Our buildings and communities wouldn’t thrive without our incredibly talented team members, especially in a year where maintaining clean and safe spaces feels more important than ever. We recently sat down (virtually) with Hunter Gross, the Maintenance Supervisor at Optima Sonoran Village, to talk about how his work makes a difference in our Arizona community. 

Tell us a bit about your background and the role you play at Optima.

Out of high school, I went into the construction field and from there I went into a maintenance and cleaning supervisor role in Phoenix. After that, I ended up at Optima. I’ve been here for a year and three months; for a year as a technician, then promoted to supervisor for our Sonoran Village property. In my role as supervisor I am responsible for hiring, training, and guiding our service technicians; we can see 30-40 new service tickets daily and we have a 24-hour completion goal. I am responsible for ensuring service is completed to the Optima standard which often includes following up on many different work orders to see that the residents were satisfied. 

What drew you to Optima initially, and what’s kept you working there?

I tend to get bored with day-to-day tasks, but working at Optima gives me different challenges that set a nice change of pace, which keeps me engaged. I also have a team that helps me problem solve, oftentimes working with other Optima teams to find better solutions. Especially this year with the pandemic, everyone was ready and willing to work together. 

How does maintaining the buildings at Optima differ from other properties/buildings?

Optima’s design and materials sets them apart and makes them unique; concrete and exposed steel beams often present challenges when making additions or repairs. Thankfully, Optima is structured so we can communicate with the architecture and design team to help determine the best solutions. 

Optima’s properties are also very large-scale. Even regular, preventative maintenance takes a longer time since they’re so spread out and populated. We have five different buildings just across Sonoran Village, and just transporting tools from one to the other is a process. 

Optima has a distinct set of values that really differentiates it from other companies. Which values really speak to the work you’ve done at Optima?

Definitely our “there’s a solution to every problem” value.  Especially in our line of work, we’re always trying our best to find solutions to even minor issues. And whether it’s the architecture, construction or design teams, we have a ton of resources at Optima that allow us to problem solve. This year in particular, that seems more important than ever.