Behind the Scenes with John May

Photographs by Jackie Hart

As a planning, design and construction project manager, John May works across the University of Florida campus to facilitate a variety of construction needs. In his role, he helps guide the construction process from conception to completion.

May’s work at the McKnight Brain Institute helps ensure that faculty and staff have access to innovative facilities, and he is currently co-leading the UF Neuromedicine Human Brain and Tissue Bank renovation project.

John May standing in front of the m-b-i building
John May

“The MBI is advancing its mission to provide the best support to research and investigators,” said Kevin McNaught, Ph.D., chief operations officer of the MBI. “Mr. May has been playing an important role in helping the institute develop its infrastructure and resources to support our growth.”

May’s projects begin by meeting with customers to assist developing the vision as they see it. He and his colleagues then find the right team for the job at hand. After careful consideration of timing and costs, usually coupled with a healthy dose of negotiation, he shepherds departmental funding to ensure customer needs and expectations are thoroughly met.

“John is very thorough and detail oriented,” said Francisco Oquendo, assistant director of construction for UF’s planning, design and construction division. “He provides excellent customer service and stays focused on the design and construction phases of a project from beginning to end.”

Years in current role: Three and counting!

Years at UF: Three as well.

A memorable moment at work: The one that really stands out for me was the look on both Dr. McNaught and Ms. Felecia’s faces when they opened the door for the first reveal of the ARB freezer farm space. When you get the opportunity of working with wonderful customers and seeing the surprise and joy in their eyes, it makes it all worth it to me!

I’m inspired by:  The continual growth and imaginative challenges each individual project brings.  No two projects are ever really the same.

Fun fact about me: Outside of my glamorous life as a UF project manager, I love working the farm and land I share with my family. Large four-legged animals will ensure that life is never short on excitement.

John May talking with a colleague
closeup of John's hands as he reviews a construction plan
John May talking with a colleague on a construction site
John May pointing to a water line
John May talking with a colleague on a construction site
John May talking with a colleague on a construction site
John May talking with a colleague on a construction site
John May smiling
John may in front of the M-b-i sign