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Milrose Employee Spotlight: Alfonso Cava

To kick off our new Employee Spotlight series, we interviewed Milrose’s Regional Director of Sales, Alfonso Cava. Cava has been with the firm since 2008 and brings over 11 years of industry experience to his role at Milrose.

What is your role at Milrose and what are your responsibilities?

As Regional Director of Sales, I act as the team leader of Milrose’s regional offices. I’m responsible for the business in Milrose’s New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, Philadelphia, and DC offices and I work with our regional account and project management teams and help mentor them to ensure project alignment and fulfillment of the outlined project strategy. I opened the Milrose Connecticut office in 2012 and I’m currently involved in the expansion of our Washington, DC location.

What kind of projects have you worked on?

Over the years I've done many projects across many sectors, some of the projects include headquarter redevelopments, landlord building repositionings, high-rise residential developments, corporate interior restacks and retail rollouts to name a few.  Across these sectors, these projects have amounted to tens of millions of square feet in the various regions we operate in.  

What brought you to Milrose?

What attracted me to Milrose was a blend of my prior work experience. My background in law as a paralegal and in real estate as a residential developer and salesperson made Milrose a perfect fit.  I saw the opportunity as a good blend of problem solving on regulatory issues and providing solutions during the building process in the real estate environment. I was lucky enough to start on the ground as a filing field representative where I interacted with not only examiners but also building inspectors and planners. From there I moved on to outbound project management where I interacted with the end-user, the architect, and the engineer, and other stakeholders to help build out the strategy and schedule. Today, I am fortunate enough to share my work experience with my colleagues and I have the ability to mentor up and coming talent. It has been a great experience growing with the firm over the past 10 years.

What excites you about the work you are doing?

Learning from the industry and my peers every day.  I am able to utilize my experiences and my knowledge of the inner workings of the various municipal agencies and overall problem-solving skills to bring value to clients - helping them through tough situations, helping expedite their projects, acting as a facilitator and solutions manager for them.  I truly believe that gaining and maintaining the clients trust is key.  Knowing that any time they engage in a conversation where there might be some uncertainty, feeling the sense of trust they have in me when I am able to provide them with a strong footing to move forward on, is extremely rewarding for me.

How did you expand Milrose’s presence to the Connecticut office and what are you currently doing to expand Washington, DC?

Milrose's presence in Connecticut evolved. Once we got into the market, it really was a matter of pounding the pavement, and letting everybody know what we do. We are strategists, we are problem solvers.  We seek to be at the table with the owner's rep firms, the architects, the engineers, and the end-users to help strategize and break out different scopes of work in order to achieve their goals. It took quite a bit of time for the market to absorb what we did. We are in Connecticut now for over five years and we are now a fixture in the Lower Fairfield County/Westchester County Market.   It is one of those things where the market had to experience the service before understanding the value and then referring business. It has been a great experience over the last five years to see the Connecticut office grow, to see relationships being built, to see the various projects and experiences come through the office, and to mentor and guide the project managers and project teams in the office.  In Washington DC, we are expanding our presence there very much the same way.  Like Connecticut, it really is a function of getting the word out about the firm, servicing our new and existing clients and accumulating project wins.

What trends do you see in the regional markets you work in?

Transit-oriented development is a major trend in the regional markets due to our young workforce looking for alternatives to housing and transportation. Waterfront developments are also on the rise.  The retail landscape is constantly evolving, especially in suburban markets with high vacancy rates in malls and the repositioning of those assets. Suburban office markets are also reinventing themselves based on live-work-play balance models. On the corporate interior side, we are seeing the densification of office space in many of these regional markets, where clients are reducing their carbon footprint and requiring smaller floor plates to accommodate their people.

What do you think differentiates Milrose from its competitors?

Its people, first and foremost. The talent that Milrose has is unmatched. Its collaborative environment fosters top level thought leaders in our firm.  When we transformed our business platform in 2014, it was done all through our own people and with our intimate knowledge of our internal processes.  Internal workshops led by internal ambassadors among the various departments came together to develop the platform we have today.   It was fascinating to see and something that I had never witnessed or experienced before and I was glad to be a part of that.    From a strategy standpoint, we really understand everyone's role in a project and I think that sets us apart.   We have deep knowledge of all the stakeholders’ priorities and we are able to blend that into the program in a way that makes best sense for the client and team.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to spend my free time with my family, both immediate and extended. Spending time with my two young daughters is my priority right now. I also enjoy playing golf, pickup basketball games during the fall and winter, and, in the summertime, I spend my time at the beach and boating on the Great South Bay on Long Island.