Rosalie Mignano-Aste – Endeavor
- Written by: David Harry
- Produced by: Andrew Wright & Cherie Scott
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Buoyed by mentors, Rosalie Mignano-Aste has spent more than 30 years in roles that have taken her around the world, many of them with the same employer.
After being hired by global talent and event-management agency Endeavor (then IMG) in 2008, she restructured its facilities management department. Detail intense, that job involved establishing roles and responsibilities, as well as updating processes and developing a team to include in-house and outsourced personnel.
Now with additional responsibilities, she’s helping guide how Endeavor operates offices as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a very hands-on manager, and I’m a good facilities manager because I’ve also learned by crawling under a desk to see if an outlet works,” Mignano-Aste says.
With headquarters in New York and Beverly Hills, Endeavor represents management and talent throughout the sports, fashion and entertainment industries.
Founded as IMG in 1960 by Mark McCormack and golfer Arnold Palmer, the company originally managed athletes and events. It expanded into the fashion industry in 2001 with its acquisition of 7th on Sixth events, now called New York Fashion Week.
In 2014, IMG was acquired by the talent agency William Morris. Two years later, just before the company was renamed Endeavor, it acquired UFC, which hosts professional mixed martial arts fights.
A new world of workplaces
Mignano-Aste leads a team of 40 that’s split into five regions to cover operations in more than 30 countries.
A vice president of facilities for Europe, the Middle East and Asia leads site managers and coordinators throughout those regions. HR and operations leaders in the Asia-Pacific oversee administrative staff, reception, hospitality, and health and safety. Regional directors in the U.S. oversee all facilities management, space planning, and office support related activities and staff.
Mignano-Aste and other leaders are now considering what to do with the company’s office space. They’ve already worked with vendors and service providers to ensure facilities are clean and sanitary, and a leadership team, which she’s on, has created vaccination requirements for employees.
“At Endeavor, we need to understand how people want to work and create more collaborative and meaningful experiences when people are in the office to drive better space utilization,” Mignano-Aste says. “One question now is how to use new tools for collaboration.”
One such tool is Microsoft Teams for video meetings. Mignano-Aste is also incorporating the Visual Lease platform to optimize lease data information and manage details about offices, including date notifications and utilization data.
She’s also looking at digital platforms to simplify and standardize conference room bookings and reserving workspace to facilitate flexible work styles without having to allocate permanent desk assignments.
A major switch
Mignano-Aste grew up just outside New York City in Westchester County. With early aspirations for a career in business, she earned an associate degree in business administration from the State of New York Westchester Community College in 1987.
She then headed west to Tempe, Arizona, to study for her bachelor’s degree from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University but didn’t enjoy the expansive campus and large classes.
When she returned to Westchester County in 1989, she enrolled at Iona College while working in the school’s facilities management department. The job changed her life—and major—as she met John McFadden, then the assistant vice president of facilities planning and operations.
McFadden, who was also president of the local chapter of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, was developing Iona’s facilities management academic program and teaching as an adjunct professor. While Mignano-Aste helped him develop the program and curriculum, McFadden began teaching her about facilities management.
“I got an ‘A’ in my first class and found a new calling,” Mignano-Aste recalls. “I was always mechanically inclined, so learning how to read blueprints, how HVAC systems work, and learning about building and architecture was exciting and required a more hands-on approach.”
Meeting a mentor
After earning her bachelor’s degree in facilities and property management from Iona in 1991, Mignano-Aste was hired as an administrative officer in facilities management by Alliance Capital Management.
The opportunity allowed her to meet Senior Vice President of Administrative Services Denise Bernardo, who had worked her way up to a leadership position in a male-oriented field and would teach Mignano-Aste about design and construction and facilities management, the importance of site-selection and the eventual disbursement of properties.
After working closely with her mentor for four years, Mignano-Aste began looking to add more building management experience. In May 1996, she joined New York’s Museum of Modern Art as assistant director of building services.
At MoMA, Mignano-Aste assisted in managing 500,000 square feet of museum space by overseeing daily housekeeping and coordinating all gallery renovations and reconfigurations, as well as building management functions.
In April 1998, Bernardo came calling for Mignano-Aste once again, bringing her on as assistant vice president for global real estate and facilities director at AllianceBernstein. The job took her around the world, allowing her to manage the global investment company’s 1.5-million square-foot portfolio—including site selection and lease negotiations with an annual budget of $60 million.
In November 2008, Mignano-Aste joined IMG as its vice president for corporate real estate and facilities management. When the company was acquired by William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in 2014, she continued in her role.
Mignano-Aste credits Bernardo and McFadden for their mentoring while adding there are defined skillsets needed to succeed in facilities and property management.
“You have to learn by doing and have a good mechanical visualization,” she says. “Also, because we’re in the customer service field, you need good interpersonal skills. You have to be able to converse with a lay person on the terms of the technology and systems.”
View this feature in the Blueprint Vol. V 2022 Edition here.
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