sits on the edge of Manhattan’s original shoreline, which

Studio Gang conceived a design for 40 Tenth Avenue that would minimize the blocking of sunlight along the High Line.

Weston Walker Design Principal Studio Gang

means that half the site is original soil and half is fill. The shoreline presents additional challenges, but primarily its poor soil conditions, common throughout Manhattan, lead to water leaking into the foundation. “As you excavate, you need to de-water the site constantly so that your excavation pit isn’t filling up with water, and you need to design your foundation to resist the pressure of the water pushing against the foundation walls,” Walker says. “It adds time and cost to a part of the building that you never see.” In addition to managing subpar soil conditions, Walker’s team had to avoid impeding on the foundations of surrounding structures, including the High Line. They partnered with Friends of the High Line and the New York City Parks Department to ensure that construction would not damage the park and that maintenance crews would have complete and continuous access. This partnership was essential to preserving both the High Line and the relationship between the building and the public space. “There was going to be a building on this site no matter


Courtesy of Studio Gang tk

Walker and his team used solar carving to design 40 Tenth Avenue.

The building’s atypical shape is accentuated by three-dimensional faceted glass.




“Our process always includes that step where we go deep into the context and look at the history of a site and the culture of a place. Through that process of research we can come up with solutions that are hopefully beautiful, but that also make true, measurable, positive impacts on the places in which they sit.”


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what,” Walker says. “So, the question was, How do we do the most sensitive building? What can we do as architects to protect and enhance this incredible public resource?” The building’s design elements nod to both the neighborhood’s history and its future. The entry level includes metal detailing around the canopies, doorframes, and loading areas, harkening back to the Meatpacking District’s industrial past. Higher up, Walker and his team accentuated the building’s atypical shape with high-performance, three-dimensional faceted glass. “In the carved areas where the façade is not vertical, we have a different kind of curtain-wall shape made out of angled pieces of glass that gives a finer texture and play of light to the carved areas, basically turning the concept of the building into its design feature,” Walker says. He and his team conceptually extended the High Line by including outdoor spaces along the building’s vertical plane. A large terrace on the second story, smaller terraces on the higher levels, and a shared, landscaped roof complement the High Line below. “We’re thinking about a thread of outdoor spaces going in the vertical direction,” Walker says. “You have outdoor spaces associated with each of the office plates for people working in the building to step outside and enjoy the incredible view.” In designing 40 Tenth Avenue, Walker and his team found alternatives to the expected architectural response and instead designed a solution that addressed the deeper concerns of a century-old resolution. This level of intentional design is a key part of Studio Gang’s practice. “Our process always includes that step where we go deep into the context and look at the history of a site and the culture of a place,” Walker says. “Through that process of research, we can come up with solutions that are hopefully beautiful but that also make true, measurable, positive impacts on the places in which they sit.”


Building a Modern BK Restaurant The huge quick-meal franchise organization is changing its look, one store at a time. But, as director of architecture, design, and construction Chris Mott explains, this is because an increasingly mobile market demands it.


by Russ Klettke




If the design and function of quick-service restaurants—QSRs, otherwise known as fast-food establishments—is any indicator, the way Americans eat has shifted significantly in just a few years. About 70 percent of customers now buy their meals at a drivethrough. A generation ago, that stream of customer traffic was closer to 30 percent, and the bulk of people ate their burgers and fries inside. The BURGER KING (often shortened to BK) brand has experienced that phenomenon just as much as the other QSR chains. “Sixty years after we were founded, it’s pretty clear that society is driven by how fast we can move,” says Chris Mott, the director of architecture, design, and construction for the 15,000-unit, Miami-based chain. “People take five minutes for lunch, and that’s often in a car.” The marketing and operations people who work alongside Mott target that auto-based market with separate, coordinated strategies. But, from a restaurant and site-design standpoint, Mott and his team have a monumental task: to keep the flow of customers moving while maintaining service and overall operational efficiencies. This, of course, begins with the drive-throughs themselves. Gone are the days when one would simply queue up behind the cars ahead of them. The most modern BK restaurants now have two outdoor menu boards where orders are placed, requiring two car lanes that allow customers to spend more time making their selections while traffic flows a bit faster. The drive-through experience is further enhanced with expediter doors, which serve coffee-only customers first, for example, while customers with larger and more complex orders receive them separately. And, in an effort to repersonalize the drive-through experience, the passthrough windows between crews and customers have increased in size. “It enhances the guest experience,” Mott says. Just because fewer customers are using the dining rooms doesn’t mean they’re an area of neglect—far from it. “The dining rooms are smaller,” Mott says. “But we are focusing on creating a backyard barbecue or garden grill feeling.” The design program is adaptive, with an inviting, informal look and materials inspired by quality textures. The materials and motifs can include corrugated metal finishes, exposed brick walls, ceramic tiles, collage wall and heritage walls, barstool seating, and a mix of booths and chairs. Locations with Garden Grill décor use warm,

Chris Mott Director of Architecture, Design & Construction BURGER KING

nature-inspired tones, whereas the locations with Prime décor are more playful, with vibrant splashes of reddish orange. Mott explains that the idea is for customers to “hang out more,” supported by in-store Wi-Fi, softer seating, and long, community-style tables. If these changes sound like simple adaptations, think again. The BK franchise system is 60 years old, with thousands of legacy restaurants established in the 1960s and even earlier. Mott notes that some of those pieces of real estate have increased in value by a factor of ten over time. Yet some of them were never designed to accommodate the drive-through business model, which consumes roughly 20 percent of the lot. So, larger lots are needed in many cases, and some franchisees have purchased adjoining property, where possible, to accommodate this. Clearly, the costs associated with remodeling, retrofitting, and rebuilding are a necessary consideration.


Inviting, informal tables and chairs were chosen to encourage patrons to linger.

Rustic touches such as wood-beam ceilings give certain locations a backyard barbecue feel.


As part of BK’s sustainability push, its new flooring laminates include recycled materials.

Exposed brick is another rustic touch BK included to give some of its locations a homier feel.


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Franchisees bear the expense, which ranges from about $350,000 for a renovation to as much as $1.5 million for a rebuild or a new build. The parent company leases existing properties to franchisee holders, but all new units are wholly owned by local operators, who work on 20-year contracts with the corporation. Who decides what stores get remodeled and what design strategies are used in both renovated and new-build locations? That question involves input from a collective of interests. An image committee made up of owner-operators, corporate designers, marketers, and executives help drive the decision, but individual franchisees also have a strong say as to what is changed and when, given the changes’ ultimate ties to profits and losses. Communities and local planning and zoning boards have a say, too, and Mott, his staff, and local consultants work with them to discuss everything from traffic patterns to signage and façade materials. “Our hires have to have people skills,” he says. “They have to explain—and sometimes make concessions—on such things as using natural stone or brick instead of stucco.” He adds that interior and exterior materials and finishes are increasingly being chosen for durability and longevity. Sustainability also plays a strong role in their specifications. Roofing shingles and flooring laminates include recycled materials, for example, and builders sometimes use roofs with heat-reflecting white membranes, as well as green, or vegetated, roofs. The company also values energy efficiency in appliances and lighting. Many of these greener building components have become price-competitive in recent years, Mott says. LED lighting, in particular, is better and less expensive—and has now become standard equipment. To be clear, the company has operations in more than 100 countries, many of which have no drive-throughs at all. Mott says moped deliveries are far more common in Europe and other countries, but that may change over time. All such changes roll out incrementally, and Mott says this enables his team to test design concepts before scaling up. For customers who start to notice they’re buying more coffees and egg sandwiches at a BK drive-through, it’s probably because the speed of service gradually began to fit their daily needs. There’s no standing still in the QSR business—especially when customers can have it their way.

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A New Abode for ABS ABS’s Craig McPhie is overseeing the development of the company’s new HQ in a major office complex in Houston


by Clint Worthington




Craig McPhie never expected to have the kind of responsibility that comes with finding a new corporate headquarters for a 155-year-old company. Starting his career as a fresh-faced accountant with a degree from Brigham Young University, he was poached by Mitchell Energy & Development for its real estate, facilities, and telecommunications department. “At first, I was kind of grumpy about it, but soon I found I had a heck of a lot more fun than being an accountant,” explains McPhie of this change Thirty years later, he’s the director of global facilities and real estate for ABS, a maritime classification organization operating in 70 countries worldwide. In addition to his oversight of the administrative and global real estate functions of ABS, his most recent undertaking has been to move the company to a new corporate headquarters in Houston.

Craig McPhie Director of Global Facilities & Real Estate ABS

After a considerable search process, McPhie and his team found ABS’s new home in the nascent corporate complex CityPlace, a 60-acre mixed-use development in Springwoods Village, a planned community on the north side of Houston. Developed by Patrinely Group, in partnership with USAA Real Estate Company and CDC Houston, CityPlace is being touted as “a dynamic focal point and a vibrant new setting” for corporate and retail interests in Houston. Under McPhie’s supervision, ABS is getting in on the ground floor, with an 18-year lease on a building in CityPlace, where they plan to house their corporate headquarters. While this is an exciting change for the company, it has presented a considerable challenge for McPhie’s skills in real estate and facilities management. Among the major reasons for its move to a new corporate HQ, ABS sought to “find a more up-to-date, state-of-theart facility that reflects how we operate,” McPhie explains. When he started the process in 2014, the market was more landlord friendly than it is today; however, when Patrinely

(Top) Patrinely Group, (Bottom) Brandy Delapaz

ABS’s new office will occupy one of the first buildings in the 60-acre CityPlace development in Houston.


“This new building showcases us as a state-of-the-art organization.”

approached ABS with a very favorable deal, ABS chose to leave its headquarters a year ahead of its existing lease to take advantage of the opportunity. McPhie has high hopes for the change.“This new building showcases us as a stateof-the-art organization,” he says. This move, of course, has not been without challenges. One of McPhie’s major responsibilities has been working with Patrinely to achieve the goals set by ABS for its new headquarters; luckily, he says, Patrinely has been great to work with. The developers’ biggest concern has been reconciling what McPhie and ABS want out of their building with their own plans for the future. “They want to make sure the development we’re doing doesn’t detract from the value they need for the building in the future,” McPhie says Most vexing for McPhie, however, has been navigating the complexities of being the first company to move into a newly constructed development. According to him, this has been a question he and his team have asked themselves throughout the process: “How can we guarantee, moving into this nascent development, that we can be part of something bigger?” Even with communicative and collaborative developers such as Patrinely and its partners, McPhie has found it a great challenge figuring out how to move into a development he and his team would have to help build from scratch. To solve these problems, McPhie has had to work in detail with Patrinely, providing ABS’s input on every part of the building’s development, from lobby finishes to crosswalk placement. For this new headquarters, McPhie has had to fulfill many requirements for ABS’s future. In addition to its corporate office space, its new building will have retail and restaurant space on the bottom floors, an outdoor plaza, and access to a fitness center. McPhie has also worked out expansion rights to a five-story building across the street,

which will be completed a year after ABS moves into its primary structure. One advantage to ABS’s move to CityPlace is the construction of a Marriott hotel right across the street from the building, which McPhie says will be a huge help for the regular training events the company plans to hold in its new headquarters. “We bring people in from all over the world nearly every week of the year for training and development,” he says, “and we want them to have access to amenities nearby, within walking distance, after work hours.” What excites McPhie most about the project? More than anything, he wants ABS to have a top-quality facility for its employees, providing them a more modern, collaborative work space. As McPhie says, “Office space is a tool, just like a PC or any other tool you use to be more effective in getting the work done.” With this new “tool” under way, ABS is primed to take on the future. Houston // Austin // San Antonio // Washington DC




Designing the City He Loves Mark Cavagnero Associates is helping San Francisco create its own unique look

by David Levine


Tim Griffith

The SFJAZZ Center is one of dozens of Mark Cavagnero’s projects that have shaped the aesthetic of San Francisco and the surrounding area over the past 30 years.



Mark Cavagnero has lived and practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area for 30 years, but he is still in awe of his adopted city. He grew up in a small town in Connecticut but completed his graduate work in architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He fell in love with the area’s natural beauty, the rich history, from the gold rush days and the transition from its blue collar roots to today’s technology boom. “People from all over the world have come here chasing their dreams and visions,” he says. “It is such an unusual city, with an expansive culture.” And his 75 person firm, Mark Cavagnero Associates, is contributing to the evolving urban fabric with carefully crafted and highly distinctive architecture. San Francisco was originally patterned after New York, he says. “But now, we don’t want to be New York, Paris or London. We are happy being San Francisco, and that transition has been fascinating to me. We don’t look at other cities any more. We confidently talk about what we should be doing here, as a leader, not a follower” Cavagnero first worked in New York City for a few years before moving back to the Bay Area in the late 1980s. One of his first major projects was a renovation and expansion of the famed Legion of Honor Museum, which he did in conjunction with architect and his mentor Edward Larrabee Barnes. “It was very well received; people liked it,” Cavagnero says. “I was 35 years old, and I started to get phone calls for new work.” Many of those calls came from small arts groups, which excited him. “I worked for a lot of community-based and small nonprofits—theaters, art schools, Montessori schools. It was small money but I really liked the people, their mission and their commitment to the community.” In fact, that would become his “business plan”: working with people he admired who were driven to make the community a better place. “The more I did that, the more I learned about and became enmeshed in San Francisco,” he says. “I developed a deeper appreciation of the uniqueness of the city and its culture.” His office grew as he took on more projects, primarily renovations for a decade or so. That led to commissions for state and local projects like state courthouses, community colleges and universities. But his breakthrough project, he says, came about in 2001, when he turned a public school into an art school in Silicon Valley. “We built a new ground-up building, which was a dream project for me,” he says. When it opened, in 2004, it won a sole Honor Design Award from the California chapter of the American Institute of Architects. “That opened up doors, and we got exposed to larger and larger projects,” he explains, noting that most were city projects. “As our connections to city officials and bureaus grew stronger, they started trusting us more. I shared their energy in making San Francisco an ever-improving city.” His design ideology and approach is to keep an open mind. “I try to not bring any preconceptions to a project,” he says. “A good, modern building should respond to the site and the program. If you can develop a building that is unique for the site and celebrates the program, you have done a good building.”

Mark Cavagnero Founding Principal Mark Cavagnero Associates

Among the buildings Mark Cavagnero is proudest of are: • Mission Plaza: Also known as Salesforce Tower, because it houses the technology giant, it sits above the new Transbay Terminal building through which 100,000 visitors will travel every day. “It is San Francisco’s front door for public transit,” he says. Overcoming a host of technical, security and lighting issues has also made it a beautiful outdoor living room for that part of the city. • The Lighthouse: This project, for a nonprofit organization that helps recently blinded adults learn how to cope with their challenges, focused on minimizing the frustrations and anxiety of the people needing its services. “This was a real education for us, and it helps a lot of people,” he says. “We learned how to communicate with our client, who is also blind, and to appreciate how the careful use of touch, smell, and hearing are intentionally intensified for the users”.

Matthew Millman



UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences: This world-class facility marries the technology and research at the cutting edge of neuroscience. The project incorporates research with clinical programs, which is highly unusual, and uses natural light to make interior spaces welcoming and inviting for everyone. “The scientists tell us that major breakthroughs would not be possible without such a facility,” Cavagnero says.

Courtesy of Mark Cavagnero Associates

St. Mary’s College Student Chapel: This college educates a large number of disadvantaged students, he says. “They wanted a chapel to inspire these kids, to give them a place to go when they are down or worried or needy,” he says. “I met with the kids, and they really inspired me with how thoughtful and intelligent they are.”



The SFJAZZ Center: This international destination for music lovers is also neighborhood-friendly. “The founder and I shared the sense that the building be both a destination and part of the community, an emerging residential part of city, and that it should not appear monumental or over scaled,” he says. An all-glass street level, he says, is “transparent and very inviting. If you walk by you almost feel like you are in it, and it entices you to come in and learn about jazz and enjoy the music.”

All these projects and others like them define who Cavagnero is and what he does. “We feel a strong connection to our humble past from the non-profit community oriented projects which gave us the opportunity to take on projects we now work on in the Bay Area. We continue to admire the clients we work with and the communities they serve,” he says. “That was my business plan—I just didn’t know it when I started.”

Tim Griffith


Your Partner In Business For editorial consideration, contact




spaces Exploring new and renovated facilities across the industry, from buildings to workspaces, along with the people and companies behind these projects




Curating a Global Real Estate Experience

Story by Galen Beebe | Portraits by Gillian Fry


After sixteen years in event production, Elizabeth Pinkham is designing a new home for the Salesforce family


Elizabeth Pinkham EVP, Global Real Estate tk





When Elizabeth Pinkham joined Salesforce in 2000, the company operated out of one floor of the Rincon Annex, an old post office building in San Francisco. At the time, the customer relationship management solutions provider was a year-old company. “We didn’t even have a website. We didn’t have a logo,” Pinkham says. “It was all about getting the product out and getting the word out.” Pinkham began working on events at a time when tech companies traditionally held separate seminars for customers and prospects. The intention was to keep prospects from hearing any negative feedback, but Pinkham soon found that isolating customers silenced an essential marketing voice. “Our customers were truly our best spokespeople,” she says. In 2003, Salesforce launched Dreamforce, an annual conference for customers and prospects alike in the heart of San Francisco. It was at the 2015 Dreamforce, standing among 150,000 attendees, that the idea for redesigning the company’s offices was born. “So much thoughtfulness and energy and careful curation goes into the brand experience [at Dreamforce] that everybody feels like they can understand the messages,” Pinkham says. “Our CEO said, ‘This is what we really want in our real estate.’” When Pinkham became executive vice president of global real estate in 2016, she brought the lessons she’d learned from creating Dreamforce to the redesign of Salesforce’s global offices. The goal of the redesign was to create a cohesive aesthetic that would demonstrate Salesforce’s vision and unify its employees. “You enter our doors anywhere around the world, and it’s going to be one Salesforce,” Pinkham says. “You’re going to know when you cross that threshold where you are.” Because the company had grown so quickly, and because its focus had been on customer success, Salesforce had an eclectic range of office designs. The various designs reflected the company’s evolving vision and the trends of the previous decade, with bright colors and stimulating environments. “It felt like a very different Salesforce depending where you were,” Pinkham says. Feedback from employees indicated a desire for a calmer, more focused look, so Pinkham worked with the color expert Donald Kaufman to design a more subdued color palette. The palette was one part of what Salesforce came to call the Ohana Design, named for the Hawaiian cultural concept of family, which is a touchstone of the company’s culture. Salesforce partnered with the architecture firm Mark Cavagnero Associates and the residential interior design firm the Wiseman Group to bring the Ohana Design to life. “We envisioned a space that was something you wouldn’t see in any other corporate offices,” said Mark Cavagnero, principal of Mark Cavagnero Associates. “The concept is warm, social, energetic, and convivial. It is unique to Salesforce’s vision, values, and commitment to their customers and employees.” Along with natural

The Ohana Design, inspired by one of Salesforce’s core values, incorporates soothing, earthy colors, real wood, greenery, and lots of natural light.


Courtesy of Salesforce

Ohana in the Community Two weeks after Salesforce unveiled the first Ohana Floor, the company’s CFO opened the floor for a fundraising and awareness event for type 1 diabetes. Along with hosting events, the company plans to donate the Ohana Floors for use by local community and nonprofit groups. “It is very important to us to be able to connect to our communities where we work and live and to give back,” Pinkham says. “The lines are becoming blurrier and blurrier about who comes into an office and who doesn’t. I think we’re going to hopefully knock down some of those traditional lines.”



Pinkham works closely with colleagues Michelle Schneider (vice president, strategic events) and Jennifer Marko (senior director, global real estate workplace design lead).



Courtesy of Salesforce


colors, the Ohana Design incorporates natural materials, such as the real wood tables in the gathering spaces. The floors are covered in a green and gray carpet that evokes a lawn with a gravel path running through it. Private offices are concentrated in the center of the floors and the surrounding workstations extend out to the windows, increasing employees’ access to natural light. To make the Ohana design truly feel like home to Salesforce’s employees, the plan draws inspiration from residential spaces. The design team expanded the typical office kitchen to create a dining area with wooden, farm-style tables where groups can gather for meals or meetings. Beside the kitchen is a living room-inspired space with couches, armchairs, and bookcases. For younger employees, who often prefer not to sit at the same desk every day, these areas provide a range of workspaces and lend variety and comfort to the traditional office layout. “We wanted this to feel more like a home than a workplace,” Pinkham says. “You stand [at the intersection] and you see the kitchen and the dining room and the living room vignettes within one cohesive space.” The Ohana design began as a way to bring employee workspaces into alignment, but Salesforce’s extended family includes the communities around its offices as well. Instead of dedicating the top floors of its largest towers to executive offices, Salesforce is turning those prime spaces into community hubs called Ohana Floors. The first Ohana Floor, which opened in San Francisco

This multipurpose seating structure can transform from a circle of benches into a cluster of standing desks.


in September 2017, has an exhibition kitchen with an executive chef and a chef’s table where employees can have private dinners with top customers or lunch with colleagues. The floor was originally a garden space and is populated with over 5,000 plants. “There’s an energy up there that’s incredible,” Pinkham says. As an event organizer, Pinkham is used to building spaces that will be used for a few days. The offices, by contrast, are built to last for years and to serve an evolving organization. “When you’re running an event, you know exactly how [the space] is going to be used for that day or for that week,” Pinkham says. “In the case of these spaces, we have to think, where is the company going to be in two years, three years, five years?” The office floors are designed to adapt as needed. Furniture can be moved to accommodate product launches or employee recognition lunches and returned to their original positions for the next workday. “We’re putting a lot into the construction and design of these spaces, and we want them to be used as much as possible,” Pinkham says Salesforce has come a long way from its early days in a former post office building, but its emphasis remains on sharing its solutions, broadening its community, and building spaces where people can come together. “It’s really about being able to take everything the company is about and to help bring it to life in a very physical, tangible way,” Pinkham says. “That’s what we’ve done in events, if you think about it—this is just on a bigger scale.”



Under One Roof Palo Alto Networks’ dazzling 1-millionsquare-foot campus lays a foundation for the company’s future

When Palo Alto Networks opened its new corporate headquarters on September 21, 2017, there was a buzz of excitement in the air. Employees and their families walked the lush green campus, decorated with colorful balloons, and local dignitaries milled about as they waited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. A great deal of work went into that day of celebration, and Tom Willow and his team were instrumental in making it happen. Willow came to Palo Alto Networks with extensive experience working for companies during periods of growth, which meant that he was exactly the right man for the job: the next-generation security company was rapidly expanding. To that end, Willow, vice president, global workplace resources, has grown his team from five to thirty-four people during his tenure. Expanding the team was a necessity to accommodate for “the physical security, health, and safety of all our employees at all our locations globally,” he explains.


by Beth Hyland






Shortly after he arrived at Palo Alto Networks, Willow and his newly expanded team were tasked with finding a solution to an ongoing challenge for the company caused by their rapid growth: the company would soon outgrow its current headquarters in Santa Clara, California. The team developed a plan, and Willow met with the board of directors in May of 2015 to present a proposal for a new corporate headquarters. The board of directors approved, so Willow and his team got to work. To take on a project of this size, Willow says, “you have to have the right internal organization, then you need the right partners to support you: managers, architects, consultants, acoustics, food service, security. Identifying that team was crucial to the success of the project.” From the beginning of the development process, it was crucial that the new headquarters be “all under one roof.” This philosophy is a major part of the culture at Palo Alto Networks, particularly as it continues to expand. Fitting all of the company’s employees into the same physical space is crucial when it comes to “making sure that every-

High ceilings and large windows give a bright, airy feeling to much of Palo Alto Networks’ new campus.

body’s on the same page, hearing the same message, and marching to the same drum,” Willow explains. Construction began on the new headquarters in July 2015, but the old offices were quickly running out of space, so the company needed to find a solution. Palo Alto Networks ended up renting a nearby interim office building, or “swing space,” for the duration of construction. Willow and his team were able to use the swing space as a testing ground for their eventual permanent home. With the blessing of executive management, they tested everything from furniture, to workspaces, to lighting, to ceiling heights in the 120,000 square foot space. This testing ground provided some valuable insights about what would work best for the headquarters’ final design. When it came to furniture, “one size doesn’t fit all,” Willow says. “An engineer works differently than a marketing professional, who works differently than a sales professional.” To that end, Willow and his team developed “a kind of Lego kit of parts we can scale up or down without disrupting the overall layout of every-


thing.” The marketing department, led by the CMO, who Willow notes is passionate about office design, helped Willow and his team test out ceiling heights, and they eventually decided upon an open-ceiling design. Another decision that was made partially due to their experiences in the swing space was to organize every floor of the building around the same focal point: the kitchen. “Having the kitchen and some meeting space off the main elevators bank on each floor was something that we tested in the swing space and everybody loved it,” Willow says. “It’s kind of like a person’s house—everything always happens in the kitchen. There’s a lot of collaboration in our industry, and that collaboration can happen in the kitchen.” The testing process in the swing space was hugely beneficial, but Willow points out that many other companies would never have let it happen in the first place. “The executive management team gave us the opportunity to test these things out so that we got it right. A lot of companies would say ‘No, we’re not going to do that,’ but they saw the value in getting buy-in,” he says. When it came time to make final design decisions, Willow and his team got feedback from across the company about what each department would need in the new space. “We told them to take a long-term view on it. What will you need in ten years?” Willow says. Throughout the design process, Willow and his team presented their recommendations to a steering committee comprised of the company’s top executives. “It was a very collaborative process between the architect, the client, project managers, the executives, and even the employee base,” he says. Palo Alto Networks employees moved into the new headquarters in August 2017, and have been blown away by the new campus’s amenities. The campus, which occupies 1 million square feet in total, has four main buildings housed on twelve acres. There are over 600 customized spaces for collaboration, ranging from huddle rooms to board rooms. There is a variety of food options, from a large marketplace, to a coffee shop, to a bistro, and a 20,000-square-foot fitness center (which has already achieved 50 percent employee participation). There are even 100 charging ports for electric cars—and if all of this sounds daunting, not to worry: a GPS system helps employees and visitors find their way. Based on the reactions of Palo Alto Networks employees to their new headquarters, all of Willow and his team’s hard work has paid off in spades. “What our team wanted throughout the process was for everyone to see the campus and say ‘Wow,’” he says, “and I’ve gotten that from employees—and from a recruitment standpoint, too.” All of these dazzling amenities are in support of the company, Willow says, and the effects have already been visible. “There’s kind of a collegial buzz in the air, and people have a little more jump in their step.” That spring in the employees’ step is understandable—now they have everything they need, under one roof.

