Meet Metropolis . . . Johanna Cedeno, Master Detective
This article continues our series on the men and women who make magic happen here at Metropolis Group. If you would like to recommend someone for a future employee spotlight, please email us with your nomination and let us know why you love working with this team member.
Metropolis Team Member Since . . . August 2015
Before joining Metropolis, Johanna spent several years working in shipping and exporting. Her employer exported vehicles and heavy machinery. Johanna was responsible for completing and submitting the paperwork required to secure approval from Port Newark—Elizabeth Marine Terminal and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“There’s a lot of paperwork, and the stress level was high,” says Johanna. “The position taught me how to manage my time. I had to be careful with the paperwork I was filing because it had to be perfect.” The skills Johanna honed during this time has served her well at Metropolis, where she juggles multiple projects, all with unique and complex requirements.
Role at Metropolis
As violations manager, Johanna helps clients resolve—and sometimes prevent—violations from multiple city agencies. In New York City, violations can come from a number of sources, ranging from the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Environmental Control Board (ECB) to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). DOB may issue violations for unsafe construction conditions or failure to have permits. FDNY may issue violations for false alarms. “Building owners contact me, and I conduct research to advise the client how to take care of them,” says Johanna. “Every department works differently.”
Johanna also works with building owners who need to clean up their property profiles before a sale. In such cases, she uncovers all outstanding violations from every city agency, and then, she puts together a strategy for resolving the open issues in the most timely, cost-effective manner possible.
“Johanna is passionate about her work and serious about customer service,” says Adam Batista, Senior Manager of Building Compliance. “She is deeply committed to getting the job done right. She takes on work of greater complexity and always comes out on top. She learns more every day and applies her knowledge to problem-solving. She is a valuable member of the team, and she cares deeply about her co-workers.”
Most people view violations as an unpleasant aspect of the construction industry, but Johanna loves the challenge—especially when she receives a project with an issue she’s never seen before. “I love it when a project comes in that no one knows how to handle and I have to figure things out,” she says. “I have to research and investigate and learn, which I enjoy. That’s why they call me ‘the detective.’ Then, I know what to do the next time around.”
Best Part of the Job
Because her clients regard violations much like drivers view speeding and parking tickets, Johanna takes great personal satisfaction in alleviating their stress by resolving the issues as quickly and painlessly as possible. “When I’m working on a property with a certain number of violations and it takes a month or two to clean everything up, it’s very satisfying to close that last violation and notify the client that the final issue has been taken care of, that the building is clear. It’s great knowing that I’ve helped them out.”
When she’s not uncovering solutions to tricky violations, Johanna enjoys testing her skills through video games. “I’ve been gaming since the beginning of time,” she says. “It relaxes me to sit down and play a good game. I always tell my friends that it’s something I’ll probably do until I can’t see the screen anymore.”