In our first installment of Consultants in Conference Rooms Getting Coffee, Associate Alexis Diamond, shares her journey, what she does (and does really well), and some insight into her time at Vantage. Get to know Alexis below.
What is your background (where are you from, where did you go to school…)?
I’m from Austin, TX. I went to (the now famous) Westlake High School, the high school of NFL Quarterbacks Drew Brees and Nick Foles. Actually, as a freshman I was lucky enough to get to play a few pick-up basketball games with Nick Foles, because we were both on the high school basketball team. I applied to USC for their architecture program but also really wanted to row. I met with the rowing coach at USC and we totally clicked right away. I was debating between Cornell Engineering and USC Architecture, but ultimately picked USC.
How did you become part of the Vantage team?
I was an entry level architect and became really good at Revit. I was looking for a job that wasn’t going to be like the stereotypical entry level architecture job and was looking for something that was engaging and diverse and would give me a lot of opportunities. I started branching out from architecture and was looking for Revit jobs and ran across the Vantage job posting for a Revit Specialist. I interviewed with Michelle and we really got along. Then I met Phil and we really hit it off. It felt like a great fit.
And how long have you been at Vantage?
I’ll have been with Vantage for 5 years on February 2nd.
What do you do at Vantage?
[laughs] you tell me [laughs]
Well how about you put everything you do into one sentence, then we can go from there.
I used to tell people, ‘I help put technology into buildings’. But now, I say ‘I help put technology in buildings and I help you figure out what technologies those should be’. That’s my way of trying to simplify all of the things that we do.
I help put technology in buildings and I help you figure out what technologies those should be
I’m doing a lot more in healthcare visioning. I help with trying to focus clients on what their facility, building, or enterprise needs. There’s so much stuff out there, in the way of healthcare technology, and so much misinformation that a lot of facilities have been misled. Facilities and Healthcare Organizations are becoming increasingly more aware that they need to have a technology plan or road map. A technology plan really helps our clients know where to focus their energy, money, and time. We have heard a lot of scenarios where a client has put a lot of their energy into something that’s already irrelevant by the time it roles out. And on the other side of the spectrum we find that some facilities aren’t aware of some of the technologies we think are painfully relevant. You have to focus on what’s right for them and for their facility because it’s not always the same.
You have to focus on what’s right for them and for their facility because it’s not always the same.
Who are you meeting with at these technology visioning meetings?
We usually start with meeting the IT team or a Core team, and whoever is overseeing the project or plan development, like a project manager or CIO. Once we establish a baseline understanding of the current facility and current plans with them, then we meet with the end-users like the doctors and the nurses; the “Boots on the Ground” people. The people who are living all of the work flows that we are looking at and talking about. Those are the people that help you get into where the hiccups and bottlenecks are in their work flow that technology can help with. That’s where you get the really good ideas. Rather than present all the solutions that every other facility is doing and selecting one that feels most appropriate to them, you take a step back and get to ask, well what’s the problem we are trying to solve, and how can we figure out a solution. I like finding these solutions, it’s my favorite part of my job.
Rather than present all the solutions that every other facility is doing and selecting one that feels most appropriate to them, you take a step back and get to ask, well what’s the problem we are trying to solve, and how can we figure out a solution. I like finding these solutions, it’s my favorite part of my job.
What were some of the projects you’ve worked on recently?
We recently completed The New Valley Hospital technology visioning plan and are working on the design for the new hospital. We’re also working on the Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey hospital visioning plan. Last fall, we finished up with the Cedars-Sinai Playa Vista. I’m working on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Science and Agriculture Complex. Some projects such as Henry Mayo Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital in Ontario Canada are finishing and should open early this year. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Technology Visioning was completed last Fall and that was my first large healthcare visioning project.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at work recently?
There’s a few things that I’m really proud of. I’m really proud of the dashboards I’ve made to show completion in construction. We can go into a room and grade certain parameters, which is then calculated to show an objective look at the readiness of a room. Another cool thing I worked on was the budget breakdown at Sutter Health’s Van Ness Campus (opening in March 2019). Every network device that was going into the hospital was assigned with their department, project budget and a SKU number, so the client can order the equipment and monitor each device. Since every device was modeled within the building, we were also able to review the number of devices and go through, reducing the number [of devices] which saved the client money.
What do you like most about working at Vantage?
I love the atmosphere and I love the people. I don’t have to be scared of doing the right thing. There are some places where if you disagree with your superior, you’re doing the wrong thing. At Vantage, as long as you’re efforts are trying to get the best solution for the project, it doesn’t matter who you disagree with.
I love the atmosphere and I love the people
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I really like oil painting. It’s a great stress reliever. I’m also a bit of an old soul. I like to knit and watch classic TV shows. On the other hand, I also like exploring LA and finding interesting places to eat. And of course, I like playing with my pup, Ricky.
What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?
I used to play club basketball in high school. I was extremely aggressive. I couldn’t really run that fast or jump that high, but I could be aggressive. So, my coach gave me a nickname “HMO”, because you need insurance to play with me. He was pretty proud of that nickname.