“It was a very collaborative process between the architect, the client, project managers, the executives, and even the employee base.”













Beating the Odds Richard Leal helps online grocer FreshDirect navigate scores of obstructions to build a mammoth facility in New York


by David Baez In 2012, Richard Leal was tasked with managing the construction of a 650,000 square foot warehouse and shipping center for FreshDirect in the Bronx, and the process was anything but easy. The project involved working through a seemingly endless tangle of obstructions—but luckily, Leal came to the task armed with three decades of construction experience. “I wish I’d had the ability to build this facility when I was 40, but I came here with an education of 30-plus years,” Leal, FreshDirect’s vice president of facilities, says. “Without that education, I’m sure the project would have been overwhelming.” Leal, who is the son of Cuban nationals, didn’t grow up with construction as a career option on his radar. In college, he decided that his goal was to become a fighter pilot in the military. Unfortunately for him, when he went to the Navy ROTC, one of the first questions they asked him was about his vision. He gave them the truthful answer, which was that he used contact lenses, and was told that disqualified him from being a pilot. With that long-held dream suddenly an impossibility, Leal went into mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, he worked for Newark-based energy company PSE&G. “The first four months, I worked in every single department as part of a management training program for all inbound engineers,” he recalls. “They did that so when we were in the field we could connect with someone in whatever department we needed to interact with. For me, that was a great education.” It was a good job, but his career path soon took a different turn.

During high school, Leal had spent his summers working in the warehouse of Big M, a women’s apparel chain in New Jersey that his father worked for. While still at PSE&G, he got a call from the owners asking him if he would direct construction for them as they continued to expand. Over the next 18 years, Leal build 250 stores for the company. He eventually became director of store planning, handling procurement of everything but the clothing itself. He negotiated trucking contracts and led distribution management; his narrow experience as an engineer had expanded to include every aspect of the business. The business was family-owned, so there were no stock options or other ways to participate in the company’s equity. At the end of his time there, Leal had become involved in every major decision the family made, but he didn’t feel that the importance of his role was being acknowledged and remunerated. “I got frustrated,” he says. “Something was missing.” Disenchanted, he went to work for a trucking company, turning a $40 million dollar business into a $60 million dollar business during his tenure. From there, he worked for two years on building a 20,000-square foot wine store in Manhattan, a major project in a New York historical building. Leal and his team brought in architectural lighting, gas turbine cogeneration, and HVAC systems, making the entire store a temperature-controlled walk-in wine cellar. After selling his house in New Jersey during the housing crash and moving permanently to his family’s second home in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the opportunity

at Fresh Direct arose, but accepting the role would mean dividing his time between New York and Hilton Head. If he was going to do that, there had to be something very attractive about the offer. For Leal, the scope of the project and all the imagination it would require was what sealed the deal. From the get-go, it was apparent that building the mammoth facility they envisioned on an empty railyard plot in the Bronx wasn’t going to be easy. “We started working in May of 2012, and everything came to a grinding halt,” he recalls. “Residents who didn’t want the truck traffic that would go along with the business were filing lawsuits. We had to get a zoning override from the Department of Transportation to convert 70 acres of the plot and keep 28 acres for a potential rail yard.” FreshDirect persevered in spite of the controversy. “The Bronx is the poorest borough in the city, and we were bringing in 3,000 jobs; the community overall wanted it. So, we developed plans and got through the legal processes,” he says. After the legal challenges were behind them, the challenges of honoring the regulations arose during construction. FreshDirect’s builders had to use PVC pipe instead of cast iron; fibers in concrete helped them avoid rebar. The FDNY mandated two water sources, so Leal and his team put up a 175,000-gallon water tank at the side of the building. Those are only a few of the scores of engineering coups that Leal and his team had to pull off. The warehouse, with 650,000 square footage of total space, is 40 percent refrigerated and 60 percent ambient. It has food preparation facilities including a 10,000-square foot bakery. Walking through the space, a visitor would see deli meat being sliced, fresh shrimp being packaged, and steaks being cut to order. Customers who order online get their food delivered the next day. The construction also took into account the need to give candidates a reason to commute to the South Bronx, so employees can use a basketball court and eat in a cafeteria where their meals are cooked to order. There are views of Randall’s Island, baseball fields, and the Manhattan skyline. Nobody regards the project with more wonderment than Leal. “It’s amazing to think back to when the project was an idea and walk in and see what we built over the course of seven years,” he says. “But by no means was it one person or even five people who did this. We were able to do this because of the efforts of dozens and dozens of employees.”


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A Bulldog Approach to Building and Design Mississippi State University alumnus Tim Muzzi is helping his alma mater shine

by Rodric J. Hurdle-Bradford

Beth Newman Wynn/Mississippi State University





Many college students dream about returning to their alma mater a few decades in the future and contributing as a campus leader. For Tim Muzzi, university architect, director of planning, design, and construction administration for Mississippi State University, it is a dream that he has fulfilled for nearly 14 years. “When I came to Mississippi State for this position in 2004, the university architect had retired and the planning department consisted of one person,” says Muzzi. “Now we have a gem of a staff of about a dozen people and we are planning for more.” Since his arrival in 2004, Muzzi has overseen nearly $1 billion in renovations and new additions to the campus, from classrooms, athletics, entertainment, education, and everything in between. “I came from a private practice, so we had to immediately develop standards that we could adhere to,” says Muzzi. “Now we are all about good design and project management, making sure we meet all expectations and guidelines for budget, scope, and quality. We provide a critical path schedule to make sure we meet those guidelines, and we are pretty demanding to make sure all guidelines are met.”

“People want their universities to grow, be successful and look modern. Our job is to acknowledge our past and build toward the future.”

An SEC Stadium Story As a longtime member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), arguably the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate athletic conference in both baseball and football, Muzzi finds himself in the middle of the competition. He has risen to the challenge with two athletic stadium renovations that totaled over $130 million. “College alumni mainly care about two things—what their campus looks like now, and what new buildings are being erected and planned,” says Muzzi. “And in the SEC, a lot of attention is paid to athletics and facilities.” The football stadium renovation, which began in 2012, cost $80 million and was completed in time for the 2014 season. The renovation enclosed the north end zone, creating a louder stadium experience while developing space for end zone-level suites. On the south end zone, “The Junction” area is now a large green space for students, alumni, and fans to tailgate and enjoy the experience. The renovations increased the stadium’s capacity to 67,500. “It is the second-oldest stadium in the country, so there was a lot of infrastructure underground that we had no record of existing,” says Muzzi. “There were sewer lines, phone lines, and foundation issues, along with the time restraints of building the structure while the stadium was still occupied.” That massive undertaking wasn’t Muzzi’s last at MSU, however. He’s currently working on a $55 million renovation to the university’s baseball stadium.

The MSU baseball program is famous for producing MLB all-stars, including Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, and Bobby Thigpen. Not surprisingly, the program is incredibly popular—it holds all top ten attendance records for the collegiate sport. The design for the project was recently completed, and the renovation process has begun. “We had to tear down the existing stadium and raise the foundation,” says Muzzi. “We are putting in new club boxes and seating; we’re also adding lofts and condominiums in left field that fans can lease for games during the season. I do not think any other school in the country is giving their fans this experience.” The renovation has eliminated the left field lounge, a popular destination where fans have traditionally pulled in on RVs, lounge chairs, and other homemade ‘inventions’ to watch the game. Luckily, the excitement for the new condos and the ability to watch games with balcony views has outweighed any sadness about the departure of the left field lounge. “The homemade structures will be gone, but now we will have a series of decks and outfield lounges where fans can barbecue and enjoy an incredible experience,” says Muzzi. “The team will be playing a limited home schedule for the 2018 season and will have a full home schedule for the 2019 season. We are going to build a very intimidating environment for visiting teams.”



Now known as The Riley Center, MSU’s Grand Opera House was renovated and restored beginning in 2004.

Megan Bean

A Project Worth Singing About The first major renovation project of Muzzi’s career had perhaps the most historical significance. In 2004, Muzzi led the $26 million renovation of the campus’ Grand Opera House, which was originally built in 1891. The Opera House, which has been designated a historical landmark by the state of Mississippi, had been had been closed for 50 years prior to the renovation, which led to a number of challenges during the project. “We had over 50 contractors on the project, so it was a real team effort,” says Muzzi. “We became the contractor, overseeing everything from the foundation to dry wall and painting.” The project took two years, moving the building from the 19th century to the 21st century in less than 30 months. “The centerpiece light was gas-fired, so we had to make that electric,” says Muzzi. “The structure was woodframed and had no drawings we could reference, but we

did find an original playbill show program from opening night in 1891.” Muzzi and his team encountered other surprises that were less exciting, including water leaks in the basement. There were also the more expected challenges of renovating a building that was never designed to have a mechanical or electrical system. “There were single-pane glass windows, so you have to worry about condensation, mold and mildew behind the plaster and wood rotting out,” says Muzzi. “But what they had was hand-made craftsmanship, so we had to bring that same tried and true quality into the 21st century.” Creating a Better Campus Along with the high-profile athletic and entertainment renovation projects, Muzzi has been involved with directing a wide range of educational and logistical projects, including their newest endeavor, a 150,00-square-foot project that’s being built to meet LEED Silver standards.



Tim Muzzi University Architect, Director of Planning, Design, and Construction Administration

Corbett Legge & Associates, PLLC Mechanical & Electrical Engineers

CLA is a full service mechanical, plumbing, fire protection and electrical engineering design firm located in Tupelo, MS. We have a staff of 14 engineers, designers and support staff with over 250 years of combined experience in the design of mechanical and electrical systems for a wide variety of facilities. Corbett Legge & Associates, PLLC P.O. Box 7370 (38802) 431 W. Main Street – Suite 101 • Tupelo, MS 38804 P (662) 844-7114 •

Ninety thousand square feet will be used for classrooms and 60,000 square feet will be for parking; almost 11,500 students will pass through the building on a daily basis. “Our average energy cost is approximately $2.25 per square foot in the previous buildings, while the estimated cost for the new building will be between 75 cents and 80 cents,” says Muzzi. “Self-tinted windows and the use of ice pods as heat exchangers will both contribute to a cheaper utility rate.” Muzzi has already successfully undertaken many high-profile projects at MSU, and there are even more on the horizon. Ever the grateful alumnus, he credits the college’s leadership with making his successes possible. “I could not imagine getting all this done without the support of an understanding president and vice president,” says Muzzi. “People want their universities to grow, be successful and look modern. Our job is to acknowledge our past and build toward the future.”

CLA has enjoyed partnering with MSU to implement energy-efficient design as a whole-building approach on new buildings and renovations. It is this team approach from preliminary design to post-occupancy that allows the building’s envelope and systems efficiency to match the architectural ideals of each project.

Beth Newman Wynn/Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University


Innovation Is All in the Family Dennis McIntire on how family-ownedand-operated B&B Theatres is using technology to keep their audiences happy—and growing


by Beth Hyland




Dennis McIntire has worked for B&B Theatres for nearly thirty years, but according to him, accepting the job wasn’t even his choice. A few years out of college, McIntire was working as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman while looking for a teaching job. “I came home one day and my wife told me that I had accepted a position as the assistant manager at a B&B Theater in Winfield, Kansas,” McIntire says with a laugh. “I initially argued against the idea but quickly realized she was seeing a bigger picture than I was,” McIntire says. “I then did what any good husband does; I agreed and then tried to make it look like it was my idea.” He had a personal incentive to accept the job, as well, as his wife was already working for the company. “We’ve now worked together for 28 years,” he says. Those 28 years have made McIntire and his wife, Merrie-Pat, part of the B&B family—and it truly is a family. B&B Theatres was formed by the union of two family movie businesses run by the Bills and Bagby families, and it remains family-owned and -operated today. Its family-first ethos has resulted in a great deal of success: in McIntire’s tenure with B&B, the company has grown from 50 screens to 400 screens, making it the seventh-largest theater chain in the United States.

One of B&B’s updated auditoriums boasts plush reclining chairs.

As executive director of development and construction, McIntire oversees each new project from the first phone call with a developer to the completion of construction. He has to take part in what he calls the “juggling act” of keeping all of the stakeholders involved in each project satisfied and informed. McIntire typically has as many as twelve projects underway concurrently, and he credits the development team, including Jesse Baker, director of design; Jim King, director of construction; and Brock Bagby, vice president of programming and development, with helping him ensure operations run smoothly, even as the company has expanded. Merrie-Pat McIntire is also an important part of the development team, handling everything from administrative duties to talking through ideas with the team. “If you ask her about her job, she’ll tell you it’s like herding cats,” McIntire jokes. McIntire and his team believe that B&B has expanded in part due to the company’s friendly, people-first ethos, according to McIntire. “Because of our regional concept, we took pride in returning every phone call,” he says. “So if a developer called, we took a few minutes to visit with them, because even if that wasn’t the job for us, there might be something coming down the road.” The development of B&B’s real estate capabilities has evolved considerably over the years, a move that McIntire


has found exciting. “It’s been neat to see the evolution from remodeling old downtown theaters, to building new buildings on the edge of town, to now, where we’re building these monster 50,000-to 60,000-square-foot entertainment complexes,” he says. The switch to digital film in 2009 opened up the possibilities for B&B’s current, multifunctional theater complexes. “It allowed us to reexamine what out buildings were as an industry,” he explains. McIntire and B&B have leapt at the opportunity to expand the theaters’ capacities. One example is the screenPLAY auditorium at B&B’s Shawnee 18 theater in Shawnee, Kansas, which houses a full-size playground inside the auditorium. The auditorium is decked out with a climbing playground with a tube slide, plastic animals for climbing, and a screen-side activity area for toddlers. The screenPLAY program allows families to arrive 20 minutes before showtime so children can play while music and other kid-friendly entertainment plays onscreen. Then, preshow instructions ask kids to return to their seat for the beginning of the film. McIntire says the program has been hugely successful—and he should know. “I have two five-year-old granddaughters, and they both love these screens,” he says. In early 2017, B&B added another innovation to its portfolio with its first MX4D MotionEFX Theatre. MX4D technology creates a completely immersive experience that allows moviegoers to “feel” the movie as they watch it. The theater’s seats pitch forward or backward along with the movie’s action and simulate gusts of wind, falling snow, fog, and even scents. McIntire admits that he was initially skeptical about the technology, but he says that his son immediately saw the potential in it. “My son went to an event with MX4D out in Los Angeles, and he called me and said, ‘Dad, you have to do this. This is incredible,’” McIntire says. After working with MX4D for several years to bring the technology to their Shawnee, Kansas location, McIntire has become a believer. “We feel that with this technology, we’re enhancing the moviegoing experience, not detracting from it,” he says. To serve customers hungry for higher-quality food and drink options, B&B started installing full kitchens and full bars into every new theatre, and retrofitting old theaters with the same amenities whenever possible. “The

Dennis McIntire Executive Director of Development and Construction B&B Theatres

response and the uptick on the financial side has been very good,” McIntire says. The addition of ultra-comfortable seats has made a big difference, as well. “Recliners are creating new moviegoers,” McIntire says. “There’s no doubt about it.” The seats are convincing even those with expensive home theaters and streaming options to make the trip to the movie theater. “I’m proud that our industry has looked around, changed, and updated,” he says. “Nobody needs to worry about us. We’re not going anywhere.” McIntire’s love for his work and the people he works with is obvious. “There have been times over my career that I have not loved my job, but I’ve always loved who I work for and who I work with,” he says. And even though he may not have decided to work for B&B in the first place, the decision was obviously the right one. “I can’t imagine doing anything differently for anyone else,” he says.

Prosser Wilbert Construction, Inc. is a premier commercial contractor that provides General Contracting, Construction Management and Design-Build services nationwide. Our success is based on our ability to produce a quality, cost effective project starting with planning and design and continuing throughout the warranty period.

Jesse Baker

Celebrity Sightings Because of the nature of his work, McIntire has had some unexpected encounters with celebrities, which he says is quite a fun perk. Celebrities often show up at the national movie theater conventions, and at one recent event, McIntire rode in an elevator with actor Bradley Cooper. “My claim to fame before that was that I used the bathroom right next to Christopher Walken,” he says with a laugh.


Excel Constructors congratulates

Dennis McIntire

on his extraordinary successes with B&B Theatres. We look forward to our continued partnership.

8041 West 47th Street Overland Park, KS 66203-5390

913.261.1000 Main


Floor-to-ceiling windows at Nickelodeon’s Burbank campus ensure that there’s plenty of natural light.

Bruce Damonte



A New Nick Nickelodeon’s Vicki Fenton discusses how the kids entertainment brand’s new facility in Burbank has helped the company consolidate its workforce in a fun, creative atmosphere

by Geoff George




On August 11, 1991, a wild-eyed dog and cat, a gaggle of talking babies, and a shy, awkward eleven-and-a-half-year-old boy appeared on Nickelodeon’s debut trio of original animated series: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rugrats, and Doug. In the nearly 27 years since, the premier kids entertainment brand has continued to release dozens of other original “Nicktoons,” including the hugely popular SpongeBob SquarePants, to the delight of children everywhere. Creating all these shows, though, takes an army of animators, writers, and producers, and housing these employees in different facilities all over Los Angeles has historically been a challenge— until recently. In January of last year, Nickelodeon opened a new five-floor, 110,000-square-foot addition to the campus it’s had in Burbank since 1998. The cutting-edge, LEED Gold-certified building has allowed the company to consolidate more than 700 employees working on more than 20 different productions. Vicki Fenton, Nickelodeon Animation Studios’ vice president of core services, who joined the company in 2011, was present from the first discussions of the project to its ribbon cutting. She sat down with American Builders Quarterly in August 2017 to discuss how the project came together and how its design and amenities are meant to maximize employees’ creativity and productivity.

So, when you started with Nickelodeon, how many different locations was it housing its animation teams in? They had people in five locations across the city. I was working here at the Burbank office. We had a space right across the alley, 5,000 square feet here, 30,000 square feet up the street, 20,000 square feet in Glendale. I had productions in three buildings in Burbank, and I had groups in Santa Monica. I don’t know if you’ve been to LA, but if you wanted to have a meeting with someone in Santa Monica, it could take all day. This all weighed heavily on the decision to build this new building.

When did brainstorming for the new project really start getting under way?

In 2013, we knew it was going to happen. The budget had been discussed. The timing and scheduling had been discussed. We started the process of hiring architects and project managers.


And what were you doing? We went to visit production and high-tech companies in Northern California. It was very interesting to see how they use space to create a positive feeling as soon as you walk in the door. We saw many uses of the open floor plan and used that information when planning our work areas. We realized that our challenge was to be as creative as possible within the space.

Bruce Damonte

Did you get design inspiration and advice from Nickelodeon employees, too? Absolutely. We sent out a survey and received a lot of input. What I’m really proud of is that we were able to incorporate so many of the spaces that were most important to them. People really wanted a place to eat; we have a beautiful café. They wanted a gym; we have a wellness room on the second floor that has equipment, weights, mats. We even have a zen room up on the fifth floor where people practice yoga a couple of times a week.

Artwork depicting some of Nickelodeon’s most popular programs, including Rugrats and SpongeBob SquarePants, hangs on the walls.


A lot of the artists said, “We really need natural light.” Some artists didn’t want any light. How do you build a building where certain people get natural light and others work in a dark room? We did it.

Were there also certain types of creative spaces they were asking for?

Definitely. When they built the original space in 1998 nobody was even using the word collaboration. Everybody had their spot, a couple of conference rooms, and that’s it. It was important for us to have spaces—open, closed, big, small—where people could talk to each other. We have an open plan on floors one and five. The second, third, and fourth floors were designed for production. We designed work stations that are three-sided. It is difficult for artists to work without walls. Many of them hang up source information for reference and inspiration. We used magnetic whiteboard on the outside of every workstation. There’s also a bench now in the back of each workstation so that there’s a place for coworkers who come for a visit.





Clockwise from top: Open work spaces facilitate easy collaboration among employees. Cartoon-inspired decor adds a playful, creative touch. The zen room provides a space for employees to relax, meditate, or do yoga.

There are also two makers labs for the artists. What do these rooms include? One has all of the traditional art supplies: traditional animation desks, paper, pencils, pastels, paints, clay, and stop-motion supplies. The other one has newer technology: a large-format printer; several 3-D printers, including a resin-based printer; workstations with all the software we use at the studio; scanners; and Cintiqs. These rooms are used all the time.

With so many different specialty spaces—a café, a gym, workstations, conference rooms—and the competing needs of staff, how’d you go about fitting it all into the design? We looked at the space as a whole. We decided not everything needed to go into the new building. For instance, the new arcade and music room are carved out of a space from one of the existing buildings. And, we added a new recording studio, an audition space, a research lab, and an archive library into the other. Our new 23,000-square-foot courtyard is nestled between the buildings and acts as the heart of the campus. It’s got Wi-Fi, power, and shaded seating. Employees are conducting interviews, taking meetings, and working remotely there every day. The lounge area outside the café has folding doors that open up onto a deck leading to the courtyard. When they’re closed, you would think they’re giant windows, but then they fold open like an accordion and you get this beautiful indoor-outdoor space. Each floor above has a giant balcony that runs along the building so that you have a view into the courtyard.

That sounds so picturesque and relaxing. The point is to attract and retain talent. That’s the bottom line. You want to be the one with the most creative work space and that’s what we have now.

What was the most challenging space to include in the new addition? The screening room. We had to plan this state-of-the-art room without having a finalized layout for the interiors yet. We had to study the access, accessibility, A/V capabilities, screen size, and sight-line issues. Also, we had to isolate the slab for it to be acoustically sound. It’s my favorite because we installed an LED ceiling that makes it look like a starry night sky.

Bruce Damonte

Were there any unique elements you included to achieve LEED Gold certification? We felt very strongly about achieving this certification and are so proud to have it. We had to figure out how to work within the parameters of Title 24, which had just taken effect. We used LED indirect lighting with dimming capabilities and motion-activated lighting throughout the building.

Photo: Bruce Damonte

Vicki Fenton Vice President of Core Services

Our warmest congratulations to


Vicki Fenton

a great leader and partner. What about the décor? How much of Nickelodeon’s wild aesthetic has been worked into the finished product?

