Can you describe your work and how your planning degree contributes to it?
I am the President of The ServiceMaster By Simons companies, managing the strategic direction and daily operations of ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons and ServiceMaster Cleaning by Simons serving greater Chicago metro, Oak Park, River Forest and the North Shore.
I bring an extensive background in urban planing and real estate development to ServiceMaster By Simons. Focused on growing the commercial and residential side of property restoration and the re-construction business, I utilize and develop key real estate industry relationships. My prior background in urban planning has aided me specifically in navigating strategic planning, urban policy, and municipal government.
What do you like most about your current job or related work in planning?
I enjoy running my own business and being an entrepreneur! Working every day on crafting and developing your own business and supporting team members is very rewarding. I am also pleased to serve on the Roosevelt University Marshall Bennett Real Estate Institute Advisory Board where a lot of the work is strategic planning, policy and business networking. Lastly, the local community partnering work we do is very positive. We partner with The Talking Farm, a local urban agriculture farm that focuses on education towards health and sustainability.
What advice do you wish you had gotten as a MUPP or, conversely, what advice would you give to young planners today?
I think the most important steps a MUPP can take is getting practical on the job or project experience within their planning specialization. Obtaining an internship, assistant-ship, part-time work or volunteering is critical to understanding the practical reality of business through urban planning. While theory is important to understand, a solid comprehension of current business practices and processes are essential.