Meet the Facility Manager – Diane K. Borgesen of Highwoods Properties
One of the newest buildings to dot the downtown Nashville skyline is the new Bridgestone Tower, the new corporate headquarters for Bridgestone Americas. And the woman who led the opening of that building is Diane Borgesen, Director of Asset Management for Highwoods Properties.
In this edition of Meet the Manager, you’ll learn more about Diane and get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to manage more than 4 million square feet of properties across Nashville. You’ll also get her insights on top facility management trends to watch.
Diane and Highwoods Properties is a great client partner of DPM Care. We are excited to feature her and the great work she does for Highwoods on the blog today.
Meet Nashville Facility Manager Diane K. Borgesen
What is your role at Highwoods Properties?
I oversee the property management team for the Nashville division of Highwoods Properties.
How much space do you manage across all of your properties?
I manage 4.2 million square feet of space across Nashville.
How did you get involved with facility management?
After graduating from college, I moved from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina where I began my real estate career working for the company that managed the apartment community where I lived.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your current role?
Right now, our biggest challenge is finding good maintenance technicians. We have a wonderful group of techs who have been with us for years, but due to the continued growth of our portfolio, our team is expanding.
What has been your biggest success story in your current role?
We just recently opened the beautiful, 503,000 square foot Bridgestone Tower in downtown Nashville. I am very proud of the great teamwork implemented to get this tower open to the 2,000 Bridgestone employees.
What is your best piece of advice to others in facility management?
My advice to others would be to never stop learning. Get involved in trade organizations, ask questions of your vendors to increase your knowledge and attend seminars. You don’t have to be an expert at everything but it is always helpful to know a little about every aspect of your role.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
This may sound cliché, but my favorite part is working with such a great team at Highwoods. A lot of us have been together for more than 18 years and the growth of our team over the past year has been exciting.
What’s unique about your specific role with your company that may be different from another facility manager’s role?
I think one unique aspect about my role, compared to the same role with other companies, is that we have so many development projects underway. It’s great to be involved with a new project, from the ground up, in addition to my “regular” responsibilities of managing our team.
Describe what a day in your role looks like.
That depends on what minute you ask. Every day is unique. I’m up at 5 a.m. and am in the office by 7 a.m., where I start by approving invoices and POs. Then, I spend some time getting updates on projects. My afternoons may be spent driving to one of our assets to assist the team there with an issue. I do my best to plan each day, but due to the nature of this business, my plans often go to the wayside and I respond to situations as they arise.
How does having a clean building help your customers businesses?
Having a clean building is one of the most important services we provide for our customers (tenants.) If our customers are happy, they don’t need to take time away from their business roles to contact us. Plus, it means their employees are happy with their work environment.
How does preventative maintenance create value for you or your business?
Preventative maintenance creates value because it is much more costly to fix issues that have been left unattended than to keep on top of maintenance items. For instance, keeping common area carpet clean by cleaning it quarterly is much easier than trying to clean it after it’s been left uncleaned for a year.
How has DPM Care’s service impacted your business?
DPM has really increased the life of common area carpet in some of our assets. They have removed stains in carpet that others were incapable of doing. The preventative maintenance program we have in place keeps our carpet looking great.
What is the biggest facility management trend you are seeing right now?
I would say that utility conservation is big right now – LED retrofits, restroom upgrades to include water-saving fixtures. I am also seeing more customer requests for on-site food service.
Thank you for sharing with us, Diane!