Proud Builder Of

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

There’s a fine line. We didn’t want it to feel like a preschool. It needed to be thoughtfully done, curated. We strove to incorporate color in a thoughtful way, understanding that you always need some white space. Each floor has its own accent color. The first floor is green, two is orange, three is blue, and four is magenta. Five is more subdued because that’s the executive floor— we used gray, blue, and yellow as accent colors. We used wood on every floor for a warm feel. It certainly doesn’t look corporate in here, but it looks professional. On floors two, three, four, and five, there are chalkboard walls on one side, completely full of people’s drawings. We have a Hey, Arnold! stoop on the fourth floor, Rugrats characters on five, and indoor swings on the second floor.

Can you feel a difference now that the workforce has been consolidated? Without a doubt. Just communication-wise, I can’t tell you what a huge difference it makes to have everybody under one roof. We’re all here now, almost everybody who works for Nickelodeon: live-action, animation, development, digital, games, talent and casting, and all the support groups. Everyone is so excited to be together, it’s fantastic!

For over 100 years, McCormick has shaped the culture of buildings and businesses around the Western United States. With an extensive portfolio, McCormick is known for providing cost-effective solutions to the most complex building challenges and offers a full range of services to fit the unique needs of your next project.




Ready for Anything It’s hard to surprise Jerry DiCola in his role as director, facilities operations at Horizon Pharma


by Jeff Silver




In 2008, Horizon Pharma was a small startup with a handful of employees and no office space to call its own. Since then, the company has evolved into a global biopharmaceutical company with more than $1 billion in net sales and over 1,000 employees. That kind of growth presented special challenges to Jerry DiCola, Horizon director, facilities operations—challenges that were spelled out before he even had the job. “During my interview, we walked the space and discussed how I could help use it most effectively,” DiCola says. “And the second day on the job, the COO explained how I would be a strategic partner by creating an environment that would help people be as comfortable and productive as possible.” That strategic position was heightened when Horizon moved to its new US operations facility in Lake Forest, Illinois. In the new location, the company took over 135,000 square feet that accommodates 535 people with 23 conference rooms, 8 smaller collaborative spaces for unscheduled meetings, a large café with a full-time barista, and a 1,000-square-foot full-service kitchen. However, three days before moving, DiCola was told that Horizon had acquired another business in the same building, which meant that he was suddenly responsible for an additional 16,000 square feet of space and 30 new employees. He immediately contacted 3MD Moving to make sure the new employees were included as part of the team. Since they were shifting to a different part of the building, they were given crates and moving supplies, and even instructions on the safest ways to load and unload filing cabinets. “Accommodating an influx of new people was all part of being adaptable and coming up with multiple backup plans to deal with every eventuality,” DiCola explains. Ultimately, the move was successful, with only one missing crate (which was found within hours). In addition to 3MD, DiCola gives credit to real estate brokerage firms CBRE, Clune Construction, Henricksen, and BOS, as well as architectural firm Nelson for their support and coordination throughout the entire eight-month relocation process. DiCola’s affinity for facilities management is somewhat surprising, since when he first came into the field, he didn’t actually know what a facilities manager’s job required. He began his career in HR management, then left the corporate world to open a deli and catering business with his wife. Several other detours led him to sales

Educational Opportunities Jerry DiCola feels that membership in the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has been one of the most important parts of his professional development—so important that he prioritized increasing membership and participation while he was president of the Chicago chapter. As a result, Chicago IFMA now includes participation in educational events in its membership fee; this change increased participation by 20 percent. DiCola also helped establish a consistent monthly location, time, and date for meetings, instead of having a changing roster of hosting members. He also introduced a new tradition of personally calling new members to thank them for joining, which has increased member retention. “They usually assume I’m calling to solicit a contribution and sound very relieved when they realize I just want to make them feel welcome,” DiCola says.

training for an HVAC company and then to a law firm that was looking for a facilities manager. The hiring manager there felt that DiCola’s combination of experience reviewing leases and handling operations and procurement made him the perfect candidate for the job, and she suggested that he join the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Following through on her suggestion set the trajectory for the rest of his career. “IFMA provided me with educational, networking, and training opportunities I never would have had otherwise,” DiCola says. “It’s a highly supportive group of people who I can reach out to for help with anything, from how to handle a particular emergency to where to find a specific kind of chair.”



Halkin Mason Photography

Horizon Pharma’s new facility in Lake Forest, IL, is outfitted with sleek, modern furniture.

A game room, complete with arcade games, video games, and comfortable seating, provides the perfect spot for employees to have fun together.


Jerry DiCola Director, Facilities Operations Horizon Pharma


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“We always need to meet the needs and preferences of the people we work with. We constantly monitor details of changing trends so we can accommodate how people work and use the environment around them.”

One of the basic lessons he learned through the organization was how to work and communicate with upper management. For example, presenting a request with a like-minded partner or demonstrating how a recommendation aligns with an existing strategic priority both help increase the likelihood of success. As baby boomers ease their way into retirement and millennials come to dominate the workforce, DiCola knows facilities managers will adapt appropriately. “We always need to meet the needs and preferences of the people we work with,” he says. “We constantly monitor details of changing trends so we can accommodate how people work and use the environment around them.” The Horizon workplace supports and engages employees with flexible work schedules, lunches from local restaurants delivered on-site by Fooda, fresh fruit and other healthy snacks, and activities like ping-pong tournaments and cupcake contests. All of these efforts are clearly paying off. Because of DiCola’s collaboration with senior management, Horizon has received six Best Workplace awards over the last three years from Crain’s Chicago Business, Fortune, and the Chicago Tribune. “As a pharma company, we take care of patients, and that spills over to how we treat our employees,” DiCola says. “That makes my job easier, since I have the support I need to create a work environment that makes people feel comfortable.”

George Burns Photography



Integrated Design for Smoother Construction Kip Edwards, vice president of facilities services for Banner Health, believes an integrated project format leads to more efficient build-outs


by David Levine




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When Banner Health, a Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit health care system that is the leading provider of hospital services in the communities they serve, decided to strengthen its affiliation with the University of Arizona medical school, it realized that would require a significant investment in new facilities. At the top of the list were two 700,000-square-foot projects, one in Tucson and the other in Phoenix, to house the newly named Banner University Medical Centers. The development and construction of those projects landed on the already busy desk of Kip Edwards, vice president of facilities services for Banner Health. “We needed a close working relationship with academic medicine to access the forefront of what is going on in medicine and to influence how new physicians are being trained to help them integrate better into the future of healthcare,” says Edwards, who has been with Banner for 12 years and in the healthcare industry for almost 40. “As part of that, we have committed $1 billion in capital investment in academic medicine.” In Tucson, the medical center required a new facility. “The patient beds were aged, the operating rooms were undersized. It needed new surgical and imaging suites, cafeteria and support space,” Edwards says. The Phoenix center required an expanded and reconfigured emergency department and trauma center. “Ambulances had to drive up a ramp but couldn’t make the turn. That is a problem,” he says. It also had an old patient towers with many semi-private rooms. “We believe care is best delivered in private rooms, for quality of care, privacy, infection control, and family involvement, so we are building a new tower with all private rooms,” he says. Both facilities will have new main entrances, changing the way patients and families enter the medical centers. According to Edwards, design is the most important phase of any project now, because he believes in following an integrated project format. “We bring the general contractors, the architects, the engineers, the subcontractors, and even the product suppliers on board during the design, and make integrated teams around what they are working on,” he says. For example, if the project is the exterior envelope of the building, those particular contractors, subcontractors, architects, structural engineers and suppliers all work together through the design phase to come up with the best solutions. “That goes for all parts of the building,” he says. He has been using this approach for the past half-dozen years or so, and now follows it for all large projects. “The fascinating part for me, after living through the years where every day on site was the Wild West, everything now is all worked out on a computer before you set foot on the site,” he says. “It then becomes more of an assembly process. Construction definitely goes smoother.”


Kip Edwards VP of Facilities Services Banner Health

Still, both projects are extremely complex, not least because they are occurring in the middle of a working hospital caring for sick patients. “Everything has to be done right, like reducing dust, noise and vibrations, and especially the utility work, because patients on the other side of the wall are dependent on those services,” he says. “There is no way we can disrupt them.” That challenge can be fun, Edwards says. The Tucson project abuts the children’s hospital, and pediatric rooms look out onto the site. “Our workers made a bunch of Pokémon characters and would move them around every day so the kids could try to spot them,” he says. “In Phoenix a girl saw all these construction guys and held up a sign saying ‘Sing “YMCA” to me.’ So, four of the guys stood on the edge of an open floor and performed the song for her.” He says the workers have also put up their own signs, telling patients, “We are here to take care of you.” “We all realize we here are to serve our patients,” Edwards says. Banner Health operates 28 hospitals and several specialized facilities across six states, plus hundreds of clinics, so Edwards and his crew are always busy, typically juggling more than 300 active projects worth upwards of $2 billion at any one time. He credits his team of 45, and his operating structure, with making it all run smoothly. “We have very good people and we have set up the right systems, practices, and training to get teams positioned where the work is,” he says. “The goal is to put the team in place and then let people go and do their jobs.”


“We have very good people, and we have set up the right systems, practices, and training to get teams positioned where the work is.”

Banner Health upgraded its Tucson medical center with new surgical and imaging suites, larger operating rooms, and a reconfigured emergency department.

Though the bigger projects get the headlines, he says that his team’s “bread and butter” is all the smaller projects they oversee daily. “It is actually harder to handle smaller ones, because they happen quicker,” he says. “They are not remarkable, but there are a lot of them, and they have to go smoothly and be planned carefully to do it as quickly as possible. We have patients going by our projects every day, so we need to not disrupt their safety of care.”

Banner Health’s vision to be a National Leader recognized for excellence, innovation, and being distinguished by the quality of its people is embodied in Kip Edwards and his leadership of Development & Construction within Banner Health. Kip’s unrelenting ambition for excellence, innovation and employing the best individuals is demonstrated on each project he presides over and the team of professionals he leads. Hensel Phelps shares this vision and is known in the industry for providing these same core company values. As such, the projects we partner on with Banner achieve extraordinary results. As one of the nation’s premier, full-service facilities solutions providers in this current, unprecedented market, we are in the fortunate position of being able to choose our clients. Hensel Phelps chooses Banner Health!

Daryl Shields HKS, Inc.



Building to the Highest Standards To succeed in the complex arena of vaccine manufacturing plant construction, Craig Johnson helps Sanofi Pasteur plan thoroughly but remain adaptable to change.


by Peter Fabris



In the pharmaceutical industry, stringent manufacturing standards and regulations ensure the efficacy and safety of products. But the rules in one subset of this industry—vaccines— are in their own class. It follows, then, that the demands on building teams who work on vaccine manufacturing facility projects are among the toughest of any category of construction. After all, vaccines are substances given to healthy people to prevent future illnesses, points out Craig Johnson, head of global engineering and maintenance for Sanofi Pasteur. They must not be a delivery method for spreading disease, and lax operating conditions could violate that imperative. Vaccines contain complex biological ingredients that require tightly controlled production environments which sets them apart from facilities that make medicines using chemical compounds. “Building a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility is incredibly complex as compared to something like a food-processing plant or a pharmaceutical tablets and capsules facility,” Johnson says. He has spent most of his 23-year career in building and maintaining vaccine production plants. These facilities contain intricate, specialized production systems and extensive building infrastructure. Because a facility’s manufacturing equipment is its most critical component, vaccine plant projects begin with a design from the inside out. The production systems come first, so the design of the building itself is less challenging, Johnson says. Sourcing manufacturing system components is a key step in developing the design, as this equipment is highly specialized with a limited number of vendors. “You might have just a few suppliers for certain process equipment,” Johnson says. It can be a challenge to make sure that certain parts are available, particularly if you have an ambitious timeline. The heart of a vaccine manufacturing facility is the clean room manufacturing space. In addition to creating an environment with purified air, designers have to pay close attention to the materials used on all surfaces. The materials used for walls, floors, doors, and ceilings must be nonporous, cleanable, and not a breeding ground for contaminants. Like the process equipment, these materials must often be procured from specialized vendors. Most clean room components, including wall and ceiling panels, are prefabricated. Much of the design has to be completed before placing orders for these components because features such as wall and ceiling holes for light fixtures and switches are created at the prefabrication plant. “You don’t want to do a lot of field retrofitting,”

Craig Johnson Head of Global Engineering and Maintenance Sanofi Pasteur

“You have to cultivate a culture of acceptance of change.”

Sophie Dennehy


Johnson says. Altering building components not only complicates construction, it also risks degrading clean room standards if not performed correctly. The labor required in vaccine plant projects is just as specialized as the building components. Relatively few construction management companies have experience building vaccine plants, so it’s critical to find one with the capacity to meet a tight project schedule. Sometimes that requires working with a company that hasn’t completed a vaccine plant project before. “You might find somebody who is familiar with about 90 percent of the necessary work,” Johnson says. In some cases, Johnson has filled the knowledge gap by bringing in professionals from other parts of the world. “They help share knowledge of construction processes that the subcontractors are not familiar with,” he says. Finding subcontractors grounded in construction techniques particular to vaccine plants is especially tough in less developed parts of Asia and Latin America. Construction practices in those places can be much different than in the developed world. For example, in some parts of Asia it is common to use scaffolding that does not meet US safety standards, Johnson says. “We’ll help subcontractors get the proper construction safety equipment,” Johnson says about such cases. Vaccine manufacturing plants can run well over $50 million in construction costs and take two to five years from design to completion. During the course of the project, market conditions can change, which might require the project to significantly change production capacity of the manufacturing facility. Thus, those on the project team have to be able to adapt to design changes on the fly. “You have to cultivate a culture of acceptance of change,” Johnson emphasizes. It’s easier to find people who can deliver exactly what’s in the original plans, but to succeed in this niche they have to be flexible enough to reschedule work sequencing, find ways to reconfigure systems after they have been designed or are partially built, and make any number of other adjustments when necessary. At any time, Johnson may have several multimillion-dollar projects underway. In order to keep on top of things, Johnson has to go on site frequently. “You spend a lot of time in airports,” he says. He’s quick to point out, too, that his well-seasoned, highly capable team is critical to success. “It takes a great deal of work to build a strong execution team,” he says. “Success cannot depend solely on me.” Though the demands are great, so too is the professional satisfaction from a job well done. “I can’t imagine a more exciting challenge than building a factory to make medicine that prevents a disease,” Johnson says.

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Shopping for Success

by Beth Hyland


How thinking locally is helping Southeastern Grocers succeed in a rapidly changing market






The way Americans eat is changing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent more money eating out at restaurants than buying food from grocery stores for the first time in 2015. The ever-increasing convenience of ordering food online, combined with Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, has grocery stores across the country in a panic, scrambling to keep up with rapidly changing markets. Southeastern Grocers is no exception. Founded in 2011 as the parent company for grocery chains BI-LO, Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and Fresco y Más, Southeastern’s imprints have long been some of the most successful, dominant chains in the southeastern US. But the shift in the way Americans eat, combined with increasing competition from retail giant Wal-Mart’s grocery stores, resulted in some tough times for Southeastern. The company announced 20 store closures, as well as an unspecified number of layoffs, in May 2017. Shortly thereafter, CEO Ian McLeod left the company, and continuing struggles seemed almost certain. But things have started to turn around for Southeastern, and the roots of this almost certainly lie with a strategy change implemented by McLeod before his departure in 2016. One of Southeastern’s brands that was particularly struggling was Winn-Dixie, the iconic southern supermarket founded in 1925. Winn-Dixie positions itself as solidly middle-of-the-market, which makes it unable to compete with high-end chains, such as Whole Foods, or with bargain-focused chains, such as Wal-Mart. To try to solve Winn-Dixie’s ongoing struggles, Southeastern began to convert some Winn-Dixie locations to their other imprints—Winn-Dixies across the southeast became Harvey’s. Southeastern rolled out a new, bargain-focused concept for their Harvey’s in November 2016. The walls were painted a vibrant yellow color, and “$1 Zones” full of goods that only cost $1 were added throughout the center of the stores; these $1 Zones contain everything from food, to bottled water, to over-the-counter medicine, to kitchen and cleaning supplies. The “low and staying low” program guarantees that some products’ prices won’t go up for six months; these products are labeled with a yellow thumbs-up sign. Southeastern didn’t stop there, however: they created an entirely new imprint to better serve their customers. The first Fresco y Más location opened in July 2016 in Hialeah, Florida, with the goal of serving South Florida’s large Hispanic and Latinx population. Fresco y Más locations feature a Cuban-style cafe with Hispanic pastries and desserts; a meat department inspired by traditional Latin butcher shops; a “Cocina,” with a variety of Hispanic and Latin prepared foods; and over 500 Hispanic food items throughout the store.

The Southeastern Banners Winn-Dixie Established: 1925 Located In: AL, FL, GA, LA, MI Known For: Its 60 private label brands, including 20 different flavors of soft drinks Fresco y Más Established: 2016 Located In: FL Known For: Latin butcher shops, full-service cafes with Cuban coffee, and bilingual signs Harveys Established: 1924 Located In: GA, FL, NC, SC Known For: Its consistently low prices and $1 Zone BI-LO Established: 1961 Located In: GA, NC, SC Known For: Flavor magazine, a seasonal publications packed with recipes and culinary inspiration

The response to both the reimagined Harvey’s and to the brand-new Fresco y Más was immediate: customers loved them. Under new CEO Anthony Hucker, Southeastern has converted more and more Winn-Dixie locations throughout the southeast into Harvey’s; there are now a total of 80 locations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Customers also clamored for more Fresco y Más locations, and, as of October 2017, there are now 23 locations throughout South Florida. Hucker believes that this increasingly localized approach is the key to continued success for the company. “The unprecedented success we have witnessed over the past year at our Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket banners is a clear indicator that we are providing localized shopping experiences that resonate with our customers,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “We know that no one community, customer, or store is exactly the same. And

When a company brags about its roof, you know you’ve done something right.

while we’re proud to have four great banners, we think the best way to serve our customers is to tailor a store to the needs of that local community.” It’s interesting to imagine that the future of the grocery industry may be in moving away from the one-sizefits-all superstore and back towards a more specific, local model. Hucker certainly believes that to be the case. “Our number one value as a company is to put our customers first, always. We believe if we give them fresh products at low prices, quality service and that our stores fit the unique tastes of the community, then they will come shop with us,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “A lot of the much bigger players are solely transactional. But that’s not us.” With a new, local approach, and a continued focus on serving the needs of their customers, it seems certain that Americans will be shopping with Southeastern Grocers for years to come. GUYROOFING.COM


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Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux Senior Director of Global Real Estate and Facilities Buzzfeed

Taylor Miller



Let’s Take This Outside BuzzFeed’s original plans for a rooftop space looked good on paper, but a bit rougher in the budget spreadsheet. Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux explains how the company kept it simple and opened a world of opportunities.

by Paul Snyder



The initial drawings for the rooftop space at BuzzFeed’s New York City headquarters were beautiful. The landscape architect envisioned various layers of greenery, wood, and rolling topography with a built-in stage area and unique lighting. Everyone who saw the drawings was enchanted, says Gabrielle Rubin Deveaux, senior director of global real estate and facilities for the online entertainment and news giant. Still, the financial reality of bringing the vision to life poured cold water on that dream. Moreover, as lovely as the designs were, they were in stark contrast to the company’s ethos. “We were excited about anything—even just the idea of having outdoor space,” Deveaux says. “But BuzzFeed maintains a very scrappy mentality. We don’t like to overdesign. My CFO said, ‘Let’s keep it simple. This is all really nice, but I think we’re overthinking it.’” So the visions of rolling greenery and built-in staging made way for more basic movable furniture and a single level of gathering space. Cue the sad trombones—De-

Buzzfeed’s new rooftop space has been used for everything from photoshoots, to meetings, to informal lunches, to office gatherings.

veaux even notes that when the building’s landlord saw the more simplistic plans, he remarked that he liked the initial drawings better. “I can tell you that even if I had the budget for that initial vision, I would still choose the rooftop we did,” she says. That’s because simplicity leads to versatility. The rooftop space isn’t just a space for the company’s employees to take their laptops outside and get a bit of sun while they work. Since its April 2017 opening, the rooftop space has hosted a carnival with tents, provided ample space for video shoots and BuzzFeed programming such as Tasty, served as a unique backdrop for celebrity photo shoots, and given the company its own private space to host media events, attract new clients, and maintain relationships with old ones. In August 2017 alone, the rooftop space hosted 31 different events in just 20 working days. “You can give our company a blank surface and the people here will do the most amazing things with it,” Deveaux says. “It’s unbelievable to sit back and watch. Had we gone with the original idea, we wouldn’t have been able to do so much of what we’ve already done, because

Taylor Miller



“I haven’t stopped doing construction. My work is never done, but that’s the exciting part.”

we wouldn’t have been able to move things. It’s been a game-changer.” That game-changer has provided a whole new jolt of life at a cultural level for the company. The notion of having a common area to eat or meet certainly existed in the headquarters before, but when you’re inside a building, Deveaux notes, it’s common to stay in your own area. Now people from all over the headquarters are meeting on the roof—to the point where plenty of sunscreen dispensers, which were added at employees’ request, are on hand. “People just gravitate toward the outdoor space,” she says. “It’s made our office of more than 700 people feel that much cozier.” The outdoor space also inf luences the New York headquarters’ interior design. Staircases were purposefully built along windows not only to let in an abundance of natural light, but also to provide a view of the vegetation outside. When American Builders Quarterly last spoke with Deveaux in August 2016, she noted the importance of the “canteen” areas throughout all of the company’s office locations as a place where employees could gather and participate in various company events. The rooftop space at the New York office has quickly become an extension of that—as she predicted it would two years ago. When BuzzFeed first took the space in the New York building, Deveaux pushed to put the canteen on the thirteenth floor—which at first held the finance, HR, and legal teams—as she saw the floor as the epicenter of the office. “Just like the kitchen is the heart of the home, that is what the canteen is to us,” she says. “It needed to be in the middle of the stack, and not on the top floor.”


True to the “epicenter” notion, the thirteenth floor houses conference rooms, studios, the pavilion, and access to the rooftop in addition to the canteen. The energy created in the area is such that even as the fall and winter seasons loomed at the time of writing, Deveaux says BuzzFeed had no plans to close the rooftop doors. “I have no doubt that I’ll see snow angels or igloos out there,” she laughs. “Maybe they’ll find a way to host a vodka-tasting event. People will go outside with coats. It’s just nice to get a breath of fresh air. It’s fun to see change, and I enjoy letting creative people decide what they want to do with this space.” Those decisions are in a state of constant evolution, which Deveaux says is not only the charm of BuzzFeed, but the reason she loves her role in particular. “We’ve been in this space a little over a year and a half,” she says. “I haven’t stopped doing construction. My work is never done, but that’s the exciting part. When I started here, people said, ‘BuzzFeed is a rocket ship.’ I didn’t understand it for a long time—I thought it just meant we moved fast. But no, it means we’re constantly moving. Talk to me in another year and I’ll tell you how much we’ve done since today.”

We thoroughly enjoyed making the terrace, pavilion and roof a reality for Buzzfeed. We have no doubt they will do amazing things with the space.





Amplifying Commitments



In a new role, Courtney Mezinis directs real estate strategy with an environmental perspective

Story by Joseph Kay | Portraits by Gillian Fry


We Would Like to Congratulate: COURTNEY MEZINIS Executive Director

Global Real Estate Operations & Strategic Planning

Wishing you continued success! tk






Verizon Communications consumes ten million megawatt hours of electricity and nearly three billion gallons of water across 2,700 buildings every year. Courtney Mezinis, executive director of national portfolio strategy, keeps those numbers in mind with a vision to optimize and reduce across the organization. Until June 2017, the corporate and retail sides of the organization were handled separately with regards to real estate and facilities. With Mezinis in one consolidated role that oversees both aspects, her office has a unique capacity to advance the company’s environmental stewardship and stay flexible as technology and needs evolve. Their real-estate-as-service model develops flexible, reconfigurable facilities that serve customers’ needs and corporate environmental commitments. At this scale, distributing any change or overhaul across the entire organization is challenging, so Mezinis relies on data to point their efforts in the most cost-effective and impactful directions. With a national energy-usage team and an array of contractors, she uses remote monitoring and detailed data to visualize patterns of consumption and identify actionable specifics. Based on past performance, for instance, if equipment at a particular facility is suddenly drawing more power, it may be a good idea to send for further investigation, maintenance, and possibly replacement. “Our focus is to understand how each property is performing compared to others with similar profiles, using statistical analysis to identify where we have the greatest opportunity for reduction,” Mezinis explains. Ten data analysts, energy auditors, and engineers engage in specific projects as well as the day-to-day; their work since 2012 has resulted in $200 million in energy-reduction investments. She adds that they’ve been successful in part due to the wealth of “low-hanging-fruit”—clear anomalies, obvious opportunities for maintenance and marked improvement—but notes that they remain committed to improvements as the challenge develops. Mezinis and her team propose energy-related improvements and renovations every year. The organization has an annual budget of about $12 million for such projects, but over time, those improvements pay for themselves. From there, the continuous cycle of data and analysis enables facilities and energy personnel to measure impacts and identify successive opportunities for improvement.


