Employee Spotlight: Prescription for Success in Healthcare Facilities

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An Interview with Mark Kenneday, Director of Market Strategy and Development, Healthcare at Gordian

Mark Kenneday is committed to follow-through on the golf course and for his healthcare clients. While the maintenance, construction and operations of facilities have become his life’s work, his dedication to the healthcare industry never wavers. In our interview, Mark discusses the importance of his experience and connections in the healthcare industry, why critical care should focus on facilities management and how clients and their customers define his ultimate success.

“It is with great pride that I’ve been able to make contributions to improve and support the delivery of care.”

Mark Kenneday

Can you explain your career transformation and success with Gordian?

My career has taken many twists and turns. For the past 38 years, I’ve been in service to the healthcare industry, both as a business partner and an owner. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I worked for a general contractor that built medical office buildings in central Texas. I was working on a project in Austin when the opportunity to work within the owner’s construction team became available, so I transitioned to Construction Manager for the institution. Later that year, I was promoted to Director of Engineering and Construction.

I certainly didn’t think I’d become an executive in facilities management when I accepted my first position but I’ve been thankful and committed to the healthcare industry for the opportunity. I’ve worked at private for-profit psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and medical hospitals. At each step in my career, I’ve been lucky to take on greater challenges and more diverse responsibilities.

During my 35 years working within the owner’s portfolio, I was selected to the Premier Facilities Committee for ten years, served many years on The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) committees and subcommittees, chaired the Research and Development Committee, the Advocacy Committee and sat for four years on the ASHE Board of Directors.

In 2011 I was elected ASHE president, serving as incoming president, president and past president from 2012-2014 for the society which includes over 14,000 healthcare facilities professional members. In 2016 I was honored as the recipient of ASHE’s highest award, the Crystal Eagle, for lifetime achievement. I now serve as the Director of Market Strategy and Development, Healthcare for Gordian.

Describe your average day.

My average day is spent communicating with healthcare professionals. I am constantly networking within the industry and fostering relationships where Gordian can provide value. I also train Gordian analysts about working in medical facilities. Beyond that, I work as an ASHE faculty member, which keeps me relevant in the industry and allows me to speak at ASHE chapter events across the country.

What do you like best about your job and career path?

Although working remotely from my home in Little Rock, AR, has been challenging, it is also quite rewarding.  My role has allowed me time to remain connected in the ASHE Healthcare Executive Leadership Council (HELC), the thought leadership group that acts as a sounding board for the ASHE Board of Directors. It is invigorating to work alongside such amazing talent at Gordian. I believe that my involvements are useful and my experiences foundational as we grow the healthcare vertical market. I love learning and looking for new challenges and this career provides plenty of that.

What do you like about working with healthcare facilities?

There’s a certain gratification that comes from service to the greater good. I’ve been able to see the severely mentally ill recover, the value of life restored to so many terminally ill patients and families relieved as their babies are given a second chance at life.

The facilities that shelter the healthcare model are critical to these outcomes, and it is with great pride that I’ve been able to make contributions to improve and support the delivery of care.

When a patient enters the institution, critical functions for operational reliability, efficiency, effectiveness, safety and security should not be their concern. Their focus and their family’s focus should be on their wellness and healing.

Mark Kenneday's family and work for healthcare facilities

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

My wife, Maria, and I have been married for 40 years and have three wonderful children, four amazing grandchildren and one more on the way. We love to camp, boat and fish and spend most of our free time doing them with our extended family.

I also love to play golf, but my handicap is that I’m stubborn to a fault. That said, I still shoot in the high 90s. I don’t know why. I should be better by now.

What inspires you? Both in your career and personal aspirations.

Managing change strategically and with the resolve and tenacity to succeed gives me the most inspiration professionally.

Personally, my wife inspires me — hands down.  She is the best thing that ever happened to me and provides me with her strength and indelible generosity daily. She’s supported every decision I’ve made and she’s been there throughout my successes and many failures. Her vision and values are guided by her Catholic upbringing and those values have given our entire family the platform to grow. She’s my life, and my hope is that I can honor her by not screwing it up. So far, my contract has continued to be renewed.

What is your favorite part about working with Gordian’s Healthcare Division?

I like working in an environment that is fundamentally and foundationally defined by the need for change. I’ve spent most of my career working as a change agent within the healthcare facilities management industry, so Gordian and I are a good fit. I led the teams and co-authored the ASHE texts for Health Facilities Commissioning Guidelines and Handbook to change the way we design, build, deliver and then operate healthcare facilities and related projects.

The most critical aspect of health facilities management today is the need for better data analytics to improve decision-making regarding the ballooning backlogs of capital renewal and deferred maintenance. Once informed, the opportunity to provide efficient, effective and transparent delivery solutions is paramount to the institution’s success. This is where Gordian’s solutions for the entire building lifecycle can help; the prescription for the industry’s pain.

How do you define success?

I do not believe it is my definition that really matters. Our customers and their customers are the final judges of our success, and how we exceed their expectations in our service deliveries should be our most important measure. It is always a team delivery and defined in the eyes of our customers by our next opportunity to exceed their expectations.

Can you give us a piece of advice for your peers and colleagues in the industry?

Support all of your fellow team members and do everything you can to move every obstacle between your customer and their dreams. Expect it to be hard. If it was easy it would likely have already been done. Embrace the challenge.

Click here to learn more about our commitment to the healthcare industry.