October 2018 Print

President's Message

Hello chapter members, I can’t believe it’s already almost November, is this year flying by or what?  Earlier this month, I attended World Workplace along with about 13 other members and 7 students from Ferris State.  Congrats to Jessie Theisen who won our Jim Hickey Memorial scholarship this year as well as Tyler Lukomski who won the Suncoast Chapter scholarship.  These we’re presented at the Denim & Diamond’s Gala on Tuesday evening.  No WWP would be complete without a little bit of local charm, so we heard from Kyle Petty, as the opening keynote speaker and the welcome reception was held at the Nascar Hall of Fame where we were able to network with colleagues from all around the world and take a turn at driving a racecar (via simulator) which is a lot harder than I had expected!  Over the 3 day conference there were dozens of classes on a variety of topics and hundreds of vendors associated with the FM industry to meet in the expo hall.  Next year’s conference will be in Phoenix Oct 16-18, so mark your calendars and plan to “Take Your Facility and Career to New Heights”.


We have had some interest from the membership to achieve the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credential and Jim Corby has graciously volunteered to get certified at the Train the Trainer workshop to be able to lead CRM training classes.  He completed this training last week prior to the conference and we are planning the first class for early November.  We will send out an invite for all who are interested as soon as we have the details nailed down.


As part of the Global Workforce Initiative, we are working with some local schools to get the word out about Facilities Management as a career option.  We are looking for individuals who would be interested in speaking to a classroom of students about their education, current company and role, etc.  Please contant one of the Board members if you would be interested; there are multiple dates and schools available to volunteer.


We have some great educational meetings and special events coming up to wrap up the year, take advantage of these opportunities to network and grow in your profession and if you know someone who would benefit from these meetings bring them too!   

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Welcome New Members

Welcome to our newest members:

Tony Savickas, Grand Valley Automation, Associate Member

Doug Postema, FSU, Student

Jeremy Gann, West Michigan Aviation Academy, Professional Member

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Calendar of Events

November 7 - Integrated Project Delivery

We have secured an AWESOME location for our November meeting!  (Nov. 7th) It’s going to be at Downtown GR Consumer’s Energy corp. training center which is called the John G. Russell Leadership Center at 120 Front Ave. SW.     It’s adjacent to the GVSU downtown campus and next to the newer Seidman School of Business building. The presenter is Rob Train, Vice President from Granger Construction and the meeting topic is:   “The Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model in construction and what the benefits are to all parties”    Included will be helpful information on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and how that plays into the IPD delivery model as well as how facilities management is impacted by IPD.   

Attendance is limited to 35 so don't wait to get you ticket.




December 7 - Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Gathering

Mark your calendars, our annual Toys for Tots meeting is at a NEW LOCATION.  This year we will be meeting at Stonewater Country Club in Caledonia.  This is an important donation opportunity and will help IFMA West Michigan members continue to show thier generosity and contribute to an important cause.  The new venue will be a great location to celebrate with a holiday dinner together!   




2019 Meetings

We have great content and meeting locations lined up for 2019, more details to be announced soon, here’s a preview of content/locations:

  • Lighting and Controls Presentation
  • Annual Banquet
  • Meetings at Grand Valley Automation, DTE Energy, and Holland BPW



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News Bites

Sponsorship Committee Opportunity

IFMA West Michigan is looking for members to join the sponsorship committee.  This rewarding committee role will help the organization continue to grow and provide great opportunities to FM professionals.

Contact Laura Piebenga Sponsorsip Committee Chair for more information [email protected]


September Highlight

Thanks for those who attended September's chapter meeting at Waldron Public House during Artprize.  The presentation on FM Credentials and Certification was great and fit in well with Jim Corby's newsletter content, make sure and check out of the Corby's Corner section of this newsletter for great opportunity for those interested in CFM certification.


October Highlight

Shoot for Scholars 2018

We had a great event at KCCL for our annual Shoot for Scholars. Thank you to all who came out to support the chapter and help us raise money for students going into the Facility Management profession.

Click here to view the Photo Gallery

Thank you to all of our Sponsors!

Master Class

River City Mechanical

Granger Construction

Crandall Office Furniture, Inc

Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.

Grand Valley Automation, Inc.

Van Dyken Mechanical, Inc.

Mohawk Group

AA Class

Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering

Beverages for the event were sponsored by Humanscale

Lunch and snacks was provided by Pleune Service Company

Cigars were sponsored by The Garland Company, Inc.

Last but not least. Thank you to our committee members that helped put this event together. Could not have done it without you! Tera Wierenga, Alison DeKok, Jim Johnson, Jaime Rueffer, & Mike Obrecht





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Corby's Corner

Are you ready to be a CFM?


Our September chapter meeting focused on the value of FM credentials and the process to obtain the FMP, SFP or CFM.  For most FM’s the CFM is the ultimate credential and is the most recognized as it has been in recognized since 1994.  As a chapter we have long valued the CFM credential and have invested in our members need to achieve it.  Around 10 years ago our former Chapter Historian/Sargent at Arms, Wayne Veneklasen, became an IFMA certified CFM Exam Prep instructor.  As part of his role, our chapter offered a discounted prep course in Grand Rapids as well as his mentorship and guidance in preparing members for the CFM exam. 

Wayne has retired from IFMA training and there is a void to fill in the CFM instructor role.  This past Summer the Chapter and I agreed that it made sense for me to work towards becoming an IFMA certified instructor and a resource to our members.  With that in mind I registered for a three-day IFMA trainer certification class which was held before World WorkPlace in Charlotte.  The three-day class helped teach the trainer how to help the CFM exam reviewers to think like a CFM and view situations at a higher level.

The last part of the IFMA certification for trainers includes co-teaching with another certified instructor.  Since the Chapter asked IFMA to fast-track my certification, I was fortunate to complete my co-teaching while I was in Charlotte with a one-day CFM Exam Prep class.  Although I had very little time to prepare, it went well and I passed the certification.  Once I receive my trainer materials, I will be an IFMA Certified instructor for the CMF Exam Prep course.

What does that mean to our Chapter membership?  Well, a few of you have asked for help preparing for the CFM exam, so the Chapter will be scheduling a CFM Exam prep class.  Based upon interest, it could be a one-day 7-8 hour prep, or split into a two day class over two evenings.  If this Fall doesn’t work for you, we may schedule future prep courses annually to help our membership.  As added incentive to take the CFM exam, IFMA has offered a free retake if you take the exam before December 31, 2018. 

It’s time to start thinking about your professional future as an FM and look into becoming a CFM.  If you are interested in a prep course, please contact me at [email protected] and we’ll start planning one for this Fall. 

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