SnapCab’s Cara Furgiuele
Furgiuele discusses the company’s environ-mental initiatives and her vision
Cara Furgiuele, project technician and architect for Snapcab by Bostock, always aims for constant improvement. Whether it involves helping customers lower their energy usage through the use of SnapCab elevator products, focusing on lean manufacturing or helping the local community through volunteer work, Furgiuele embraces the ability to switch gears and navigate various projects on a daily basis. At SnapCab, decisions are often made with the future in mind. Furgiuele credits Glenn Bostock’s business-minded attitude for helping the company survive the challenges the recession has brought. “He reads a tremendous amount about business strategies, networks with other companies and recently invested major resources into R&D to better our products in the middle of the recession, and, now, we are reaping the benefits,” Furgiuele added.
Furgiuele has provided SnapCab freelance services for more than 15 years, before joining the team full time. “I helped Glenn write his first order form, engineered some cab interiors for him and drafted various large drawings,” she recalled. In 2010, Bostock offered Furgiuele a full-time position (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2010). For years, she saw Bostock build the company from afar; today, she is part of the improvement process and insists the company always focuses on its core mission and long-term vision. In fact, “everyone gets a say, and all solutions are considered,” Furgiuele added. Each day, SnapCab managers tour its Warrington, Pennsylvania, manufacturing plant and address all questions and issues as they arise. Furgiuele believes, “This leads to consensus-based decision making, focusing on what is best for our customers first and our company second. This approach is one of the best aspects of working for SnapCab.”
With more than 20 years of experience as a registered architect, Furgiuele says she finds construction fascinating. “I love the excitement of being part of the process, and seeing the building take shape,” she explained. In 2008, she became a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED)-accredited professional and now plays a fundamental role in SnapCab’s environmental initiatives (EW, April 2011). “My LEED accreditation has helped me improve our shop drawings and approval processes, in addition to helping our customers understand how they can receive LEED certifications,” Furgiuele said.
In conjunction with SnapCab’s sales team, she helps customers craft design solutions “both aesthetic and practical.” Furgiuele is also heavily involved with the R&D of the company’s systems and materials. One of her upcoming roles will be to work with Snapcab’s quality director to continue improvements in the shop to better streamline and standardize the company’s way of operating. Furgiuele is also focused on SnapCab’s environmental initiative, “which is a good fit with my experience designing LEED-certified buildings.”
“Our director of quality has done an amazing job of lowering SnapCab’s energy use through the new efficient lighting and recycling 80% of the plant’s waste.” Cara Furgiuele
In addition to her time at SnapCab, Furgiuele has worked with several firms and has extensive experience in construction administration. She insists the industry’s fast and changing pace has taught her many lessons over the years.
One of those lessons is the importance of giving back. Furgiuele says she would like to do more pro bono projects for Habitat for Humanity. “The challenge of providing affordable and emergency housing, both in the U.S. and overseas, is a topic I need to learn more about and explore seriously in my retirement,” Furgiuele said. For now she, with SnapCab, contributes to nonprofit organizations. “We donate our panel cut-offs to Habitat for Humanity’s Restore [program],” she explained.
Outside of her work and volunteer efforts, Furgiuele stays busy with family. She currently resides in Yardley, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Peter, who is also an architect, and their two teenage children, Erica and Sean. The family enjoys traveling, when time permits, and most recently took their second trip to Italy. In addition, Furgiuele finds time to read several industry-related magazines, including EW and Architectural Record, and suggests she’d like to see additional EW articles address the elevator-related challenges tall buildings face.
When asked about her future goals both for the company and herself, Furgiuele says she would like to help design a green business park with other local businesses. Long term, Furgiuele would like to see the company expand into other areas of the world, “to become a truly global brand, with plants in other countries that replicate our system of working here,” she explains. Furgiuele believes there is tremendous potential for growth in the elevator industry, especially as the economy rebounds. “Being a part of that is something I look forward to,” Furgiuele said.