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Advice from the Front Lines: Navigating COVID-19

Kristina Bull
  • Apr 30, 2020
  • 3 minute read

We are inspired by the perseverance, drive and innovation of our clients daily, but especially during these times of uncertainty. They have been rocks in their communities and leveraging technology to keep their operations running smoothly while still preparing for the future.  

Over the last month, we have had incredible clients on the Operate Intelligently Podcast with Dude Evangelist and host, Joshua Peach. Every week or two, Josh interviews an operation professional to share valuable and timely advice on topics ranging from leadership and communication to working remotely and best practices for crisis management.  

Check out some recent quotes below, and be sure to tune in to the podcast for more tips on navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.  

These quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity. 


Greg Lookabaugh, Sr. Manager of Facilities Planning at Harris County Department of Education/ Director of Facilities Beaumont ISD 

  • “We always have to be prepared. And we always have to continually improve what we're doing, what we're using, the tools we're buying.” 

  • “You have to make decisive decisions on what's going to be best, utilize those staff members, utilize the tools you have, have that process and think it through.” 

Listen to Greg on the podcast 


John Marcus, Superintendent of Stoughton Public Schools 

The idea that we're all in this together and therefore the communication piece and reaching out to each other and listening to what others are doing and taking good ideas is huge.


Listen to John on the podcast 


Ken Wertz, Executive Director of MFAA (Massachusetts Facilities Administrators Association) 

  • “The biggest learning lesson that I've taken from this event, which we've all known, especially in facilities departments, is that we continue to underfund facilities and operations.” 

Listen to Ken on the podcast 


Keith Watkins, Assistant Director of Facilities for City School District of New Rochelle, NY 

  • "As a director of facilities, we need to be thinking outside the box right now, because we're in different times, and just cleaning and disinfecting really isn't going to cut it.” 

  • “I've learned that it's what you learn after you know it all that's most important. So even after 30 years, I'm still learning.” 

Listen to Keith on the podcast 


Chris Phillips, Development Services Director for City of Mount Vernon, WA 

  • “Through [COVID-19], we updated our website, we pushed information out to as many folks that we could possibly do: Chamber of Commerce, the rotary - whoever we could get information out to, we did, so that people would be informed for pushing that information out.” 

  • “14 of 18 people on my staff are telecommuting right now. We all know what accountability is; they know what responsibility is. We meet every morning for 15 minutes. I go through the four divisions that work for me, meet with the managers as well as the employees. They share information, and I get an end-of-week report outlining what's been accomplished.” 

Listen to Chris on the podcast 


Paul Anastasi, Interim Director of Facilities for Northbridge Public Schools in Massachusetts 

  • “I'm finding that right now, it's a good opportunity to get stuff (like organizing your events system) done.” 

  • “No one knows, no one could have predicted this. But I'm looking at it as a big storm. We're in it. And we have to do what we can to keep going.” 

Listen to Paul on the podcast 


Tony James, Director of Facilities at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden 

  • “It's taken a big toll on our zoo. But what I also think it has done is brought our zoo together, our employees. It's made you realize what actually makes your zoo tick and who you actually need to depend on and who you need to value, and it all comes back to your employees, right?” 

  • “Giving them the tools that they need to be the best they can be in times like this, that's when they step up, and they make you realize what you do every day of the year valuing your employees, valuing what they do. When you do that every day of the year, when you hit a crisis like this, they're the folks that you count on.” 

Listen to Tony on the podcast 


We want to hear from you! What are your best practices and tips during this time? Let us know on our social channels – join the conversation on FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Instagram.

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