In Able Services' 90th year, it has a new leader at the helm of its building maintenance division. Earlier this summer, Gary Herald was appointed president, building maintenance of the largest privately held building services provider in the country.
In the new role, Herald will oversee more than 13,000 employees located throughout the country. He will be responsible for setting the strategic vision and plan to drive profitable and sustainable growth within the building maintenance business. He will also ensure the effective and consistent delivery of Able’s janitorial and building maintenance services across the enterprise, including performance, process, and customer management. The company’s building maintenance division provides janitorial services to more than 500 million square feet of space nationally.
Able’s business stretches across many platforms, including corporate real estate, student housing, and hospitality, but CEO Paul Saccone says with high rent growth and increased focus on amenities and resident lifestyle in the apartment industry in recent years, it’s become a big growth target for the San Francisco-based company.
“Owners are putting a tremendous amount of cost into the infrastructure of their buildings and they’re sophisticated assets to work with,” Saccone says. “Able has a significant focus on residential standards and best practices on operating these high-rise residential complexes”
And because of Able’s size and track record, Saccone says it’s in good shape. “We continue to see growth in new development and restoration of existing assets,” he says. “We believe that the big differentiator is going to be our scale and the expertise of our people in each of these markets.”
The person who will look to lead Able is forward is Herald, who has 20 years of integrated facilities management (IFM) experience and most recently served as senior vice president for Sodexo’s facilities management division. In the role, he oversaw the division’s entire North American IFM operations portfolio, which included industrial, healthcare, and commercial clients with a focus on the research and development, pharmaceutical, consumer products, manufacturing, and high-tech industries.
After an eight-month hiring process that attracted about 150 candidates, Herald’s experience was a big reason why he landed the role, Saccone says. But Herald was also a solid cultural fit, he adds. “His ability to mentor and execute at a national level as well as at a local level was a big component for us,” Saccone says. “He has proven expertise in the facility management division and the building maintenance industry and he’s extremely service-oriented.”
In Herald’s first month in the job he mostly toured the country meeting staff and familiarizing himself with clients. Since Able is already a proven company, Herald adds, his focus on the short-term will be to keep the company on the right track while making improvements where he sees fit along the way.
Long-term, he will look to “continue to drive sustainable profitability” for Able. Any growth that’s achieved must present opportunities for enhancement in the future, he says.
The company has recently invested in its system infrastructure and increased employee training, Saccone says. “If we want to be the superior leader in service at work, we now have to take this investment in our infrastructure and have somebody like Gary with that expertise continue to drive it across the whole country,” he says.
Herald is happy to come aboard. “I think we have a tremendous future,” he says.