Faces of Facilities

Faces of Facilities: Prince Reed from DaVita Kidney Care

Prince Reed is a humble leader, both at his job and in his community. He is a man of faith, dedication, and hard work.

With 20 years of experience in the facilities industry, Reed currently serves as the Senior Director of Asset and Facilities Management for DaVita Kidney Care, which operates over 3,500 outpatient dialysis centers in the U.S. and abroad. Based in Illinois, Reed oversees approximately 3,000 clinics in the U.S. with a team of 200.

Reed carries several facility executive certifications, and he previously worked for Fortune 100 companies like Goldman Sachs and Kodak, as well as ran a small startup medical practice.

As a licensed and ordained Elder in the Church of God in Christ Inc., Reed also holds several leadership roles in the church and local community. He volunteers on various committees and has dedicated his life to youth advocacy for more than 25 years, earning him the affectionate nickname “Uncle P.”

Reed strongly believes in being a lifelong learner and has multiple degrees, including a Masters of Divinity with a focus on counseling.

In Facilities Management Advisor‘s latest “Faces of Facilities” interview below, Reed discusses his career and offers some sage advice.

How did you get your start in the facilities management field?

I am the proverbial “worked my way up” story. I started as a mailroom clerk in the Ameritech Corporate Services department many years ago. And over the course of the last 20-plus years, through hard work, education, networking, and God’s providence, I have landed in the place where I am today. 

I specifically wandered into facilities and design and construction when a peer of mine went on FMLA (family and medical leave) and then decided to retire. I begged my leader to allow me to learn the business and add those responsibilities to my other administrative duties. Six months later, I had satisfactorily completed BOMA certification—and the rest, as they say, is history.

Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry, and why?

There are so many to name here… In my early days Vern Smith, my mailroom manager, who I never saw get angry. No matter what happened he bounded around the office like it was the best day of his life. Rollin Gardner, the VP of Support Services, who left his comfy office to drive the CEO to the airport when his chauffeur fell ill. Gerard McCormack, my VP from London, who taught us the philosophy of MBWA: “manage by walking about.” He always said the real work doesn’t take place behind a desk; you have to get out and see your clients. You can expect what you don’t inspect. He also was the person who forced me to see the value I brought to the table. He changed a job description to convert me from a contractor to an employee, then paid for the education I didn’t have for the job he hired me for; that’s why I mentioned God’s providence above. Then, lastly, my late manager Matt Pitts showed me how to lead with passion, unabashedly.

Those people laid the foundation for me. They possessed the ultimate servant leadership qualities that I have carried with me throughout my career. It’s those people who taught me how service excellence looks. The characteristics of do what needs to be done to make the client whole; even if that means throwing your policy to the wind. As it relates to our playbooks and such, Matt would tell us we need to stop doing business ourselves and stop letting process get in the way of the crusade.

What are the biggest facilities management issues at your organization?

Currently labor and supply issues, which are impacting everyone, are the most pressing issues. Healthcare—and specifically dialysis, which is critical and chronic care—is obviously more susceptible to these issues. Inoperable HVAC units, cracks in countertops, and chipped flooring are issues that could cause a clinic closure versus just being an inconvenience or embarrassment. Closed clinics could translate to missed patient treatments, which puts their lives in grave danger.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic change the way you operate?

Due to the nature of the service we provide, shutting down was not an option. However, entering a clinic to perform maintenance and repair wasn’t an option either. Much of our routine work was already being performed after hours.  During the height of the pandemic, even emergent work, which we cold previously do during the day, got pushed to after hours. To the extent we could, split shifts were created to accommodate this change.

What’s your favorite part about working in the industry?

I enjoy getting things done and seeing a job well done. My ministry, one would say, is the gift of helps. Facilities management, for me, combines the best of those two worlds and gives me the opportunity to allow the best version of myself to show up to provide support to the clients we serve.

How can company leaders make facilities management a value within their organization?

For the essential core business that must take place in the brick and mortar setting, there must be an appreciation for how the business can be impacted if those duties are not able to be performed or if they are performed in a less-than-desirable environment. This is a job-hunter’s market. Recruiters are looking for the chance to attract good talent. This is also true for those providing facilities management support. Attending to the fulfillment of that team is paramount to the company’s success.

Where do you see the industry heading in five years? Are you noticing any major trends?

Climate change and how it impacts facility infrastructure. We should expect more adverse events (i.e., tropical storms, tsunamis, floods, soil erosion, fires, and the like). We should expect uncommon weather patterns to become more common. Facilities experts should be studying the science around this and plan for investment in their infrastructure.  

What are you most proud of?

The amazing teams I’ve been able to build, empower, motivate, and invest in. We are literally nothing without a strong team. Making the focus your team’s fulfillment will be your greatest benefit. People who know you care will go the distance with you.

Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?

Find a mentor and actually listen to them. There’s nothing worse than good advice wasted. There is no need to recreate the wheel. Get input from the people around you. No one likes or respects a know-it-all. If you think you’re smarter than everyone in the room, find a new room. Don’t attempt to take over that room. Those in it will just resent you and stonewall you. If the environment is not conducive, move on.

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