Verizon by the Numbers


Years in business

147 million

Total Verizon Wireless customers


Verizon’s ranking among wireless communications providers


Employees, as of 2016

$125.98 billion Revenue in 2016

Verizon has made a number of public commitments for renewable energy. Having pledged to cut their carbon intensity 50 percent by 2020, they added 24 megawatts of fuel cells and solar energy to meet that goal four years early. Now, the organization is at work on a pledge to add another 24 megawatts of green energy by 2025. “It’s good for the environment, and it saves us money. It’s a big deal; our customers want to know what we’re doing to reduce consumption,” Mezinis says. “People take this very seriously and they want to know that Verizon is committed to doing its part.” The work Mezinis has done to help Verizon do its part has garnered her praise from her colleagues in the industry. According to Robert Barriero of Cushman & Wakefield, “Courtney’s holistic, enterprise approach to the retail portfolio she manages and the energy management


United Building Maintenance salutes Courtney Mezinis, friend, valued customer and inspiration.


United Building Maintenance Corporation 237 West 35th St., Suite 400, New York, NY 10001



Courtney Mezinis Executive Director of National Portfolio Strategy Verizon

“It’s good for the environment, and it saves us money. It’s a big deal; our customers want to know what we’re doing to reduce consumption. People take this very seriously, and they want to know that Verizon is committed to doing its part.”

function she leads assures efficiencies and an optimized experience for Verizon’s employees and customers, in addition to delivering on the firm’s commitment to social responsibility.” In 2014, Verizon also set a goal to reduce water usage by 7 percent by 2020. “That may not sound like much, but considering we use 2.8 billion gallons of water annually, 7 percent is 200 million gallons,” Mezinis notes. She points to the successes of the Staten Island office, which won first prize in the Water Saver category at 2016’s EPA Battle of the Buildings. Verizon’s network relies on cable dehydrators, which use water to cool connectivity equipment. In Staten Island and other facilities, the cooling system was using city water in a single-path design. After transitioning to a closed-loop system and optimizing the rest of the existing equipment, water usage on this property was down 33 percent; by implementing those changes across 50 more facilities, they cut overall usage by 10 percent.


Cushman & Wakefield congratulates Courtney Mezinis on her recognition by American Builders Quarterly. We wish her continued success.



Constellation Congratulates

Courtney Mezinis, Since 2010, the EPA Battle of the Buildings competition has served to encourage innovation in energy practices and technology by recognizing the facilities that make the greatest usage reductions within the contest’s time frame. The Staten Island corporate office cut its water usage from 132.4 kilogallons per square foot to 89.4—a reduction of 33 percent. This achievement won Verizon a first-prize trophy and an estimated annual savings of $8,668. On the retail side, Verizon’s Kenwood, Ohio store is an exemplar of usage improvements and productive partnerships. Vendors provided new temperature controls with remote sensors, demand-controlled ventilation systems, and all-LED lighting. The building landlord installed a rooftop solar system that produces enough green, sustainable power each year to provide 2-3 months of free electricity. These changes also improve the retail experience for Verizon’s customers, which Mezinis connects to the organization’s latest messaging campaign: “Better matters.” “That’s Verizon’s motto, our core value, so this store is a blueprint for other retail stores across our portfolio,” she explains. “Our customers are enjoying improved lighting, air quality, and temperatures in the store, and we’ve also significantly dropped our kilowatt-hours.” Overall, these solutions reduced energy usage at the Kenwood location by 48 percent, and the investment paid for itself within three years. For their efforts in this and other retail stores across the portfolio, the EPA has award-

“It’s about acknowledging our environmental stewardship responsibilities, not only by setting an example, but by being a leader.”

Executive Director, Global Real Estate Operations at Verizon.


© 2017 Constellation Energy Resources, LLC. The offerings described herein are those of Constellation NewEnergy-Gas Division, LLC or Constellation NewEnergy, Inc., affiliates of each other and ultimate subsidiaries of Exelon Corporation. Brand names and product names are trademarks or service marks of their respective holders. All rights reserved. Errors and omissions excepted.

Innvoventive Power congratulates Courtney Mezinis on her leadership and outstanding contributions to Verizon Partner with Innoventive Power to lower you energy costs and achieve your sustainability goals. We help you maximize results with creative energy management strategies and offset costs through participation in demand response and demand management programs.


Canon congratulates Courtney Mezinis and her team for their contributions to Verizon.

Advancing Business Performance to a Higher Level


ed the organization Energy Star Partner of the Year for five consecutive years. With the company making yearly and daily progress toward fulfilling those commitments, site intensity (that is, energy usage per square foot) continues to improve annually. Energy consciousness is more important to a healthy business than ever; for Verizon, public commitments and successful executions lead to strong industry partnerships and satisfied retail customers. For Mezinis, energy policy and specific environmental commitments are crucial to sound corporate citizenship. With Verizon’s size and visibility, it’s an opportunity to create impact. “It’s about acknowledging our environmental stewardship responsibilities, not only by setting an example, but by being a leader,” she says.

Innoventive Power LLC congratulates Courtney Mezinis and her team on many successful corporate real estate initiatives. Innoventive is proud to have served Verizon in its fifteen years of demand response participation and energy management projects and Smart Grid projects.

©2017 Canon Business Process Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Courtney Mezinis, thank you for your support with Compass Group & congratulations on being recognized for your tremendous impact on the industry.

Congratulates Courtney Mezinis James E. Fitzgerald would like to congratulate Courtney on her outstanding achievements and for being recognized by American Builders Quarterly! For more than 47 years, James E. Fitzgerald has established a reputation for excellence in the construction industry delivering projects with “Integrity, Quality & Results.” We are very fortunate to have worked with Courtney and the Verizon team on a variety of dynamic and exciting projects.

New York •


A Vibrant Reinvention Evoqua’s new first-ever global corporate real estate manager optimizes management of its worldwide locations and helps establish a brand new headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh


by Jeff Silver



Evoqua Water Technologies has more than one hundred years of experience providing water treatment and filtration services to industry and municipalities. But even as it expanded to more than 170 offices, plants, and factories around the world, it never had any one person coordinating oversight of its global facilities—until 2016. That’s when Christopher Wild joined the company as its first global corporate real estate manager. Wild’s initial goal was to develop accurate insight into the status of each location so that strategic decisions could be aligned with business objectives. However, he discovered that the existing database hadn’t been adequately updated. “Many of our leases were in holdover because no one was aware that decisions needed to be made about renewing or terminating them,” Wild says. “In one instance, we were in a location with an option to leave a building that we didn’t want to stay in, but missed the opportunity because we weren’t properly tracking our lease information.” He set about organizing the portfolio by visiting many sites and communicating extensively with everyone involved globally to identify priorities, local issues, business strategies, and the pros and cons of specific situations. “Previously, employees in the field had limited involvement in the real estate process,” Wild points out. “But stakeholder communication is key. The better information I have, the better I can do my job.” He also coordinated with the company’s business units to understand their plans, and completed analyses to compare sales volume with the size of different venues to determine the most effective use of space. These assessments helped provide a full understanding of US facilities, most of which are leased as part of the company’s service model, which focuses on being close to customers. Overseas sites predominantly handle product manufacturing and technology development, so they require more substantial infrastructure, and are often owned, rather than leased. “Nearly all of our US properties have leases coming up in the next few years, so we need to stay ahead of that,” Wild says. “We have to examine how they fit with the rest of the portfolio, determine if nearby businesses with common goals or operations can be combined under one roof, and make those decisions in a timely fashion.” To help accomplish this, Evoqua has partnered with JLL to handle all lease administrative services. JLL functions as a central repository for all correspondence for all of Evoqua’s locations. Two months after joining the company, Wild also took on responsibility for figuring out the best way to accommodate a headcount that was increasing so quickly that Evoqua headquarters was running out of room for new hires. “Updating and renovating our old space would cost millions of dollars, and still wouldn’t have provided the type of space we really wanted,” Wild says. “I advocated for moving to a new location so we could create a bright, open environment that better reflects our identity.”

Christopher Wild Global Corporate Real Estate Manager Evoqua

“Previously, employees in the field had limited involvement in the real estate process. But stakeholder communication is key. The better information I have, the better I can do my job.”

Courtesy of The Design Alliance Architects



Windows provide a panoramic view of downtown Pittsburgh.

The lifestyle center offers ample space for relaxation or collaboration.


The bright new cafeteria overlooks PNC Park.




“The vibrancy of being in the heart of the city is much more in line with the character of the company. There are also lots of great schools here, and our presence raises awareness with those graduates, who we want to attract as we continue growing.”

Your ambitions achieved with JLL

In an increasingly disrupted world, our Integrated Portfolio Services (IPS) help you holistically overcome your portfolio management and outsourcing challenges. We have successfully provided portfolio strategy and transaction management for many global firms such as Evoqua, bringing together people, systems and data to empower your success. To learn how we can help, email our team: Portfolio Management Portfolio Management Office Industrial

©2017 Jones Lang LaSalle IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

The executive team was convinced. After looking at more than thirty different sites in the Pittsburgh area, all of the corporate offices and personnel are now in 55,000 square-feet on the thirty-first, thirty-second, and thirty-third floors of downtown Pittsburgh’s K&L Gates Center. The space provides panoramic views, a lifestyle center where staff can relax or collaborate informally, a bar, a cafeteria with views of PNC Park, and a training center that can expand to accommodate large town hall meetings. Evoqua also has illuminated exterior signage on the building. There was some resistance to the move from employees who faced a longer commute, but they were easily won over. “The bright, open space and the views helped convince nearly everyone,” Wild says. “The vibrancy of being in the heart of the city is much more in line with the character of the company. There are also lots of great schools here, and our presence raises awareness with those graduates, who we want to attract as we continue growing.” This is Wild’s second experience moving a company’s headquarters into the city center. He previously relocated Kennametal to the US Steel building in 2015. However, that was intended to be a temporary space, so Wild found Evoqua’s commitment to fully customizing its location to be a much more exciting and gratifying experience. There were several key elements that he believes also made it immensely successful. Moving the entire staff helped preserve the company culture and keep morale high. Furthermore, ongoing communication helped everyone understand the company’s vision and its reason for moving, which enhanced excitement about the new space and the benefits of being downtown. “The ways people interact and do business are changing,” Wild says. “The flexibility and openness of our new headquarters positions us to become even stronger as a company by maximizing the capabilities of all our current staff and being prepared for the next wave of employees, as well.”



Building in a New Direction Ben LaBelle crafts a fresh grocery shopping experience with art and analytics

Brian Fitzgerald

by Pamela Sornson As a fresh fruit and vegetable vendor on Portland, Maine’s waterfront in 1883, Arthur Hannaford was fastidious about the high quality of his wares. And even as his business grew from cart to wholesaler to retailer to the chain of grocery stores now known as Hannaford Supermarkets, those high standards never changed. No matter what, any revision of the core business would have to meet or beat the high quality of all the company’s past efforts. So, in 2012, when Ben LaBelle, Hannaford’s director of construction, design, and retail projects, was tapped to design and manage the creation of prototypes for taking Hannaford’s stores in a new direction, he was facing a daunting task: improve on supermarkets that had themselves been designed to Hannaford’s high standards and had succeeded in the marketplace. But LaBelle had some personal insight into the importance of quality to a grocery store’s customers that he brought to the challenge. As a teenager, LaBelle worked at a local grocery store, first as a stock person, then as a meat cutter, a role that taught him an important lesson. “I realized that an improper cut would give the customer a horrible dining experience, but if the cut was crafted to enhance the best quality of the meat, the customer came back.” LaBelle had connected his work directly to the success of the business, and he’s been applying that simple lesson to his efforts ever since.

LaBelle stepped into his role after the company had opted to integrate its construction, design, capital management, and retail projects departments into a single unit. He and his multifunctional team spent two years crafting a new design concept. Exhaustive market research revealed not just emerging trends but also the reasons for those trends, and LaBelle and his team modified their designs accordingly. The new design also reflected the two main categories of customers: those who want convenient, ready-to-eat meals; and dedicated home cooks who have their meals planned for the week. The “I want to eat now” shoppers are picking up that night’s dinner, so the self-serve and kitchen elements (featuring a hot grill for stir fry and other offerings) are there as patrons walk through the store’s main entrance. The associates in these sections are trained to engage their customers, offering tips and noting sales, while the physical presence of each area acts as their theater, ensuring that customers get great food in an entertaining environment. In contrast, the “I’m creating next week’s menu” customer spends more time shopping the aisles on the left side of the store. An overarching challenge for LaBelle was to present Hannaford’s emphasis on high-quality products in physical form. One way of doing so is Hannaford’s “Healthy for Life” concept, which added a consultation room where

Ben LaBelle Director of Construction, Design, & Retail Projects Hannaford Supermarkets




Bast Hatfield Construction is proud to partner with Ben LaBelle and Hannaford

pharmacists can confidentially provide medication management services. Sustainable, locally sourced food is also a hallmark of the chain, so shoppers find products produced nearby on the shelves. A registered dietitian is also available to educate and advise customers. To help manage the challenges of the redesign process, LaBelle worked to focus his team closely on their shared goal. He instituted regular meetings of the multifunctional team. These meetings allowed his team members to gain a deeper understanding of their roles in the process and to see how their decisions would affect the group as a whole. As a result, the various sectors of the team realigned their processes into a single playbook to which each would contribute and for which all were accountable. “Ultimately, it didn’t matter which folks were talking. They were all telling the same story, and they all understood what the business needs were,” says LaBelle. LaBelle and his team’s efforts paid off. A small store format (20,000-square feet, and designed for smaller towns) opened in North Berwick, Maine, in 2015, and a large store format (50,000-plus-square feet) opened in Bedford, New Hampshire, in 2016. The response to each has exceeded expectations. Sales are up, and the company is bringing what it learned from these prototypes to other stores as it remodels existing supermarkets and builds new ones. “We use technology to keep inventory and labor costs down and help us embrace innovations in design and constructions as we go along. When we approach projects in alignment, we can work through and achieve every opportunity,” LaBelle says. It seems like Hannaford’s will continue leading its industry for another 134 years.

Kevin Brusie

A Hannaford’s produce section is always stocked with plenty of locally sourced and organic options.



Designing the Future of Retail Theresa Joy Hannig on creating the spaces that have helped Williams Sonoma not only survive, but thrive

Theresa Joy Hannig Director of Store Design tk

Williams Sonoma

Story by Beth Hyland | Portrait by Gillian Fry


How has Williams Sonoma managed to not only stay afloat, but increase its market share, in the face of a rapidly changing retail marketplace? Theresa Joy Hannig, director of store design, says the answer lies with something elemental: the five senses. “Our stores are so much more than a store, and they invigorate the senses more than other retailers can,” Hannig explains. “In a Pottery Barn, you can hear the sound of an instructor teaching you how to make pressed flowers, and then in a Williams Sonoma, you have the smells of the cooking, and you can run your hand over all of our amazing textiles. It’s very visceral.” Also visceral is Hannig’s passion for her work, which is contagious. Her love of architecture and design started early. “I think if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was five, I said ‘architect,’” she says. “I don’t remember not being interested in architecture. I’ve always loved buildings and creating experiences for people.” Her lifelong love of buildings led her to study architecture at UC Berkeley. While Hannig didn’t plan on going into retail design when she entered Berkeley, she says that she couldn’t have picked a better place for her current role. “Berkeley as an institution encourages students to question norms, and seek a spirit of newness and innovation, and those are all things you need in the competitive retail space,” she explains. “The architecture program specifically is very process-oriented and research-based. Every aspect of your design has to be rationalized, analyzed, and have a purpose, which is perfect training for retail.” During her junior year of college, a professor forwarded an application for a store design internship at Williams Sonoma to Hannig, remembering that she liked to cook. Hannig was offered the role almost immediately, and she’s been with the company ever since, coming back to work over winter break during her senior year and immediately after graduation. Since her graduation, Hannig has risen through the company with impressive speed. In her first role after graduating, she opened a series of Pottery Barn Teen popup stores across the country. Then, a position in construction opened up, and Hannig’s supervisor encouraged her to take it as a learning experience. “I actually took a pay cut to do it, but it was completely worth it,” she says. “It helps me every day in my job now. I’m more efficient with costs and a lot more aware of what I can design.” After spending a year in construction, Hannig stepped into an open role in design. In her current role, she’s responsible for Williams Sonoma and Williams Sonoma Home, all of the Pottery Barn imprints, and Rejuvenation. Each brand has its own distinctive look, down to the materials that are most prominent in the stores. “For Pottery Barn, it’s all about the wood,” she says, whereas Williams Sonoma stores are more focused on “leveraging the architecture” that already exists. What unites all of




White shelving in Williams Sonoma provides a gallery feel.

Wood ceiling beams add a rustic touch to Pottery Barn stores.

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma tk

Merchandise arranged to feel like a living room helps customers feel at home.

A Pottery Barn store with sleek iron and steel detailing.




“In these stores I want people to both feel at home with the brand and to feel at home in the literal sense. I’m so proud that design language can make so many different people feel at home in different places.”

Williams Sonoma’s brands is a focus on local design, rather than a big-box retail template. “We really embrace the architecture of the building, and we think about what that area is known for and get local, salvaged materials. Our customers really love this—they love the story of it,” she says. Hannig believes that storytelling is an integral aspect of the customer’s experience and another key factor of Williams Sonoma’s ongoing success in the physical retail space. “I think in the past, people went to the store to get information, like ‘How much does this cost?’” she says. “But now, because there are so many choices and so much information available, that I think the differentiator in retail is the emotional experience—like for us, you can look at a beautifully set table in a store and imagine hosting all of your family over for dinner.” When it comes to ecommerce, Hannig rejects conventional wisdom that Millennials are solely responsible for the shift towards online shopping. “Everyone is changing the way they’re shopping,” she says. “We all love being able to look things up online, compare prices, read reviews, and find the best thing.” But this isn’t a negative for Williams Sonoma’s retail stores—quite the opposite, in fact. “Our online and retail spaces are completely integrated with each other,” she says. “The great thing about home goods is they’re so dimensional, physical, and hands-on, and I think that’s our differentiator.” That differentiator has meant continuing success and expansion for the brand; Hannig recently helped bring flagship West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Pottery Barn Kids stores to Seoul, South Korea. Bringing a distinctly American brand overseas means bridging cultural differences about design and construction, and Hannig had to bal-

ance respecting local culture while protecting our brand aesthetic. The project was a success, and the stores opened in July 2017. Hannig was also instrumental in the redesigning the store aesthetic of both Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. “We talked a lot about putting the ‘barn’ back in Pottery Barn, with wood timber ceilings, and we used a local blacksmith to make all of the steel details,” she says. The redesign features all-new interior fixtures, which helps “make the product look like it’s in a gallery and gives it an elevated feeling.” The Williams Sonoma redesign involved updating the classic, French-inspired appearance that harkened back to the original location. Hannig and her team took the store aesthetic in a much more modern direction, giving it the feel of an aspirational industrial kitchen. Conceptually, Hannig wanted both of these redesigns to strike the perfect balance between aspirational and comfortable. “I want people to both feel at home with the brand, and to feel at home in the literal sense. I’m so proud that design language can really make so many different people feel at home in different places,” she says. Looking to the future, Hannig and her team are working closely with Williams Sonoma’s real estate teams to bring their stores to new, vibrant locations. “We want to be in places where people are already spending their time and make them feel like they want to spend time with us, too,” she says. “I love using the design of these physical spaces to leverage these legacy brands—using the brand’s sense of quality and trust, but making it relevant and accessible.” Hannig’s colleagues are impressed by her ability to do just that. “Hinged on a solid architectural and design foundation, Theresa Joy’s passion for taking something old and breathing fresh life into it is exciting to watch,” says Melissa Saltsgaver of Signtech. “As a part of her extended team, we have the pleasure of providing signage and specialty pieces to help her tell the story.” Hannig’s ability to balance seemingly contradictory qualities in her work—historic, but modern; aspirational, but accessible; creative, but practical—is seriously impressive, and so is her obvious investment in the company with which she’s spent the last six years. She credits her fantastic team with helping her learn and grow throughout her time at the company, citing Bud Cope, executive vice president and chief real estate development officer, as one particularly important mentor. Another type of team at Williams Sonoma is also instrumental to Hannig’s success: the in-store sales team. “My work would be nothing without what the store teams do to bring it to life. The space is worthless if there’s not someone to make the customer feel at home,” she says. “Williams Sonoma has a reputation of really caring about and serving the customer. I think that’s what will position us as technology changes: making our technology serve the customer; not leading with technology, but leading with listening. That’s what I see for Williams Sonoma.”





As a collaborative partner, Signtech embraces Williams Sonoma’s unique design-build approach to each of their stores allowing us to showcase quality and service in our high-end custom signage and architectural products.





Already on Vacation TripAdvisor’s headquarters emphasize community building and openness

by Billy Yost While open office culture has existed as a design concept since its inception in1950’s post-war Germany, its effects in the US never seemed quite so prevalent as the latter half of the 2000s. The fast-paced culture of countless tech startups encouraged workspaces that valued speed, flexibility, and collaboration over the more private and potentially isolating cubicle layouts of more traditional businesses. TripAdvisor has embraced the open office concept’s focus on speed and collaboration, especially in regard to its Needham, Massachusetts and Sydney, Australia headquarters. The company’s push to build an “un-corporate headquarters” has resulted in a stylish and progressive collection of homebases that seek to set the standard for collaborative and inspiring workspaces. The benefits of open office culture often come down to community building. The open layout seeks to put employees on more even ground and helps break down perceived power disparities that can often inhibit productive interaction. Chance encounters, or “culture collisions,” between employees who may not regularly converse are more likely to occur out in open layouts and can lead to new ideas and innovation. More open office environments help foster a sense of community and collaboration for company culture on the whole. TripAdvisor has endeavored to embrace these ideals while also making modern upgrades to a 70 year-old concept. Boston-based Baker Design Group, the team behind TripAdvisor’s Needham, MA headquarters interior design, says the workspace was designed in order to “create a warm and welcoming ‘modern industrial loft’ working environment.” That meant eschewing the traditional

practice of masking the building’s more structural elements. “The open ceilings, exposed structure, lighting, finishes, colors, flooring, furniture, and workstation design have all been selected to work in concert to achieve the company’s goals and ambitions for their new complex,” according BDG. This open concept means nearly 90 percent of employees have access to natural light. The Needham headquarters was completed in 2015 and its 282,000 square feet features, among other amenities: a restaurant-style employee dining with rotating culinary options; 5000 sq. feet of exercise space where employees can take yoga or other fitness classes; and themed workspace floors based on one of the seven continents, there to remind TripAdvisor employees of the foundation of their work. A “Forum” located at the center of the new building acts an unconventional space for meetings and collaboration. “This multistory atrium will be a daily beehive of activity that can be instantly transformed into a theater to support their all-hands quarterly meeting broadcast, streamed online to offices around the world” according to BDG. “The Forum can seat 1,100 employees during the quarterly meeting, and is an extension of the café and dining facilities, containing a variety of social venues, fireplace, a modern version of Rome’s Spanish Steps, three-story tall vertical garden walls, and a blue sky ceiling.” TripAdvisor’s Sydney headquarters, which share residence with tour booking company Viator and restaurant booking site Dimmi, also includes some novel innovations designed with constant collaboration in mind. Stand-up meeting rooms include neither ceilings nor doors. When

privacy is necessary, numerous presentation rooms are available for quiet use. TripAdvisor has also taken great care in designing its workspaces to be highly adaptable. Workstations inspired by functional workbenches are convertible and allow employees to work while sitting or standing. Personalization is intended to allow for multiple monitors or writing surfaces. Unlike most open office environments, TripAdvisor includes one-to-one seating for all employees. While a costly gesture, the move seeks to remind each



Travel by the Numbers

7 million

individual listings for restaurants, hotels, vacation rentals and attractions worldwide on TripAdvisor’s website


TripAdvisor employees worldwide

415 million

unique visitors to TripAdvisor’s website every month

team member that there is always a literal seat for them at the table. Both offices also feature comforts designed to both encourage employees to be onsite and to enjoy their work life. With beer on tap in the kitchen, numerous table and video games, and fire pits located on the premises, employees are encouraged to bond and build relationships during and after hours. BDG says the Needham offices were crafted as a “‘must see and experience” event for TripAdvisor’s present and future employees.” The spaces are seen not only as key in employee retention, but in attraction as well. In an ever-increasingly competitive hiring market, TripAdvisor’s employee-centered and collaborative work spaces are helping convince all of their employees that they’re already on vacation.

