I recently sat down with one of our Interior Design team members, Judy McGrath, LEED AP, for a chance to find out more about what she does for Luckett & Farley. Judy has been with Luckett & Farley for 16 years, and for 14 of those she has been a dedicated employee for AT&T. As Project Manager, Judy offers a level of service to AT&T that most companies can only dream of. Handling the ins and outs of moving around employees for over 480 buildings in Kentucky is no easy task, but she handles it with grace and professionalism. I wanted to uncover what makes her position unique, and find out why Luckett & Farley is so special in offering move management to its clients.
“I think I wear different hats. From project management to space planning, move management and hand holder, you never know what I’m going to be doing,” laughs Judy. She isn’t exaggerating. She coordinates every detail of moving AT&T employees from one location to another right down to making sure their phone is hooked up when they arrive in their new space. She makes light of her skills and experience, “I could probably do it blind-folded.” But it wasn’t always that way. “It was scary at first. It was about making mistakes, and learning from them.” Her cool composure belies what her job really entails. She has handled moves from as small as one or two people to moves of up to 260 people.
Those kinds of moves require lots of planning. Planning is integral to making the moves appear seamless. She explains, “I have planned projects for over a year before. Planning is the key. You have to think of everything – will cabling work? Will I have electrical? There are lots of parts and pieces.” She equates her work to a puzzle. “You have to make sure all the pieces are together, and look at the whole picture.” This includes making sure that employees are aligned with other employees they need to have contact with, and making sure each employee has the kind of work space they need to do their job.
When I asked her where her passion for her job comes from, she declared “I’m a people person. I enjoy meeting people and trying to figure out what they need.” Indeed, Judy has developed such a great relationship with the people she has worked with over the years that she even convinced movers to move a desk with an enormous stack of cups (left by the employee) arranged precariously on top without removing or knocking over the cups. They did it. Although strange requests like that aren’t typical for her role, they are just a part of the level of dedication Judy brings to her work.
At times, Judy has been responsible for items well beyond what most people would consider Interior Design. In years past she has organized and set up a health fair for AT&T employees, helped put on a car show, and created a museum dedicated to AT&T’s pioneers and the history of the company. Those are just a few examples of what makes Judy such an asset to her clients. She truly goes above and beyond her job description to serve her clients.
From providing a detailed checklist for each employee before their scheduled move to getting furniture installed, and more, Judy’s efforts not only benefit AT&T, they benefit each employee whose relocation she manages. “It is the best scenario for them. They don’t have to do anything. They shut down their computer before they leave, and come in to their new station with everything set up. If they’re not happy about the move, I hold their hands and take care of them.”
With all the attention to detail given to her clients, Judy is confident Luckett and Farley could offer this level of service to other clients as well. “We could easily offer move management on a smaller scale. It’s not an exclusive service.” Judy asserts that while her position may not be all that glamorous, it is of such value to AT&T because they do not have to worry about planning moves on any scale. In fact, the service has been so valuable to AT&T that seven years ago Luckett and Farley brought in a counterpart to Judy for the Tennessee offices, MaryAnn Etter. MaryAnn handles AT&T’s move management for the state of Tennessee, which includes over 780 buildings. And although they may be separated by geography, Judy and MaryAnn have weekly meetings to discuss their workloads and find out how they can help each other. From what I’ve seen, this idea of collaboration is the true spirit of Luckett and Farley.