By Cecilia Cress and Olivia Montes
Washington College hired new Director of Facilities, Stan Yeakel. He began working for WC two weeks prior to the start of the spring semester.
Prior to coming to WC, Yeakel worked as the director of Physical Plant Services as part of the Acts Retirement-Life Communities, Inc. in Sykesville, Md. and as the senior development manager at Erickson Senior Living in Catonsville, Md, where he said his experiences included overseeing “maintenance, engineering, security, transportation, housekeeping, and grounds” departments.
Despite not having worked in higher education before, Yeakel said these environments are “very similar.”
“I felt like I could transfer my skills from that type of business over to here very easily,” he said.
Yeakel said what drew him to WC was its “classic” campus atmosphere and college experience.
“There’s a ton of history here…which adds to the draw of the place,” Yeakel said. “I feel like students should have an opportunity to have this kind of experience.”
According to the email sent by President of the College Dr. Mike Sosulski on Jan. 14, “[Stan’s] extensive experience in working with capital projects, maintenance, engineering, security, energy management and housekeeping services” are what made him the best candidate for the director of facilities position.
In his current position, Yeakel said he focuses mainly on customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and financial acumen in addition to overseeing aspects of maintenance, housekeeping, and grounds services.
“The rest of it is just departmental day-to-day things, whether it’s maintenance, housekeeping or grounds, just knowing how those types of things function in a large campus like this, and keeping all those things in a currently good condition,” Yeakel said. “Making sure the customers are happy, the students are happy, the professors are happy, and the rest of the staff are happy.”
Yeakel said he is looking to improve several key areas on campus that need maintenance this semester, as well as enhance the current maintenance program overall.
According to Yeakel, he is currently looking into obtaining grants for further campus-wide maintenance such as improving and building upon building temperature controls, and other important plans for the remainder and beyond the spring 2022 semester. This includes refurbishing roofs at on-campus locations like the Johnson Fitness Center; installing a new elevator at the Clifton M. Miller Library; and even obtaining a “more robust preventative maintenance program” on campus.
“I’d like to make sure that we’re with the resources that we have [and] that we’re doing the best possible management of the departments here [on campus],” he said. “Getting that formed, created, and budgeted with all these [resources] is one of my big priorities.”
Yeakel said the staff he works with at WC are very dedicated and have a positive impact on his work and the College atmosphere.
“The thing that I’ve noticed so far is we’ve got a fantastic staff down here. Everybody is really engaged in their jobs, and that’s extremely important,” he said. “If you’re engaged in your job, you’re going to be very happy to come to work and we’ve just got a lot of good people that have good skillsets here, and they’ve got a great outlook on the [WC] campus.”