Last month, Hylan announced that Joseph R. Cooney would be joining the Hylan Datacom and Electrical (HDE) team as President, while former President John DiLeo Jr. would transition into a position with the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman. After over two full months as acting President, we had the opportunity to sit down with Joe to discuss how it has been transitioning into the Hylan Family, working with both John and Robert DiLeo to get the ‘lay of the land,’ and allowing him the opportunity to share some of his new ideas for Hylan.
Hi Joe! Let’s start off with discussing your time on the job. You’ve been serving as President of Hylan Datacom & Electrical for over two months now; how has that been?
It has been wonderful getting the opportunity to work with such a fantastic company. The Hylan team really is a family, and has been very welcoming and supportive. It’s been a challenge to start this kind of job during the pandemic, because there is so much value in getting to know everyone and getting face time with customers. It has been a very interesting experience for me, as HDE’s customer relationships run deep and have been in place in some cases for decades. .. I’m eager to work with people like Carmine Manna, Robert Bianco and Mike Allen who can provide me with the chance to get to know their customers and help them succeed in the rapidly expanding wireless market.
I understand that both Robert and John DiLeo (Jr.) were very involved when bringing you on board to serve in this position. Can you tell us about how it has been working so closely with them and how you will continue to collaborate in the future?
I’ve been working very closely with John to familiarize myself with Hylan and the key financial metrics that he has used to run the business. As we know, he has 20 years of experience working with HDE specifically, which has allowed him to develop this sort of “sixth sense” about the business. I can honestly say that John has been extremely gracious with his time and we speak daily about operations, labor relations, customer idiosyncrasies, and new business.
I’ve also started working closely with Robert DiLeo, which has also been a great experience. Robert has many key customer relationships, and more importantly, understands customer needs. Much of Hylan’s success is a result of Robert’s drive to diversify our service offerings and provide world-class service. I’m going to be working with him a lot more in the coming months, and look forward to spending more time with him and Robert Bianco.
Are there any particular ideas or initiatives that you are working on at Hylan Datacom & Electrical that you can elaborate on?
Sure. My main focus right now is to drive modernization in the operations by rolling out the Sitetracker platform. HDE’s business consists of thousands of short-term (1-5 day) wireless and wireline projects, and this high transaction environment is difficult to manage. As a result, I think these changes will greatly benefit the company. We will also maintain our high focus on worksite and vehicle safety. With hundreds of pieces of equipment in the field daily, safety has to be at the front of mind and our training, monitoring and compliance must lead the industry.
I also want to expand our core business outside of New York City and into some areas that we aren’t necessarily a huge presence in right now. Key customers, such as Crown Castle, Extenet, ZenFi and Mobilitie should have confidence that Hylan can meet their needs anywhere in the Northeast corridor, not just NYC and northern NJ. Beyond geographic expansion, in-building 5G coverage is clearly a high-growth market. You can expect HDE to move aggressively into this segment of the market, especially in the NY Metro area.
What are you most looking forward to for the remainder of this year and beyond in your role as President?
I am really looking forward to the opportunity to make the changes necessary that will bring out the best of Hylan. This is particularly important as we are sitting at the precipice of some really exciting new 5G rollout work in the second half of the year. This gives us the time to plan and implement technology and processes that will allow the company to scale to meet the demand.
Anything else you would like to touch on?
I am really excited and grateful to be a part of such a fantastic team. I’ve been able to review a few jobs in the field and I must say that the leadership team of Joe Romano, John Gambino, Mike Puglia, Matt Christie and Jerry Parisi are the best at what they do. Many small cell implementations require contributions from all three yards and these gentlemen orchestrate a highly efficient process that maximizes profit for Hylan while ensuring customer satisfaction – not an easy thing to pull off in New York City!