Johnathan Haghani, Director of Project & Development Services in Greater Los Angeles, spent five years in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps between 2000-2007 and served two tours of duty. First was as Facility Manager for Naval Medical Center San Diego, a 2-million-square-foot facility, and the second was as Construction Manager at the 179-acre Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA.
While I exited the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant, O-3, from the United States Civil Engineer Corps (CEC), I continually confirm that joining the Navy was the best move I ever made. One of my most memorable experiences was the sense of camaraderie. It was kind of like a fraternity, for lack of a better term, since there were only 1,500 specialists in CEC globally. Single mission/single purpose is not an easy thing to replicate in the private sector, but it’s so important—it really unites people and pushes the end game.
Structure, organization, integrity and accountability are all qualities from the Navy that I’ve carried with me to Cushman & Wakefield and within my personal and professional journeys as well. One of my greatest achievements since joining the firm has been using these skills to revamp the Project & Development Services platform in Los Angeles. The key to success is to identify talent, understand leadership, and allow people to do what they do, not to micromanage but empower them, and to instill that common purpose and camaraderie along the way.
I love what I do now, though I definitely miss the uniform. It was a nomadic lifestyle, and my long-term ambition was to settle down and raise a family. The opportunity at Cushman & Wakefield has allowed me to further my career and establish a sense of community. I am now happily settled in Los Angeles with my wife and two beautiful sons.
On Veterans Day, just like any citizen, I thank everybody who serves or who has served. It’s about celebrating what everyone’s done for us and the sacrifices those ahead of us will make.
Learn more about Cushman & Wakefield’s Veterans Initiative Program.