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Facility Champions Roundtable: Insight from Leading Managers

Watch this session from the NFMT Remix conference that took place in November 2022 in Las Vegas

Facility managers and their teams are like the offensive lineman or kickers on a football team – you never hear about them until something goes wrong, like the HVAC system shutting down or the power goes out. Not today. In this roundtable, we talk with recipients of our first Facility Champion Award about the challenges they face as FMs today and what makes for successful managers.

Kristin Podwojski is the director of operations for Variety, the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley, located outside of Philadelphia. The organization’s small staff and limited resources means Podwojski needs to be creative when it comes to improvements.

Mindy Stevens is the sustainability director at Hinds Community College where she continues to push the bar higher for energy saving and sustainability achievements. Hinds has realized energy savings by more than 34 percent — more than $23 million in costs — through projects such as LED lighting and HVAC upgrades.

Doug Pearson, the vice president of facilities planning and operations at Kent State University in Ohio, is responsible for more than 8 million square feet and more than 350 employees across 10 campus locations. The university is currently in the middle of the first phase of the Kent State Gateway Master Plan, an $110 million capital improvements project.

Ethan Fitterman is chief engineer of aesthetics for Mariott International — Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Colorado, where he oversees guest service technicians, craftsmen and rooms preventative maintenance teams, as well as grounds. He also assists with capital expenditure projects and aims to improve guest satisfaction.

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Career & Staff Development