S Stanley “Stan” Doobin joined Harvard Maintenance, Inc. in 1984 and has served as president since 1992. His responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the company’s business, with particular focus on financial controls and customer service. Prior to his appointment as president, Doobin functioned as vice president, assisting his father, Leo Doobin, in building the company’s business. Doobin worked for Arthur Andersen before joining the company, and is a certified public accountant. He is president of the Accident Prevention and Safety League, Inc., an industry organization affiliated with the State Insurance Fund for the promotion of industry safety and awareness, and president of the Building Services Contractors Association International, the largest international facilities services trade organization. Doobin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington & Lee University and an MBA from Emory University.
Getting Started in the Industry
Stan Doobin,president of Harvard Maintenance, didn’t always intend to work in the building service contractors industry. He says, “My father, as an absentee owner, had a very small janitorial company. I was interested in going to Wall Street, but my father convinced me it was better to be an owner of a small company. I have never looked back since.”
He received his MBA, got married, and then started working at Harvard Maintenance in 1984. In 1992, Doobin took over for his father as president and continued to grow the business into what it is today. Harvard’s area of expertise is in both high-rise office buildings and single-user facilities.
An Ever-changing Role
Doobin says a building service contractor is a multifaceted position. Each day brings new challenges and projects and rarely are two days the same. “When you wake up in the morning, you have no clue how your day is going to go. You cannot plan your day out, which makes it more exciting. I love the challenges the industry throws at you; they are always changing,” says Doobin. While serving in many capacities, Doobin has been fortunate to meet many people. Through BSCAI he has made many lifetime friends – people he considers “down to earth.”
Continual Learning through BSCAI
In an effort to learn more about the industry, Doobin joined BSCAI in 1988 and attended his first BSCAI annual convention in New Orleans. The event enabled him to meet many people and to have a myriad of opportunities to learn and network with fellow members. “You can never stop learning,” he says. “No matter who you meet, they have something they can teach you and vice versa. I tell everyone that my success is because of my involvement in BSCAI.” Accomplishments: Personal and Professional When speaking of his proudest personal accomplishment, Doobin explains that it is growing the company from a small business to one of the largest in the industry over the past decade. “I give back to the BSCAI, because I never would’ve been able to accomplish it without the industry association.” Now Harvard Maintenance has another achievement to be proud of. It recently received Green Seal GS-42 certification, which is very rare in the industry. In September 2006, Green Seal™ introduced the Environmental Standard for Cleaning Services, GS-42.
The certification program provides building service contractors and in-house service providers with objective guidance that helps them develop a green cleaning program. There are five core areas in GS-42 including: planning, requirements for products, supplies and equipment, cleaning procedures, communications and training. Doobin explains yet another reason why his company received this certification: “Harvard is a company that’s very dedicated to the environment. We are one of the first companies in the industry to get the GS-42 certification.”
The economy is the largest hurdle for nearly every industry. With the current state of the economy, Doobin recognizes that many clients have slowed down payments and are looking to reduce services in order to save money.
“2009 and 2010 are going to be the most uncertain times in our industry that anyone can remember. BSCs are going to have to look at every cost, and eliminate every possible piece of waste and unnecessary overhead. We will have to revisit specifications and reduce them wherever the client can accept it and, without a doubt, focus on cash flow. Do not let clients stretch your payment terms beyond what you can accept.”
Looking to the Year Ahead
BSCAI is restructuring and gaining strength through its educational programs and events. Doobin recognizes the importance of focusing on these aspects of the association, and it will be his mission in 2009 to continue to promote education and BSCAI programs. Likewise, he says he will work on “finding ways to enhance the value of the membership and help members as best as possible through these tough economic times.”
The value in the events is not only in the education, but also in the networking opportunities. Doobin will be attending BSCAI’s Annual Convention and Trade Show, scheduled for March 6-9 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. He will also be working closely with BSCAI’s new strategic ally, ISSA, which is committed to participating in the event. The interaction with ISSA will benefit both organizations as they will have new co-educational opportunities.
On a More Personal Note
When not working to solve business crises and economic issues, Doobin enjoys travel. “I love to travel and see the sights of the world. Other than that, I like to spend time with my two sons and if time permits, read.”
Stan Doobin (front row center) sits surrounded by the Harvard Senior Management Team. This team works hard to ensure that Harvard Maintenance continues its great success.