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A Covid-19 Story- Transitioning from FM to Vendor


(0:47) Intro

(2:54) Introducing Danny Koontz

(4:03) What is Danny reading currently?

(5:39) How Danny got started in facility management

(8:35) Danny talks about getting furloughed through COVID (11:15) Advice for other FM’s getting furloughed

(14:58) The relationship between FM and vendors

(24:23) What is Windy City Equipment?

(30:51) Wrap up


“You learn on the fly, not really a book. You just get out there and learn, and what you’re trying to do is be a resource and help people.” (7:32)

“One thing that’s really important is to utilize your network...You have spent your time when you were working and gainfully employed still helping other people, responding to other people, and so on.”(11:24)

“I think of always trying to answer people, be kind to people - treat them like I would want to be treated. Now that I’m on the vendor side, that opened lots of doors for opportunities.” (12:43)

“You don’t make relationships work until you understand what the other person needs, wants, values, and so on.” (18:51)


Shawn Black

Danny Koontz

Windy City Equipment

Book Recommendations

Empowered: The Fan ReVOLution that Changed College Football by Tom Mattingly & Celina Summer

The Lufthansa Heist by Henry Hill & Daniel Simone

Blue is the New White by Josh Zolin

A Covid-19 Story- Transitioning from FM to Vendor

COVID-19 has brought economic insecurity to many facility managers and blue-collar workers across the nation, whether they were furloughed or let go completely. Danny Koontz, Director of Relationship Management and Windy City Equipment, is absolutely a real example of this. Still, he was able to turn an unfortunate situation into one that worked in his favor. After being furloughed from his position as the Director of Facilities Management with Collier Restaurant Group, Danny used his strong network of connections to land a job on the other side of the coin as a vendor.

Danny got his start in facilities management with Ruby Tuesday over four decades ago by being a “yes man.” He consistently responded with some variation of “Yeah, I can do that” anytime he was approached with a task, and it led to an admirable 35-year tenure with the company. Danny credits his success in that position to always being willing to learn something new. He says, “You learn on the fly, not really a book. You just get out there and learn, and what you’re trying to do is be a resource and help people.” (7:32)

Danny’s friendly attitude and commitment to helping others allowed him to come out as a benefactor in an otherwise unfavorable pandemic situation. When Danny was furloughed, he immediately started reaching out to a strong network of connections that he had made during his lengthy career in facilities management.

Throughout his career, Danny has been a strong advocate of treating others as he would want people to treat him. He built his sizable network by being kind to others and always giving them the time of day. When it comes to calls from vendors, he says it is crucial to build a relationship, because you never know when you will need their services in the future. You might be all set at the moment, but the time always comes when you need the services of the people you interact with. This kindness, he says, is fundamental to a successful career in facilities management.

Through a series of connections, Danny landed a job with Windy City Equipment. Now, he lives on the other side of the cold calls, thankful for the way he used to interact with callers. His new position is based solely on building relationships and contacts with other people in his industry.

Windy City Equipment is a company specializing in service trades for commercial equipment, such as refrigeration, HVAC, and ovens, as well as other hot side equipment. They have offices in Phoenix, Houston, and Tuscon, and they also do business in Albuquerque. To get in contact with Windy City Equipment, click here.

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