CASH 40th Annual Conference Graduation: Ector Mojica
CASH 40th Annual Conference: Academy Graduation
Ector Mojica, WLC Associate Architect
As the 2019 Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) Conference approaches, one event on this year's program is especially significant to our firm and members of WLC's Design Team: CASH Academy Graduation. This year, Associate Architect Ector Mojica will be celebrating the completion of his rigorous, year-long program in the CASH Academy.
The CASH Academy was established to provide facilities professionals, district staff, contractors, and architects an opportunity to learn from experts in the field - to learn to be competent in a formidable range of information and experiences: from project bidding to construction management, from facility maintenance and repair to school board and public relations. In order to function effectively in a facilities leadership role, these skills and how they all relate together must be fully understood - not just conceptually, but in practical, real-world situations.
In between client meetings at the WLC Berkeley Office, we had a chance to connect with Ector to recount his experience at the CASH Academy.
"The majority of the attendees - three-quarters of the class - were facility directors. These professionals are directly involved with and responsible for monitoring the quality of their facilities and determining strategies of how to creatively deal with issues that arise. But the variety in their day-to-day work poses all sorts of challenges - whether it is just a different approach to maintenance, or whether it is the fact that they needed a new school or a new facility. On a daily basis, these facility directors are not only dealing with fundamentals like funding and siting - but they're also dealing with the unique ways in which their district works, different leadership, and how their community will plug into that need."
"One thing that I clearly experienced was just how important trusting relationships are for facilities professionals. Having these key relationships in place with industry experts equips facilities leaders with the tools needed to navigate the challenges of maintaining and managing school sites. Being open to opportunities to share in a trusting relationship provides a lot of peace mind for these facility leaders."
"The second thing that I realized is the massive amount of information and experience needed to perform at a high level in the facilities leadership role. In our classes, we had access to a lot of industry experts who specialize in these pockets of information. I felt like beyond just the technical information, what was really pivotal was a lot of the input and the real-world experience that was offered by the facility directors and some of the other design professionals and contractors. In addition, having the core faculty that has been in the industry for 30 years was an added perspective on our conversations. They gave real-world scenarios of how they have dealt with a lot of the issues that had been brought up. That truly was gold - having access to this wealth of information was priceless."
"As an architect for WLC, I wanted to better understand the role of the facilities professional so I can better help them and empower them do their job more effectively. The CASH Academy delivered on its goal to have from experts in the field who have been thriving for decades convey their knowledge to people who are just starting out."
"Having had this experience with my cohort in the CASH Academy, I am better prepared to serve my clients, forging trusting and empowering relationships. I am grateful to my firm and my cohort for this experience and look forward to my graduation! Thank you, CASH Academy!"