Our Facilities Department is responsible for two main areas:
Custodial: Provide a clean campus through daily cleaning of public and common areas, classrooms, offices, and resident hall restrooms (when not occupied)
Maintenance: Caring for the physical buildings through preventative, routine and work request maintenance.
Douglas (Doug) Walker, Front Line Manager and Director of Facility Services, is the son of a Christian and Missionary Alliance Pastor, who served in several churches. Because of this, he considers Nyack his home, as he is has been here longer than any where. After graduating from Nyack College in 1991, and Alliance Theological Seminary in 1995, he was a Youth Pastor from 1995 until 2000. Then for two (2) years, Doug managed a rental unit property before becoming a test driver for a fork lift lab.
He joined the Aramark Facilities team at Nyack College Graduate School and Seminary on May 2nd, 2005 as the operations manager. Doug’s knowledge of the different trades and his natural ability to lead made him the ideal choice to become Director of Facilities and Security in 2010.
Doug oversees all aspects of preventative and day to day maintenance and housekeeping at both the Rockland and New York City campuses. He works collaboratively with faculty, staff and students to enhance the educational experience and environment. The crew of approximately 20 Housekeepers and 15 Tradesmen keep Nyack’s campuses clean and maintained.
He is responsible for building maintenance, custodial and grounds, fleet, facility planning and repair and campus safety. Doug works to ensure the care and maintenance of the buildings, grounds and college vehicles meet or exceed county, state and federal codes in all areas.
From October of 2012 through the early part of 2013, Doug, along with his team, took on the challenge of cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. Stately old trees that have offered shade and resting places were uprooted, and needed to be cleared away. Fortunately, only minor damage was done to some of the buildings, but the team worked quickly to bring everything back to order for the faculty, staff and students.
In May of 2013, Doug coordinated and executed the move of the Manhattan Campus from 361 Broadway to 2 Washington Street, near Battery Park in lower Manhattan. Although the move was one of only two (2) miles, the planning and timing were critical. Offices, classrooms, library books, musical instruments and even pictures on the walls needed to be packed, loaded, delivered and unpacked in the right place and in less than a month. Doug and many of the crew slept on the floors to be able to work late and begin early. It was an amazing accomplishment that ran with (almost) no hitches.
Doug has further enhanced the Security of the campus in several ways. Surveillance cameras have been added to more buildings and areas, so that intruders or inappropriate activities can be detected early. The lettering of the Parking Lots is being re-done, so that students and visitors can find their way around campus, and know where to park more easily.
Doug has worked to grow Nyack College’s relationship with the Village of South Nyack. Joint projects as well as individual projects, by either Nyack College or the Village are presented and coordinated so that little interruption is made to the campus during utility or street work. Doug is working alongside the Village to enhance the beauty of the campus through Aramark’s and Nyack College’s beautification projects.
When the students go home for the summer, Doug and his teams step up their schedules to make repairs, restore furniture, paint where needed, and whatever else needs done to prepare for the many summer conferences that take place on campus.
Doug Walker is a dedicated husband and father of three boys (Who can be almost as delightfully challenging as he was/is) who is very active in his church, All Souls Community, in Suffern, NY. His ability to “fix things” is being used as the congregation works to restore a beautiful old church building and bring new life to it.
Doug and his boys like to jump off of cliffs into tributaries of the Hudson River, and try other exciting things here in the majestic Hudson Valley. Tracy, his beautiful wife, just smiles and loves him, encourages him, and makes the world more beautiful for everyone.
AMELIA DANTAS, Service Response Manager, began working at Nyack College Facilities for Aramark in 2007. She is multi-talented and extremely organized. Because of this, she handles facilities human resources, accounts receivable and payable, scheduling, payroll, TMA Work Requests and much more. She was a key member of the team that spent nearly two years creating and implementing the TMA work request system for the Nyack College Campus.
Amelia was born in Brazil where she received a Bachelor of Arts and Design degree from the Pontificia Catholic University of Campinas. In 1993, she won an award for an oil painting, “Innocent Dream,” from the Mapa Cultural Paulista in Itapeva. She also holds Certificates from the Word of Life Seminary, Northern Baptist Seminary and Peel District School Board in Leadership, Sacred Music, English and Computers. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish and English.
She has been married to Dr. Elias Dantas for more than thirty (30) years. In 1996, they left Brazil to plant a Portuguese-speaking church in Canada. In 1999, Amelia won the Millennium Flag Contest for Flying Colors International, the largest banner and flag design company in the country. Flags and banners with her design were waving throughout Canada to bring in the new millennium.
In 2000, Amelia and Elias moved to the United States where Elias accepted a position as the Director of the School of Missions at King College in Tennessee. While there, she worked with 4th and 5th graders at the Holston Elementary school. Amelia volunteered her time to make Holston a delightful place to learn by painting murals in the hallways, the library and throughout the entire school – inside and out. Students and their families still enjoy the murals today.
In 2007, they moved to Nyack where Elias came to create the Doctoral Program for Alliance Theological Seminary, and Amelia joined the Facilities staff of Nyack College. Amelia loves living here in Nyack, and considers the people of the college “family.” She enjoys all the sports but especially loves to attend the Warrior Men’s Basketball games. On occasion, she travels with Elias to some of the countries his new position as Director for International Relations takes him to.
Most of all, Amelia enjoys visiting their three (3) sons and their families in Virginia and Canada. Amelia and Elias have six (six) grandchildren: Daniella, Giovanna, Helena, Luca, Vitor Steel, and Henry. The three (3) boys were all born this year, and she takes every opportunity she can to visit. Of all the jobs that she handles, being Vovo’ (Grandma) is the one she loves the most.
