By David Mayhew
Kevin Petersen has joined Towson University Facilities Management as the new Director of Operations and Maintenance. He comes to Towson with over 25 years of experience at three different institutions of higher education. In his role as Director of O&M, Kevin oversees a department with an annual operating budget of over $11 million and a staff of over 150 people.
Kevin says his first experience with Facilities Management actually began as a student at Capital University where he was the first recipient of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 3 Dimensional Design. Participating in a student work /study program, Kevin was involved in various tasks, ranging from maintaining and cleaning galleries and studios to working as an usher at events.
In the early years after college, Kevin worked in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah doing “portable mountain seismic exploration” work for the oil industry. Essentially looking for oil in the mountains, the work involved helicopters, dynamite, snowshoes and lots of hard working people.
As the market for domestic oil dried up in the late 70s, Kevin spent the next six years as head of operations and production for two different cultured marble manufacturing companies. Although Kevin continued to pursue sculpture as a personal hobby, most of this work involved the manufacturing of marble sinks, vanities, bathtubs and whirlpools.
Following several years of owning his own construction contracting company, Kevin began his career in higher education at George Washington University as a carpenter in the trades shop. Within four years he had risen through the ranks to the level of Assistant Director of Building Operations. After George Washington, Kevin spent 5 years as the Assistant Director of Building Maintenance and Operations at American University.
Kevin has spent the last 13 years working at Catholic University as the Director of Facilities Maintenance and Operations. Under Kevin’s stewardship, Catholic University was consistently ranked as one of the most efficiently managed and well run physical plants. In the business of managing the effective use of resources and assets, Kevin recognized that the most important resource is the people who one works with. This is one of the reasons he chose to continue his education in the field of Human Resources Management, receiving a master’s degree from Catholic University.
Kevin was attracted to the position at Towson University because of the size of the university and the opportunities and challenges associated with a growing institution. He says that his leadership and management style is based on four guiding principles: Integrity, Humility, Grace, and Excellence. A commitment to doing the right thing and treating people with respect in all situations has resulted in a track record of success that will undoubtedly continue at Towson University.
Kevin lives in New Market, MD with his wife and four daughters. He is active in his church and is involved in various activities, including playing drums in the church band. Kevin and his family are also committed to mission and outreach work.