2022 Ones to Watch: Brian Cherry, Director of Operations & Maintenance at Massachusetts Maritime Academy

June 10, 2022 - Spotlights

What recent project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? I started in this position at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in August, and by the fall we were rolling out a new Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) across the academy. While this system helps with corrective maintenance issues, I also built a preventative maintenance aspect to the system from the ground up, making sure that certain frequencies would be maintained campus-wide. In conjunction with that, we also rolled out a new Facilities Management Cadet Training Center, which allows cadets who graduate to be trained on real-life systems like the CMMS and other HVAC systems so they can gain valuable experience.

What does it take to succeed in your specific industry? We’re doing a lot of construction here and currently have about $150 million in capital projects in the queue or underway. Given this, effective communication is key, as is being a team player and being attuned to what is going on around you – I make sure to keep a pulse on the weekly owners’ project meetings. Surrounding yourself with good people can also not be overstated, and attention to detail is also critical in this industry.

What led you to your current profession? Originally, I earned my bachelor’s degree from the academy in marine engineering and shipped out on tankers and barges for about eight years. After that, I was done going to sea, and so came back to the Academy and earned a master’s in facilities management, which really opened a lot of doors for me. Immediately I was hired by Gillette Stadium, then moved into education, managing facilities for school districts throughout New England, and then managed facilities for towns and municipalities, before arriving back at the Academy. It’s been a circuitous route but I really enjoy what I do.

What are the top 3 items on your bucket list? I just have one so far – a cross-country road trip with my wife!

What are you doing when you aren’t working? Coaching my kids in youth sports and relaxing in my yard or by the pool.




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