IA Interior Architects is a global firm of architects, designers, strategists, and specialists.We’re inspired working alongside our clients to resolve complex issues and design highly energized environments where people thrive.

IA Interior Architects is honored to serve as TripAdvisor’s global architectural partner. Congratulations to the TripAdvisor team for charting excellence in every way.



The Building Blocks of Life Leizl Jones constructs state-of-the-art facilities for Illumina, where the biotech giant unlocks the human genome for new precision medicine by Jenny Draper Illumina’s blueprint for progress depends on its physical spaces as much as its scientific breakthroughs. For Leizl Jones, director of global facilities management and operations, site development must outpace Illumina’s highgrowth mode—and it’s not an easy task. The billion-dollar company fills about 2.3 million square feet among 12 offices worldwide. With expanded headquarters in California and new buildings on the way, Jones ensures Illumina’s teams have more room than ever to solve the genetic mysteries in health and disease. But when Jones joined Illumina 10 years ago, it was a much leaner company. Founded in 1998, the biotech startup operated with about 300 employees in a few random buildings along one road in San Diego. The arrival of Jones in 2008 initiated the first facility planner role at the company, which previously lacked space management tools. “At the time, they were really skeptical about the position,” Jones recalls. “Before, they would go around and just look for empty seats, so I had a unique opportunity to not only grow my own role, but also grow a higher function, which is now the facilities planning team.” Jones started with a spreadsheet to formally identify who’s sitting where, managing the open space, and meeting with leaders to get their CAD drawings to strategize Illumina’s expansion plan. “We started tracking our capacity at the year and fiveyear increments in a chart, and the executive team could see that we were going to quickly outgrow the current

building,” Jones says. “It caught their attention, and we began to pursue other campuses.” To this day, Illumina’s growth trajectory continues to incline: it employs more than 5,500 people in Brazil, Netherlands, China, Singapore, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As a pioneer in human health, the company’s DNA sequencing tools produce almost 90 percent of the world’s data and, last year, the US Small Business Administration honored Illumina with a lifetime achievement award in innovation research and extraordinary success. Jones knows how to perpetuate that success by accommodating Illumina’s rapidly growing numbers. Her team devises a strategic plan for each facility, overseeing real estate, construction, management, and operations to maximize efficient use of each space. “Now you can find any employee in the company, and there is a seating location that you can trace back into a map,” she says. All of this work supports the teams making genetic testing accessible to the public. While government-funded scientists first sequenced the human genome (the complete set of DNA in the body) in 2003 after 13 years and $3 billion, Illumina’s HiSeq X product cut sequencing costs to $1,000 in 2014. And the disruption continues: now Illumina’s NovaSeq technology decodes DNA at a much faster rate—sets of 60 human genomes in about 60 hours—and aims to eventually do it for $100 or less. That ambition is attainable with the right talent—and Jones knows that with more human capital, more office


Leizl Jones

Beth Avant

Director of Global Facilities Management and Operations Illumina



space is needed. That’s where she applies her expertise. Prior to Illumina, Jones worked at Agouron Pharmaceuticals (now a subsidiary of Pfizer), which produced treatments for HIV infection. During her 16-year tenure, she worked her way up to facilities management as associate director before joining Illumina as its senior manager of global facilities services preceding her promotion to the department director. There’s no better evidence of Jones’s thumbprint on the blueprints of Illumina than the transformation of its worldwide headquarters—from a few scattered offices on a single street into the expansive San Diego campus that Illumina moved into in 2011. Prior to the relocation, Jones and her team of consultants and architects had put together a strategic facilities plan to articulate the vision. “We were growing our headcount by 10–15 percent. We were in high growth, and still are, and it became obvious that we were going to be out of space,” she says. Jones and her team considered the ramifications of staying put, but attempting to squeeze people into the space became unrealistic. Then, they looked at acquiring more buildings as they became available nearby, but discovered most were tied up with other tenants. Jones concluded that Illumina needed a new location that offered enough space to scale and grow operations, and the San Diego campus fit the bill. And, true

An outdoor amphitheater made of colored architectural concrete covers the enter backside of Illumina’s Amenities Center at their San Diego campus.

to growth expectations, Illumina constructed four new on-site buildings in the last six years: a 127,000-squarefoot laboratory and office building, a parking structure, a 23,000-square-foot fitness and amphitheater building, and a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution building. “We are a 100 percent open plan company,” Jones says. “We don’t have offices. So we converted a lot of hard-wall offices into conference rooms. We did much more renovations to the labs, but the transition was quite smooth. We broke the move down by business unit, and moved folks that were less risky first—so general and administrative moved into the campus and R&D followed. The the last piece of the puzzle, our manufacturing, took about nine months to move and mission test the instruments in phases.” Designed to inspire a sense of adventure and collaboration, the headquarters has a distinct Mediterranean feel with its rustic limestone exterior walls, outdoor amphitheater, and three-story glass and steel water feature. In addition to a large cafeteria and coffee lounges, it features an on-site gym and courts for basketball and volleyball. Yet Illumina’s advances in genomics mandated further expansion in 2016. That’s when Illumina inked a buildto-suit deal with BioMed Realty to lease the i3 campus, absorbing its 320,000 office and R&D space. It’s fitting, especially considering that Illumina spends roughly 17

Courtesy of Illumina



Above: Illumina’s New i3 Campus in San Diego, CA

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD congratulates Leizl Jones for her extraordinary contributions to Illumina. Cushman & Wakefield is proud to work with Leizl and the entire Illumina team, and we are excited to be a part of Illumina’s continued growth.

Illumina Building 6 Build-Out San Diego, CA

BNBuilders is a proud supporter of Leizl Jones and Illumina. As a forward-thinking company, we constantly seek new solutions that will help shape the future of life science, one building at a time. This passion for quality, innovation and service has established BNBuilders as a premier West Coast builder.



“We’re an innovation company, so our physical space should be innovative.”

percent of its earnings on R&D, and the new home for 1,200 of its creative scientists, researchers, engineers, and staff is less than one mile from the headquarters at 5200 Illumina Way. “As the business evolves and new groups form, we say, ‘What is the impact of that on the space?’” Jones explains. The i3 campus houses Illumina’s oncology, genetics, and reproductive health operations, which mirrors the company’s entrance into new, larger markets such as clinical applications for cancer and noninvasive pregnancy testing. “I lost my father to cancer years ago,” says Jones, who studied nursing before going back to school to complete a business management degree. “And knowing the impact Illumina now has on being able to utilize personalized medicine to detect or treat a condition such as cancer, I feel like I have a personal connection.” With this addition, Illumina’s total footprint in San Diego surpassed 1 million square feet. It broke ground on the $149 million construction project in 2016 and moved into the space last summer. The sleek modern design combines floor-to-ceiling windows and green roofs that seam-

Did You Know? With Illumina’s HiSeq 2500 high-throughput sequencing machine, Stephen Kingsmore set the Guinness World Record for fastest genetic diagnosis—26 hours. Kingsmore, now president and CEO of Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, diagnosed critically ill newborn patients during the rapid whole-genome sequencing in March 2015.

lessly merge indoor/outdoor spaces at the seven-acre site at 4775 Executive Drive. And, like the headquarters, the new i3 campus at University Town Center features a large central courtyard with outdoor amphitheater, playing fields, and meeting spaces. The 16,000 square feet of amenities are also net-zero energy spaces, contributing to the project’s LEED Platinum certification. The sustainable structure also includes on-site bio-filtration, recycled water irrigation and cooling towers, fuel cell energy generation, and operable windows. But above all, Illumina’s i3 campus is specifically geared for innovation. The three 100,000 square-foot buildings are fully customizable with adaptable lab zones so the space is tailored to each unique science. And, as with all of Illumina’s buildings, the space is 100 percent open plan, which Jones says reflects Illumina’s collaborative core value. That culture extends to other new facilities that Jones is managing for Illumina. “The growth of the company has been both organic and inorganic like with the acquisitions of Solexa and Verinata Health, which put us in three or four spots in the UK. And again, we studied the capacity and concluded that we needed to consolidate.” The solution is the recently completed 155,000-squarefoot research building in Cambridge, England. The location, in scientific hub Granta Park near Cambridge University, was determined in part by extensive demographic research Jones conducted on the current employee base, such as geographic concentrations. Meanwhile, Jones is also overseeing the construction of a new 130,000 square-foot building in Madison, Wisconsin. Intended to increase the production capacity of Illumina’s enzyme manufacturing facility, the project broke ground in April 2017 and will open its doors in 2019. To select this site, Jones again studied the demographics— opting for proximity to airports due to its manufacturing needs and to the University of Wisconsin for talent pools. “The growth of the company has definitely evolved to a more strategic approach, where we are looking at the big picture,” Jones says. “We are much more holistic in ensuring a comfortable setting for our employees and planning beyond our current needs.” Jones aims to continue focusing on the experience that each employee, visitor, candidate, and customer has when they enter an Illumina building. “Our facilities translate the company values—the ability to move around and embrace change and deeply collaborate. We’re an innovation company, so our physical space should be innovative. We do a lot of work to understand how the workplace is evolving.” With Jones’s help, Illumina continues to expand its presence around the globe as its pioneering workforce grows. And its seemingly constant construction reveals an exciting future for human health, a path toward groundbreaking science in which Illumina is leading the way.


Building the Future of Life-Changing Innovation TM

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. is the leader in creating collaborative life science and technology campuses. We are proud to partner with Illumina on its world-class campus headquarters in the heart of Alexandria’s San Diego innovation cluster. San Diego |







Sharing stories that detail the motivations, ambitions, and missions of executives in the building industry and getting a firsthand look at what they are achieving today




IMG’s Global Negotiator It’s one thing to manage more than 175 leases in 80 countries, but it’s something else to know what goes on behind the walls. Rosalie Mignano does it all. by Russ Klettke



Guerrero Howe

Rosalie Mignano VP of Global Real Estate & Facilities Management IMG



Most people go to art museums to look at art. Rosalie Mignano worked at one to figure out how the building operates. And it wasn’t just any art museum— it was New York’s Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, one of the largest and most influential modern art institutions in the world. When Mignano took a job there as assistant director of building services, it was because she wanted to learn how the demands on such a structure and its contents – with thousands of visitors daily, and very specific temperature and humidity concerns – might round out her development in facilities management. “It’s not like an office building,” says Mignano, who took that position in 1996 after four years in facilities management work with a global asset management firm. “But it was excellent experience. I learned to deal with big building systems, working in a non-profit environment, and with unionized labor.” After two years, she was offered a position with a global investment-management and research firm, ultimately becoming its global vice president of real estate and facilities, where she worked for a dozen years before landing at IMG Worldwide Inc. It’s since been a steady, nine-year climb, and Mignano is now managing all leased office spaces for the various IMG companies. IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media, and licensing for brands, sports organizations, and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network. It’s an enterprise with an ebb and flow of space needs and was constructed via many acquisitions and strategic partnerships. Which is where Mignano’s best talents came into play. “My job in my first two years was to get rid of vacant space,” she says, detailing how different divisions operating within some cities added to the facilities inefficiencies and redundancies. As leases matured, they were able to manage away costs while simultaneously accommodating growth; she also wrested significant savings from the operations budget within three years, accomplished in part by outsourcing functions such as shipping, office supplies, copy machines, and support operations. Her responsibilities include administration of the entire leasing process, site selection, budgeting, broker liaison work, and bidding out architectural services

“The normal person doesn’t see past walls. I think of what’s going on behind them.”

and construction, after which her team also supervises move-ins and space maintenance. In most markets, the leases are in class A buildings, with a few college and university spaces, as well as loft offices in some secondary markets. Mignano is a rare professional in this field for having studied facilities management as an undergraduate at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. She earned her degree while working as an admin for a facilities planning vice president who taught the discipline, and who encouraged her to consider it as a major. “I realized then that this is what I wanted to do,” she says. She also credits her father, a fix-it-himself kind of guy who taught her how to work with tools. “This is a very physical business, where you are crawling under desks,” she continues. “The normal person doesn’t see past walls. I think of what’s going on behind them.” That dig-into-the-walls ethos also drove her to get a commercial brokers which helps her do her job and forces her to keep current on developments in the field, including the rules and regulations around lease laws in different jurisdictions. That includes rental markets and rules overseas: IMG has over 175 leased properties in some 80 countries. Mignano explains that London, for example, not only has longer-term leases (typically on 10- to 15-year terms as opposed to the typical U.S. lease of 5 to 7 years), but also requires tenants to return space back to original conditions upon vacating. She’s since managed some of

Guerrero Howe


Among the many projects Rosalie Mignano is currently overseeing for IMG is the remodel of a New York City building, the plans of which are shown here.


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those London leases into shorter time frames and split locations for the company’s businesses. “It took five years to get that under control and to find space that matched our brand,” she says. “With leases usually being over 100 pages, it can be an excruciating process.” Sustainability is also a factor, as the push to occupy greener spaces, with better energy efficiencies and lower greenhouse gas emissions, is strong overseas. “There’s lots of reporting and regulations around that,” adds Mignano. Not that the principals or employees at IMG would mind being in environmentally progressive buildings. “It’s wonderful to walk into a LEED certified property,” she says, qualifying that as lessees, they have a lesser role in determining building characteristics than owners do. She finds historic properties the most difficult to occupy—and she’s had some experience with a few—but likes the challenge of retrofitting 20- and 30-year-old spaces. “I like bringing them into the 21st century. You can do a complete design and mechanical transformation.” Of course she would see it that way. Mignano isn’t afraid of hypersensitive artwork or crawling under desks—as long as she can make things work.

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congratulate: Rosalie Mignano Congratulations on all your success thus far at IMG!


Thinking Three Deals Ahead


Investment partners David Ruttenberg and Jonathan D. Gordon are always on the lookout for the latest trends in the real estate world to drive massive success by Lior Phillips



The worlds of investing and real estate are littered with clichés, and “always be closing” stands among them. But neither Alec Baldwin nor David Mamet could have anticipated the constant, vibrating energy—propelled largely by a trove of real estate data—passing between David Ruttenberg and Jonathan D. Gordon. The duo joined forces under the banner of Ruttenberg Gordon Investments (RGI), the former a partner at Marc Realty Capital—which deals in real estate investing, venture-capital investing, and private-equity investing—the latter a music-industry insider and active investor. In the space of a single interview, they eagerly cycle through dozens of projects and even pass emails back and forth about upcoming deals, always ready to move on to the next one. “I personally don’t know how to be anything but aggressive,” Gordon says. Ruttenberg is involved as a partner in more than 250 properties nationally on his own, while the duo spend a lot of time scouting out properties, meeting with partners and operators, determining trends, and exploring new markets. The two were first connected when Ruttenberg needed a Los Angeles local to help vet a deal he was looking into; Gordon was brought on board at the recommendation of his cousin, Ruttenberg’s best friend from their time at Tufts University. Not long later, the pair were working to provide a large hard-money loan to a developer building a condo project in Chicago. “He needed it within a week, and we provided him with a $15 million loan within seven days,” Ruttenberg says. “Everything was smooth sailing: we got a very good internal rate of return for our team, and the developer had a successful project.” Finding such win-win opportunities is key to the RGI approach. “The reason that we’re able to be so active and do so many great deals is because of our collaboration,” Gordon says. All those deals also mean that Ruttenberg and Gordon have a massive amount of data to draw from. Their portfolio of investments and projects spans the country and covers categories from retail to residential, and at the base of every deal, of course, is the math. The first things the duo look at are the risk-adjusted return, the stability of the cash flow, and the use of the property. Marc Realty is currently targeting multifamily properties in prime locations in supply-constrained urban environments such as Chicago—and also restaurant spaces. “Restaurant spaces are really liquid and easy to fill versus, say, a clothing store,” Ruttenberg explains. “There’s a changing dynamic in retail. We’re very cognizant that retail has now moved toward food and beverage, medical services, and experiential.” Of course, there’s another option that combines intelligent retail play with the stability and cash flow of residential properties: mixed-use condo developments with ground-floor retail space. And, beyond being great investments for RGI, Ruttenberg sees them as a major benefit to their communities. “We don’t like having vacancies in our





Ruttenberg Gordon Investments has invested in many different properties and types of properties, including a number of mixed-use residential sites in the Chicago area, outfitted for luxury living.




Jonathan D. Gordon Principal Ruttenberg Gordon Investments

“At the end of the day, we look at the math, and if the math makes sense, we go to the next step.” —Jonathan D. Gordon portfolio; it’s not good financially, and it’s not good for the community,” he says. “As a property owner and a member of a community, you want to see life, you want to see activity, you want to see people enjoying the retail that a community has to offer. By people spending money in the community, they’re providing jobs, and the cycle continues.” Focusing on the numbers behind each deal and ensuring they make sense is, of course, essential for any successful investment plan, but Gordon notes that it’s especially important in a market as complex as real estate is today—for both buyers and sellers. “The market’s a little spotty right now,” he says. Some properties will immediately get multiple bids, and others may be more appealing to buyers because of competitive pricing. That comes in large part because sellers are currently putting on very low-interest loans. “Sellers need to get a price that’s big enough that it justifies them not taking out historically cheap financing and financing it for a long period of time,” Gordon says. “Whereas a few years ago most properties that were listed sold, we’re now seeing a lot of properties that are getting listed that aren’t necessarily selling.”

However, because Ruttenberg and Gordon work with intelligent data, they are willing to be patient, they can be creative with their deal structures, and they’ve been able to take on assets that other buyers haven’t seen, including many in Chicago’s crowded, complex market. One key condo project in the city’s West Loop neighborhood features 81 residential units and was 70 percent sold by the middle of production. They’ve been able to leverage the knowledge generated by that success to buy other properties in the area, too. In one deal, a partnership with R2 Companies, RGI secured 30,000 square feet of retail condos, and in another it partnered with restaurateur Anshul Mangal to buy and build a restaurant in the only building along Randolph Street’s trendy Restaurant Row that doesn’t already have one. “We’re leveraging that expertise of what’s going on in the neighborhood and the activity to buy more property in that specific area,” Ruttenberg says. He and Gordon are also keenly aware of Chicago’s historic architecture, a boon for prospective tenants and a legacy worth protecting. One of their recent investments involved the construction of 106 clay-tile-arched concrete



David Ruttenberg Partner

Erik Unger

Ruttenberg Gordon Investments

lofts in a former printing facility. “We were able to keep the exterior and a lot of interior elements from a beautiful, historic brick building in Chicago and then fill it with beautiful modern apartments,” Ruttenberg says. They’re undertaking a similar renovation—in partnership with the Pears Family Office—to develop 132 apartments in a historically significant office building. “We’re repurposing the building to have ground-floor retail, second- and third-floor offices, and then apartments above,” Gordon says. “We’re very cognizant that there’s amazing architecture in a lot of the markets in which we’re developing, including Chicago. We think it’s super cool when you can retain elements of what was old and blend it with the new.” All that culminates in a large amount of work. Gordon estimates that he brings in hundreds of potential deals at a time, which he and Ruttenberg then evaluate to find the one that’s the best fit. The next step involves talking to the operations team, doing research, and cold-calling people for information. “At the end of the day, we look at the math, and if the math makes sense, we go to the next step,” Gordon says. And while the numbers, markets, and trends all need to work out, all those deals rely just as much on people. “We’re concerned about having good partners and treating those partners in a very conscientious way,” Ruttenberg says. “That’s part of our secret sauce. We don’t take the last dollar, and we’re very generous to our partners because we want to make sure that they come back to us for the next deal—that we’re the only phone call that they make.”

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Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

Eric Piasecki

Suzanne Lovell Founder and CEO


An Integration of Elements “The three-dimensional experience” gives Suzanne Lovell, Inc. the upper hand in the world of interior design

by Kelli Lawrence The interior design work of Suzanne Lovell, Inc. has won national and international awards and been featured in Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times, among other publications. According to Suzanne Lovell, founder and CEO, the secret to her success is her talented team—and a pinch of magic. That “magic” lies in the firm’s distinctive three-dimensional approach to interior design, incorporating architecture, furniture, sophisticated textiles, and fine art and objects. “So many architects and designers will put the house together, but there’s no magic that brings it alive,” Lovell explains. “Nothing brings that magic like fine art selections that the client has been involved in making.” Lovell’s expertise in both architecture and fine art makes her firm’s distinctive approach possible. Lovell inherited a love of furniture and textiles from her mother, an expert in American and Federal Furniture at the Winterthur Museum. She moved to Chicago after graduating with a professional degree in architecture from Virginia Tech and worked with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Her experience there inspired her current career. “I was working on apartments in Boston, and I started to enjoy how people live,” she says. “That was the impetus for starting my own business. I had a lot of knowledge about furniture because of my family history, so I knew I had something to bring to the table.” She started Suzanne Lovell, Inc. in 1985, and the firm’s continuing success has proven that what she

brings to the table is valuable indeed. The firm’s work can be seen both domestically and abroad as well as in Lovell’s book, Artistic Interiors: Designing with Fine Art Collections, published in 2011. Lovell credits much of her firm’s success to her team members, most of whom have been with her for more than a decade. Their experience together means that each team member is well versed enough in Lovell’s process to have a sort of verbal shorthand with her. “We’re buying at auctions; we’re buying from galleries all over the world,” she says. “And we’ve been at this so long we can just look at each other and say ‘No. Yes. No. No. Yes!’ And our clients trust that we’re creating a story for them.” Some of those stories include a Southern California residence that boasts numerous historical interior finishes yet is outfitted with modern amenities, as well as a collection of apartments done “from scratch” for a client with property both in Miami and New York. The business also recently completed a waterfront apartment in Naples, Florida, with 5,000 square feet of terrace space and unique finishes on every surface. A Boca Raton client recently asked Lovell to evaluate an entire compound and give recommendations regarding the best way to capitalize on ocean views. “It was so exciting for me to be able to control the outside of a piece of architecture, then be able to go inside in relation to everything we’ve diagrammed outside,” Lovell says. “We’re getting to work full circle.”




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According to Lovell, much of what inspires her team’s best work lies close to home, inside the firm’s Chicago headquarters, which is punctuated by treasures Lovell and her team already work with: artwork, art objects, and a space containing hundreds of drawers of samples. Lovell says she and her team truly think of the office as their home away from home. That gives them the freedom to dig into their work with even more creative abandon and get ahead of the client in terms of ideas to share. “Some of the magic of how we work comes when, inside the office, I take on the persona of the client,” Lovell explains. “Then everything everyone does in the office is tested against that persona.” When clients themselves visit the office, they are motivated by what they see to define their own perspectives more clearly. Whether it’s a simple hammered silver finish on a teapot that provides a small spark of inspiration, or a full-blown brainstorm that results in embossed leather from Paris being meticulously applied to a client’s walls, Lovell and her team are always excited to make the vision a reality. Lovell and her team pride themselves on creating a cohesive artistic vision for each of their clients. “I think we’re really good at defining an architectural language— a strand that runs through the residence and lets you know you’re part of a well-thought-out whole,” she says. After decades of success, Lovell is grateful for her team and focused on the task at hand: creating homes that are as artistic as they are beautiful. “I just want our group to be the best we can be,” she says. “The people who work here are fountains of ideas, and it’s all about being able to work together and piece things together into the most wonderful homes we can create.”

Eric Piasecki

Suzanne Lovell attributes much of the success of her interior design firm to her team members, who consult drawers full of samples for inspiration.


Creating a Sustainable Global Retail Strategy Bob Higgins on refreshing the Fossil Group brand with eco-conscious vendors and an updated look

by Karen LeBlanc



Fossil Group, the global watch, apparel, and accessories brand, wants to make a smaller footprint on the environment and a larger impression on its customers. That’s why it’s rolling out new store designs that convey both artisanship and environmental stewardship. But as striking as they are, the stores are not the star of the show. “The product is the hero,” says Bob Higgins, vice president of global real estate and retail development. Higgins has come by this retail philosophy through a lifetime of experience in the industry. He started his career as a Brooks Brothers retail store manager, so he knows the business from the ground up, and his experience there gave him a well-rounded knowledge of what connects consumers with a retailer. Previously Fossil’s vice president of real estate and retail development for North America, Higgins stepped into his new global role two years ago. Today, he oversees real estate and retail development for 558 stores globally—249 of which are in North America—and works from the company’s corporate headquarters in Richardson, Texas. He works with a team of five midlevel directors who report to him in what he calls a global matrix structure; he also travels extensively, developing partnerships with third-party vendors. Those vendor relationships are coming in handy as Fossil prepares to debut several prototypes for new store designs. Higgins, alongside Chad Spencer, senior director of global environmental design and retail development, is responsible for implementing these designs at many of Fossil’s locations. One concept, the Fossil Full Price Store, exudes authenticity and an earthy groundedness through natural woods, soft gray grained plank flooring, plants, industrial-style tables, wooden stools, and leather mannequin busts. The earth-toned palette of the store is brightened by an infusion of color from Fossil watches, handbags, wallets, and satchels. Another prototype that will be rolled out over the next nine months is the Maker Concept, which has a sleek, simple aesthetic focused on customization, personalization, and connected accessories. “Even though the designs are very clean interpretations, they are still true to the brand and the customer experience,” Higgins says. “We want our stores to feel authentic, approachable, and warm.” The new Fossil stores will be smaller in size in an effort to be more environmentally conscious, Higgins adds, explaining that the full-price stores will now range from 800 to 1,000 square feet rather than from 1,200 to 1,500

Choosing Suppliers Effectively It’s important to Higgins and team to work with suppliers that embrace sustainable design and products. “We ask them questions about how they build, where they source, and if they are LEED certified or hold any other key certifications,” Higgins says. “We want to know what green techniques they implement. We also have an extensive Corporate Social Responsibility qualification process that goes through complete factory audits once the supplier process is narrowed down.” For millwork, Higgins and his team have worked with suppliers including Bobby Ciricillo of JPMA and Bobby Jones at 3C. When it comes to flooring distribution and material selections, they’ve worked closely with Ron and Nancy Jackson, as well as with Andrew and Rachel Cooper, from Architectural Systems. “Selecting lighting providers such as Hera Lighting and Solais Lighting provide us with up-to-date-LED technology that’s also sustainable,” Higgins explains. Higgins and his team travel internationally throughout the year to visit supplier’s factories as part of the qualifying process. “You can learn a lot from a supplier while seeing their factory in person, from the types of machinery they have invested in, to the cleanliness of their facilities, to the organization of the work areas, all the way to the shipping dock. Meeting with and understanding their onsite project management style is key,” Higgins explains.

Thanakit Jitkasem/



Bob Higgins

Kathy Newton

VP of Global Real Estate & Retail Development Fossil Group




“It’s about listening, evolving, course-correcting, keeping an open mind, and challenging yourself and your team on how to make things better.”

ASI Congratulates Bob Higgins, Vice President of Global Real Estate and Store Development at the Fossil Group for his outstanding talent and continued success as a leader in the retail sector. ASI is proud to be a strategic material partner throughout your journey!

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square feet. This focus on being environmentally friendly while still serving Fossil’s customers is a perfect encapsulation of Fossil’s brand, according to Higgins. “Craftsmanship and authenticity are core values to Fossil Group,” he says. “We are approaching our brand enhancements in an organic fashion.” Higgins is also reviewing the company’s global portfolio of stores to target remodels, renovations, and conversions. Fossil Group is fine-tuning some current stores and closing underperforming locations with plans to repurpose some items. “We are excited about reinvesting in our fleet of stores and bringing down costs in this dynamic and volatile retail climate,” Higgins says. With all this on his plate, Higgins’s role is a demanding one. “This is not a nine-to-five job,” Higgins says. “I’m never disconnected except when I’m sleeping. Texts, emails, phone calls are a constant process because I have people reporting to me from different time zones and different continents.” To stay connected to his team, Higgins meets with its members on a regular basis. “I am a firm believer in weekly scheduled meetings and/or conference calls with my team because they deserve my undivided attention,” he says. Higgins’s leadership style has helped lead him and his team at Fossil to continuing success, but he also credits his retail career successes to “growing up” in stores. “For the first seven years of my career, I was in store management, where I learned to listen to the customer,” he says. “It’s a great way to roll up your sleeves and live the store experience. Also, each time I was asked to relocate, I said yes, which brought me different experiences, sometimes within different cultures. I believe that contributed to my global view.” As Fossil continues to evolve, rolling out new store designs and stores with smaller footprints, Higgins’s open-mindedness will help ensure that the company never stops improving. “It’s about listening, evolving, course-correcting, keeping an open mind, and challenging yourself and your team on how to make things better,” he says.


Back to School Tom Buechele went from being a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to being its vice president of campus operations, and now he’s working to build a better education for today’s students


by Randall Colburn



“I like to think my career really started in college,” Tom Buechele says. It’s a statement that turns out to be true on multiple levels. Today, Buechele is the vice president for campus operations at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), but, once upon a time, he was just a “bright-eyed kid from suburban Kansas City,” arriving at the SAIC for his first day of college. “I was always a creative kid,” he says. He had an early interest in photography, and his interest in the SAIC was sparked by his grandfather, an architect who took classes at the school back in the 1920s. Once he arrived as a student, he found himself working in the school’s media center, where he assisted teachers and students with media and studio projects. After graduating, he worked for a printer and publisher of fine art lithographs in Los Angeles, alongside acclaimed modern artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein. The Windy City beckoned, however, and Buechele was soon drawn back into the orbit of his alma mater as he continued to develop his own artistic work. “There’s a thing about institutions, especially ones with smaller student bodies,” he says, emphasizing the sense of community that’s part and parcel of both the SAIC and Chicago as a whole. Buechele expanded on his collegiate role with a position on the technical side of things for the SAIC, then moved into capital planning and academic resources for the school, then finally found himself in charge of all its operations. “In my career, I progressed from the purely academic side to a larger institutional role and continue to do so,” he says. “I think it’s been a mutually beneficial relationship.” That’s an understatement. His work converting the SAIC’s outdated auditorium is proof enough of that. Since its construction in 1974, the space had been used as both a lecture hall and cinema. It also wasn’t the most attractive place on campus. “It was dark purple,” Buechele says with a laugh. “It had its challenges. I went through all my art history survey classes in that room, so probably one of my lifetime goals was to convert it into something bright and shiny.” And that’s exactly what he did. Buechele and his team effectively added another floor to the building, turning an auditorium “long past its useful life” into 9,000 square feet of usable space. In addition, students will no longer be lulled to sleep by the room’s dark-purple hues and lack of sunlight because Buechele added lots of skylights and windows. It wasn’t just about making the space larger and more inviting, either: Buechele and his team actually reworked the building’s entire infrastructure. The building’s retrofit project, for example, involved completely replacing its mechanical system. It took three summer breaks, two winter breaks, and two new air handlers, but the result is

Tom Buechele VP for Campus Operations The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

the SAIC’s first LEED-certified building. “When it opened in 1976,” Buechele says, “energy was not a big concern. Indoor air quality was not as thought through as it could’ve been back then.” But now, the building’s energy profile has been reduced by 35 percent, and the sound of the air system is no longer a distraction. “Now the faculty and students can actually hear each other,” he says. “I never shed my academic roots,” he adds. Many of the skills he learned in school, after all, are ones he exercises in his current role. “I approach problem-solving the same way I approach a new piece of art. I don’t really distinguish my process from that of art making. What I’ve seen over my time here is that artists and designers are incredibly insightful and imaginative, and they think outside the box. In fact, they reject the box as an option. They approach problem-solving from many different— sometimes unexpected—angles.” This approach, Buechele says, is one of fearlessness. “A lot of it is about trust and fear,” he says. “Too many people manage out of a position of fear. One of the things the creative process allows you to accept is that failure is an important way of learning. We always say around here that if you’re not failing, you’re not learning.” And learning is something Buechele hopes to never stop doing. Just this year, in fact, he completed an MFA in sculpture. The SAIC will surely reap the benefits.

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The NeverEnding Cycle of Life David Hildebrandt continually reinvents himself and his work to keep moving ahead in the face of constant change in architecture and design by Lior Phillips





Will Smith comes to mind when David Hildebrandt looks back over his career. “He’s been a cowboy, he’s been a boxer, he’s been in space,” Hildebrandt says with a laugh. And while Hildebrandt might not be an astronaut or a bronco buster, the design and construction executive has built up quite the resume that has taught him the importance of reinventing yourself to face new challenges. Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, Hildebrandt didn’t have the advantages that many other children had. Other than one uncle, no one in his family had a college degree, let alone an architecture or design background. However, he had an innate interest in how things worked, tearing apart broken toys and asking questions about how the pipes worked or what was inside the walls. After finding that interest fulfilled in a drafting class in high school, Hildebrandt went on to graduate with a master’s degree in architecture and sustainable practice from Kansas State University. “Suffice it to say, helping guide companies to architectural relevancy required a bit of personal evolution,” he says. “It took time, effort, vision, discipline, failure, and self-analysis.” That self-analysis came in handy when it came time to develop his approach in his first leadership position. Hildebrandt was influenced by two of his uncles who had very different personalities. Both played a part in how he was raised, and together they made a big impact on his leadership style. One, he says, was the “hard” uncle: “He was very direct and had a very strong attitude, a manly man.” That uncle constantly pushed him to pull out every ounce of greatness within. The other uncle, by contrast, was very compassionate and supportive. “What I realized as I got older was that I needed both,” Hildebrandt says. “I needed someone to push me even when I didn’t want to be pushed, and I also needed someone to support me and encourage me.”

Today, the fusion of those styles has helped him lead his teams to immense success. “I always push my team because I expect a lot out of them, but then at the same time, there’s a line where you also always have to encourage them and support them,” he says. Hildebrandt also credits his Christian background—and particularly the wisdom of Apostle Dr. Cornelius Sanders II—with teaching him how to lead effectively. “He taught me how a leader is supposed to act,” Hildebrandt says. “You have to expect the most, push people, and teach them, but you also have to serve them and treat them right—just caring for people, serving first, and being both supportive in the hard way and the soft way.” In addition to developing a leadership style, Hildebrandt consistently redefined his own ideal working conditions. He found that he preferred a job in which he could lead while getting his hands dirty rather than delegating from behind a desk. “In architecture, often you’re just a draftsman, so you sit at a desk all day and do drawings, make phone calls, and file documents,” he says. “It’s okay as a job, but architecture doesn’t stop on paper. The point of architecture is to get something built in the real world.” Hildebrandt’s ability to reinvent himself is especially important in architecture and design, an industry that functions on cycles and trends. “One of the most dangerous places that a person that graduates from design or architecture school can go to is to get stuck in the land of redundancy,” Hildebrandt says. “Depending on the firm or



David Hildebrandt

how you take your career, you could end up working on small projects restrained by budget, without any real design interest—projects where you have to do what’s quick and what’s cheap. If you get stuck in that realm for too long, you’ll eventually lose your design interest and learn to become more mechanized in your design.” For that reason, he has taken on big challenges with organizations that have let him grow and think outside the box. Hildebrandt also taps into his understanding of the philosophy and psychology of architecture in his leadership roles. In fact, he first joined the architecture field because he found himself fascinated by the way that a thought could transfer onto paper and then be manifested into a physical space enjoyed by others. That thought must first be informed by the feelings and experiences of others. “Scientists will argue that no idea is original because it’s all based on our environment and experienc-

es, while the ideas that we have in our head are largely formed by the spaces that we live in,” he says. “It’s this cycle that interests me.” To drive the idea home, Hildebrandt thinks back through his many reinventions and all the way back to his childhood home in Kansas City. The house was 1,200 square feet, with three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a small eatin kitchen. “In Kansas City, that’s pretty good space, and it was a cheap house,” he says. “But move that house into the context of San Francisco, and that house would be worth $300,000. The house would be the same, but it would yield very different things. Space influences behavior, and that influences space.” That cycle of influence and reinvention is clearly very important to Hildebrandt and one that drives his whole life. And he’s not done reinventing himself yet. “I’m pleased at the progress I’ve made,” he says, “but more inspired by the change which is to come.”

David Hildebrandt, Shaman Mitchell

“Architecture doesn’t stop on paper. The point of architecture is to get something built in the real world.”


From Team Member to Facilities Manager How Mike Reed, director of facilities management & construction for Vitaligent, turned a high school job into a career with the largest Jamba Juice franchisee in California


by David Levine




Working at a place such as Jamba Juice, the health-conscious juice, smoothie, and meal retailer, is a rite of passage for the countless teenagers who make it a great high school job. Not many pursue it as a career, though, as Mike Reed did. He turned that high school job into his life’s work, and now, as director of facilities management and construction for Vitaligent, a holding company that owns Jamba Juice stores across the country, Reed has gone from blending smoothies to building, maintaining, and remodeling the company’s 100 or so outlets. Reed was born in Los Angeles but grew up in the East Bay area of northern California. He started working at a Jamba Juice as a teen. “It was just a typical high school job,” he says. He left to go to college to study psychology at San Diego State University. Then, when he needed a job while in college, he joined a store in San Diego. He worked there through college and decided that maybe this was the place to launch a career. “Jamba Juice had that positive, upbeat vibe,” he says. “It was about healthy living, about the customers, and every day was fun.” He wanted to be more than just a team member. “I thought I wanted to do something with this, so I pressed to be shift manager and then an assistant manager,” he

Mike Reed first started working for Jamba Juice in high school because he enjoyed the sunny, upbeat design and atmosphere of its locations. Now he helps maintain and remodel locations across the country.

says. “By that point, I wanted to make sure I would be GM one day.” As an assistant GM, he opened a new store with his boss—and met his current girlfriend there. When his boss quit, he was promoted to fill the position. “I went from team member to general manager in four and a half years,” he says. His store became a training store for incoming GMs and district managers. Reed was also selected to train and transition a handful of franchise locations back to company-owned stores. While leading these trainings, he continued to run a busy store. “Building my team made it fun to come to work,” he says. “We set a company record for the longest-tenured staff. With an average employee age of about 19, that was not easy to do. We also won nine awards for operational excellence. We were a solid, successful store.” In 2012, he was promoted to regional facilities manager. “I always repaired things myself in my store and had an excellent understanding of the equipment,” he says. “When I saw that our facilities manager had left the company, I gunned hard for that job.” His territory covered 150 stores throughout southern California. But, unfortunately, after just two and a half years, Jamba Juice



“I am not a dictator, but I manage very closely. I make sure there is consistent, effective communication between the group and pretty much give them whatever they need to be successful.”

moved to a predominantly franchise-based business model. Reed helped prepare stores to sell to franchisees, and once the territory was gone toward the end of 2015, he was laid off. “There were no bitter feelings,” he says. “They gave me a generous severance package, and it was all on very good terms.” They had even given him the opportunity to go back into managing a store. “I thought it was very generous to offer that,” he says, but he decided to stay in the field but look for another opportunity. He became a project manager for a local construction company in San Diego. But, six months later, he got a call from Vitaligent, the largest Jamba Juice franchisee. “My old boss’s boss called me and said, ‘What would it take to get you over here to do facilities?’” Reed says. “I hopped right over. That was an easy call. I loved facilities management.” In his current role, he manages all repair and maintenance work for about 100 stores. “I manage and dispatch all our repair and maintenance crews,” he says, adding that bringing the crews in-house was his doing. “We used to use all third-party vendors, so to save money and be more productive, I put together a team of in-house technicians certified in HVAC, plumbing, electrical—you name it, they do it. We handle about 90 percent of our calls in-house now.” Instead of paying extra to an outside company that needs to cover its own overhead, insurance, and trucks, he now runs a “much cheaper, more efficient crew that provides better service because they are part of the company and invested in it,” he says. He also manages new construction and store remodeling. In the past two years, he has overseen the construction of the first two drive-through Jamba Juice stores in California. “We don’t have a lot of experience with drive-throughs, so it was interesting,” he says. “The business model shows big returns, a big boost in sales with drive-throughs. But you have to have the space to build one, and it is rare to lock one down. The bigger players in fast food seem to get first dibs, so when the opportunity arises, we strike.” Reed manages his crew a lot like he did his team when he was a store manager at Jamba Juice. “I am very

Mike Reed Director of Facilities Management & Construction Vitaligent

close with my guys,” he says. “I am not a dictator, but I manage very closely. I make sure there is consistent, effective communication between the group and pretty much give them whatever they need to be successful. But work-life balance is important, too. These guys work their tails off, so I push them to focus on family time whenever possible. They deserve it.”


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“I carry that with me.” Were it not for a Tuesday morning doctor’s appointment on September 11th, 2001, Alan Di Sciullo of Shearman & Sterling LLP might not be around to help guide real estate transactions around the world. But the lessons he learned that morning still inform his work ethic.

Story by Paul Snyder | Portrait by Caleb Fox




Alan Di Sciullo Director of Global Real Estate Shearman & Sterling LLP




In Alan Di Sciullo’s mind, things were looking good. Sure, he’d had an early morning doctor’s appointment that day, which was delaying him a little bit, but as he rode the PATH train that connects New Jersey and New York, he felt confident he would make it to his office in time to dial into the 9:00 a.m. conference call to Morgan Stanley’s legal colleagues. Then, the train stopped. Passengers were instructed to go to another platform to take a different train into the city. Di Sciullo boarded, and when it got to his stop a few minutes after 9:00 a.m., he looked at his watch. Although he was going to be a little late, he was still fully intent on getting up to his office and dialing into the conference call. Then, he looked up. “I saw what could only be a bad movie,” he says. It was the morning of September 11, 2001. Tower 1 of the World Trade Center was on fire. Di Sciullo took a few more steps and looked up at Tower 2, which housed his Morgan Stanley law department offices on the 65th floor. Fire also burned fiercely there. Di Sciullo watched in shock for about half an hour, until someone nearby shouted that the building was collapsing. Di Sciullo ran toward City Hall, and although he saw people emerging from the clouds of ash and debris crying, he says he and other survivors went into the clouds to help. “Instead of panic, I saw the same spirit of cooperation and assistance I witnessed when we evacuated the upper floors of the World Trade Center when it was bombed in 1993,” he says. Di Sciullo says it’s hard to estimate how many employees were in the Morgan Stanley offices that day, given that the attacks happened before many people (including himself) had arrived in the office. But, out of the estimated 2,500 employees of the firm that worked in the World Trade Center, there were only 13 fatalities of staff and consultants. One of those was Rick Rescorla, a lawyer and Vietnam War veteran who had headed the company’s security department. Rick and his security colleagues went back into the tower to pull as many people as possible to safety before the building collapsed. Unfortunately, when it did, Rescorla was still in it. “I can’t think of a more down-to-earth guy or a more lovable person than Rick,” Di Sciullo says. “He was our hero—even before that day.” In addition to processing the shock of the events and the loss of its team members, Morgan Stanley also had to deal with the reality that it had lost its home. Before the attacks, Morgan Stanley had 1.2 million square feet of space in the World Trade Center under lease. Just a few hours later, it had zero. Di Sciullo had to get to work immediately, working with a team to find and legally secure new office space for Morgan Stanley employees, who had made up the largest tenant roster at the World Trade Center.

“Instead of panic, I saw the same spirit of cooperation and assistance I witnessed when we evacuated the upper floors of the World Trade Center when it was bombed in 1993.”

By the afternoon on the day of the attack, the firm was rebuilding. Di Sciullo found that the same sense of camaraderie and cooperation he’d witnessed at Ground Zero also made its way into negotiations. Although the weakened real estate market provided plenty of space throughout Manhattan, the properties Morgan Stanley ultimately acquired—a total of 600,000 square feet throughout various locations—came without difficult negotiations and, in some cases, at an incredible price. “In one instance, I was dealing with an attorney who was known as this tough New York lawyer,” Di Sciullo recalls. “But he told me, ‘We’ll go straight down the middle on this. No negotiating ploys, no delays, let’s get this deal done.’ That was a godsend.” “In another instance,” he adds, “I was dealing with an attorney who works in Chicago, and I said, ‘How much is this space going to be?’ She said, ‘Ten dollars.’ The market there was $50 or $60 per square foot. I said, ‘Ten dollars? Is that in square feet?’ She said, ‘No, we do legal consideration at $10, and we enter into this agreement. It’s a legal technicality we learned.’ I mean, we’re talking 3,000 square feet in midtown New York for a few years for only ten dollars. There were little things like that happening. People went out of their way.” In his role today, as New York-based Shearman & Sterling LLP’s director of global real estate, Di Sciullo leads a small but experienced team that works across international borders, securing a variety of properties for clients with a work ethic tied to always securing the best deal possible. And despite some of the crises that might present


Alan Di Sciullo

Connecting Deep Prior to starting with Morgan Stanley, Alan Di Sciullo had an opportunity to host an event at the Sheraton Hotel with Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, who was starting his own realty company. After the event, Staubach gifted Di Sciullo with an autographed football that he proudly displayed in his World Trade Center office—and that was lost on the morning of September 11, 2001. On the afternoon of September 11, Di Sciullo was on the phone with Morgan Stanley’s West Coast real estate manager, who remained in touch with Staubach. After Di Sciullo relayed that most of the Morgan Stanley employees were OK and that the company was already at work finding new space, the real estate manager asked him about personal items lost in the collapse. He mentioned the football. “Three months later, I’m on a business trip,” Di Sciullo says. “I called my secretary, who told me I’d received a box at the office.” The box contained a new autographed football from the Dallas Cowboys legend—as well as a small note thanking him for his bravery on September 11. Touched, Di Sciullo called the West Coast real estate manager to relay his thanks to Staubach. “She said, ‘Oh yeah, he said he was going to do that. What did it look like?’” he says. “I told her, ‘Oh it’s beautiful. It’s got this nice white panel on it.’ Then I hear her go, ‘Damn it! Those are his nicest ones. He’s never given me one like that!’”



themselves—understanding foreign regulations, weathering new standards in the midst of a major renovation, or finding the best property available in a highly competitive market, among others—Di Sciullo says he maintains a unique perspective on them, shaped by that fateful day in New York City 17 years ago. “Being able to work through something like that allows you to say there’s no crisis in your career that will be that bad,” he says. “I’ll say it to my staff. We’ll have an HVAC problem in one place and something else to deal with somewhere else. I tell them, ‘We’ll do it.’ It’s instinctive. That day in 2001, no one panicked or melted down. People were very proactive right from the start. I carry that with me.”

CBRE congratulates Alan Di Sciullo on his accomplished career as Shearman & Sterling’s director of global real estate. A Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, with more than 75,000 employees serving real estate investors and occupiers through 450 offices worldwide. From investment sales and leasing transactions to outsourcing and advisory services, CBRE delivers advantage for every client it serves. Visit us at

Unwavering Commitment, Global Expertise CBRE joins in celebrating Alan Di Sciullo on his accomplished career as Shearman & Sterling’s Director of Global Real Estate. Alan, it’s a pleasure doing business with you.


Killing the Status Quo Mark Fisher on how lateral problemsolving, community outreach, and a refusal to take “no” for an answer can build the zoo of the future—today


by Alex Borkowski




Mark Fisher’s crusade for sustainability began with a water bill. As vice president of facilities, planning, and sustainability for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, he has made it his job to break all the rules governing how a zoo does (and doesn’t) think about its environmental impact on the surrounding area. But, it wasn’t until he got his first water bill as vice president that he realized how many resources a zoo actually uses. “The sustainability piece was never really part of the agenda,” he recalls. “It just happened very organically, very naturally.” Within a month of starting his job in 2006, Fisher had received his first water bill—for $70,000. This prompted him to begin tracking the zoo’s resource consumption in order to find out where all that water was going. Although Fisher started small by trying to save the zoo money on its water bill (it was using a quarter of a billion gallons of water per year), it wasn’t long before he had set his sights on trying to save even more, using some unorthodox methods.

