TEMPE, ARIZ. (Jan. 4, 2023) ‒ A new veterans’ initiative and a big year for the local student chapter. Those are just two of the major highlights celebrated by the IFMA Greater Phoenix Chapter in 2022, according to President Marshall MacFarlane.
“As we head into 2023, I am struck by several things in the facilities management world – locally, around the world, and in our chapter. In 2022 we left the high-tempo, reactionary world of COVID-19 behind and started dipping our toes in the waters of the ‘new normal,’” MacFarlane said. “Our chapter fared better than many IFMA chapters, providing virtual events, then hybrid, then back to in-person.
“Both on a financial basis, an activity basis, and a membership basis our chapter stayed strong, and this is in no small part due to the amazing work done by our board members and the chapter’s committees. Facilities managers are veterans of not only their core strengths, but the new skillsets brought around in a post-COVID world.”
What has buoyed the industry, MacFarlane explained, the knowledge and experience of its professionals was suddenly pushed to the front – cleaning, logistics, operations, health and safety, and communications.
“All of those things previously taken for granted by many, were now necessities. Many of us had been doing these things for years, and in COVID, we showed the world our worth and our ability. Globally, the profession that has been evolving for decades is taking a significant turn,” MacFarlane said.
Chapter highlights of 2022:
New IFMA veterans’ initiative
The chapter’s newest community launched in September. The military community will bridge the gap between active-duty military and veterans with facility management-specific skills and the facility management profession. IFMA requested help from all chapters, communities, and components to support this mission and to ensure that they are successfully supporting active duty and veteran facility managers.
The military community asked for volunteers from each component to help share materials and connect active-duty military and veterans with the new community and the global IFMA network. The hope was to start with a handful of components and eventually expand so that the industry has military ambassadors working in all areas of facilities management.
They were looking for volunteers and the Phoenix chapter filled that commitment, MacFarlane said.
They include the Advocate: One person from each component who will work with leadership to facilitate the recruitment and retention of military veterans; the Wingman: a member with prior military service who will be connected with each new military or veteran member; and the Liaison: a person who will be a link between their component and the military community.
Support for the student chapter
The board recommended and approved a one-time cash infusion of $2,500 meant to offset expenses such as meals and travel for the student chapter meetings. After a brief sponsorship campaign faltered in the community this past fall, board members pointed out that financially they were in a position to help the student chapter.
MacFarlane explained this is meant to give the students time to plan for and implement future fundraising strategies in the community. Board members cited not only the importance of having a student chapter, but also noted the success, enthusiasm and momentum of the current Student Chapter.
“I enter my last term as president grateful to the community, our members, and our board for the support,” MacFarlane said. “We have accomplished a lot, and much of the credit goes to our board, which has always been pro-active and involved. The chapter is also fostering a renaissance of its government facilities management subgroup, the Arizona Government Facilities Alliance (AGFA). I’m excited to see its progress.”
Founded in 1980, IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting more than 24,000 members in 105 countries. The association’s members, represented in 134 chapters and 17 councils worldwide, manage more than 37 billion square feet of property and annually purchase more than $100 billion in products and services. IFMA certifies facility managers, conducts research, provides educational programs and produces World Workplace, the world’s largest facility management conference and exposition.
The Greater Phoenix Chapter of IFMA, formed in 1985, is one of the top association chapters in the world and winner of IFMA’s Large Chapter of the Year in 2012. It is dedicated to continuous improvement of the facility management profession by providing relevant educational and networking opportunities for its membership while supporting the community as a whole. For more information about the Phoenix chapter ifmaphoenix.org.