Corporate Responsibility to Staff Development

Our people shape the foundation of our company; it is a solid team. We take pride in hiring bright, hard-working real estate professionals. Our corporate culture supports them with tools and opportunities to grow their professional careers, better themselves personally, and set the stage for meaningful accomplishments for them and the company.

We recently had the opportunity to interview two of our employees about their career paths with Ciminelli. Both Eric Marcus (Corporate Accountant Associate) and Michael Cullinan (Property Manager) were able to move up within the company, eventually aligning with positions that they never imagined possible at the start of their employment. Read more about Eric and Michael’s experiences below.

Tell me about your first year as a Ciminelli employee.

Eric Marcus: “I started working at Ciminelli in July of 2014 as a temporary summer assistant to the Property Maintenance Technicians, better known in the field as “summer help”. Each week that summer, I would work with different Maintenance Technicians focusing on completing time-consuming projects. These projects included painting, relamping light fixtures, changing out ceiling tiles, cleaning out vacant spaces… really a little bit of everything. In the process of learning the basics of being a productive Maintenance Technician, I began to learn more about the job as a whole, especially how important it was to do all things the “Ciminelli Way”. This meant working collaboratively and communicating with our clients. Although I was still learning, by the end of summer I was offered a full-time position as a Property Maintenance Technician. I continued to learn as much as I could. After I had learned the ins and outs of being a Maintenance Technician, my responsibilities and the properties I serviced changed to better suit the skills I had developed.”

Michael Cullinan: “In March of 2008, I was hired as a Stationary Engineer at the Lafayette Court Building in downtown Buffalo. The first year was definitely a learning experience. I was taught the “Ciminelli Way”, which is to treat customers as partners and collaborate with them to ensure their experience in our building was enjoyable. I spent a good portion of the year getting familiar with the building and the tenants. After becoming more comfortable with the job, I began contributing to process and operational improvements – my suggestions were met with enthusiasm and I enjoyed helping create a streamlined process for everyone.”

What attracted you to Ciminelli?

Eric Marcus: “From the 1990s to mid-2000s, my father worked as a Property Maintenance Technician for Ciminelli. Through his employment, I knew a lot about the company and formed relationships with his coworkers. I always appreciated the company’s values and the way the company treated my dad. I was unhappy where I was, and was looking to transition from my current job to something new. Ciminelli was at the top of my list.”

Michael Cullinan: “Ciminelli has always had a positive reputation in the industry for having a talented team of technicians and treating their employees well. I knew how hard it was to find an opening in the company, so when I saw my qualifications met one of their job openings, I jumped at the opportunity to join the team.”  

Tell me about your opportunities for growth as a Ciminelli employee.

Eric Marcus: “Once I had established myself at Ciminelli, finishing my degree was the last piece of the puzzle for me, personally. I attended Canisius College out of high school, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in business management. Due to some unforseen circumstances, I ended up leaving after about 3 years. I began working full-time jobs, all unrelated to the field I studied, just to make a living. On top of everyday expenses, I was paying back student loans on an unfinished degree. Overall, the situation was not ideal. About eight years later, with encouragement from my family, I was able to enroll at Buffalo State to finish my degree in Economics. Ciminelli was supportive of my choice to complete my education and often adjusted my schedule to help me attend class, prepare for finals, and attend other school obligations.

In terms of opportunities within the company, I knew how I would like things to play out, but nothing was set in stone. Only a few people even knew that I was going back to school to study in a field that was unrelated to my current job as a Maintenance Technician. As my graduation approached I hoped that opportunities would come up within Ciminelli. Luckily, a position within the Accounting Department became available a few weeks before graduation. At that point, I talked to my supervisor and Accounting coworkers about the position and set up an interview with Human Resources. I went through the interview process and was offered a position as Corporate Accountant Associate! It could not have worked out any better.”

Michael Cullinan: “Throughout my time as a Maintenance Technician I learned everything I could and welcomed challenges. I shared with my supervisors that I felt ready to enter a supervisor position or transition to Property Management. After that conversation, I was encouraged to take classes through the Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) to further my property management knowledge. I was participating in training courses with the Maintenance team, but also attended additional classes and ultimately achieved a Service Maintenance Technician (SMA) certification. Upon completion, I spoke more seriously with my supervisors and colleagues in Property Management about the education and training necessary to become a Property Manager. At their suggestion, I moved forward to complete the Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation through BOMI. My colleagues’ direction has created many opportunities within the company.”

What do you like most about your job and the opportunity to do something new?

Eric Marcus: “To go from being a Property Maintenance Technician in the field to working at a desk in the Accounting Department has definitely been a change. I really enjoyed my time as a Property Maintenance Technician; I learned a lot of useful skills. I went from being “green” to the point where doing electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and projects at home is no big deal. Now I am working with another great group of people within our company, in a line of work that I am also comfortable with and gives me an opportunity to continue learning. In my first few months I have benefitted from substantial on-the-job training and learning as much as I can in my new role.”

Michael Cullinan: “I love everything about being a Property Manager, especially the challenges it presents on a daily basis. I enjoy solving client issues and making sure that our managed properties represent the high quality standards that are expected in a Ciminelli managed property.”

What drives you? Do you have a personal mission statement?

Eric Marcus: “What drives me… well in terms of going back to school, what drove me the most was the fact that I felt like I quit on myself when I didn’t finish school and get my degree. To that point in my life, I had never quit anything. I knew that bettering myself professionally would also benefit my family. So not to be cliché, but never give up on yourself, always strive to do better, and never settle. You never know what opportunities will arise.”

Michael Cullinan: “I have always had a strong work ethic and desire to continue learning. I’ve been offered every opportunity to explore and pursue my dreams at Ciminelli. I’ve always set a 5-year plan for myself and worked to make sure I met my own personal and professional goals. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, but I think it’s important for me to make sure that I keep myself motivated and reach out to the right people at the right time for support.”

Congratulations Eric and Michael on having such outstanding core values. They truly exemplify what our company is all about.

If you are interested in learning more about career opportunities at Ciminelli, visit https://www.ciminelli.com/careers. We are always looking for talented people to join our team!