Meet Dan Purcelley, Senior Strategic Account Manager at The Building People! He is a key member of our Growth Team. Dan has 16 years of experience in property management and strategic account management. Read more from Dan about his background and role at TBP.
What is your professional background?
Before The Building People, I spent 15-plus years working with the General Services Administration (GSA). With GSA, I was an Assistant Property Manager for nine years and then a Regional Client Executive for seven years. For the first half of my government career, I was responsible for tactical day-to-day facilities management. My work was the boots-on-the-ground property management of courthouses, federal buildings, and government leases.
In the second half of my career with GSA, I shifted into strategic account management, as a Regional Client Executive. I was responsible for monitoring the health, performance, and business transactions between GSA and its many federal customers. My largest client accounts included the U.S. Courts, the Department of Justice, and the Internal Revenue Service. My teams were responsible for programmatic project delivery, real estate planning and delivery, and sponsoring large construction projects. As a business liaison and customer champion, I was the face of GSA to these customers. I will always be proud of the talented people at GSA and the excellent service everyone put forth. Now that I am at The Building People, I can apply some of those same strategic account management principles to our book of business and the many accounts we serve.
What is your current role at TBP?
It’s a bit of a tongue twister; I am the Senior Strategic Account Manager at The Building People. I have been with the company for over a year, joining the team in June 2022.
Can you tell us about the work you do at TBP?
For The Building People, both my passion and what I think I’m best suited for are problem-solving and business process improvement. I help guide the business development efforts among the different divisions within our company. I help develop strategies and tools so our business units can grow and reach their goals. I work to broaden and expand the service offerings we offer each of our customers. Our customers share many of the same challenges, so we are always searching for opportunities to share our real estate and facilities technology best practices among all of our customer accounts. Sharing expertise, bringing the best knowledge in the industry, and helping our customers innovate are what’s baked into our DNA here at The Building People.
What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I’m lucky to call Phoenix home. The weather here is fantastic year-round. I’m the commissioner of a local sand volleyball league. My buddies and I hit the sand every Thursday night for a few hours. We play year-round, run a real offense, follow the rules, and have a lot of fun. We’re in year two now, and I don’t see us stopping anytime soon.
What do you like most about working in your role?
Our company’s subject matter experts deliver unique and innovative solutions to our customers. I like being able to help our team members navigate better and work smarter. We’re a well-rounded company that works like a team. Operating within that cross-section between the commercial facilities industry and public sector executive leadership is rewarding personally and professionally. We work to bring our customers the expertise, innovation, and know-how of facilities, people, and technology, so they have the most efficient space possible so they can focus on executing their mission.
How do you define success?
Never stop improving, and don’t become complacent. Everything evolves, so you must stay sharp and invest in your learning. Gaining expertise, knowing your trade, and being able to speak to your craft are things you need to work at constantly. Sharing is equally as important as learning, so you must always try to share as much as possible by giving back to your team and the people around you. It benefits you to help the folks around you get better at what they do by sharing your knowledge, coaching soft skills, giving wisdom, and being open about your hardships. Always be learning and always be teaching. Be yourself and grow together. If you can make an impact on others by giving back, that is how I define success.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I have two guitars on the wall, but I don’t know how to play a guitar. I want to take the time to learn that skill. I enjoy music an awful lot. I feel like it’s a creative outlet that I need to start working on for myself. So, one day it’s going to happen. I’m not exactly sure when, but soon, hopefully.
What is a favorite quote that resonates with you?
My grandma always said, and it’s more of an expression than a quote: “You get more bees with honey than with vinegar.”
We all could and should remind ourselves to be more patient and thoughtful. The world’s stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to do big things and get things right. We’re all just people trying to get along in this world. So, trying to stay calm, assume positive intent, and be a good person to the people around you is the secret sauce to being happier and getting to where you need to go faster.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Feedback is a gift, and sometimes you won’t hear what you expected. Sometimes the feedback will blow a hole in who you think you are and what you’re putting out in the world. I had a moment when I thought that leading and being a good manager was to manage by authority while at arm’s length. One day, I got feedback that I had a reputation for being someone that doesn’t understand relationships and that I was not very easy to work with. I had a hard shell on, all the time. I took that feedback to heart, and it was true at that point in my life. I didn’t yet know how to lead, and I was being a selfish person and a terrible manager. Ever since, I’ve been working to be a better, more authentic, and selfless leader. In life, we all need people we can trust, and that support us when we’re down. When you’re low, when you’re having a bad day, when you’re up against the wall, it’s those good relationships that help get you through it. You’re not going to build strong relationships without being authentic. It’s important to acknowledge the world’s imperfections; everyone and I have flaws. As a leader, you don’t point at someone and say they’re doing something wrong. You need to engage and ask your people how you can help them get where they need to go. Ask questions, like “What does success look like”, and “How I can help you get there.” When you invest in people and when you invest in relationships, you create a safety net. There will always be a day when you are challenged, and when that comes for you, hopefully, you have plenty of interpersonal goodwill saved up to help you overcome those obstacles.
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
I’m fortunate because I have a lot of individual accomplishments that I’m very proud of. I believe that change is a good thing and that life is a long road with many turns. You can learn new things, try new things, and take risks, and you shouldn’t be afraid to bet on yourself. There aren’t too many folks that leave government service after 16+ years. That’s the midway point in your career, and people often say you can’t change course mid-stream. We are programmed to believe that we’re one trick ponies. I am proud of myself, and I’m thankful for the support my family gave me when I decided to separate from the government and move into the private sector by joining The Building People. I’m so thankful for the support I’ve gotten while here and the patience everyone has shown me. I appreciate the effort people have put into helping me acclimate and find a new home here. I’m proud and feel accomplished to now be wearing TBP green.
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