Joe Boni, Global Spectrum
Joe Boni is the Director of Engineering for Global Spectrum at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The stadium is home to the Arizona Cardinals and on Sundays, 64,000 screaming fans. Depending on the season. Among his many engineering responsibilities, he oversees the only football field to be moved in an out of the stadium, as well as manage the first retractable roof that moves on an arc.
What’s your job entail?
My job is a culmination of everything that is mostly mechanical in the building. It could be air conditioning, electric, the plumbing, it could be the roof or the field. I do some game day productions. The sidelines, the coordination of the headsets. Instant replay. Just the technical aspects of the business.
I have to coordinate broadcasts to make sure they’re plugged in and parked in a logical, sensible order. I also do a lot of tenet improvements. Construction projects. Major renovations. I oversee that as well.
That’s a lot of responsibilities.
When I get into a situation where it’s just one thing, I get bored. I have to take on new challenges. I’m someone who thrives on chaos and a fast paced environment. I think that’s why management keeps throwing new jobs on to me. They know that I love that. I make sure that it’s done right.
How did you get this gig?
I started in the business about 20 years ago as an apprentice engineer for operating engineers. I went to school for heating and air conditioning. I just worked my way up through the trades. I became a journeyman. Eventually I become the chief engineer for running a building and a crew. And then I wanted to get into management and went back to school for a four year degree. Got a four year degree in business management. And I just kept working my way up.
My last job was Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I started there as a chief engineer and was promoted to facility manager. A few months after that I was promoted to Director of Facilities. I became a facility manager, which eventually led to here as the Director of Engineering.
Here, everything is about volume. Everything is larger. There’s more of it. The quantity is larger. I went from 2,500 seats to 64,000. I moved from a building that makes symphonic music to moving a 19 million pound field.
What would you say to someone who eventually wanted to get to where you are today?
Find a mentor. When I began, years ago when I was a chief engineer, I had someone who took me under their wing who taught me and guided me. They gave me a path of education. They imparted knowledge to me to move along and advance my career. Since then, I’m now an instructor as well. I teach classes for this industry as well. I teach management. I teach heating and air conditioning. I give back to the workforce as well as being active in the workforce.
I’m very passionate about what I do. I try to guide my staff on a career path that will make them just as successful.
What do you think of when you go to work?
When I drive up every day, I just look at the stadium and say, ‘wow.’ I’m proud of my accomplishments. All the hard work…it paid off.
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