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FM Career Path and Down Time
Bert Gumeringer left the farm where he grew up for the University of North Dakota. There he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial technology. He later earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a certificate in medical and healthcare management from Rice University.
Nearly all of Gumeringer’s professional life has been in healthcare facilities management. Before joining Texas Children’s, he was director of facility management with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz. He previously held several roles with the Minnesota Department of Human Services as director of facilities with a regional treatment center, and then overseeing the construction of fifteen group homes geared to individuals with disabilities.
Gumeringer did leave the healthcare field for several years to take a post as regional director of operations with Fluor, an engineering and construction firm. “I thought I was burnt out on healthcare,” he says.
Then in 2004, Gumeringer was asked to join the team at Texas Children’s. “I’ve been here ever since,” he says. “There are really good people and a good culture.”
If you could have a dinner party and invite anybody, living or not, who would be on the invitation list?
Nelson Mandela, Joseph Stalin, and Margaret Thatcher. All world leaders, all of them with distinctly different leadership styles, all with a distinctly strong focus in their respective countries — some of that good and some of that not so good. Of that group, I find Nelson Mandela the most interesting.
If you had a million dollars to start a new venture, whether a business or philanthropic endeavor, what would you do?
I’d start a school for children with special needs.
If you could go back in time and give your 18-year old self some words of advice, what would you tell him?
How would you advise others who want to get ahead?
Run the business like you own it, in terms of taking care and pride. At the end of the day, if you don’t own it, it’s going to decline.
Karen Kroll, a contributing editor for Building Operating Management, has written extensively about real estate and facility issues.
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