Building from the ground up: Meet the new JABSOM Facilities Director, Cyrus Pattermann

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Cyrus Pattermann grilled hot dogs at the Finance and Operations team Halloween Hot Dog stand on October 27. 

JABSOM Facilities Director Cyrus Pattermann hails from Florida and he grew up in a diverse neighborhood, which smoothened the transition to Hawaiʻi. He was stationed at the Marine Corps Base in Kāneʻohe, where he was drawn to the idea of making the islands his permanent home. Read more about Cyrus below in this brief Q&A.

JABSOM Media and Communications (JMAC):  Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Cyrus: I grew up in Florida, went to school, graduated high school in Florida, and ended up enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. I spent 21 years there, then retired out of the Marine Corps as a combat engineer.  From there, I transitioned back home to Florida, moved back, got a job with a commercial construction company.  I did commercial construction for about five or six years working on various projects and hotels in Florida. I did a stadium in Texas, and a hospital in Colorado, but on my last duty station, I retired out of Marine Corps Base in Hawaiʻi.

I decided, "You know what, I want to go back to Hawaiʻi." So I was really fortunate to get a great opportunity with the State of Hawaiʻi, the Department of Transportation Harbors. I picked up a position as the Construction Maintenance Superintendent over at the Honolulu Harbor. I did that for almost three years until this opportunity here at JABSOM came up, I put my name in the hat and I was lucky to get it. So, I'm very grateful for the opportunity to serve the campus here as part of the facilities team. 

JMAC: Have you found similarities and differences between Florida and Hawaii?
Cyrus: I was really, really lucky to grow up in the part of Florida that I did.  Florida is.  probably one of the most diverse states in the South, especially growing up there as a kid in the 80s. I was really fortunate to go to school with a very, very diverse population. So it was a great learning experience of getting to have relationships with folks, especially from the Latin community, African American community, and Asian community in Orlando, Florida, so we had this hodge-podge of people.  It was a great place to grow up.

JMAC: What drew you to JABSOM?  
Cyrus: It was the opportunities here. It was really about continuing to serve in a different type of capacity. I had very limited experience in the academic realm of facilities and construction.  So it was a great opportunity to continue that lifelong learning, continuing to challenge myself, to grow as a professional, and to use my strength in collaboration in a whole different type of environment.  I just felt it was a really good opportunity to make a positive impact.

I saw the mission statement. I looked at UH Mānoa, the system, JABSOM's strategic goals. I thought, "You know what, I could probably get on board with that and help them with that." So, this is a great opportunity.

JMAC: What are you learning about JABSOM?  What are you hoping to do in your new role? Cyrus: I'm still very much learning who the stakeholders are.  There are just so many different organizations that utilize this campus.  I'm still learning a lot about the different types of equipment and the different requirements. It's very, very broad. There are certain needs. So I'm still trying to learn how I can best serve those needs and how those needs really impact the greater mission here at the medical school.

JMAC: What do you like to do outside of JABSOM?
Cyrus: Probably one of the biggest reasons why I've moved back to Hawaiʻi is that I'm a water guy, I've always been drawn to the ocean.  I surf, paddle, fish - I've always wanted to be close to the ocean. It's always been a part of my life and if you don't find me at the house, I'm usually somewhere on the beach or I'm in the surf lineup paddling out somewhere. 

JMAC: What's your favorite beach so far?
Cyrus: I live a couple of blocks from Pokai Bay on the west side, so that is what I consider my home beach now. Everything from the surfing and the paddling and the community there. It's definitely one of my favorite beaches. It's off the beaten path, which makes it nice. It's a really good community there.

JMAC: Is there anything else that you want to add or anything that we haven't asked you?   Cyrus: I'm just super grateful to be here, part of the JABSOM team, and I look forward to working with everybody. I'm pretty easy to talk to. If there's anything I can do to assist you, don’t be afraid to pull me aside and say, “Hey, here's what's going on. I could definitely use your help." Our team will do our best to support you in any way that we can.