Superintendents are a lot more than just handymen—an important point learned at a roundtable discussion hosted by The Cooperator last month. Six representatives from three of New York City's seven superintendent organizations gathered for a roundtable discussion to share information and shed some light on their profession. From educational resources for supers to all the things residents don't know about their super's job, the attendees discussed a variety of topics in a lively and cooperative atmosphere.
Who knew a super was responsible for so much? All of the building's employees, professional development, communication with their management company, board and individual residents, the overseeing of the building's operational systems—including fire safety, the boiler and much more—all the way down to babysitting a neighbor's dog!
In the past, New York's supers' organizations didn't necessarily reach out and communicate with each other, and near-rivalries have existed between some groups. Now, thanks to networking opportunities like the recent roundtable, the organizations have opened the lines of communication and a spirit of collaboration is beginning to flourish between the groups.
In this spirit, representatives from the city's various superintendents' groups sat down with The Cooperator staff for an informative luncheon and "super" idea exchange.
The Nature of the Profession
At the table—which ironically was square, not round—sat seven representatives of the superintendent community: Matthew Hickey, a resident manager on Park Avenue since 1998, and chairman of the Hibernia Provident Society (HPS); Owen Rodgers, also a representative of HPS and a super for six years; Peter Roach, president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York Superintendents Technical Association (NYSTA) and a super on the Upper East Side—in the business for 19 years; Al Suarez, president of the Scandinavian-American Building Manager's Guild and a super for 15 years; his brother, Jimmy Brennan, vice president of the organization and a super for six years; Peter Grech, a super in the business for 31 years and the former president of NYSTA, who is currently working at a co-op on 46th Street; and Maria Vizzi, chairman of NYSTA's Vendor's Committee. Vizzi also works for Bronx-based Indoor Environmental Solutions (IES) and has collaborated with each of the supers' organizations over the years. She was the catalyst for the event, and attended the roundtable on behalf of the various groups.