“5 Questions” is our way of turning the spotlight on our talented and accomplished employees in the Boston office who make stellar contributions both at work and on their own time. We’ll be running this feature as a recurring series and look forward to sharing our team’s talent with the community.
Denis Cycan started out his career in facilities management and worked his way up through multiple different companies. When he realized he needed a degree to continue his career, Denis went back to school at age 40 and earned a BA in management through classroom learning while keeping a job as a part-time facilities manager at a local music school. After hard work and dedication, Denis came to Cushman & Wakefield 8 years ago to work in property management. He now serves as a Property Manager on our Asset Services team managing five of our properties throughout Massachusetts.
Denis took the time to tell us about his un-traditional road to property management, wine making and his volunteer firefighting experience. Thanks, Denis!
What do you like most about your job?
The people – I work with all sorts of different personalities on a day-to-day basis and I get to have a lot of unique interactions. I really enjoy getting to learn more about people, while drawing from my background to help them come up with solutions to their everyday needs. I’m constantly helping my clients troubleshoot and problem solve. My background of working in a lot of different industries over time allows me the ability to look through a different lens to solve my clients’ problems.
When you’re not working, where are you and what are you doing?
One of my hobbies is wine-making – my wife’s parents are from Bari, Italy and I learned how to make wine from them. I moved to Massachusetts about 12 years ago and have been making my own wine ever since. I usually make small batches as gifts for family and friends, including some of my coworkers here at Cushman & Wakefield. My most favorite wine I’ve ever made was for our Director of First Impressions, Donna Kirven (pictured).
I’ve also been a firefighter since I was 17. Firefighting was a family business – my grandfather, father, uncle, six cousins and two brothers are all firefighters. I was a Volunteer in Port Washington (NY) & Breckenridge (CO) before joining my current position as a Call Firefighter in Hanson, MA.
Lastly, I teach continuing education classes at BU for facilities management, which I started 3 years ago. If I’m not making wine or fighting fires, I’m creating lesson plans for my next classes.
What does CRE in Boston look like five years from now?
I think one of the biggest trends to pay attention to in CRE right now is green/clean energy and how to obtain that in buildings. I’ve seen a lot of my clients focusing on how property managers can control their buildings and their energy use. Even small changes such as using energy-saving lights that dim when it’s bright out or installing smart air conditioning systems to keep energy use at bay can make a big impact. I think this trend will only continue to grow as we move towards building more sustainable, greener cities.
What’s the professional accomplishment you’re most proud of?
To me, my biggest professional accomplishment is the work I did for the music school while I was earning my degree. They hired me to be a facilities manager, and I was the only one focused on this in the entire school. During my time at this job, I constantly challenged myself to do better. We had a budget in place for all I was doing – and although I never changed the budget monetarily — I was able accomplish more with it than in previous years. For example, I started with changing lightbulbs around campus with more energy-efficient bulbs. Once I started seeing the money we were saving on the electric bill, I used that extra cash to buy a new boiler add-on to make their current boiler more efficient. This kept going on, and eventually became a snowball effect of consistently making things better. Since I was doing all of this on my own, it is something I am most proud of to this day.
What’s your favorite spot in all of Boston?
I am mostly a South Shore dweller since I live in Hanson. So, if I had to pick a place on the South Shore it would be Abba Restaurant on Hancock Street in Quincy. In my opinion, it’s one of the most chill places in the state with a great roof deck and amazing food.