Kansas State University


Division of Facilities News

Category: FEBRUARY 2019

‘Be The Change You Want To See’

 By Thomas O’Briant, Custodial Manager, Vet Med Facilities

When asked to write an article about myself and the Vet Med Custodial crew, the task seemed daunting. However, after considering the chance to promote our efforts, I am excited to share about the many projects we have started as well as our future endeavors.

My name is Thomas O’Briant and Manhattan is my hometown. Prior to working for K-State, I spent more than twenty years as a Creative Art Director for Ballards Sporting Goods and another 8 years as Head Custodian for USD 458 in Basehor, KS. My wife and I wanted to move back to Manhattan after being away for 15 years. In December of 2017, I joined K-State’s Vet Med as an Evening Custodial Supervisor. I was promoted to Custodial Manager in spring of 2018.

There are differences between working for a USD school district and a university: while here at K-State, I have had to adjust to a more structured environment that is always evolving but, fortunately, I have a strong support staff that has helps to keep me on course.

Within Vet Med Facilities, we have made several changes over the last year. In addition to hiring some new employees, we have instituted training classes so that all Vet Med custodians sanitize and clean using the same benchmark standards. Our modified Team Cleaning concept has been very successful, and we have increased work productivity during the past few months. Last summer, Vet Med administrators requested that we change our work schedule for the evening crew. While the adjustment brought some challenges, it allowed our employees to have more time with their families. We also recently changed our chemical supplier. This should help us control our chemical usage and costs.

We are initiating new procedures including the use of expectation sheets (work zone sign offs), and restroom check sheets. We have created a “Shout Out” board for our employees who receive accolades from Vet Med clients and staff. Teamwork is another area we have worked on by encouraging employees to support each other and offer assistance if needed. Several of our employees volunteer to help and support each other, creating a better-balanced and more enjoyable workplace.

During a discussion about interacting with clients and staff members, I shared my philosophy that ‘we get back what we put into the world’. I challenge myself and my staff to extend ourselves, and be the change that we want to see in the world. Smile when meeting new people. Say ‘hi’ when passing a stranger. Open doors for everyone. Be patient when listening to others. Say “Sir’ and “Ma’am’ often and try to be as helpful as possible.

I have met many nice people within Facilities, and have observed the countless times facilities employees have solved situations that seemed unsolvable. The amount of work orders submitted daily seems virtually unmanageable, but with hard work and determination, the facilities work always seems to be completed.

I am very fortunate to have supportive administrators such as Director Allen Leikam and Facilities Associate Vice President Ryan Swanson. It is with their guidance (as well as the support from the Vet Med Administration), that we are able to create a positive Custodial Team, a clean hospital environment, and support all the efforts of our K-State Facilities Organization. I believe we are getting a little better every day. I feel lucky to have this position and the crew I get to work with on a daily basis. I look forward to the future and the growth within our Facilities organization.

Welcome To Our TEAM!

John Hannan was hired as a HVAC Technician for Zone 2.

He is working for Mike Paph

Mina Gotti was hired as a Custodial Specialist.

She is working for Stephanie Brecheisen.

Rachel Stevenson was hired as a Mail Specialist.

She is working for Bridgett Henry.

Kallie Kolterman was hired as a Mail Specialist.

She is working for Bridgett Henry.

Amy Mahan was hired as a Custodial Specialist.

She is working for Quentin Rawlins.

Jessica Shepherd was hired as a Custodial Specialist.

She is working for Roger Schneider.

Josiah Hall was hired as a Custodial Specialist.

He is working for Mike Price.

Cornelius Bly was hired as a Maintenance & Repair Technician.

He is working for Shelly Hauck.

Quincy Wallace was hired as a Custodial Specialist.

He is working for Steve Greinke.

Darrin Dohrman was hired as a Landscape Tech II.

He is working for Joe Myers.

Doug Mann was hired as a Landscape Tech II.

He is working for Joe Myers.

Galen Asbury was hired as a Maintenance & Repair Technician.

He is working for Shelly Hauck.

On The Move!




Congratulations to Anne Murphy who was promoted to Manager for Central Mail / Procurement!








Congratulations to Ed Evans who was promoted to Power Plant Operator!






Just for Fun!

K-State’s Recycling Department entered a float in the Manhattan Mayor’s Holiday Parade. The float was built by Bill Spiegel and his wife, Diane.

Pictured from left to right: Diane Spiegel, Brook Lennington (KSNT news anchor), and Bill Spiegel.

Many Thanks!..

…to DEBBIE ERICKSON for all she does to keep Leasure Hall looking great!

“Debbie is awesome…she is professional, personable and friendly, often going out of her way to be helpful. Leasure Hall has never looked better. We’re very glad to have her!”

-Maggie Cody, Office Manager for Chapman Center for Rural Studies










… to MARLA CAIN for all she does to keep Holton Hall looking great!

“We are writing to register our profound appreciation of Marla Cain, a Custodial Specialist on your staff. She takes wonderful care of our building and offices. She brings a great attitude to her work and takes time to check in on members of our staff to ensure everyone is doing well. We appreciate her work, collegiality, thoughtfulness, and contributions to a wonderful workplace!”

-The Academic Achievement Center Staff (Katie Pierce, Jessica Kerr, Avery Broccolo, RJ Youngblood, Nidhi Bhandari, Ellen Clayton, Javier Martinez, Rebeca Paz, Kiley Moody, Micah Dulac, Diamond Sampson, McKenzie Cox, Gavin Colton, Allison Dulac, and the MC Ambassadors)


to members of our Custodial Team! In addition to their Managers staying late to help, 4 of our Custodial Specialists came back to campus after their normal shift was over in order to help with the ice and snow removal from the sudden storm earlier this month.

…to members of our Grounds & Landscaping Team! Several worked over the holiday weekend in order to treat and clear campus sidewalks in preparation for K-State’s first day of spring semester. During that first week of classes, a sudden temperature drop resulted in a frozen campus! Crew members worked through the night treating walkways and stairs with ice melting compounds.

Happy Retirement!



Larry McCoy began working at K-State in 1986 when he worked in the Welding / Sheet Metal Shop. In 1999 he moved over to the Power Plant where he worked as a Boiler Maintenance Operator. Larry returned to Building Maintenance in 2003 to manage the Plumbing, Asbestos, Sheet metal/Welding, & Construction Shops. Congratulations, Larry!





Rollin Coberly retired after serving K-State for more than 33 years! Rollin began working in the Electric Shop in 1985 until his move to the Estimator’s Office in 1991. Rollin returned to Building Maintenance in our Construction Shop as an Electrician / Estimator. Congratulations Rollin!





Lyndle Slattery, Landscape Technician, retired from Grounds & Landscaping after working with Facilities for 24 years. Congratulations Lyndle!






Don Nanninga, Carpenter, retired from the Construction Team after working with Facilities for 20 years. Congratulations Don!






Glen Rubash, GMRT Sr for Zone 3, retired from Building Maintenance after working with Facilities for 7 years. Congratulations Glen!




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