Faces of Facilities

Faces of Facilities: Jose Rosas Roque from HungerRush

In honor of Pride Month this June, it’s important for the facilities management industry to recognize and celebrate members of the LGBTQ+ community. As a gay male in FM, Jose Rosas Roque offered to share his story and provide insights on equality, pride, and general industry issues.

The young professional urged the industry to embrace equality, saying “career opportunities should be open to everyone regardless of their sexual preference. Knowledge and skills should be the focal point and not your appearance or gender.”

Rosas Roque currently serves as the facilities manager at HungerRush, a Houston-based provider of software and related services for the restaurant industry. He has worked his way up through the company since joining seven years ago.

In his latest role, Rosas Roque oversees all aspects of operations and maintenance (O&M), real estate, project management, human factors, and sustainability initiatives for HungerRush’s four U.S. locations, as well as provides support for a satellite office in India.

Rosas Roque holds a ProFM certification from ProFMI and two certifications from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). He’s also currently working on a third IFMA credential.

To learn more, please read his “Faces of Facilities” interview below:

How did you get your start in the field?

At the age of seven, my mom and I immigrated to America from Mexico. Living in a new place where I didn’t speak the language was overwhelming, but I knew it would be worth the struggle. I always knew that I wanted to make a positive impact within my career and help people. At the time, I thought I wanted to become a registered nurse, but due to the financial challenges and my immigration status, I had to put my dreams on hold to help take care of my family.

My first job was as a janitor for Pritchard Industries. I took this position to help make ends meet, but little did I know that it was about to change my life. During my time there, I was able to learn janitorial skills that would help me in my future endeavors.

In 2012, I was able to become a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. Given that I am a member of a multi-immigration status family, DACA has allowed me to do more for my family, financially and emotionally.

From there, I was able to land a higher position with ABM Industries as a maintenance supervisor at Baylor College of Medicine, where I was able to gain management responsibility. Due to some organizational changes, my next career opportunity was presented by HungerRush as a janitor. I knew that I still wanted to make a positive impact within my career and help people. So, I took it upon myself to start researching careers and certifications within the maintenance field.

Through my research, I discovered IFMA, which captured my attention toward earning a Facility Management Professional certification where one of the core competencies included O&M. I presented the opportunity to the HR director as a career development opportunity, and it was approved. So, I took on the challenge to earn the certification and noticed that a career in FM would be ideal for me, as I have always enjoyed problem-solving.

I’m a curious individual who likes to ask questions and find out the “why” of things. So, this led me to the FM career. Although my journey has not been easy, I never lost sight of my dream in helping people and making a positive impact toward others.

What’s your favorite part about working in FM?

My favorite part is that every day will bring you a new challenge and you won’t be stuck doing the same routine for the rest of your career. Depending on the organization/business, all FMs get to overcome new challenges, learn something new, and become more innovative in solving problems.

What changes would you like to see in the FM industry?

Changes that can shape and position the FM industry in a higher tier will be to demonstrate that this profession is not just for males or females, but also for the LGBTQ+ community. As part of the community, I feel that equal employment and career opportunities should be open to everyone regardless of their sexual preference. Knowledge and skills should be the focal point and not your appearance or gender. We can attract millennials into an FM career only if we demonstrate equality for all.

How has your personal experience been as a gay male in the FM profession?

In my role as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in facilities management, I have had predominantly positive experiences. My current employer values and treats all employees equally, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

However, I have encountered discrimination in the past from hiring managers or recruiters who unfairly judged me based on my appearance. Despite the progress made toward inclusivity in industries such as FM, there are still some individuals who do not support the LGBTQ+ community.

Some organizations are taking proactive steps to create inclusive workplaces where everyone feels safe, respected, and supported. For those companies and organizations that are taking steps to foster LGBTQ+ inclusivity, I commend them.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride Month provides a valuable opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to celebrate our identities and achievements. It also allows us to raise awareness about the challenges and discrimination that we continue to face. We can express pride, be ourselves, and promote acceptance during this empowering time. Ultimately, reflecting on our history, celebrating our accomplishments, and striving toward a more equal and inclusive society is crucial during Pride Month.

Looking back on your career so far, what’s your best mistake and what did you learn from it?

One of my first learning opportunities within my career was not having a backup plan! We all make mistakes; we are all human! But FMs are all about tests and trials. Without testing a procedure, policy, or equipment, we won’t know how it will operate or if it will be efficient. So, always have an “A, B, C” backup plan you can put in action in case something doesn’t go as planned.

Regardless of if it’s just a simple furniture or fixture replacement or a huge relocation project, not everything might go as planned, and that’s where you will need to activate plan B or C in order to get the work done. So, PLAN! PLAN! PLAN! Until you have three backup plans to mitigate risks and delays.

What are some of the biggest facilities management issues at your organization?

Like many other organizations/businesses, we at HungerRush are currently facing the challenge of relocation and how to bring back associates to the built environment. During the pandemic, 95% of associates at HungerRush shifted their daily office routine to a virtual routine, which had a huge impact on the organization’s work model, culture, and engagement.

After three years we can now say we are back to “normal,” but we can all agree that associates have enjoyed working from the comfort of their homes and have been able to work virtually/remotely from other cities, countries, and places while traveling.

So, the challenge not just for HungerRush but for other associations/businesses is: How can we encourage the workforce to return to the office environment? How can we attract the associates to come into the office 2-3 times a week, or what will our work model be? And how much footprint do we need to solve for in a new office?

These are the challenges multiple associations/businesses are struggling to determine as of today. At HungerRush, we have come up with multiple scenarios on how the future of HungerRush will be, but we won’t know the outcome until we have tested plans A, B, and C.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud I get to make an impact on associates’ lives and show value to the organization/business. I am proud to work for HungerRush, as they have continuously supported my career and my growth as a professional, and I’m proud of my continued learning and achievements to be more innovative and keep up with new trends. As HungerRush would say, “I am UNSTOPPABLE!”   

Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?

Don’t be scared; not all FMs can master or remember the 11 core competencies of facilities management. It’s just too much information to retain, and to be honest, depending on the organization/business you will be working for, not all competencies will apply. Just remember your basics and learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are the best teachers! Once you learn from a mistake, you won’t do it again.

We all do FM in different ways that will work for you and the organization/business. The goal is to get achievable goals and be able to provide a positive outcome that will impact and bring value to the organization/business. I’m still a rookie in the FM profession, but thanks to HungerRush, I have been tasked with multiple challenges throughout my time here and I have been able to get a taste of the 11 competencies and more.

Make sure you also join an IFMA chapter. There is a chapter in each major city and state where you will be able to network with other FMs, be able to attend special learning events, and expand your knowledge. Look for a mentor or senior/veteran FM who’s willing to train you and share some knowledge.

Thanks to the IFMA Houston chapter, I was able to meet Dana W. and Edgar Moctezuma, two local FMs with more than 15 years of experience in the FM industry that I look up to. Dana and Edgar have provided me with great tips, tricks, and knowledge through chapter and networking events.

Are you or a colleague an FM professional interested in being profiled for the “Faces of Facilities” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *