UNC Charlotte encompasses more than 1,000 acres and 100-plus buildings, and that’s just the main campus. It takes a lot to keep it functioning well, not to mention beautiful, for the University’s students, employees and visitors. For eight years, Nathaniel “Lee” Snodgrass has made sure it all works together.
The air conditioning is down in an academic building? That’s his team’s responsibility. Mowing every blade of grass on this campus? That would be his team, too. An electrical shutdown to campus for maintenance? Him again. Clearing the campus of the remnants of a winter storm? You guessed it, his team.
Snodgrass is responsible for a portfolio that includes building structures, heating and air conditioning, building automation controls, retro-commissioning, building information modeling, preventive maintenance, fire systems, roads and grounds. All of that is supported by a 258-person team.
It is a lot to manage, especially when one considers that his team operates 24/7, but Snodgrass finds that open and honest conversations between him, his team and campus partners are the key to making it all work.
“I take the time to listen,” said Snodgrass. “It’s the best way I found to make a difference in my role at UNC Charlotte.”
He also enjoys knowing that a personal approach can make a difference in someone’s day. He credits Beverly Imes, executive assistant for the associate vice chancellor for facilities management, for teaching him that lesson.
“I was so impressed with the time and effort taken by Beverly to help me as a new staff member. In the first few months, she provided basically anything I needed. After working with Beverly, I knew that UNC Charlotte was the place for me.”
Snodgrass wants to offer that same welcoming environment to others. He said his advice for new or recent hires is to get engaged with the entire UNC Charlotte community and continue learning new things about other departments and organizations on campus.
“On a campus this large, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks of your own job,” he said. “I find it helps me to stay inspired by getting to know others from all across the University. It helps remind me of the bigger picture of why we are here: providing an outstanding education and University experience for our students, who will help shape the future for us all.”
Along with more than 30 years of construction, maintenance and operation experience, Snodgrass served in the U.S Army for 22 years, 12 years active and 10 years in the reserves. It was during his service when he met his “best friend” and wife of 31 years, Stephanie. They have three sons: Nate, 29; Charles, 27; and Michael, 25.
When Snodgrass isn’t in the office, he spends his time outdoors camping and hiking. His wife has turned him into a part-time farmer, calling their operation the “Chez Nous Farm,” which is home to goats, chickens, a goose, a horse, four cats and their Great Dane.