At Work With: Richard Figueroa

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Who he is
Figueroa is the operations supervisor for Facilities Operations at the Lincoln Center campus

What he does
“I’m in charge of procurement of materials. I help the operations workers identify what materials they need and act as the liaison between the facilities side and the customer. For example, sometimes we get someone who is having air conditioner issues. The mechanic may have taken care of it and closed out the work order. But if the customer isn’t satisfied, I’ll go back, say ‘I’m sorry you weren’t satisfied, what can we do to help you feel more comfortable?’ It’s all about trying to find a happy medium for them.”

What projects keep him busy
“We do a lot of upgrading. We replaced six floors’ worth of ovens and refrigerators at McMahon Hall this past summer. We just ordered blinds for the residence hall windows. It’s a constant stream of things to keep up with.”

Favorite part of the job
“I like to identify ways to fix problems. Not everything is all laid out, and not everything is set in stone. There’s always a different way to get something done. I also like the fact that everybody here is really supportive.”

Life before Fordham
“I went to St. John’s University for two years, but I couldn’t finish. So I started at Home Depot and worked my way up through the company for seven years. It was fun, but the environment changed. I had kids, and couldn’t be working crazy hours in a retail environment. When you’re on call, you might be working for 70 hours a week.”

“I’ve always worked with my hands. My roots are in Long island, so even though I live in the Bronx, I still know people out there and a lot of them were calling up, saying ‘Rich, can you help me?’ [So] for two years I did repairs for people, changing out hot water heaters, redoing bathrooms. Then I started thinking I needed to get into something more stable, with more roots, so I applied to Fordham.

On that Long-Lost College Degree
“I’m taking two certificate courses being offered by the Real Estate Institute: Real Estate Finance and Investment, and Construction Project Management. Then in the spring or next fall, I’m hoping to finish my undergraduate degree at the School of Professional Studies (PCS), probably in organizational leadership.

I’ve always wanted to go back, but the opportunity wasn’t there. It’s exciting. I took one course online, and one in a classroom, so I’m getting used to both ways of learning.”

Family and Hobbies
He and his wife Elizabeth have five children: Candice, 29, Alyssa, 25, Lexeus, 23, Katelyn, 14 and Richard Jr., 12. In his spare time, Figueroa likes to bowl, do woodworking, and go camping with his kids at least two or three times a year.

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