Photo: Madeleine Thompson
For Ron Pioquinto, the job is a personal endeavor
BY MADELEINE THOMPSON
“Welcome, welcome, welcome!” Ron Pioquinto puts a lot of emphasis on being visible to the residents of 5-09 48th Ave. in Long Island City. With a smile that big, it’s not hard. It also helps to live in the building.
“People like to see your presence in your building,” he says. “As they’re walking by they’re saying ‘hey, I have an issue’ or ‘this is looking great.’”
Pioquinto starts every day with a 4-mile walk along the East River waterfront that he credits for drawing so many New Yorkers to Long Island City in recent years. Then he goes down to his office on the first floor to prep and to check emails. His office is crowded with blueprints, manuals, packing tape and Christmas cards from building families.
The rest of his day is spent doing walkthroughs at 5-09 48th Ave. and at another nearby building he manages, making himself available for anything residents may need. “My interests are theirs,” he says.
He speaks highly of all of his staff, which he helped pick out specifically to fit the building’s and residents’ personalities. “We have the best porters and handymen that you can possibly imagine,” he says.
The building is the second waterfront condo built in the area, and Pioquinto knew it would be crucial to put together the best possible team. “Then everyone else came as years went by,” he says.
Pioquinto has lived in other neighborhoods and boroughs, but something kept drawing him back to the building he helped open in 2008. Part of the appeal was the family-friendly, close-knit environment. His now-grown son was raised there and even worked part time as a doorman and porter when he was a teenager. His son, now a Marine living in California, recently got married and gave Pioquinto his first granddaughter.
Pioquinto was born in the South Bronx and raised by a mother who worked in civil service. He says he gets his work ethic from lessons she instilled. He was a facilities trainee for Con Edison during school and that’s when he was “exposed to the maintenance aspect of it.”
“It opened my eyes to this industry,” he says. Eventually, he got involved with start-up construction, joined 32BJ in 2000, became a shop steward, and worked his way up.
In his free time, Pioquinto goes fishing and bike riding, and roots for the Yankees and the Jets. “I like to do things that soothe my spirit,” he says. “If I’m healthy then my approach to the job is healthy.”