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European immigrant leaves his mark on NY.

Astrit Gorana personifies the American dream. Through his hard work and perseverance, he went from a night cleaner, often working the grave-yard/part-time shifts, to director of operations for The Planned Companies, a major real estate services firm in Fairfield, N.J.

Born in Montenegro, Gorana moved to New York City in 1992 and attended high school in Staten Island. Fluent in Albanian, Serbian, Italian and German, he picked up English quickly. Gorana's first job while attending school was working as a part-time night cleaner for Goldenmark Maintenance. While making $5.50 per hour, he balanced school and work, succeeding in both.

By making himself available for additional project work and exemplifying a keen understanding of customer satisfaction, Gorana was promoted to field supervisor. At the age of 19, he had the distinction of being one of the youngest field supervisors in the history of the maintenance industry. In this role, he was charged with overseeing 38 bank branches for Citigroup and Banco Popular, as well as commercial accounts throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

During this time, Gorana participated in eoursework specializing in cleaning techniques and technology. He wanted to master his trade, knowing the ins and outs of carpet and tile work, restroom and floor maintenance programs and window and blind cleaning. In two years, Gorana was promoted to an account executive. His clientele now included Banca Di Roma, Colliers ABR and Hospital for Joint Diseases.

In the spring of 2000, Gorana joined Planned Building Services. After only one year at there, he was promoted to director of operations. In this role, Gorana directs seven regional managers and four specialized floating/route crews, who in turn have over 500 employees under their direction. He has 80 different clients, including ADP and CB Richard Ellis. In a testament to his leadership, customer retention increased by 15%.

When asked about his philosophy on leadership, Gorana revealed that a quote by Abraham Lincoln shaped his thinking--"I am a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have it."
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Title Annotation:New York
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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