January 11, 2021

L&C Welcomes David Ernevad to Lead Facilities Services

  • David Ernevad has joined Lewis & Clark as the associate vice president of Facilities Services effective January 4.

David Ernevad has joined Lewis & Clark as the associate vice president of Facilities Services effective January 4. Ernevad replaces Michel George who retired after overseeing nearly ten years of campus improvements including the pedestrian bridge project, construction of Holmes Hall, and the renovation of Juniper Hall.

It was clear that David was the best candidate to lead our Facilities department into the future,” Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Operations Andrea Dooley said. “His combination of experience managing capital projects, maintenance of physical infrastructure, and leading teams was exactly what we were hoping to find. I am very excited to welcome David to the team.”

Ernevad has 22 years of experience working in the built environment industry, with the last eight years in higher education. Most recently, David served as the director of Facilities Operations and Capital Projects for Seattle Central College where he oversaw campus master planning, capital construction, physical plant engineering, custodial services, and mail and receiving.

Ernevad holds an MS in project management and operational development from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm Sweden, and a multitude of professional certifications including a certificate in construction management from the University of Washington, and several accreditations such as PMP-PMI, CEFP-APPA, and CDT-CSI.

Ernevad is keenly interested in a focus on sustainable facilities operational practices as well as sustainable construction alternatives and looks forward to continuing to foster Lewis & Clark’s legacy of responsible and sustainable building practices.

Ernevad was born in Sweden and grew up in Middlebury, Vermont. He is an avid outdoorsman, active cross country and alpine skier, trout fisherman, and camper/hiker. He has three kids, all young adults, and is very excited to be in Portland with his wife, Kelly.

Get to know Ernevad better in the following Q&A:

Tell us about your background and what part it played in leading you to this job.

At risk of sounding cliche, running a facilities program feels like what I was born to do. I thrive on challenges, and in facilities, the challenges never end. When I began my career in buildings I was focused on construction. I loved the sense of creating something from all the construction elements of concrete, steel, wood, glass etc. To go from nothing to a structure that is thoughtful and intelligent in form and function is creatively satisfying. The incredible depth of materials and their various uses, the codes that regulate their use, and the remarkably complicated process of making it all successfully come together amazes me.

While construction and all its processes still get me excited, I began to get more involved with being part of the total life of a building. Construction is a very short part of a building’s life and decisions around what and how to build a building from an asset perspective became alluring. Total cost of ownership, sustainability, durability, operability, and smart building programming considerations all began to evolve as I matured in my career.

Despite buildings all being effectively similar in material, they’re all also quite custom, with building systems and technologies that make every building very unique. Therefore, building stewardship and the team of stewards required to operate, care for, and maintain these buildings for decades to come have the real challenge. This is where I find my passion for smart construction leads to a passion for smart stewardship.

I learned early on that building a great team is essential to achieving a great construction project. Without a good team, high quality project outcomes were difficult to achieve. Furthermore, regardless of smart design, good specifications and scoping are at the core of a quality building that will last and meet the long term goals of the sponsor. In an effort to deliver consistently high quality projects I have honed my skills in the areas of project management, operational development, and higher education industry needs.

Through the years of construction and now years of stewardship I have found no end to the challenges that I thrive upon, and I am excited for my new role at L&C.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

My greatest achievement to date would be building the new Seattle Maritime Academy. The $20 million dollar project was delivered a few thousand dollars under budget, while having a 15% budget cut near the end of the design construction drawing phase! The waterfront site was also an ecological brown site, and structurally unstable, creating a very challenging site development project all its own. We were able to almost completely clean the earth, with monitoring wells now showing only the smallest of toxicity in one location.

What are your goals for your first year?

My first year will include really learning and listening to the broad range of stakeholders to help prioritize the needs and wants for the campus built environment within the available resources. Additionally, there are exciting plans to improve the Templeton Center and I am eager to contribute to a successful project. In all, Lewis & Clark has 59 buildings, 1.4 million gross square feet of building, with an average age of 50, and a staff of 45 people working to keep them operational. The facilities staff are truly unsung heroes behind the scenes keeping buildings occupiable. I intend to provide the highest level of support possible to help them be successful, and champion their well-being.

What’s on your bucket list?

I am relentlessly seeking to be the best I can be professionally and pursuing further education. A masters and doctorate in education administration would be very satisfying.

Personally, I love to travel internationally, and have spent a lifetime on motorcycles. Combining the two in some remarkable way on an international level would be thrilling. In the spirit of Ewan McGregor, I want to ride the Long Way Round, Long Way Down, and Long Way Up.