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Damon Gonzales, CFM
VP for Facilities Management, Davenport University
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Damon Gonzales is the Vice President for Facilities Management at Davenport University. His path into the ever evolving field of Facilities Management was much like many Facilities Managers, whereby he sort of “fell into it”. His interest in buildings and facilities led him to Ferris State University where he first obtained his Associates in Architectural Technologies. From there he became exposed to the world of Facilities Management and enrolled and later graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Facilities Management. Damon’s education then led him Naples, Florida where he began working for one of the fastest population growing Counties in the United States at the time, Collier County. He was quickly exposed to managing a team of over 60, an annual maintenance budget of over $30 million, and over 600 individual facilities and structures totaling over 3.5 million square feet. During his time with Collier County Government, Damon also continued his development and training. He obtained his Certified Facilities Manager (CFM) accreditation from IFMA in 2006; this was then followed by State of Florida Security Officer training and licensing as a part of his Security Department responsibilities. During his time in South Florida, he found himself managing preparation and cleanup/repair of numerous devastating hurricanes and storms. Additionally, time was spent preparing for the unknown H1N1 virus in 2009. Personal desires led Damon back to his home state of Michigan where he spent several years working for one of the furniture industry’s leaders Haworth. His accomplishments included a number of new North American buildouts, including Haworth’s first LEED platinum space in Atlanta, Georgia. In a shift from a much more “traditionalist” work environment of the public sector of South Florida, Haworth provided Damon with a somewhat different environment. As a leader in space solutions, Damon’s role helped internal staff and clients meet their goals through the implementation of leading edge design and solutions, including the use of technology and although counterintuitive to selling furniture, working outside of the normal “work environment”. Damon joined Davenport University in 2013 where he is responsible for leading all aspects of Facilities Management for their 5 campuses, including Public Safety. Damon has also further continued his education while at Davenport University, completing his MBA with a concentration in Strategic Management. With the 2020 Pandemic, Davenport’s Facilities Management and Public Safety teams were front and center with respect to preparation, planning, and ultimately keeping the core services of educating moving forward. Post pandemic, Davenport’s Facilities and Public Safety teams are now highly engaged on building off the lessons learned during the pandemic, including some of the positive initiatives around working and functioning with flexibility.