07/01/2003

A Day in the Life of Tom Ripley

Change Agent

Contributors: James Earl  
 

Up Close and Personal

Tom, what advice do you have for your peers?

Go out [and] take opportunities to change things, to make things better, to lead, [and] to get in front. By leading, I mean not leading just your department, but lead your entire company. Letting people see what you’re doing has value.

When you’re not on the job, what activities do you participate in?

I am a long-distance runner – an ultra-marathoner. The longest race I’ve done is 150 miles across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. I like to stay physically fit.

If you weren’t VP of Engineering, what profession would you like to pursue?

I’d own a lodge in Alaska. You would come and I’d take you fishing. The next day we’d go for a 30-mile run in the mountains, and the next day we’d go mountain biking. Then we’d go alpine skiing – all in the same week. That would be a perfect job for me.

What’s your least favorite buzzword?

The words “paradigm shift” should be eliminated from the English language.

Some people are put in leadership positions; others take ownership of the role. Tom Ripley is one of those individuals.

In 1985, after three years of teaching industrial plant maintenance at a local vocational community college, Ripley joined the Seattle-based Fisher Properties as its chief engineer. His goals were high but achievable, and his dedication unwavering. Buildings were getting taller and more sophisticated in Seattle, and Fisher Properties was looking for a person to design and develop a professional in-house engineering enterprise. Ripley delivered. In his 18 years with Fisher Properties, the team has grown from two to 17 engineers. “The program that I have in place today is so much bigger and better than it ever would have been, than I imagined – because of the very innovative and futuristic-thinking people that I’ve worked for,” says Tom Ripley, now vice president of engineering, Fisher Properties.

Talk to Ripley and you’ll realize the man is a dynamo, a person that believes all things are achievable, and that teamwork and customer service are paramount in the management and operation of facilities. During Ripley’s career, the company has managed and renovated owned facilities and most recently developed new properties for Fisher Media Services, including Fisher Plaza, a two-building complex in Seattle that combines Class A office, data, and retail space with 21st century communications and media services. The Plaza makes claim to provide “Every Business Advantage.” Management by Ripley’s team certainly makes this mantra a reality.

The company is once again in transition – evolving into a third-party property management service provider. “We sell services to our owned properties, we sell services to properties we manage, and we sell services to properties that are in no way affiliated with us. It really works well because our people are multi-disciplined,” says Ripley.

Seamless customer service, support, and proactive maintenance provide smooth operation – a goal Ripley’s team strives for daily. “Our job is to make the facility disappear for the customer, so the tenant doesn’t see the facility as an impediment to doing business,” Ripley explains. However, customer service skills are not innate. “In teaching people to not only be technically superior in every way, you also need to teach them to be customer service minded,” stresses Ripley.

No one can underestimate the influence of Ripley and his teaching capabilities. Successful operations, low employee turnover, and loyal tenants are proof of his effectiveness.

Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildings.com) is senior editor at Buildings magazine.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Yaskawa drives offer quality performance for air handlers and cooling towers on the roof to secondary chilled water pumps in the basement

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
comments powered by Disqus

Sponsored Links