On Tuesday Dec. 10, the KO community welcomed Justin Wolfradt as the new Director of Facilities at assembly, while bidding goodbye to Larry Marciano, who worked at KO for a number of years before heading off to retirement.
Mr. Wolfradt earned his bachelor of science degree in general studies and engineering management as well as a master’s of science in construction management from UConn. He worked in the facilities department of UConn Health for 15 years, pursuing projects on environmental controls, HVAC, and also running general maintenance.
Mr. Wolfradt said he decided to take advantage of this opportunity at KO because he knew it would be a great jump in his career. “At organizations like UConn, since they are so big, things tend to be siloed, so for facilities you only really work on capital projects and renovation,” he said. “But at KO, those silos are combined into one, and facilities encompasses all of those, so I can get much more opportunity here.”
Starting in May of last year, Director of Finance and Operations Colleen Woerlen led a hiring committee comprised of faculty and staff to help decide the position of Director of Facilities. The team reviewed over 60 resumes, interviewed, and then welcomed five candidates onto campus. Ms. Woerlen said that Mr. Wolfradt stood out because of his immense knowledge and experience. “He has had a succession of promotions, and also a great education,” she said.
Committee member Carolyn McKee said she agreed that Mr. Wolfradt was the best candidate. “He had overseen some large projects at UConn Health and is very clearly a team member,” she said. “There were big shoes to fill with Mr. Marciano leaving, and we were looking for somebody with managerial experience, and someone who understands the demands of a school and wanted to be part of a community. He has been great, and we are excited to welcome him to the community.”
After being hired in mid-November, Mr. Wolfradt worked with Mr. Marciano until the end of December, which helped him transition and really learn about the buildings and the campus. Mr. Wolfradt’s role on campus encompasses overseeing the daily operations, maintenance of the facilities, and looking for different opportunities and contracts for cost effectiveness.
He is also working on a maintenance plan to align with the school’s strategic plan and build for the future. “It has been great,” he said. “Some of the challenges I have faced is to break the status quo, and identify where we can improve as a whole. We have the LED lighting that will help get the campus get to 100% LED for energy savings in March, and there is also a possibility of renovating the library or building a new one.” He said that he looks forward to embarking on new endeavors.
“What excites me the most is the possibility of capital projects, putting a mark on the campus, and becoming a part of the KO community which has been so welcoming,” he said. “When I came and interviewed here, the first thing I noticed was the pride and how happy everyone is here. The facilities crew took great care of the campus and building and made me want to be a part of it too.”
We welcome Mr. Wolfradt and are excited to see his plans for the school come to life.