Our people

Sonya Verny

Sonya Verny Portrait

"Every client is different, and we need to approach each one of them with a fresh point of view and deliver a high-quality service – that's what we mean when we talk about delivering distinctive value."

As Global Head of Business Development, Sonya Verny has a strong sense of what it truly means to deliver excellence and value for clients. With a natural talent for relationship building Sonya's people skills extend beyond working relationships, to creating social value through volunteering - with award-winning results.

Sonya's Q&A

How did you get into what you do?

I moved to New York City 13 years ago after having worked as an accounting and finance recruiter for most of my life. I was hired to a boutique FM outsourcing firm after the CEO recognised my ability to build relationships and he took a chance on me.

I had various mentors within the industry, and they all recommended that I joined CoreNet, a corporate real estate organisation, and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) so I could really understand the career, learn and meet people. I never intended to get into FM, but through those organisations I was able to progress my career to the point where I joined Mace in 2020 which has led to me being one of the founding leaders at Macro Group - I feel like I’ve found my home.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

Our culture – this is a company that practices what it preaches. From diversity, equality and inclusion, to sustainability, social value and volunteering, I’m very proud to be part of an exciting new organisation that keeps continuity with its origins in its future ambitions and to help bring a different voice and perspective. I’m proud to have sat on diversity and inclusion global steering committees and to represent women’s networks in my career and this is something I can take forward with Macro Group.

How do you make a difference and help find a better way?

What really differentiates us is that we don’t take a cookie cutter approach to our client delivery at Macro Group. We listen to clients, and then we develop a FM solution that is right for them. Whether they require innovation, resilience or transparency in their operations, every client is different, and we need to approach each one of them with a fresh point of view and deliver a high-quality service. This approach, is key to understanding our clients, then finding efficiencies and adding value for them.

What has been your proudest career achievement so far?

I’m still immensely proud of earning my MCR.w (Masters of corporate real estate with workplace) designation through CoreNet, which was the culmination of hard work and my love for the industry.

However, my proudest achievement in business development has to be winning a financial services client, who was looking for a change in service delivery and was swayed by our approach to deliver the true value of facilities management through technology, innovation and informed insights. It was rewarding to hear how our blend of workplace experience and operational efficiency offered the client the fresh outlook on service delivery they were looking for – FM 3.0 if you will.

Being part of the creation of Macro Group has to be the standout moment though, it’s been an exciting genesis, with so much to consider during the set-up but being part of a new, independent business that balances an outstanding track record and huge capability with tremendous potential has been amazing!

What motivates you every day?

Being a trusted advisor and a professional relationship builder, understanding what companies need and helping them to redefine their FM ambitions. Winning work and delivering on what was promised and exceeding the expectations of our clients. Happy clients make me happy.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

You have to be constantly learning and constantly curious, about the industry and about the clients, or the sectors we work in. For business development you have to be good at building relationships and listening to others - to understand, not just to respond. You also need to collaborate and contribute to the wider picture – facilities management requires a team of people to work together and that’s true from the outset of the relationship. You also need to champion the business. You have to believe in what it stands for in order to bring others on that journey with you and convert leads into work wins that become long-standing, trusted relationships.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?

Be present in the market, get involved with the industry organisations, build relationships, understand the trends. You also need to maintain those relationships. In business development you can’t just leave contacts hanging. People remember how you act when you lose an opportunity so it’s crucial to continue building the relationship. Good people know good people – so having a large network can help to create more opportunities, as they will remember you if a prospect ever comes up.

What advice would you give to women trying to get into the FM industry?

Women are making leaps and strides in both our industry and other industries, and because of this, we now have a seat at the table. It doesn't matter what title or rank you are in a company. You're just as important, because we all have something to contribute. So contribute, use your voice, and your unique perspective, and you'll find your opportunity.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

Philanthropy. When I came to New York I felt blessed to be given an opportunity that not many people have. I wanted to give back, and so in my free time I support St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, fundraising to support the work the hospital does and the families they help. I’m honoured to have been recognised for my social value work, with the Saint Francis Woman of Valour Award and then in 2021 I received the IFMA Lifetime Achievement Award, which was a wonderful feeling.

Our leadership

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