Interview with Brian Setencich

Brian Setencich is a distinguished and well-known business leader in the San Francisco area. Though his work has encompassed both the public and private sector, he is best known as a prominent businessman in the Bay Area. He currently holds the position of General Manager at First Service Residential, an all-inclusive property management service. His responsibilities include the daily management of a luxurious residential/commercial development. Setencich has consistently raised the bar for performance, year after year.

Brian Setencich's past professional experiences and endeavors have all contributed to his current management abilities to a tremendous degree. The highlight of this experience is perhaps the years he has spent in state and local government. He has served the City of Fresno as a City Council Member, and the State of California as an Assemblyman. In holding these positions, he became an expert problem solver and manager. Although Brian Setencich has moved into the private sector, his passion for public service has not faded, as he remains heavily involved in the community. He has contributed to his community by holding the position of Donor Research Coordinator for the Children's Hospital of Central California. With such a distinguished and varied background, Brian Setencich is far from the average businessman. We were fortunate enough to sit down with him for a personal, one-on-one interview.

What has been the biggest accomplishment of your career?

I'd say the biggest accomplishment of my career was during my time as Operations Manager of 911 Emergency Response Project in San Francisco. Our goal was to completely re-do and upgrade emergency communications for the City & County of San Francisco.

Which business leaders, past or present, have inspired you the most?

I think that Willie Brown did a fantastic job as Mayor of San Francisco. The quality of the city grew under his leadership.

How do you stay ahead of the competition?

I think what's kept me ahead of my competitors is my ability to see situations differently. Being involved in public service changes the way you deal with people and take on difficult problems.

What are some of your favorite tools and resources for your work?

Since staying organized is so important, I think the software Todolist is one of my top tools. I use it both for work and for my personal life, and it helps me keep on track.

Being the General Manager of such a large operation can be taxing, how do you relax?

Throughout my life, I've always turned to exercise as my main release from stress. It helps me clear my mind and makes me feel good. I go for a run before work, and it makes a huge difference. I also enjoy reading and watching shows like “The Office” and “Jeopardy.”

Can you give some advice to those interested in business management?

Absolutely. I would tell them always to place faith in their team and their employees. Try hard to get the best people for the job, and then invest in them as much as you can. Help them grow, and they will give back even more. Don't micro-manage them, because that kills initiative and the feeling of independence.

What is one of the most interesting experiences you've had in your life?

Some of my most interesting times were after college when I was a professional basketball player in Europe. Living in a foreign country broadens your mind and forces you to see things in different ways. That was an experience that I would never trade.

What motivates you?

I'd say that I'm motivated by just pushing myself to do the best I can do. And of course, my family motivates me. I feel great knowing that I can help provide a valuable service to my clients and my community. That's a big part of my motivation.

What is the next step for you?

Putting into practice a lot of what I have learned in past experiences. There is no better way to learn something than by going through it. Something can be learned from any experience, even an unpleasant one. It’s important to put into practice all that we continue to learn to make future experiences the best that they can be.

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