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Todd Pignataro

T. Pignataro

Flash back to spring 2019. Long before the pandemic, Virginia Tech faced a different challenge: the Class of 2023 enrollment surge. And Todd Pignataro, Student Affairs’ Associate Director for Facilities Management, was in the thick of it. In less than thirty days, Todd ordered more than 700 hundred sets of furniture for student rooms at The Inn at Virginia Tech and the Holiday Inn Express, and staggered their arrival in thirty tractor-trailers for an efficient unloading process.

Throughout the process, Todd displayed remarkable flexibility: handling delayed deliveries, temporary storage, and staff schedules. He never shied away from problems, instead finding creative solutions, and working tirelessly to be sure it all went smoothly. Not only did he coordinate all the details of the project, but he also helped with much of the heavy lifting. At one point, he drove a forklift for so long that the tires burned away -- something the company that manufactured it said would be impossible.

Todd has experienced a record year of occupancy, followed by a mass exodus, followed by a transition into a pandemic. Through it all, he worked with a special group of people who overcame fear and uncertainty and never missed a beat in the service they provided. Todd said, “I am proud and privileged to work with this staff of dedicated individuals on a daily basis.”

His nominator said, “Todd truly goes above and beyond, with the well-being of the university and specifically the students in mind. One of Todd’s most impressive qualities is his modesty. He would never ask to be recognized in a special way, even when the work he does is truly very special.”

To quote Todd, “Failure is not an option.” He said, “Planning without execution is not productive. By utilizing a variety of perspectives, knowledge, and talent, both can be achieved as long as you are not too proud to ask for help from others. All individuals have strengths and weaknesses. A good leader can recognize these and organizes to maximize the group effort.”

Todd came to Virginia Tech in 2011. He earned both his bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. from Utah State University. He said he is most proud of the successful and caring individuals his five children have become.

Todd, for embodying the university motto by enriching our community through your service, AND for just plain hanging in there through the rollercoaster ride, I am pleased to present you the Faculty-Staff Aspire! Award for EMBRACE UT PROSIM AS A WAY OF LIFE.