Luis Andino

Luis Andino brings rare combination of skill sets to Constituent Relationship Management project

Luis Andino

One might say that University of Florida Information Technology Project Manager Luis Andino was an inspired choice to lead COMPASS’ Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) Team.

A self-proclaimed “military kid,” Luis’ father, mother and stepfather were in the Air Force, and Luis spent his childhood and adolescence steeped in the development and refinement of his relationship-management skills.

In other words, his family moved.  And they moved a lot.

Between stops in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Texas, Georgia, Illinois and Florida, Luis attended 13 different schools before graduating high school, and he became something of an expert at making friends.

“It’s always easy in school, when you’re a kid.  You’ve got to sit next to somebody,” Luis said.  “You just start: ‘Hey, what’s this school like?’ And it’s the same thing at work.  When you get into the work, you start talking to the people you’re sitting next to, and the relationship grows from there.”

It’s a skill set built from experiences that have served him well in – if not led him directly to – his professional work.

As an IT project manager, Luis’ work experience has largely centered on the intersection of technology and relationship management. He joined the COMPASS implementation in early 2016 after managing projects for UF’s Physical Plant and Enterprise Systems.

Luis began working with CRM systems in 2007 as a programmer and later as a project manager for Pasco County, in Southwest Florida.  CRM software is designed to help professional entities maintain relationships with their constituents or customers, like a university and its students, or a sports team and its fans. The software he was working with at the time, Great Plains, was purchased by Microsoft shortly after his arrival and became Microsoft Dynamics, a CRM-industry leader.

Luis, a UF alum, returned to Gainesville in 2011 after earning an MBA, this time as a project manager for the UF Physical Plant Division, working with the AIM work management system, which Luis describes as “as close to a CRM as you can say without using CRM.”  In 2014, he joined UF’s Enterprise Systems and in 2015 was named head of its CRM project.

Whereas many leaders in technology-related fields excel in math and sciences, Luis combines these skills with an ability to relate to, earn trust from and, thus, lead and support his coworkers – a rare combination that has led his superiors to trust his ability to manage large-scale projects.

“Luis strikes the perfect balance between managing the details of a complicated implementation and seeing the vision of what CRM can do for campus,” Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and COMPASS Functional Lead Tammy Aagard said. “He is able to deal with the fuzziness of the emerging CRM environment, yet keep the project moving. His style make people want to be a part of the project and accomplish their assigned tasks.”

Luis now directs the CRM component of COMPASS, and his team is currently focused on revamping certain admissions, prospecting and recruiting processes.

He’s used to breaking down once-perceived barriers and challenges – literally.

For his “black-belt-ready” Taekwondo test, the level of achievement just before the official black belt, Luis used a swift, concise and powerful kick to break two wooden boards together.  Amazingly, he won’t be the first in his family to achieve a black belt.  That honor will go to Landon, his six-year-old son.  His daughter Catianna, 10, is next in line and wife Sara is not far behind.

Luis and Sara, a Gainesville native, met in Gainesville in 2000, while working for the now-defunct Boston Seafood Wholesale, and were married in 2004.  Now a (butt-kicking) family of four, the Andinos love experiencing new areas and cultures during vacations spent traveling.  This summer they will venture to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon, and next year will visit either Hawaii or Europe.

But, Luis admits, every time the pull to move elsewhere presents itself, the family is reminded of their love for Gainesville.

“We always pick up the homes and land guide and think ‘Oh, what would it be like to buy a house out here?’ But no,” Luis said.  “I think we both like Florida.  The weather’s just awesome, and Gainesville is just one of those cities where you get all the big-city stuff without the big-city feel.”

Professionally, Luis says his sights are set on being a great project manager for UF’s Enterprise Systems.  As a project manager with a myriad of diverse experiences and talents, Luis says it can be tough to, at times, solely focus on non-developmental hands-off work like documentation or managing budgets.

“It’s kind of hard to not put on those other hats when I see a need,” Luis said. “For my current goal, I would really like to see myself become that specific PM that Enterprise Systems needs and focus on the things that the PM should be focusing on – building up the team so they can focus on everything else.”

“From there, who knows? I never really dreamt about being CIO or anything like that. I just want to be able to be challenged and be paid a fair salary for what I do, and I think that ES definitely does both of those things for me right now.”