BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management


A Day in the Life of Mike Turzanski

A True Team Player


Up Close and Personal

Mike, what is your favorite movie?
I’d have to say “Deer Hunter” with [Robert] DeNiro. He’s my favorite actor. The Polish wedding reception reminds me of a couple I have experienced.

What do you do in your spare time?
Family first. I have a great family, so it’s a lot of family activities. My son’s got me out sky-diving with him. I used to sky-dive as a kid, and said I’d never do it again. But when he turned 18, he asked me if I’d go with him, so that’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of years. I shoot sporting clays. A couple of engineers around town do the same, so we get out on weekends once in a while and do that. I have skied most of my life, and now I’m painfully learning to snowboard. I’m trying to improve my golf game. People seem to think it’s a lot of fun to watch me golf; they get quite a laugh out of that. Then, of course, we’ve got the Broncos here. I’ve been an avid south stands fan for 25 years.

Most valuable resource?
Our clients and managers allow our engineering teams to have certain tools that we feel we’re very blessed to have; for example, load-profiling software so we can monitor our load profiles and we can manipulate the way we operate systems based on the current cost of electricity.

“Don’t get frustrated. Be persistent and pursue your goals. Stick to it, and find someone that’s going to listen to you. Be able to prove the value of your ideas. I always share with our engineers that everything’s going to be based off quality, off trust of one another – from the brokers to the managers to the engineering teams to the client.” This is the advice that Mike Turzanski, operations manager with Cushman & Wakefield in Denver, offers to others in his industry. Looking at his track record, it’s obvious he follows his own words of wisdom.

With years of experience in operating facilities and high-rises, Turzanski now oversees the group of engineers at Cushman & Wakefield performing this task. He also completes property inspections and audits, and assists with company training sessions.

“The experience exchange is just wonderful,” explains Turzanski. “The success stories we have experienced with energy management and operational strategies in the past: I can share those with our teams and help them operate their facilities optimally. That’s quite a change from the typical engineer at the facility level who has no support.”

Turzanski attributes much of his achievement to the Cushman & Wakefield team. “Working with strong-seasoned managers and engineers has been very much of a highlight of my career,” he says. “I’ve been blessed to be supporting good people; people that understand engineering issues and some of the challenges we have in the industry today. [We have] excellent clients that trust us and trust me to be able to improve energy paybacks and get the job done for them.” He credits everyone—from the leasing agents (brokers) and the asset services group to property managers, engineers, and security.

Joining Cushman & Wakefield as operations manager in January 2002, Turzanski was reunited with many colleagues he had worked with previously. “From my boss, Steve Schwab, who has an engineering degree, to some of the engineers out in the field, to managers … I’ve worked with them before. I’m back together with a great team, and we’re producing some amazing results for our clients.” He also names the Cushman & Wakefield team as one of his most important and valuable resources.

In terms of the future, Turzanski identifies the ever-turbulent energy market as a potential challenge, and explains that the team is currently trying to work out a way to pool its resources.

He also recognizes power quality as a challenge. “Buildings are getting older, and at the same time, the needs of tenants and clients are increasing. We want to make sure we’re staying ahead of the curve so we don’t experience the symptoms of poor power quality. So far, we’ve been doing a really good job.”

Turzanski also predicts drought surcharges in Colorado as a potential significant issue. Plans to minimize water consumption without impacting tenant comfort are currently under way.

He sums up his own experiences best: “I have no complaints … absolutely zero complaints about my job. I [have] found a perfect platform to work within.”

Leah B. Garris ( is editorial coordinator at Buildings magazine.


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