As the President of CAM Property Services, David A. Herrera, known for his magnetic personality and unwavering leadership, has transformed CAM Property Services from a small property management company into an industry powerhouse. Today, Herrera is taking a hands-on approach to rebranding CAM, developing an innovative company culture, and investing in philanthropy.
Here’s a little insight to David’s leadership behind the scenes and what it truly means to be a leader with a benevolent mission:
Q. After being in business for over 32 years, which is most important to CAM Property Services—mission, core values or vision?
A. While all are important, at CAM Property Services, our core values have had the biggest impact in shaping the integrity of our business, keeping staff members engaged and supporting a fun company culture.
The core values, including being the most honest and accountable contractor possible, are really what have separated us from other competitors over the years. We want our clients to be customers for a long time. In fact, we have clients who have been with us since the beginning. Ultimately, we want CAM Property Services to be known for being a friendly, responsive, loyal, trusted, professional and innovative partner. In the end, it’s the honest and ethical approach to doing maintenance and construction work that has attributed to our success for the last 32 years.
Q. How has your mission evolved over the years?
A. Our mission at CAM is to enhance the value and appeal of our clients’ assets by providing innovative and unparalleled property services. The company was established as a result of the development of mini-malls and strip centers, which sprouted up in the early ‘80s, and gave us the “One Call, Does It All” platform from which to launch.
As the industry has become more sophisticated, the needs of our clients have changed, so we’ve evolved to specialize in new innovative services. A few interesting trends we’ve seen is the focus on multifamily property management and big shopping malls now being repurposed into office space like Google exhibited when they recently took over the Westside Pavilion.
With the refinement of our brand, CAM is now proud to promote that we make your job simpler and your life easier. We want all potential customers to know, ‘We’re CAM Property Services, the innovation facility experts. We’re your friendly responsive partners in growing your business – big or small, simplifying your life, and helping your property shine.’
Q. What is your proudest achievement at CAM Property Services thus far?
A. I’ve been working at CAM for the last 28 years, almost since the beginning, and I consider it an honor to be ranked among the state’s top professional property maintenance companies. We service over 1,300 commercial, multifamily units and institutional properties valued at over $7 billion across California. To be among the industry’s elite is very humbling.
Our team has survived some of the toughest crises along the way and every time we’ve grown stronger and better from those challenges. In some years, like so many other companies, we were just fighting for our economic survival. Now we are being much more strategic. So, it’s very satisfying to be able to sit here today and look back on our longevity in the marketplace. I don’t know everything but surrounding myself with great people and being able to listen and learn have been keys to my working relationships among employees and between management and staff.
The client relationships we’ve developed are very strong and that’s been integral to our success. Most importantly, though, I have the full support of my family. They are involved with all aspects of my professional career and I’m so grateful for that.
Q. What is something that we would be surprised to learn about you?
A. Three years ago, I was asked by one of my clients to volunteer for the Harmony Project, LA’s largest music non-profit that offers free music lessons and instruments for the kids year-round so they are able to gain access to teachers and artists that they would otherwise not be able to, and this past July I was honored to be selected as the new Chairman of the Board.
While research shows that music rewires the brain, what was most surprising to learn were the low graduation rates from high school, especially in the LA Unified School District, which are just over 50%. At Harmony Project, we have 3,500 kids in our program, and we are graduating about 70 kids per year that are high school seniors, so the graduation rate is well above 95% for our kids that are in the program.
One of the biggest personal joys is witnessing the kids’ achievement through grit. It’s exciting to strategize on building the next generation of Harmony Project and how we can take this program national. We highly encourage our staff to get involved in their communities to make the world a better place. Philanthropy is truly a passion that has made all the difference. The giveback is really important.
Q. What is the most gratifying part about being a leader and how do you develop your team to their fullest potential?
A. I’ll let you know when I get there (laughter).