Rewriting the Rules Mark Fisher VP – Facilities, Planning, Sustainability Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Creating a Neighborhood Zoo As the zoo has saved itself money with sustainability initiatives, Fisher has also tasked himself with improving its surrounding community, Avondale. “Avondale has had its share of tough times,” he explains. “And that’s been an interesting dynamic for us since that means there’s lots of opportunity for improvement and to help.” The zoo’s efforts to better Avondale have taken all shapes and forms, from building community gardens and organizing 5Ks to using a Duke Energy grant to begin installing LED lights in the neighborhood’s residences and nonprofits. Fisher, who has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati, considers this kind of outreach an obvious investment. “We’re not solving all of the problems in Avondale,” he says, “but we’re part of the solution. We’re in there. We’re present. We’re active. And our neighborhood sees that on a daily basis.” This has paid dividends for the zoo in other ways as well. Recently, it was awarded a Living Building Challenge. As part of the certification for this challenge, the zoo had to treat its sewage on-site, which is illegal. Although Fisher expected a lot of pushback from the city, more than a de-

Lisa Hubbard

As part of a planned renovation of the zoo’s Africa exhibit in 2008, Fisher wanted to begin collecting rainwater. Doing so would keep zoo runoff out of its neighbors’ basements and would save the zoo money in potable water costs. It seemed like a win-win, but Fisher quickly ran into an issue: the city wouldn’t allow it, citing a law from 1870 that made it illegal for anyone to repurpose rainwater for any purpose. “We were told ‘no’ like 73,000 times,” Fisher says, but he didn’t give up. “Through pure stamina and will and some serious in-house, homegrown, hillbilly engineering, we talked them into it.” The result? A 400,000-gallon cistern installed underneath the zoo that keeps 15 million gallons of rainwater out of Cincinnati’s sewer system. “To me, this is a perfect example of pushing against the status quo and not being afraid to take risks while also not being reckless,” Fisher says. “You have to be smart about it and very transparent with what you’re trying to do to get people on board.” Once people are on board, it’s easier to make significant—and sometimes risky—changes. “For us, sustainability is a cultural thing,” Fisher says. “We need to be willing to take risks; we need to be willing to break the rules to move things forward.”

Ingenuity for life creates perfect places. A Cincinnati Superstar Although Mark Fisher and his team have been making great strides in sustainability, many people know the Cincinnati Zoo for a completely different reason: Fiona the Hippo, who’s taken social media by storm after surviving her premature birth out of the water. When asked if he minds sharing the spotlight, Fisher says, “Fiona’s been a great bonding moment for our city. She’s as cute as you’d think she would be. She was raised by humans, so she has this a little bit unusual personality, and she wants to show off for people. When people come up to the glass, she jumps around, and when they’re clapping, she jumps around more. She’s doing swan dives like a dolphin out of water. It’s like the craziest thing you’ve ever seen. She’s unbelievable. She’s a total diva. We love her.”

Kathy Newton

cade of pushing the envelope meant that the city was ready to play ball when he asked for permission. “If you were a developer going to the City of Cincinnati with some of these ideas, they would be like, ‘See ya.’” Fisher explains. “You wouldn’t be invested, they’d know you’re not interested in bettering the city. In five years, you’re gone. Then who’s going to maintain whatever you’ve built? In our case, the zoo’s going to maintain it. We’ve been here since 1875; we’re not going anywhere.”

The Next 142 Years The zoo’s success has galvanized Fisher into continuing to push sustainability, and his goals are as lofty as his start was small.

For more information, contact: Jim Manning (513) 742-5590 #CreatingPerfectPlaces

Proud Partners of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Mark Fisher.



A painted dog surveys its domain. The Cincinnati Zoo won a prestigious Living Building Challenge (LBC) award for their work on the Painted Dog Valley Habitat.

We spend around 90 percent of our lives indoors. At Siemens, we make those experiences better by making buildings more comfortable, safe, secure, and sustainable. It takes ingenuity for life to create these perfect places. For more information on creating your perfect place, visit

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The Cincinnati Reds, Reds Community Fund and P&G salute Mark Fischer and the Cincinnati Zoo for their extraordinary commitment to the “Community Makeover” project and to the kids, families and neighborhoods of Greater Cincinnati.

“Basically, our goal is to be a net-positive impact on our community,” he says. “What I mean by that is our goals are to be net-zero energy, net-zero water, net-zero stormwater, net-zero waste, everything.” Fisher’s plans to achieve this include implementing engineering projects to help the zoo collect the other twothirds of its rainwater and constructing a solar array at a 600-acre farm that will return three times as much power to the grid as the zoo uses. Some in the facilities world might chafe at such ambitious goals, but for Fisher, it’s the only way forward: “If you have an organization that isn’t pursuing sustainability, you’ve got a wasteful institution,” he says. “You can’t be sustainable and not be efficient; they’re the same thing.” He adds, “Our success is no different than the success anybody could have at any facility, but it requires pushing back against the status quo. The status quo is a cancer in the facilities-management industry. We need to kill that, and sustainability is a great place to start.”


Building Up Expertise Jim Harte’s experience has enabled Topco Associates to build up the construction services it offers its members and has saved the company millions through the benefits of aggregated spending


by Russ Gager



The first place people go after a natural disaster is the grocery store. Having well-built and functioning stores in areas prone to such disasters is not only necessary for business but also a public service. So when Jim Harte, Topco Associates’ construction category manager, realized he could help prominent grocery-chain members in Houston after last year’s Hurricane Harvey flooded the area, he sprang into action. “I reached out to our vendors and said, ‘I’ve got a lot of supermarket chains impacted; is there anything you can do to assist them?’” Harte recalls. He received immediate responses from many of Topco’s construction vendors, including flooring vendor Armstrong. “They actually reduced the cost of their product to the members by a pretty good amount to assist them in redeveloping their stores and getting them open at a quick pace and at minimal cost,” Harte says. This was not Harte’s first experience with a natural disaster in Houston; he had worked as an insurance adjuster at the beginning of his career after another hurricane in the 1980s. It is this kind of service that Topco Associates provides for the grocery retailers, wholesalers, and other food-service businesses that make up the member-owned company. Harte provides sourcing assistance and construction services to members, who receive the savings and income the company generates annually. Harte uses the power of aggregated buying to consolidate the materials needed by many members for maintenance and construction into large purchases that can be negotiated at lower prices than if the members were to buy the materials themselves. His deals include such materials as flooring, roofing, bar joists, decking, lighting, doors, paints, coatings, tiling, and even restrooms in a box. When Harte joined Topco two and a half years ago, the company’s construction spending was $24 million. A little more than a year later, that spending exceeded $36 million—so his work has already had a sizable positive impact. Harte was able to accomplish this by bringing credibility and expertise to the construction category within Topco’s Indirect Spend program. This not only increased the dollar amount of the construction programs Topco offers but also raised the number of members participating. Topco’s program managers arrange for Harte to meet with members about their construction needs. “I can talk the same lingo that they do,” he explains. “I suffered many of the same pains that they suffer in my other positions as far as getting a store open or missing a deadline and knowing why that happens.”

Jim Harte Construction Category Manager Topco Associates

He compares getting a member and vendor together to matchmaking. “Once they meet, they save money, and everything is good,” he says. A recent project for Ace Hardware’s distribution center in Wilton, New York, involved procuring steel to expand the center’s mezzanine. Harte was able to provide projected savings averaging 6.5 percent of $1 million by arranging for the structure to be produced and installed by one of Topco’s approximately 70 vendors. “We try to find areas where we can be most helpful,” Harte says, adding that usually regional products such as concrete cannot be sourced cost-effectively using aggregated methods. But, other construction materials can be obtained by Topco at savings of up to 40 percent in some cases, Harte estimates. Topco envisioned these kinds of results when it decided to hire an expert for the construction category of

Adam Schoor




“Topco really works to bring value to its members and help them learn things every day.”

its Indirect Spend program four years ago. “They were looking for a person who had experience and could speak with members’ construction teams and designers to understand their needs and problems,” Harte explains. Before joining Topco, Harte had spent 21 years at Stride Rite, working his way up to director of construction. Before that, he had spent three years managing the construction of Burger Kings, and just before that, he had worked as an insurance property adjuster. “I’ve been in retail construction for just about as long as I can remember, but Topco was a total change for me because while I’ve done my own bidding, I had never done it on a large scale and for multiple companies,” Harte says. “So I brought some of the practices that I used in the past and put them together with the members to help them out.” The innovative solutions that Topco Associates formulates are what its grocery-industry members need, with new competitors entering markets and food prices dropping. This requires constant learning to find new solutions to shifting conditions. “Our members are passionate about what they do in terms of developing their supermarkets or retail distribution centers, and their passion has carried over and really pushed me to try and help them more than I thought was possible,” Harte observes. “It’s been a good experience, in that Topco really works to bring value to its members and help them learn things every day,” Harte adds. “I learn things every day in terms of how to be a better sourcing person. I used to think I was really good at it, but I’m better at it two and a half years later at Topco than I was when I got here. As long as I’ve been in the business, if you stop learning, then it’s not fun anymore.”



Read All About It

Anders Johnels Regional Director of Facilities & Store Development Hudson Group

by Lior Phillips


How Anders Johnels helps Hudson Group expand and fly high



In nearly every airport around the country, there they are, like glowing beacons of comfort: the Hudson and Hudson News logos. Whether stopping for a bit of entertainment for the long flight or a snack to fill a grumbling stomach, many a weary traveler has seen the brands as saviors. Hudson and Hudson News are the world’s most-popular branded travel convenience stores, and they are operated by Hudson Group, one of the largest travel retailers in North America. And the brand is not done expanding. As the regional director of facilities and store development at Hudson Group, Anders Johnels has come to understand exactly what it takes to keep on growing. Hudson Group currently operates more than 970 Hudson, Hudson News, and Hudson Booksellers locations in North America and Canada that include cafés, specialty retail, and duty-free shops—and Johnels oversees all construction operations on the East Coast. He sat down with American Builders Quarterly to discuss strategies for keeping up with rapid growth, his transition to the United States from his native Sweden, and the importance of building strong relationships. You came to the US from Sweden for school and began working for Hudson Group in 2008. What drew you to retail in the first place? I was working for Nova Southeastern University in construction and facilities before getting an opportunity to work in retail construction. I always enjoyed the business aspect of project management, and when the opportunity came from Hudson Group, it was just a natural progression and a great challenge. The transition from Swedish to American business culture has been interesting and very exciting. Swedish people tend to take more time to market, while the US business model is faster. This translates to a higher pace from start to finish on projects. Did you always envision yourself in this field? How difficult was the transition from Sweden to the US, and what did that experience teach you?

No, I didn’t necessarily always envision myself in this field. My background was primarily in military and security work, which is very different from commercial construction. As for the transition from Swedish to American culture, it was fairly straightforward. All of my family is still in Sweden, but I had prior experience with Americans and American culture in Sweden. The biggest lesson I learned was to keep your eyes and ears open and not to take anything for granted. In your industry, how vital is the art of building relationships to the process of expansion? Extremely vital. I am a huge believer in building relationships, simply because it has proven over time to generate expertise, trust, and quality. At Hudson Group, we’ve developed long-term relationships with many of the companies we use, but we are also very cost-aware.



You are continuing to expand the business throughout North America. What sorts of challenges have you faced in that process? Our business has grown both organically and through acquisition over the past 30 years. In the airport industry, logistical issues are ever-present. With both federal and state guidelines that come into play, along with local rules and regulations, our project scope always varies from location to location. It takes a lot of time and patience to cover all areas of the job and to make sure the finished product is delivered to everyone’s satisfaction. Post-security locations offer a great deal of planning in terms of time and cost, as an example. What keeps you striving and pushing forward despite all the obstacles?

“I am a huge believer in building relationships, simply because it has proven over time to generate expertise, trust, and quality.”

The people I work with make my job interesting. I enjoy the interaction with all my colleagues, the builders, providers, and airport executives. For many years, Hudson Group has also been expanding into cobranding—particularly through partnerships with Dunkin Donuts and Victoria’s Secret. How have these partnerships influenced your role? We work with so many luxury brands, and because of this, it’s become second nature to develop partnerships and teamwork across brand borders. I truly enjoy working with other brands to learn their processes and products. It’s a fantastic way to develop know-how in retail construction. Your responsibilities must leave you with a lot of different things that need to be connected. As regional director of facilities and store development, my job is to manage the architects, engineers, GCs, and material suppliers in order to make each project come to life. In many ways, I operate like a spider in a web—making sure all things are tied together. At Hudson Group, communication is a bit of a catchphrase these days, but without it we’d all just be guessing. It must take strong leadership to build those connections. What are the key components needed for managing your experts and ensuring they’re all working toward one common goal? I believe in a laissez-faire, hands-off management approach, which basically means you hire competent people and communicate expectations instead of micromanaging every detail. It empowers each person to bring their best selves to the table.

You manage the East Coast portfolio from New York to Miami, and your job scope stretches from hiring and managing architects to working with GCs. How do you cope with that level of multitasking? Do you enjoy working on multiple things at once? My job sure keeps me busy, but I always enjoy a good challenge. As you know, in this industry, you’re only as good as your last project, so it is important to stay current. My area covers most of the East Coast, not all of it, but let me tell you, it’s plenty. Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on in the past? It’s hard to pick one specifically, but since I live in the New York tristate area, I’ll go with JFK’s Terminal 4. I fly out of there often, and I’ve had many ongoing projects there. It’s great to see your projects come to life and to also see people enjoy your work. What do you feel is the most crucial aspect of success in your job? Does it relate more to expertise or relationships? Listening is key. Communicating expectations is just as important. Being fair with target budgets and timelines is not always the easiest thing, but again, it has to be clearly understood by all parties involved. Hiring experienced professionals certainly helps in this process.



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Who you surround yourself with is crucial to your development as a person and with the business. When did you learn these life lessons? You are right, it’s crucial to your development. I learned my most important life lessons from paying attention to my father, my coaches, my commanding officers, and my bosses, just to name a few. I like listening to older generations who speak from experience, rather than theory. Those leaders must’ve had a lot of important wisdom to impart. Has one particular seed they planted stuck with you? The one indelible piece of wisdom that I’ve learned is that actions speak louder than words. You’re an avid sportsman, enjoying tennis, golf, skiing, scuba diving, and many other hobbies. How important is health and well-being when faced with as high-powered and stressful a job as yours? Whiskey helps. [Laughs] Surely that’s not all that helps, though. Do you find yourself picking up more hobbies the busier you get? How important is health and fitness for stress? Having a good work-life balance is key when it comes to enjoying life outside of work. And, as important as work is and always will be, family always comes first.

Holt Construction Corp. congratulates Anders Johnels on his recognition by American Builders Quarterly. For more than 98 years, Holt has been a full-service construction-management, general contracting, and design-build firm offering an extensive range of services in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Texas metro areas. Holt thrives on its reputation as a quality construction company that maintains core values and family atmosphere while providing the best services to its clients.

Silver Star Industries has provided high-quality millwork for top airport retailers including Anders Johnels and Hudson Group for more than 30 years. Full in-house fabrication (including wood, metal, acrylic, lighting, and graphics) and hands-on project-manager control means we can outperform other domestic suppliers with excellent value at every level.

CDS Mestel Construction Corp. is an organization which specializes in general contracting, design build, and construction management services throughout the tri-state area. With over 100 years of experience, our organization has specialized in projects spanning from offices, restaurants, food and beverage venues, as well as high end retail in malls and airports. 2120 Jericho Turnpike • Garden City Park, NY 11040 Office: 516.739.1865 • Fax: 516.739.3957

Tricarico Architecture and Design is a full-service firm that has specialized in retail, restaurant, automotive, fitness, beauty, corporate interior, and hospitality work for 30 years. We are proud to have long-standing, incredibly talented, and esteemed partners such as Anders Johnels and the Hudson Group. Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!


Giving Facilities More Skin in the Game Director of facilities Jeremy Weber shares some of the benefits of bringing facilities management in-house


by Karen LeBlanc




Ever since aspiring chef Jeremy Weber began tossing dough in a Denver pizza joint at age 15, he’s continued to learn the different ways an employee can have a seat at the table to ensure a restaurant’s success. His career progressed from that first job to work as the lead chef at a four-star restaurant and later executive sous chef positions, and then, at age 23, he moved to the Pacific Northwest to work for Chipotle. Over more than 15 years with the company, Weber has advanced from general manager to regional facilities manager to his current role, director of facilities. “As a kid, I was really good at taking things apart and figuring out how they worked,” he says. “At Chipotle, as a facilities technician, I was drawn to the challenge of making facilities run properly and efficiently. I’m energized by solving problems and removing obstacles from operations.” Weber recently earned the designation of Certified Restaurant Facility Professional from the Restaurant Facility Management Association, where he currently serves as a board member. He continues to find ways to solve problems for restaurants and chains, and one measure he has consistently found contributes to their success is having facilities-management work done in-house rather than outsourcing preventative and reactionary repairs. Below are just a few of the reasons why. Significant Cost Savings

Jeremy Weber Director of Facilities Chipotle

“It is important for me to be on the front lines with my team and create an environment of empowerment and ownership. I learn as much from them as they do from me.”

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It was early in his career that Weber began to notice the potential money that could be saved by an in-house facilities-management team. “When I was in operations, running restaurants, we didn’t have a facilities department, so the restaurant managers were charged with getting repairs done on their own without adequately knowing how,” he says. “This wasn’t cost effective, nor did it allow the operators to focus solely on the food and the guest experience.” He also knew that an in-house team would be better because “an outsourced vendor may come in and make a repair to a single item based on area of expertise,” he says, “whereas a highly trained in-house facilities technician can take care of a wider range of issues on-site and, at the same time, educate staff on how to proactively care for the restaurant.” He and his current in-house team educate not only restaurant staff on proactive, cost-saving facilities measures but other company departments, too. “Our department partners directly with design, construction, real estate, and procurement teams to build restaurants that are durable, reducing overall development expenses and minimizing reinvestment costs throughout the life of a lease,” he says. “By working together, our collaboration efforts afford us the ability to build cost-effective and sustainable locations.”

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Focused Sustainability Efforts In-house teams can help restaurants save significantly on their resource consumption, too. “Not only are we finding efficiencies with handling waste; we’re also analyzing energy and utilities and working with our supply chain to source packaging materials that can be recycled or composted,” Weber says. His current team is coordinating the upgrading of all LED lamps in all restaurants to improve the guest experience and decrease energy consumption, and the old LED lamps will be recycled and rendered down to raw materials so that they can be reused. “Many business owners may turn the other direction when considering sustainability initiatives, as they often come at a cost,” Weber says. “But, with creative measures, you can actually find savings and be comforted by the fact that they’re doing the right thing for the planet.” Preparation for the Unforeseen Particularly when handling the needs of a chain with thousands of locations, Weber says, an in-house team can also help a company “quickly and efficiently respond to the unexpected.” In the space of just a few recent months, Weber and his team were able to deal with vandalism in a neighboring tenant space that caused a natural gas leak; an equipment malfunction that sparked an electrical fire, resulting in significant damage to a multitenant building; and multiple restaurants damaged by the hurricanes that hit this past September. “We can care for our locations properly, minimizing restaurant down time and extending the useful life of all assets,” Weber says. Greater Team Collaboration The collaborative efforts of different departments is fundamental to the running of a tight operation, but having a facilities-management team in-house improves the ability of its members to work together as a unit, too. Weber’s leadership philosophy encompasses three pillars—activate, collaborate, and empower—and together they maximize the strengths and contributions of his team. “Including your team in big decisions is important,” Weber says, explaining that he acts as both a manager and a mentor, meeting frequently with people on his team to provide insight, training, and development opportunities. “Making sure that your team members know their opinions matter and are valued gives them a sense of purpose and a seat at the table.” And, at the same time, Weber’s work is enriched, too. “It is important for me to be on the front lines with my team and create an environment of empowerment and ownership,” he says. “I learn as much from them as they do from me.”

Congratulations Chipotle on your continued success! We value our long term partnership & support your mission to Cultivate a Better World through Food with Integrity! - Rob Kinkelaar, President Adcon Signs | | 970-484-3637

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A Road Less Traveled Since forgoing a college degree, Chet Carpenter has built a robust career in construction by David Baez



JC Penney Portrait Studios


It’s considered common sense in this country that a bachelor’s degree, if not an advanced degree, is a crucial step toward building a career in business. This belief, woven into the fabric of society, leads legions of young people to take out massive student loans and spend four—even sometimes eight—years in the classroom before finally diving into their chosen professions. But is that really necessary? If Chet Carpenter’s story is any indication, a college education is definitely not the only path to success. Carpenter, major projects global construction manager leader for Invista, the world’s largest integrated fiber, resin, and intermediates company, never set foot in a college classroom on the way to building a robust career in the construction industry. Instead, he has relied on a series of mentors and his own determination to take on any responsibilities that have been offered to him. “I had no real direction when I graduated from high school,” he says. “I was working in a grocery store and a fast-food restaurant to make ends meet. Growing up in a Christian home, I had no access to television or anything like that, so I didn’t have the role models other kids did, who they looked up to and tried to model their lives after. My mentors were the individuals around me.” Carpenter’s first and primary mentor was Doug Fletcher. Although Fletcher was 10 years older, they attended the same church, and the older boy, whom Carpenter had always admired, immediately took him under his wing. Fletcher had begun his career in the construction industry, and the opportunity to do the same soon arose for Carpenter. Carpenter was still doing double duty at the grocery store and the restaurant, though, and he was about to get married. Seeing that his work situation left him dog tired and struggling to support his family, Fletcher offered him a job as an electrical technician’s helper, even though Carpenter had no experience in the field. Carpenter began his first day of work at 2:30 in the morning, picking Fletcher up to drive him the 70 miles to work. Once they arrived at the shop, he realized he didn’t even have steel-toed boots (Carpenter’s soon-tobe father-in-law gave him $100 to purchase them later that evening). “Doug turned me over to the supervisor and said, ‘I don’t want you to play games with this boy; teach him how to wire panels and show him how we run this business,’” Carpenter recalls. “So I wasn’t just installing conduit and pulling wires. I asked a lot of questions, and they


Honors and Awards

Chet Carpenter Major Projects Global Construction Manager Leader Invista

Carpenter has accumulated a number of impressive awards and recognitions over the course of his career. He sits on the advisory board for Downstream Engineering, Construction & Maintenance, is a member of the Engineering & Construction Contracting Association, and is on a research team with the Construction Industry Institute. He has managed construction projects that have won the following awards: • Power Engineering: Project of the Year; Coal Project of the Year • POWER Magazine: Top Coal Plant • Platts: Global Energy Award; Construction Premier Project Award finalist • ENR: Best Industrial Project Award of Merit • Bentley Systems: Be Inspired Special Recognition Award

gave me answers. I learned about why we had certain unit rates, what they were, and how to look at and manage performance factors.” As Carpenter learned more about the business, his pay increased, and he saw that he could comfortably pay his bills and take care of his family. From there, he decided that whenever there was an opportunity to learn something new and make more money, he would always take it, even if it meant longer hours or time out of the country. In the ensuing years, Carpenter worked in various sectors of the construction business, including in copper mines, paper mills, oil refineries, and nuclear facilities. He gained experience working all across the country and in Canada, France, the Caribbean, and South America. “Never, as a young man, did I spell out ‘This is how I want my career to be,’” he says. “When opportunities made themselves available, I never said no.” In 2013, Carpenter joined Invista. Today, he’s tasked with managing the company’s largest construction proj-





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ects, including anything that costs $10 million or more. He supports each project through its many phases, from contracting, to budgeting for deliverables, to actual execution. His latest project in France will take an estimated one million man hours to complete. While he does see a lot of value in a college education, Carpenter feels strongly that had he not taken the path he did, he probably wouldn’t have ended up where he is today. He tries to impart that to young people who are interested in the profession, and he thinks that having more workers who dive right into working and gaining experience will only benefit the industry. Carpenter remembers the early days—working in the winter chill, breaking nine-foot icicles off of steel beams before allowing other workers on-site, or sweltering in 114-degree heat in Arizona. He knows that if he had gotten a college education, he might have been able to avoid those experiences, but he says they’ve been invaluable to him in building the career he has. He passionately believes that the construction field can bring opportunities to anyone willing to work hard, regardless of their education level. “A college education is not necessary to pursue this career,” he says. “I think we’ve convinced everybody that if you don’t have a college education, you don’t have opportunities, but it isn’t true. Everyone wants to sit behind a computer in an air-conditioned office. But you can make a good living in construction; you can operate a crane and make six digits.” Carpenter has another key piece of advice for young people: “If you have a mentor like I did, someone who will help you out and give you that chance, take that opportunity and make the most that you can out of it.”

