July 27, 2023 |
Updated August 2, 2023
Maintenance Mania has come to an end, giving way for the new Maintenance Legends and additional opportunities for those in the maintenance field to show their talents.
The final Maintenance Mania National Championship was held at Apartmentalize in Atlanta this past June. Maintenance Legends kicks off with the first monthly contest in August 2023. The grand prize winner will be announced in June 2024 at Apartmentalize in Philadelphia.
Let’s meet the final and two-time Maintenance Mania National Champion Lannon Quintana, Capital Project Manager with Chicago-based Waterton.
How excited were you when you won, and what does it mean to be the final Maintenance Mania winner?
I was extremely excited, couldn’t really tell by my face as I’m pretty relaxed most of the time, but it meant a lot. Being involved with Mania for over a decade, knowing that it all started in Denver by a man by the name of Ed Schell, and being from Denver; I would be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind that I wanted to bring it home for the last event—end it where it began. Being the competitive guy I am, I always want to be the best to ever do something, so I put a lot of pressure on myself.
What’s the hardest event to compete in?
There were a couple of events where the rules were modified or changed when we started practicing so that everyone did them the same. This was tough as we had to do things a little bit differently than what we initially were doing. Overall, the faucet event was the toughest, as there were so many moving parts. When practicing for the events, I do my best to try and break them down and run them more efficiently; however, the faucet has some pieces that just don’t want to cooperate sometimes.
Who’s your biggest cheerleader and/or mentor?
My kids are my biggest supporters. My middle son actually comes down into the basement with me and will practice with me, which is really fun. Also, my current boss, Scott Faris, and Brian Burke were also huge supporters this year. Over the years, I have always had amazing support that I couldn’t have done without from Rebekah Fischer, Alex O’Brien, Pat Hutchinson, Marci French; Betty, Lisa, Mark, Julie, Annie and everyone else at the Apartment Association of Metro Denver who have supported me for during the past decade. There have been countless individuals that have supported me, and there have also been the ones that wanted me to fail—I used this as motivation to keep going.
How’d you get into the industry, and why do you love it?
Like most people I got into the industry by accident, I went to college for wrestling and studied chemical and electrical engineering; due to some family items, I was unable to continue school. I was working a part-time job, and one of my customers asked me if I wanted a job—it also meant I could get my own apartment, so I was totally sold. I decided I was going to do maintenance until I found the career I wanted, but I then decided I should make a career out of my job. My competitive side wanted to be the best at what I was doing, so I made it a point to take as many extra classes as possible to learn as much as I could. Many classes, certifications and 28 years later, it’s truly paid off.
Where do you hope to take your career next?
That’s really tough to say because I love doing what I’m doing. I love helping team members and helping others learn as much as they can. Every class I take, and I pay for, I turn around and teach the team members the things I learned at no cost. It’s the biggest lesson I learned: The relationships you build matter the most. I learned that from my dad, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer about 12 years ago. Upon visiting him at the hospital late one night after work, he asked me why I was working so hard. I told him I remember growing up broke and didn’t want to go through that again. He looked at me and said, 'Don’t let the dollar define who you are.' I looked at him puzzled, and he explained, 'Life isn’t about how much money you can make, the items you have or the materials you end up with, it’s about the relationships you build, the lives you can affect and the memories you can make.' I really took that to heart and changed my way of thinking from that day forward. It’s what motivates me and keeps me going. Yes, I want to win if they are keeping score, but making people better also means a lot to me.
Learn more about Maintenance Legends.