Mr. Levy is Founder and Managing Principal of Beezley Management, LLC, a construction and real estate management and advisory practice. Holding senior management positions with several notable firms and Fortune 100 companies, Mr. Levy has spent nearly 20 years in the construction and real estate industry, where he has managed public and private sector projects including commercial office buildings, entertainment and sports facilities, renewable energy projects, and education/campus programs. An attorney with a degree in finance, Mr. Levy began his career at what is now Comcast Spectacor, advising facility management teams, municipalities and private sector (sports team) clients on project feasibility and optimization of revenues sources such as concessions, parking, merchandising, suites/preferred seating, and advertising/sponsorship. Mr. Levy also worked with Net Assets, Inc., the management arm for the senior men’s Champions Tour (afterwards called the Nuveen Tour), assisting with operations, sponsorships, and contract matters. Mr. Levy is a member of the Construction Management Association of America, Project Management Institute, Urban Land Institute, and Industry Advisory Board to the California State University at Northridge – Construction Management Program. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University and a Juris Doctor degree from Delaware Law School.
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We recently asked Jonathan Levy a few questions regarding his business views and interests. Read what he has to say.
Q. What are the two most important business lessons you have learned in life?
1. Never resort to writing something you can communicate in person — it makes a difference.
2. Happy employees impact profitability,period!
Q. What was your first job, and what did you like or dislike about it?
A. My first job was a drug store clerk. I liked the responsibility of the job including opening the store, working the cash register, serving customers, and ordering the medicines and inventory. I did not like when the store was empty and there was little or no customer contact. That was boring.
Q. Who was a mentor to you in your career and why?
A. During my junior year, my college advisor was a mentor to me. He encouraged me to focus on following my passion and not to compromise. He really taught me it was ok to reach for something that was out of reach.
Q. Over your career, what position you have held was the most rewarding and why?
A. My present position as a small business owner is the most rewarding by far as I am responsible not only for my own company’s growth and development, but also for the development of my employees, their careers and their stability.
Q. What do you see as an important trend for businesses to embrace today and why?
A. I think businesses need to be more flexible than ever with their staff. By this I mean that more and more “contributors” to your work force are part-timers, contract personnel, job sharers, etc. It’s important to learn how to manage these resources effectively for the purpose of performing the work, while at the same time granting flexibility to the staff so they can optimally balance the demands of home and work life. The investment in figuring out this puzzle is well worth it as the rewards of a happy employee go directly to the bottom line profitability of a company (in my opinion).
Q. What do you feel are the three most critical factors for a business to be successful in today’s climate?
1. Cash flow.
2. Strong referrals lead to a deep
business sales pipeline. 3. Flexibility in services provided – go to
where the work is located and provide the services that are needed. You have to adapt to a business, and not wait for the work to fit into your business model to show up.
Q. What do you feel has most changed the business landscape in the past twenty years?
He instilled in me the notion that if you build up your tool belt with skills, education and contacts you will be in the best position possible to reach your dreams.
Q. Over your career, what position you have held was the most challenging and why?
A. In 2000, I took on the position of Sr. VP of Data Center Development for GlobalCenter, a data center development subsidiary of Global Crossing. It was by far the most challenging position based on four factors: 1) managing a team of more than 250 staff positioned remotely and globally; 2) significant responsibility for the design, construction, and turnover to operations of 13 data centers in 7 countries – each $100M in cost; 3) personal sacrifice of being away from home 6 of every 7 days for an entire year; and, 4) throughout my tenure of 18 months, the company was marketed for sale and was bought and sold twice – requiring significant M&A activity and extensive HR-related focus for our resources, while still needing to maintain project progress and success.
The internet, wireless computing, and remote technologies such as GoToMeeting or other collaboration tools. For our industry (construction manage- ment and construction consulting), there is no way we could manage multiple projects with a core staff without these technologies. In the past, we would have had to have dedicated teams on the ground per project to communicate, manage and execute. Now we can do so much more remotely in terms of resources, management, procurement, approvals, and so on.
Q. What is your favorite sports moment as an athlete or fan?
A. My favorite sports moment was watching the Philadelphia Flyers win their first Stanley Cup as the “Broad Street Bullies”. Nothing has ever been so magical for me in my life than seeing that as a child.
Q. What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
A. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have always loved that book.
Q. What are your favorite passions outside of work?
A. My children and my family. Nothing comes close. Golf and tennis are fun – but my children are tops.
Q. What is a dream or ambition you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?
1. Break 80 on the golf course.
2. See my daughters become mothers.
3. Buy a vacation home (and use it often) in the South of France