08/25/2003

A Day in the Life of Leo Kinney

Problem Solver

 

Up Close and Personal

Leo, what is your personal motto?
Don't procrastinate. Years ago, I would set priorities on the work as it came in. Over time, I found the least important jobs became their own priority. Today, I address each issue or project as it comes.

If you weren't in this profession, what alternative occupation would you pursue?
I would have to say that I would like to be a custom homebuilder.

Do you have any helpful hints to share with your peers?

  • Write the month and year on your light bulbs; this will give you a feel for how long they are lasting.
  • Never install an appliance on a Friday that uses water, and always install it in the morning. This is the time to find out if it will leak. Not at 3:00 a.m.
  • Have your cleaning crew work Monday through Thursday and return Sunday during the day. This will help use available daylight to see the things they may miss at night (glass cleaning, etc.)
  • Use lock nuts or double nut your toilet seats [to] help keep them from coming loose.
  • It may not be the floor drain; it may be the toilet seal that has failed, causing that restroom odor.

Leo Kinney admits that Texas’ unpredictable weather sometimes keeps him up at night.

“I’m a bit anxious about it when I’m away from the building,” admits the property manager at Fort Worth, TX-based Cash America, the largest publicly held pawn-shop company in the world.

It’s no wonder. Kinney has dealt with the consequences of Mother Nature’s wrath firsthand on the job. Six months after he joined the company as facility manager, a devastating tornado swept through the city’s business district, severely damaging the Cash America building.

As facility manager, it was Kinney’s responsibility to deal with the effects of the tornado and the reconstruction of the building. He worked with a team to assess the damage, determine the loss, and create the design for the new building.

He says it was important that any deficient areas of the building were corrected during the reconstruction, including HVAC, indoor air quality, controls, energy management and efficiency, ADA-compliant fire alarms, and the elevators. “The building, though built 22 years ago, is today a brand new structure,” he explains. “It’s a very uncomplicated building to operate and one that would make any property manager proud.”

Kinney says he learned a great deal about himself in the disaster’s aftermath and offers this advice to his peers: “Don’t sell yourself short. I did not know my own abilities until I was challenged by the tornado damage.”

Since that time, numerous colleagues have asked him if Cash America had a disaster plan in place to facilitate recovery and cleanup.

“My answer has always been, ‘Well, yes, but, not for anything like this,’” Kinney says, noting that while a tornado isn’t a typical occurrence in the day in the life of a facilities professional, it does reflect the fact that the job lacks predictability.

Kinney and his staff of 13, which includes the building engineer, security officers, and maintenance staff, accept that no two days will be alike. They work on the philosophy that their No. 1 responsibility is to protect Cash America’s facilities asset and to ensure that the building provides the company’s employees and the other tenants with a safe, comfortable working environment.

As a result, the facilities team has learned to appreciate the important role of a 24-hour, on-site security team. “It allows me to have procedures in place that should eliminate many of the surprises that may occur during the night or the weekend,” Kinney explains.

But surprises – like a major tornado – can pop up. You just have to be prepared, Kinney notes. “The job never ends, and it’s never dull. There is always something coming your way. Understand that this is the nature of a property. Embrace it, for it will make you strong.”

Robin Suttell, based in Cleveland, is contributing editor at Buildings magazine.

 

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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.

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.

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.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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