Barbara M. Quintana may very well be the reason that Boss' Day became a Hallmark
holiday. As VP, general manager of Bank One Plaza, with Jones Lang LaSalle Americas,
Quintana has made a career of managing both people and places. With 14 years
of experience in real estate, she is one of management firm Jones Lang LaSalle's
great assets - a hard-working woman dedicated to maximizing the value of a property
while respecting both her clients and the professionals she supervises. "We've
been very fortunate in being able to establish a successful partnership between
Jones Lang LaSalle and Bank One where we're providing them a number of integrated
services," she explains.
At over 2 million square feet gross, Bank One Plaza in Chicago is currently
50-percent occupied by Bank One and 50-percent occupied by third-party tenants.
According to Quintana, "One of the unique things about this building and
this assignment is that it is part facility management and part asset management."
High-profile third-party tenants, such as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, one
of the largest law firms in the country; McKensey & Company, an international
consulting company; and Exelon, formerly known as ComEd, require that Quintana
and her team of more than 35 individuals put the "manage" in facility
management. "Overall, my responsibility is to supervise a team of professionals
that take care of the day-to-day management of the facility," she says.
Quintana celebrates not only her own personal and professional successes, but
also the achievement of colleagues - the mark of a true manager. "I've
worked with people and found out later that they've reached a certain level
or gotten a certain assignment. And that for me is a career highlight - because
I know that I worked with that person and hope that in some way, shape, or form
I helped them," she says.
Like most facilities professionals, Quintana was drawn to the diversity of
the profession. "I like that one hour you're crunching numbers, the next
hour you're putting together a press release, and the next hour you're reviewing
a contract. It just requires so many skills - it's really hard to get stale."
With fearless ambition, she faces challenges with hard work and determination
- a strategy that has resulted in knowledge and success. Her vita reveals two
years of experience in real estate development, and 12 years in management -
half of which were spent on the asset management side. "The switch from
asset management to facility management has brought a whole new set of challenges
to the table," she notes. "I was used to dealing with an owner that
was in the Netherlands, or in New York, or on the West Coast. Being on a facility
assignment is considerably different, because not only do you have your client
right there just a couple floors away, there are so many employees of that client
in the building itself that present another challenge."
The management philosophy employed by Quintana is all about balance. "Even
though we all enjoy what we do, what keeps us enjoying that is having a life
outside of it," she says, explaining that it's about "finding something
else to be enthusiastic and passionate about to give you a release."
Up Close and Personal
Barbara, what challenges do you anticipate in the coming year?
One of the biggest challenges going forward is managing the need for increased
security, [knowing] just how far to go, and trying to keep that level of vigilance
up as time goes on. I think people will relax - and it's our responsibility
to not relax on that front.
What types of books do you enjoy?
Books for me are an escape, so I pick thrillers and suspense novels to take
me away from the day-to-day.
What are some of your pastimes?
I enjoy all sorts of professional sports, music, and dance. I'm also on the
board of an organization called Latin Women In Action that provides services
to women and families in the Pilson community.
If you weren't in your current position, what alternative occupation would
What is your most important tool?
Electronically, my most important tool is my palm pilot. Non-electronically,
the most important "tool" I have is my management staff. They are
the key people who keep me going in the right direction, and on whom I rely
a great deal.
What is your personal motto?
Everyone has a choice - always. One of my hot buttons is when someone says "What
choice did I have?," "I don't have a choice," or "I had
to." There is always a choice. I think when you recognize that and you're
honest about it, it's easier to take responsibility for those choices.
If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
Joe Torre, manager of the New York Yankees; Amalia Betanzos, president and CEO
of New York City-based Wildcat Services Corp., one of the most successful alternative
high schools in the country; and Oprah Winfrey.
Jana J. Madsen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is senior associate editor at Buildings magazine.