ATLANTA, Jan. 5, 2015 / Valerie Klengson joined The WorkingBuildings Group of Companies (WBGC) in January as Director of Business Development, after 27 years at Siemens, the last ten of which she spent as Senior National Sales Manager. She met Michael Weiss, President & CEO of WBGC, some years ago and crossed paths with him and the WB team on a laboratory project in Birmingham, Alabama. Michael and Valerie struck up a conversation and noticed their shared interest in the life science industries ran deeper than just making a living.
Fast-forward several years. Valerie had taken note over that time that WorkingBuildings always seemed to be at the vanguard of the industry. When an opportunity arose, she interviewed with WorkingBuildings, and did so because of her respect for Michael, and WorkingBuildings’ body of work and reputation. During the interview, she met John McFarland, VP/Principal in Charge of Operations. She knew of John as a pioneer in sustainability and one of the early thought leaders in commissioning. “John told me when I interviewed that he’ll try anything twice. He said that’s his philosophy. Well, you can look around the office and see how that philosophy has manifested. It’s really cool,” she said. “Michael and John, and WorkingBuildings—,” Valerie stopped, a little annoyed. It’s hard to shake 27 years with the same company. She then leaned forward with her characteristic smile and said, “We have an entrepreneurial attitude that is present in our everyday life.”
What sold Valerie on WorkingBuildings is that, from the top down, there’s a willingness to take on challenges. “But more than that,” she said, “on projects, when things don’t go as planned, the spirit is not to point fingers and assign blame to this person or that person. The spirit is to be a problem solver, to help with a solution—to be crucial to overcoming whatever challenges pop up.”
So when she considers her vision for the future of The WorkingBuildings Group of Companies, she sees the continuation—and strengthening—of the entrepreneurial attitude that has made WorkingBuildings so successful. “We’re going to refine the processes that have worked for us,” she says.
From day one, Michael and John have been shaping the company to meet their customers’ needs. This means that WorkingBuildings has been growing and shifting to meet the market needs of the built environment. When problems came up and there wasn’t a staff member with the expertise to fix it, WorkingBuildings sought the expert to fill that need and created business unit to attack the market niche. A walk through WorkingBuildings’ Midtown office reflects this strategy. There is a mixture of young innovators and shrewd veterans to keep the creative balance just right. And Valerie knows it’s critical to always be pushing the boundaries. WorkingBuildings must always be willing to shape the company to meet clients’ needs.
Klengson is joining The WorkingBuildings Group of Companies at an exciting time. As the company grows, great opportunity abounds for new relationships and business opportunities, and Klengson will lead the effort. Her first big endeavor will be to enhance the existing customer feedback process. “We are doing great work. The question is how do we get better? We need to know what we want to find out from our clients. If a client has a question, we will have a response. And how we respond will define us,” she says.
And so with that, the discussion shifts back to the goals. The customer feedback process is an enormous part of the growth strategy, Valerie says. “We want to nurture the relationships we have. With our new clients, we want to maintain communication to eliminate any potential breakdowns. And when we’re maintaining these relationships, we can inquire about our clients’ additional needs: how we can help them find the solutions they’re seeking?”
The aim is simple: satisfied clients equal repeat clients and free marketing. Valerie says, “The result of doing a good job is getting repeat business, in a kind of circular fashion that expands to include more clients.” She pauses for a second, as if to consider the visual of clients happy in perpetuity, and adds with a smile, “There’s no better reference than a happy client.”
WorkingBuildings began in July of 2000. Initially, the firm was dedicated to providing quality assurance programs, commissioning, and sustainability services. As the industry evolved, so did WorkingBuildings. In response to our clients’ wide-ranging needs, we developed an offering of highly specialized services across various industries and named our subsidiary branches to reflect them. These branches are WorkingBuildings, WorkingLaboratories, WB | Transitional Operations, WorkingHospitals, CxAlloy, Specialty Operations Solutions (WB | SOS), and WB | Global Advisory.
Over the past 15 years, we have developed deep resources in specialized, skilled staff and processes that have been honed in highly challenging environments. Our staff is regarded throughout the industry for its practical, team-oriented approach to solving issues in challenging environments, including laboratories, hospitals, academia, and commercial spaces.
The WorkingBuildings’ staff includes architects, engineers, veterinarians, regulatory compliance personnel, laboratory technicians, program managers, energy managers, and an operations team. From our initial inception, WorkingBuildings has continually responded to the needs of building owners and the industry, and remains at the cutting edge as a services provider. For more information, call 678-990-8001 or visit www.workingbuildings.com.