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A Perfect Marriage After a long search, Norm Fjeldheim has found a way to wed his dual passions for construction and IT at Illumina


by David Baez



To say Norm Fjeldheim has construction in his blood is putting it mildly. His grandfather worked on the Hoover Dam, one of the largest public works projects in the nation’s history, and his father was a successful GC in the Bay Area, specializing in concrete works. His father didn’t see hard work as the sole province of adults, and he began bringing Fjeldheim to construction sites when Fjeldheim was 11, tasking him with sweeping up sawdust and picking up trash. At 16, Fjeldheim joined the carpenters union as an apprentice. He worked every summer and every holiday, picking up more skills along the way. Then he decided to enter college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo to add academic knowledge to what he had learned on the sites. He loved every aspect of building and chose to major in architecture. He quickly discovered, however, that the design side was a bit too abstract for him. “The professors were talking about creating designs and the aesthetics of designs,” he says. “But I was always wondering, How are you going to build that? I would argue with the professor about how a building would get built. The pure architecture approach—‘Let’s make something that’s beautiful’—didn’t take into account the cost of it and how it would get done, and that’s not the way my mind worked.” Two years in, he quit school to work full-time for his father, first as a carpenter foreman and then as a job superintendent. Still searching for the right career, he entered San Diego State as a business major. One of the required courses for the major was information technology programming, and to his surprise, Fjeldheim loved it. “I was a little nervous because I didn’t know much about it, but I took the class and something just clicked,” he says. “It was a logical approach to problem-solving that fit really well with me and the way my mind worked.” Narrowing his area of study to business information systems, he realized that learning about both business and IT would give him a niche in construction that would unite all his interests. At a job fair close to his graduation date, he interviewed with Qualcomm, a start-up at the time, and they hired him on the spot. It wasn’t construction, but it was in San Diego and paid well. “At that point, I stepped away from my lifelong goal of going into construction and took this 90-degree turn,” Fjeldheim says. “And I loved it, I did well at it, and I enjoyed it. I did always have a foot in the door in facilities

Norm Fjeldheim SVP, Chief Information Officer, and Head of Global Facilities Illumina

at the company, designing data centers and power plants, but my primary responsibility was IT.” Fjeldheim left Qualcomm after 28 years with the company and ended up interviewing with Illumina. To his surprise, he was asked during the interview if he’d be interested in running facilities as well as IT. His dream of combining his two areas of interest was finally fulfilled. Fjeldheim has a lot on his plate in both aspects of his role, given that Illumina has been undergoing a period of rapid growth. The company is building a new manufacturing center in Wisconsin, consolidating facilities in England, and expanding in Asia. The latest Illumina project that has Fjeldheim excited about coming to work every




“You couldn’t have put together a better offer in terms of scope,” he says. “I enjoyed IT but always wanted to get back into facilities, and here I do both. I get to problem-solve in both areas. I get to solve business problems on the IT side, and I’m also creating new buildings and coming up with new workplace designs for the employees. It’s just been amazing.”

A Passion for Animation Work is vastly fulfilling for Fjeldheim, but he has also turned to a hobby, 3D animation, to gratify his creative side. He plays with digital sculpting programs and 3D modeling programs to create animations as well as still images (above). The programs allow him to simulate architecture work, design landscapes, and create animated characters. He loves it because, unlike aesthetics, the 3D building is governed by the same rules that govern building in the actual world. It’s much like Fjeldheim himself – creative, but always grounded in reality and the pragmatic. “I get to put things together not in a way that they couldn’t exist, but following the same rules of reality,” he says. “I enjoy the artistic aspect of it; it gratifies my creative side. I could never let go of that part of how my mind works.”

“Congratulations to Norm Fjeldheim on his well-deserved recognition. With capabilities and experience that assure innovative, reliable, adaptable, and precise engineering and design solutions, EXP has been fortunate to grow with Illumina through the years and hopes to remain its trusted partner for many more to come.” —Rachael Sampson, PE, EXP







day is the new campus the company is building to bring everyone from its four Bay Area offices into the same space. “It’s designed to replicate a college atmosphere that recent graduates will feel at home in,” he says. “We’re implementing a lot of new concepts on this campus. Most Silicon Valley campuses consist of a building with nothing around it. This is a cluster of buildings around a courtyard, with open-air seating so that people can work outside. Wi-Fi will blanket the campus. These are things you don’t usually see.” With this and many other exciting projects ahead of him, Fjeldheim relishes that he has finally fulfilled his longtime dream of merging his dual passions into one job.



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The Only Constant Is Change Even in the face of unexpected challenges, Nancy Weinstein partners across multiple departments to create an effective approach to facility management


by Galen Beebe






There’s no such thing as a typical week for Nancy Weinstein. On a calm day, she spends her first few hours at work checking items off her to-do list, but by 9:00 a.m., unplanned emergencies begin. Examples might include, but are not limited to, a network failure, a catastrophic weather event, or a driver accidentally steering through the side of a building. Whatever it is, Weinstein says, “no two days are ever alike.” This unpredictability was what initially drew Weinstein to a facility-management career. After majoring in accounting and finance at Suffolk University, she took a position in the construction department at Equity Office, a commercial real estate firm, and was directed to balance and close the budgets on each of its tenant build-outs. Although her core focus was on the financial side, Weinstein was soon presented with expanded opportunities to work on minor tenant-improvement build-outs, and she enjoyed the new challenges that were presented to her. “Every day begins with a new puzzle piece,” she says. “My job is to figure out what is the most effective and efficient way to fit the piece into the company’s overall accomplishments or strategies.” “The job of a facility manager is never done,” says Jeff Robbins, director of commercial pest marketing at Rentokil North America. “It takes a special person with good organizational skills, patience, and perseverance to navigate the daily challenges and demands. We salute Nancy and her professionalism.” When challenged with solving puzzles, Weinstein collaborates closely with all departments across her organization. “My main role as a senior facility manager is to bring all necessary key stakeholders together to create process efficiencies,” she says.

Jake Forg

Leasing, Transactions, and Legal A property lease is long and typically does not clearly state facility management’s responsibilities. In spite of this, Weinstein needs to know things such as who clears the snow or fixes the roof. “The facility department is only focused on about three out of a lease’s 100 pages, but those three are very critical to us,” Weinstein says. “No lease is ever signed until facilities has reviewed it and provided their feedback.” A facility department deals with hundreds of vendor contracts each year, but one of the largest involves snow and landscaping. In 2014, record-breaking snowfall hit the northeastern United States. Every day, for more than ten weeks, Weinstein’s day consisted of determining which properties would not be able to operate within business hours, clearing hundreds of parking lots, and coordinat-


Nancy Weinstein Senior Facility Manager Santander

ing the shoveling of snow from many roofs because of the weight of the snow. “By the time we would clean up from one event,” Weinstein says, “the next storm was on its way.” When negotiating snow-removal contracts, Weinstein has learned, it’s important to include a presalting requirement. A failure to presalt leads to ice buildup, which results in many slip and falls. “Those accidents can quickly snowball into an exorbitant number of slip-and-fall insurance claims that we continuously respond to throughout the summer,” Weinstein says. Project Management Once a lease has been reviewed and signed, the project-management team produces drawings for all buildouts or renovations. “That engagement between the project-management and facility teams is very important and needs to be strong,” Weinstein says. “There are often times the teams don’t agree on what is best for a space, but since there is no I in team, we work together to compromise on the best solution.”

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The project-management team’s view can be limited to a given location whereas Weinstein considers each location as part of the wider real estate portfolio. Even the smallest detail, such as which light bulb to purchase, must remain consistent across the network. Buying a nonstandard light fixture may save the project team money initially, but it requires the facility team to purchase multiple types of light bulbs, thus increasing overall costs. “Even though a project manager sees the build-out from beginning to end,” Weinstein says, “on opening day, the keys are handed over to facilities to manage going forward.” Space Planning Whether employees are moving a mile or relocating across state lines, Weinstein works closely with the space-planning department to coordinate the moves. “Even though the space-planning manager will take the lead in the actual coordination of moving individuals, each move always requires a facility person to be involved in the process,” Weinstein says. The facility department carries the responsibility of coordinating the purging or archiving of old documents, returning old electronics to the IT department, and setting up new desks. The space-planning team has the responsibilities of determining where employees will relocate to and makes sure they get there, Weinstein explains. “Once that’s completed, then it’s facilities’ job to make sure that they’re comfortable at that location,” she says.


“Even though a project manager sees the build-out from beginning to end, on opening day, the keys are handed over to facilities to manage going forward.”

system and the IT lead manager for any server issues. Most team members are often not located in the same office, so being able to quickly communicate is vital.



Like facilities, the IT department has its physical assets to account for. “They deal with equipment, and we deal with the areas surrounding the equipment,” Weinstein says. In some cases, the distinction between who owns responsibility of the equipment and surroundings is clear—for example, when installing a credit card pin pad. “The pad itself—that’s an IT piece of equipment,” Weinstein says. “But providing the mount and installing it to the counter is the responsibility of the facility team.” When addressing larger infrastructural issues, both departments need to be involved. In the event of a network outage, for example, the business continually reaches out to the facility team to investigate the electrical

Some of Weinstein’s closest cross-functional collaboration occurs with the security department. The security and facility teams work together daily to ensure that customers and employees are accessing safe environments. Anticipating potential security issues is particularly important for remote locations. In the event of protests, rallies, or other large gatherings where there might be anticipated security threats, Weinstein works with security to inform local managers. “When working remotely, you need to understand who the key players are and how to solve a problem rather quickly,” Weinstein says. “If your home office is in Boston, you do not know what’s happening in downtown New York.”

Providing consultancy expertise to 8,500 Walgreens locations throughout the US and Puerto Rico.

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The Right Dose for Brand Revival As Walgreens enters a strategic renaissance in the health and wellness space, it’s looking to brand its facilities according to their locales and markets


by Jenny Draper




Chances are, there’s a Walgreens nearby. In fact, about 76 percent of Americans live within five miles of a store affiliated with the iconic brand. The pharmacy chain has served its neighborhoods for more than 117 years, and now about eight million customers interact in its stores and online daily. But, in the past few years, the Walgreens footprint has been defined by reinvention as the brand pushes further into the health and wellness space. And to continue to do so, it’s now looking to Steve Lamontagne.

Lamontagne got his start in store development in the food retail industry at Almacs, SuperValu, Albertsons, and Ahold before joining the brand strategy company Jackman. In 2013, Amazon recruited him to develop a tech-savvy retail design for its brick-and-mortar stores. Two years later, he joined Walgreens as the division vice president of development, design, and construction before his promotion to his current role, group vice president of store development and care, in 2017. Now, Lamontagne oversees roughly 200 people on staff as well as a host of outside vendors, who together implement the end-to-end transformations of various Walgreens locations. Lamontagne handles all aspects of store construction from planning to space management, including the designs, rollouts, and maintenance strategies for more than 8,300 sites. As an agent for change, he is now focusing on simplifying Walgreens’ storefront items, launching beauty brands, and forging new clinic partnerships to usher in a new era for the company’s strategic growth. “The store that was built 15 years ago in a certain suburb on a corner, with the changing demographic around it, may have changed,” Lamontagne explained as part of a RetailSpaces 2015 panel. “We need to look at the offer and the mix within the overall location—some Walgreens stores are more healthcare focused, some are more front-end focused or convenience focused—and through that lens, along with looking at the real estate lease options, start to make some decisions around portfolio rationalization.”

Steve Lamontagne Group VP of Store Development and Care Walgreens

Lamontagne is building on the upgrades established by Walgreens in 2011, when the pharmacy chain first introduced its Well Experience store format. The renaissance featured a new layout that added an “Ask Your Pharmacist” desk and private consultation rooms to make pharmacists more accessible to customers. It also expanded products and services beyond the typical drug store, with treatments for chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma as well as lifestyle perks such as cafés and boutiques. The overhaul was further expanded in 2014, when Walgreens merged with Alliance Boots as the first global, pharmacy-led health and well-being enterprise. Then, in September 2017, the pharmacy giant further expanded when it purchased more than 1,900 Rite Aid drug stores. Currently, the company also includes about 400 healthcare clinics, 370 workplace health centers, and 200 health-system pharmacies—evidence of Walgreen’s evolution toward comprehensive care. The following landmark projects in recent Walgreens history mark the way. Net-Zero Flagship Location: Evanston, IL Debut: November 2013 By the year 2020, Walgreens aims to reduce energy usage intensity by about 20 percent, in partnership with the US Department of Energy. A demonstration of this commitment is its 635 Chicago Avenue location, in Evanston. It’s a

Making a Difference


Giving back to the communities they serve is a major priority for Walgreens, and they’re involved in a number of charitable initiatives. In 2016, Walgreens became the exclusive retail partner of the first American Red Nose Day, a charitable initiative organized by Comic Relief that had been celebrated in Britain for more than 25 years. Walgreens sold bright red clown noses for $1 and donated the proceeds to the Red Nose Fund. In America, the Red Nose Fund benefits charities such as Save the Children, the United Way, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The money Walgreens donated impacted the lives of more than 2 million American children, according to their website.

milestone in the company’s efforts to minimize its environmental impact. Sustainability directed the construction process, including the use of friendly material finishes and the recycling of debris, and the completed project follows suit. The site, at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Keeney Street, is designed to use only half the energy typically used in area stores. It houses renewable resources such as two vertical wind turbines, stormwater filtration, and a stepped array of 850 solar panels, with window film that redirects daylight for harvesting. It’s LED lighting system reduces energy usage by almost 30 percent. Other green elements include low-water fixtures, adaptive plants requiring no irrigation, and a carbon dioxide-based refrigeration system with geothermal boreholes. The overall design aims to produce more energy than is consumed, championing the first step in a crucial part of the Walgreens mission: to create healthy customers through a healthy planet.

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Walgreens Through the Years

1901 Charles R. Walgreen Sr. purchases the Chicago drugstore where he worked as a pharmacist; from there, he starts the Walgreens chain

1994 The 2,000th store opens in Cleveland

1926 The 100th Walgreens store opens in Chicago

1960 Walgreens enters the Puerto Rico market, and it celebrates filling its 100 millionth prescription

1984 Walgreens opens its 1,000th store at 1200 N. Dearborn Street in Chicago

West Coast Flagship Store Location: Los Angeles Debut: November 2012 Walgreens made its first move to the West Coast with the construction of its 8,000th store at 1501 Vine Street. The famed site, at the iconic corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, formerly contained a Tower Record store and a Schwab’s drug store. Today, the Walgreens location pays homage to its Hollywood locale through its design and tailored product offerings. “This flagship location brings not only a unique retail offering to this community but also additional jobs and economic investment that help build a vibrant neighborhood,” said former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in a news release for the site’s grand opening.

2006 Walgreens acquires Happy Harry’s drugstore chain, adding 76 stores, primarily in Delaware

2009 Walgreens opens its first store in Alaska, marking its presence in all 50 states 2013 Walgreens opens what is believed to be the nation’s first net-zero energy store, anticipated to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes, in Evanston, IL

2012 The company debuts its Chicago flagship store, returning to the iconic shopping corner of State and Randolph in Chicago’s Loop, where it operated a store from 1926 to 2005

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While the typical Walgreens layout is about 13,900 square feet, the West Coast flagship has 24,000 square feet housing a sushi, coffee, and juice bar. And, it’s much more than a pharmacy, indicating Walgreens’s lifestyle approach. The upscale offerings include the Upmarket Café and a LOOK Boutique with booths featuring No7 cosmetics. A Beverage Wizard kiosk recommends pairings from a selection of more than 700 wines, specialty meats, chocolates, and artisan cheeses. A machine also dispenses 130 varieties of Coca Cola fountain drinks. State and Randolph Flagship Store Location: Chicago Debut: January 2012 The pharmacy chain started with a single Chicago store, founded by Charles R. Walgreen Sr., in 1901. More than a century later, Walgreens brought a new, one-of-a-kind drugstore experience to 151 North State Street with its Well Experience upgrade. “The customer starts to recognize, ‘Yeah, they’ve done something to the store. It’s clean. It’s refreshed. And therefore I’m going to shop more often,’” Lamontagne says. “Suddenly, you’re starting to get that payback for the investment.” Nestled in the historic State Street shopping district, the initial State and Randolph Walgreens stood in operation from 1926 to 2005. The new two-story store there features a more modern look, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and flagship amenities that make it a retail health daily-living destination. “This store brings together our most innovative, forward-thinking initiatives under one stunning roof, and we couldn’t be more proud to make its debut in our hometown,” said former Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson in a press release for the site’s grand opening. Noel State Bank Building Location: Chicago Debut: November 2012 About nine months after opening its first flagship location, Walgreens opened a second flagship store at 1601 North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. While the first site entailed a largely contemporary design, development of the second site prioritized the preservation of the Noel State Bank building’s historic architecture and elements: ornamental terra cotta, pilasters, and cornice wraps adorning the exterior. Constructed in 1919, the neoclassical building at the corner of North and Damen avenues was originally a bank


“This store brings together our most innovative, forwardthinking initiatives under one stunning roof, and we couldn’t be more proud to make its debut in our hometown.”

that once closed after a bank run during the Great Depression. It continued to host different banks over the years, up until Midwest Bank left in 2005. The space then remained vacant until Walgreens stepped in to restore it, in partnership with the city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks. The two-year project restored the interior columns and the coffered plaster ceiling, featuring intricate designs of hexagons and griffins. Star of David patterns on the ceiling mirror the six-point star design in the large stained glass window at the center. Walgreens also converted the original bank’s cast-iron safe into a Vitamin Vault that became part of the store’s health and wellness department. The walk-in vault features visible locking gears and original bank lockboxes to display the products.

K.A.I. Total Pavement Management is proud to be a partner to Walgreens and Steve Lamontagne. Together we have delivered construction management solutions to many Happy and Healthy Walgreens’ parking facilities across the country. Congratulations Steve on so many jobs well done, we are looking forward to what tomorrow brings.


Seven for Sevan Sevan Multi-Site Solutions has grown its annual revenue to more than $50 million since its founding as a multi-site design and construction program-management company seven years ago by Russ Gager



(Top) Paul Beauchamp, (Bottom) Lockwood Studios


McDonald’s. BP. Walgreens. What do these companies have in common? The answer, it turns out, is Sevan Multi-Site Solutions. Sevan proudly lists the three global, Chicago-based corporations among its earliest customers—and it still has all three accounts as valued clients. “We get along famously with all of them,” president Jim Evans says. “In fact, much of our growth is due to them awarding more and more of their business to us.” How did a veteran-owned small business develop such an enviable roster of clients in seven years? The company has always relied on relationships as the core of its business, leading it to seek out customers that share its core values of integrity, respect, teamwork, excellence, and charity. But, while relationships can get a company in the client’s door, team members still have to deliver. The high percentage of Sevan team members with military backgrounds may help explain the company’s success. Approximately 10 percent of its staff is made up of veterans, and seven are graduates of military academies—six of them from West Point. The military mentality that no hill is too high has helped Sevan respond to new opportunities effectively. “We have a hard time saying no to new challenges, especially when they come in the form of real needs from current clients,” says Steve Kuhn, senior vice president of operations, adding that the company’s goal is to reach strategic-partner status with its clients. “We believe that our key differentiators are the outstanding quality of our staff and our ability to continually create cutting-edge technology solutions that meet the challenges faced by our clients.” These differentiators support the company’s vision to be the best in the world at delivering innovative design, program-management, and construction services to global organizations with multiple sites. Sevan is building new sites or renovating existing ones throughout North America for retail fuel and convenience stores, restaurants, grocery stores, retail sites, and commercial and government agencies—as well as in the healthcare, housing, and hospitality sectors. Tom Glatz, senior vice president of operations and design, also attributes the company’s rapid growth to its strong team members and “our willingness to take time to truly listen to the needs of our clients and to deliver at the highest levels possible. We are continually adding solutions to our corporate toolbox that we deploy for our clients. We are passionate about developing new and innovative methods to deliver value that differentiate us from our competitors.” This approach has led Sevan to create a number of custom technology solutions to meet client needs. “For example, we have greatly enhanced our survey and da-


Through carefully cultivated relationships, Sevan Multi-Site Solutions has been able to secure work on projects for a number of major brands, including McDonald’s and Walgreens.



“We believe that our key differentiators are the outstanding quality of our staff and our ability to continually create cuttingedge technology solutions that meet the challenges faced by our clients.�

Steve Kuhn SVP of Operations Sevan Multi-Site Solutions

Tom Glatz SVP of Operations and Design Sevan Multi-Site Solutions

Morgan Ehemann


ta-collection capabilities as well as our ability to analyze the data we generate,” Glatz says. Walgreens is one Sevan client that has benefited from this development. According to Matt Mangold, senior director of the retail program-management team at Walgreens, Sevan’s innovations have helped his company save time and money. “Sevan developed a custom web solution that expedited distributed decision-making for our facility upgrades,” Mangold says. “The tool generated real-time updates to budget and program data as decisions were made. It cut weeks of time and eliminated hours and hours of spreadsheet revisions from the process.” Joe Collins, architecture & construction senior director of development at McDonald’s, also attests to Sevan’s innovative, customer-first attitude.“Sevan has played a key role in one of the largest modernization programs in the history of McDonald’s,” Collins says. “Their virtual-tour technology helps cut weeks off the front end of schedules while making life easier for our owner-operators. And, as we’ve scaled to thousands of major remodels around the country, Sevan has kept pace, providing our teams with the support, expertise, and manpower needed.” “We figure we have surveyed and assessed over 100 million square feet of space in the last 12 months,” Evans estimates. “We might be the largest retail survey company in the country. More importantly, these surveys provide the hard data, backed by photographic and interactive 360-degree imagery, our customers need to make informed, data-based decisions.” As part of its process, Sevan can deploy field techs highly trained in computer-aided design (CAD) to draw as-built plans for client stores. “This ability is critical, as most CAD-skilled staff in the marketplace are accustomed to operating only from an office environment,” Kuhn says. “Our design team can leverage these field-created plans to develop construction drawings in as little as one day per store.” With a team of international designers and architects on staff (licensed in 47 states), Sevan can be the architect of record for its clients’ projects. Sevan more than doubled its revenues in 2016, and as of press time, it was on its way to exceeding $50 million in revenues in 2017. Through it all, Evans is keeping his focus firmly on the key to success: “We’ve been able to grow because Sevan believes in putting its team first and giving them the tools and technology they need to deliver excellence to our wonderful clients.” Kuhn agrees: “Our goal is to really focus on our people because, as a service provider, that is really what our clients are buying: a desire to work with our staff.”


Jim Evans President Sevan Multi-Site Solutions

“We’ve been able to grow because Sevan believes in putting its team first and giving them the tools and technology they need to deliver excellence to our wonderful clients.”



points of interest Some of the quirkier takeaways from this issue

Putting the ‘Hip’ in Hippopotamus Fiona the Hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in February 2017, and she immediately became a social media sensation. Born three weeks early, she weighed only 29 pounds at birth, but had blossomed to a healthy 550 pounds at press time. (P. 187)

Scandalous Stage Mississippi State University’s Old Opera House hosted a performance of Henrik Ibsen’s play Ghosts in the late 1800s. The play was banned in Europe for its controversial subject matter at the time. (P. 92)

The Best Buns in the Business If you want to try and recreate one of Shake Shack’s mouth-watering burgers at home, start with the right bun. Shake Shack exclusively uses potato rolls from Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, a family-operated business in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. (P. 30)

GV Facades – Exterior F130 Cladding System is a sustainable green solution with superior aesthetic design and valued energy efficiencies. Products & Services: Turnkey solutions for rain screen systems (including installation); FF&E services; ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for hospitality products (case goods, lighting, LED mirrors, shower pans & surrounds, glass shower doors); porcelain tile solutions, and more.

Time to Slime Nickelodeon is famous for its groundbreaking children’s television programming—and for its signature slime. The bright green concoction made famous on shows like You Can’t Do That On Television was made from a mixture of Cream of Wheat, water, green food coloring, and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (for easy cleanup). (P. 100)

National Retail General Contractors Building Stores for More Than 28 Years “Unique” because we: Understand your Need to Incorporate without Question a Unified Environment

Building Burritos Chipotle’s restaurants are known for their industrial look, and there’s a reason for that. The simple, exposed design was chosen to mirror Chipotle’s basic, natural ingredients. (P. 12)

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Elizabeth Pinkham shares a laugh with Codey the bear during her photoshoot. Codey is one of Salesforce’s Trailhead Characters, a group of animated adventurers who help employees embrace the company’s fun side. According to their website, “Codey is the bear tackling projects and getting his paws dirty, all while having a great time.”

Gillian Fry


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American Builders Quarterly #69