More than 3,700 facility professionals gathered in Baltimore in March for the Fourth Annual National Facilities Management & Technology Conference and Exposition (NFM&T). With more than 60 educational sessions and 325 exhibitors, the event provided an array of learning opportunities.
“I found NFM&T to be very informative,” says Gary Stanker, director of facilities planning for the Millville (N.J.) Board of Education. “It answered all the questions I didn’t even know to ask.”
“This is vital information to meet the needs of my facility in the future,” says Duane Powell, maintenance director for HCR Manorcare in Bethesda, Md.
NFM&T opened March 9 with 27 conference sessions, sponsored by Maintenance Solutions and Building Operating Management magazines. This year’s educational sessions included a new track dedicated to security. Anthony DiGregorio, senior technical advisor for Applied Research Associates, delivered a presentation titled “Eliminating the Weak Link in Emergency Evacuations.”
“We are in the process of updating our security, so this session’s timing was perfect,” says Billy Cubbedge, facility and safety coordinator for Lee County, Fla. “And it confirmed we are moving in the right direction.”
The second day of conferences featured a presentation by Kurt Padavano, chief operating officer for Advance Realty Group and winner of the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) President’s Award in 2003. Padavano’s presentation on benchmarking and market analysis scored high marks from attendees.
“This was an excellent presentation,” says Audrey Howard, property manager for Scarlett Place Condos in Baltimore.
Stormy Friday, president of The Friday Group, moderated “Facilities 360,” a panel discussion that focused on the ways that facilities can be assets to organizations. The panel included: Carol Maslanka, president-elect of the Association for Facilities Engineering; Maggie Kinnaman, past president of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers; David Hewett, vice chairman of BOMA Inter-national; and Jim Loesch, International Facilities Management Association fellow.
“Our goal was to create an industry-wide forum to explore critical facility management issues,” says Wendy Loerch, director of education for NFM&T. “The ideas exchanged here were truly thought-provoking. I look forward to continuing the conversation at our 2005 event.”
Following the educational sessions, attendees visited the exhibit hall, where they interacted with industry suppliers and discovered the latest technology related to facility management and operations.
“The exhibit hall gave attendees an opportunity to see first-hand the technologies and services that can enhance a facility’s performance,” says Bob Wisniewski, co-owner of NFM&T. “It’s a great way to build upon what they learned in the educational sessions.”
In 2005, the NFM&T conference and exposition will be co-located alongside the Maintenance Solutions Expo, a new, free exposition and conference addressing the maintenance and engineering management issues in today’s institutional and commercial facilities.