JOHN WOCIAL, Assistant Director of Facility Services and Director of Security, was born in Queens, but grew up in Rockland County, New York. He graduated from North Rockland High School, and then went on to study at the Rochester Institute of Technology. As a graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology, John earned a degree in Industrial Systems Engineering. He has held a position with Titan Tools as an Industrial Engineer. There, his responsibilities included time studies on auto-assembly lines, reverse engineering, line balancing techniques and he developed more efficient material handling systems. He also held a position with Goodrich Fuel and Utility Systems Company as an assistant engineer. There, he trained 150 employees on the proper use of the company’s data base system, developed preventive maintenance schedules for facility equipment, directed multiple projects for 5S improvement, visual and ergonomic improvements.
After joining Aramark in 2007, John was positioned in the energy management division of Engineering Solutions. He was the facility manager for the New York State Office of Mental Health, Cook-Chill Production Center. His responsibilities there included energy management, service contract management, daily communication with facility personnel, and developing training procedures for the safe and efficient operation of production equipment and auxiliary machinery. He conducted staff training in proper start up, operation, shut down and emergency shutdown procedures. This helped reduce injuries and premature machinery malfunction. In addition, he researched into the cause of past injuries to identify needed safety improvements and modification to production equipment.
His work at the facility helped to improve facility operational efficiency and increased equipment reliability, safety and life expectancy. John accomplished this by implementing preventative maintenance, predictive maintenance, corrective maintenance as well as safety and code compliance.
John joined Nyack College Facilities at the beginning of 2014, and fit right in to the close knit community of dedicated maintenance and custodial staff.
SAMUEL AKWAA, Lead Officer of Security and Safety, comes from Ghana, West Africa, between Nigeria and Cote’ D’Ivore, where he studied at Abrui Sec Tech. He moved to the United States in August of 1997. He has three (3) beautiful children: Evelyn, Yaw and Afua.
When he first came to the U.S., Sam worked as a Warehouse Supervisor for Intellesale.com. In 2004, he began working as a Security Guard for Command Security and SSC Security simultaneously. He recently became the Lead Officer of Safety and Security here at Nyack College, and left Command Security in 2013 to devote his time exclusively to the college.
Sam said he appreciates working at Nyack because he likes everything about the college staff and the environment. Besides making us feel safe and secure, when he flashes his big bright smile, Sam makes the campus a brighter place to be.
He loves being with his children and especially enjoys taking them to the library because they all love to read. Sam also likes to run and play soccer.
RICHARD LOPEZ, NYC Custodial Services Lead Worker, born in Hell’s Kitchen on the West Side of Manhattan In 1978, Richie graduated from the Power Memorial Academy, a Catholic High School.
He worked in different positions for two years after graduation then for the next 12 years, from 1980 to 1992, Rich was the manager of the warehouse for MCA Home Videos. From 1992 until 2000, Rich was the Supervisor of Quality Assurance for Liz Claiborne. Then in 2000, Rich was employed as the Dispatch Supervisor for MetroPlex, a Distribution Company for McDonald’s.
Rich joined the Aramark team here at Nyack College Facilities in January of 2009. He came on as a Painter, but quickly became a valuable part of all of the operations of the Buildings and Grounds crew, and especially assisted in the Housekeeping Department. He was promoted to the Custodial Lead Worker and moved to the NYC Campus in January of 2014.
Rich commented that the decision to move to the Manhattan Campus was difficult, even though in one sense it feels like going “home.” He says his co-workers at Rockland Campus not only gave him a chance, but supported him through some very hard times. They are in many ways, “family.” Richie appreciates working with and for Aramark and Nyack College. He says he feels blessed to work here, but he is the one who blesses all those who come into contact with him.
DEBBY PAINE, Office Worker, grew up in Western Pennsylvania. In 1966, strongly influenced by both her Aunt, Flo Cobaugh, who graduated from Nyack College and her high school English teacher, Miss Brown, she chose to attend Nyack College.
At Nyack, she met and married Phil Paine who was working his way through college as a member of the Nyack Buildings and Grounds team. After sharing their lives for forty one (41) years, Phil went to be with Jesus. She needed a job and found herself coming home to Nyack; back to Buildings and Grounds.
Her responsibilities include day-to-day office duties, but her favorite responsibility is registering faculty, staff and student vehicles because it gives her opportunity to meet so many of Nyack College’s amazing people. Debby always keeps a basket of candy on her desk and invites anyone to sweeten their day by dropping in for a snicker or some almond “joy.”
Debby has published four books, one of them children’s book, and has written and directed plays in churches in the Nyack area for more than 30 years. She is putting together a collection of her plays, and is working on her next book, “A View From the Outhouse,” memories and lessons learned at her grandparents’ farm in Mount Union, Pennsylvania. She loves her children, her church and her home in the Hudson Highlands, but her four (4) grandsons, Stephen, Jacob, Caleb and David are the delight of her life.
Made up of about 20 people from Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Columbia, Ecuador, Cambodia as well as the United States, our Custodial Staff are a joyful international team. They do so much more than keep our Campus buildings clean. They do their work with happy hearts and warm smiles. Many of them say they love being around the students, and often have a shoulder to lean on, or a word of encouragement to share with them.
Approximately 15 Maintenance Staff care for the campus and grounds. We have great carpenters, plumbers, HVAC technicians, groundskeepers, electricians and general maintenance staff. Many of our tradesmen have been with us for more than 10 years, and a few more than 20 years. Their gifts, talents and dedication keep the buildings and ground a safe and comfortable place for our faculty, staff and students.