2010 Affiliate of the Year Bobby Graham

Bobby Graham, National Account Sales Director at Facility Solutions Group, was the 2010 Affiliate of the Year.

What was your first paying job? Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant as a waiter. Waiting tables taught me how to serve people well by listening to their requests and doing my best to deliver in a timely fashion. The more expressive I was, the more fun I had and the more people would reciprocate. Tips became a bonus. I learned that with a smile and a listening ear, anyone can accomplish much in life.

What services and benefits are provided by your company to the commercial real estate industry? Facility Solutions Group (FSG) makes it easy to manage facilities both big and small and reduce their overall expenses for lighting, electrical, and energy.

We provide excellent user experiences, make intelligent transactions and serve our community. We’ve dedicated our business to being a responsible resource for:

  • National Account Services, Program Management
  • Lighting and Electrical Products
  • Electrical Service and Construction
  • Energy Management Systems
  • Technology
  • Signage Design, Installation, and Repair

What are some trends in your industry that impact commercial real estate the most? LED (solid state) lighting is the fastest changing technology with the largest growth potential, 30BB. LED has brought both good and bad to the market place, meaning that we must be cautious and understand what we’re buying today could change tomorrow. It’s important to “future-proof” decisions and understand a warranty is meaningless with LED.

The Internet of Things (IOT) has now reached the lighting industry with semiconductors on board LEDs, allowing us to track, manage and predict our environment. We are seeing lighting technology adjust automatically with our environment. Perpetrators can be caught through multiple site systems, illuminating their location as they move. Coupons can even be sent to your smart phone as you stand in a Target checkout line.

What are some of the challenges facing your industry? Capital investment has been a hurdle getting the right technology to the application, which has brought cheaper alternatives. Without key components like quality, control and security, fly-by-night companies that make big offers won’t be around to see their project illuminated—or share the pain when it fails.

How are BOMA/Chicago events important to your company? Networking and building strong relationships are the most important assets I’ve gained from BOMA/Chicago. Being able to engage with other members at events makes future meetings and cold calls easier. Networking opportunities also helps to ease the tension, build trust and position you as the expert in your field.

What do you enjoy most about BOMA/Chicago? The ability to serve on committees is my favorite part. It’s where we can roll up our selves and solve real issues that affect our community. When you’re serving side-by-side with other Affiliate and Building Members, you develop a sense of comradery and loyalty that helps drive success for everyone.

What would you share with other professionals who are interested in joining BOMA/Chicago? Join for the opportunity to better the BOMA/Chicago Community, not for personal business growth. BOMA/Chicago is engaged in real issues that help develop a great commercial market for Chicago. Here is where you can make an impact on our great city. Through your service to others you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find a way to provide your service that meets a need.

What special interests and/or hobbies do you have? Family, physical fitness and golf are what keep me busy outside of the grind. There’s nothing better than throwing around some iron or breathing in the lakefront air. Your day changes when you can watch the sun rise during a 6-8 miler and stare at our amazing cityscape on the route home.

What would surprise our members most about you? Many would be surprised that I make a point to hold true to a morning ritual of daily meditation, priming and fitness. Whether I’m traveling or low on sleep nothing energizes me more than a cold shower, 10 to 20 minutes of meditation, priming (listing my 3 to 5 key accomplishments and goals to meet that day) and physical activity (lifting, stretching or cardio). They all vary depending on the day, but if I can accomplish these I conquer my day and achieve a great sense of peace and calm.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I would travel to Rome, to see the Roman Coliseum. The Coliseum is an amazing feat in history and the gladiatorial contests have always interested me since I was a kid. Who doesn’t like the movie Gladiator?