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At your service: Peter Sheldon

Peter Sheldon first joined Atalian, a commercial building services company, in 2017 as the organization’s COO. He then moved into the CRO role before becoming the company’s CEO in January 2019.

Peter Sheldon, CEO of Atalian

Now, two years into the role, he is finally able to take a moment and look back at what has been an incredibly busy and somewhat unpredictable start to this next step in his career. Peter’s financial and operational experience of the business proved to be a real advantage as the organization’s CEO.

The first thing he did in his new role was guide the business through a total restructuring and integration. “Atalian first entered the US market in 2016 with four separate purchases of family-owned, regional-based businesses that didn’t have much scalability,” he explains.

“What we’ve done over the past two years is take those four separate companies and integrate them into a single, unified corporate entity. Our strategic vision is now to take what we’ve built and scale it all across the US while continuing to grow and develop the organization.”

Atalian markets itself as a full-menu facility services company, which self-performs nearly all of its services. Such a wide range of offerings has meant that Peter and his team have the capability to expand across multiple industry segments, something that proved to be a beneficial business decision as they watched the global health crisis sweep through the US.

“The company has around 7,500 employees and the vast majority of these are self-performing service workers, anything from cleaning workers to engineers and every other role you can think of in the service industry,” he reveals.

“Higher education is a huge component for us, as are transportation hubs, so our services had to adapt during the pandemic quickly.

“For example, infection prevention components had to be built into all of our services, which meant that we were not only able to help businesses respond to the coronavirus pandemic, but it also allowed us to reach our performance objectives through the growth of our bottom line.”

Much like organizations the world over, Peter and his team had big plans for 2020. “We expected 2020 to be a real breakout growth year, but none of us could have predicted a global pandemic,” he says.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have built a resilient organization, but we also took the position that every challenge creates opportunities. I believe that the best companies look for, evaluate and seize opportunities for success in the midst of those challenges, and that’s what we did.”

Being able to adapt to the business has been a critical part of Atalian’s continued success. Still, Peter is also quick to point out that at its heart sits a successful strategy of a relationship-based business. It’s what he thinks helps the company stand out from competitors.

Our strategic vision is now to take what we’ve built and scale it all across the US while continuing to grow and develop the organization.

“Whether you’re talking about an individual local customer or a relationship with vendors at a national or international level, it all comes down to trust,” he insists.

“The trust, credibility and competency in an organization is done at a faceto-face level and the most successful companies understand that. It’s why Atalian continues to expand those relationships at both global and local levels – we want to establish long-term partnerships that are mutually beneficial.”

As Atalian continues to grow into other areas of the US, Peter and his team are aware that this continued relationship-building is the key to the organization’s success. “It’s a real challenge for us because, as we grow, there’s a high chance we’ll be displacing some legacy companies who might have been working with organizations for years,” he admits.

“It is going to take time and investment to establish equity and value of the Atalian brand in the US. But the relationships we build are critically important, and so we have to be ready to introduce Atalian to new customers, spend time establishing our credibility and proving to new organizations that they can trust us and that we can be of value to them both now and in the future.”

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