The founder and CEO of an international facility maintenance services organization, Brett Finkelstein has developed a leadership style that motivates team members, boosts morale and ensures an outstanding employee retention rate. Mr. Finkelstein came to the position he continues to hold in 2004 when he founded 1 Stop Maintenance, a facility maintenance services company that provides a wide range of service offerings to its clients. A comprehensive provider, 1 Stop Maintenance reviews the needs of its clients before developing a detailed plan of action that ensures each client benefits from the highest quality of facility maintenance services available.
A longtime resident of New York who grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, Mr. Finkelstein now lives in Manhattan so he can be close to 1 Stop Maintenance’s corporate offices. While the company is centered in New York, it has expanded quite a bit since its initial founding and now has a sizable client base outside of North America that includes both Europe and Asia.
Utilizing a streamlined process that ensures consistent and efficient delivery of his company’s service offerings, Mr. Finkelstein has relied on his years of experience in the industry along with a strong academic background that includes a degree in business management earned from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Well into his second decade as the founder and CEO of a successful international business, Mr. Finkelstein has consistently expressed a desire to pursue continuing education opportunities in order to ensure he is able to lead his company to even greater achievements in the future.
While his work as the CEO of 1 Stop Maintenance has demonstrated Mr. Finkelstein’s shrewd business sense, it is clear that team members are frequently inspired by his leadership style and can be counted upon to represent the company in a way that accurately reflects the core values upon which it was founded. Mr. Finkelstein’s responsibilities are great and his time limited, but he has repeatedly stated the importance of getting to know team members and clients on a personal basis in order to create the foundation for a strong and enduring professional relationship.
- What was your best/favorite subject in school?
I really enjoyed all of the mathematics courses that were offered at my school, and I was particularly fond of the modules that focused on statistics. We also had an economics course that was offered as an elective to upperclassmen, and the fact that these subjects came so naturally to me helped me realize that I had a future as an entrepreneur.
- What was your first job?
I grew up on Long Island in a small town very close to Oyster Bay, so I wound up working with some of the local fishermen during the summers while I was still quite young. Once I completed my degree in business management, I got a job in facility maintenance and became incredibly familiar with the industry. Eventually I decided that it would be wise to start a company of my own in order to continue innovating the manner in which services are provided to clients in the facility maintenance industry.
- Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
I worked briefly in Madison after I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, but it was not too long before I moved back to Manhattan to pursue a career in facilities maintenance closer to my home in New York. I had made some excellent contacts during my college years, and I am very grateful that those contacts were able to help me find work right out of college.
- How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
I have always felt it is important to have practical experience in order to be an effective leader, and the years I spent working in a number of different roles in the facility maintenance industry have allowed me to be able to truly relate to what my team members experience on a daily basis. It also allowed me to recognize the inefficiencies inherent in the industry, and many of the strategies we have developed and implemented at One Stop Maintenance represent vast improvements over previously accepted methodologies.
- Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
My first official day as CEO was just phenomenal. I put in so much work to make this idea a reality and it was simply surreal to finally get down to business after spending so much time taking care of all the groundwork that goes into founding a company. There was just this prevailing sense that we were set up for long-term success, and that was a wonderful feeling that has remained with me to this day.
- How do you keep yourself motivated?
I believe in the importance of continuing education and have found it incredibly beneficial to always be studying something new and unfamiliar. Even when the subject seems completely irrelevant to my business I am almost always able to take something valuable from what I have learned and have benefited from applying it in my professional life somehow. Knowing that there is so much out there I simply have not learned yet keeps me motivated to discover new and innovative ways of doing business.
- What kind of business ideas excite you most?
I love the ideas that seem so outlandish and unusual when they are presented but have nonetheless inspired someone enough that they feel it is worth pitching for the purpose of implementation. You know you are really onto something when you feel overwhelmingly confident in an idea that raises eyebrows when it is first explained.
- Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Yes, I absolutely have, and with great success. When we first started out and were developing a marketing plan to attract clients, I took a list of some of the prospective clients we felt would benefit most from our services and gave them access to our services free of charge. I was banking on the fact that we would quickly prove how valuable our services are, and it ended up being quite a shrewd gamble. Many of those first clients are still with us after more than 10 years.
- What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I am unbelievably proud to work with a staff of amazing employees on a daily basis. Just knowing that I have created a business that can provide so many wonderful people with an exceptional livelihood brings me a great deal of joy every day.
- What wisdom you would have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
I would have told myself to think bigger and to be more confident in how successful this business would be in the long run. I think we would have been able to expand on a much broader scale earlier than we did had I planned for such early-stage success, but I am certainly not disappointed with all that we have achieved over the years either.