February 2021 Print

President's Message

Presidents message: 


Wow, what a year! IFMA West Michigan has been such an amazing chapter to be a part of and I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support and involvement! Even with the challenges we have faced, our chapter continues to grow and come together to support each other and the facilities profession.  As I look back on the past year I’m impressed with all we accomplished given the safety concerns and restrictions:  the golf outing and shoot for scholars events, as well as many virtual educational and networking sessions.    

As we look to the year ahead lets focus on looking for more ways to safely connect and support each other both personally and professionally. 

Our Board has a lot of great ideas for how we can continue to be actively engaged as a member or the chapter and we’re in the process of determining ways to implement them.  If you have any ideas please reach out to any of the Board members to share your thoughts and ideas.  We’d love to hear from you!

Let’s keep thriving!


Jaime Rueffer


Chapter President

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Special News

February Drawings!!

IFMA WM Chapter is giving away 8 gift cards throughout the month of February, each gift card will be worth $25 totaling a give away amount of $200!!  Two giftcards will be given out per week throughout the month.

Members will be entered automatically, but additional entries may be achieved by commenting/sharing on our social media pages [Facebook & LinkedIn] or by signing up for our SlickText!  That is a chance at winning three different gift cards!

Go to the links below and be sure to give us a follow so you don't miss our posts!


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Welcome New Members

Rick Atkins - Andy J. Egan Company - Director of Buisiness Development

Keenan Zost Vander - Flex LTD - Facilities Engineer

Valerie Berg - Creative Dining Services - Director of Business Development

Kody Ricker - Facilities Health Inc - Senior Project Lead

Tanzia Sharmin - Ferris State University - Associate Professor

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Calendar of Events

From Tera Wierenga, VP of Programs


I want to thank all our members for sticking with us during the pandemic.  I feel IFMA is one of the most loyal and connected groups in the West Michigan area. I am so glad you are a part of it.  We really do lean on one another for fresh ideas, problem solving, and of course,  good ‘ole cocktails and camaraderie. We have lost very few members during the last year, considering everything going on, and that solidifies your loyalty.  


As you can imagine, it has been quite difficult to find and deliver quality content as we navigate new ways to connect. I hope the ZOOM meetings have provided you with some worthwhile take-aways.  As businesses begin to open their doors for tours and in person meetings, I promise we will be together once again!  I see light at the end of this really long tunnel.  I am planning to re-set up last year’s planned (but cancelled) meetings at Feyen Zylstra and Steelcase Meyer May House. When events like: the Annual Banquet, Shoot for Scholar’s and Whitecaps do take place, I expect them to be even better than before as the Chapter kicks in a few extra bucks that we were not able to use last year. I still need to run this idea by the Board. 😊


The greatest point of this little note is to thank you. Thank you for sticking with us, and I can’t wait to see and talk with you all face-to-face. As always, please reach out to me if you have ideas on presentations or are interested in hosting or presenting. You can text or call me at 616-293-2040.  See you all soon!

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News Bites

Tired of digging through emails or waiting for newsletters to track upcoming events? Subscribe to SlickText today for notifications by texting IFMA to 31996.

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Corby's Corner

Moving Forward Virtually - We All Have Adjusted


Well 2020 was just a different kind of year, with everyone in near lock-down due to the pandemic, we all learned more about Zoom Meeting and Teams than we ever wanted to know.  One of the changes in 2020 was that IFMA’s World Workplace changed to a “virtual learning” event.  I’m not going to discuss WWP, but one of our IFMA Foundations events, the Student Scholarship & Awards Event which went virtual too.  Each year our West Michigan Chapter selects and awards the Jim Hickey Memorial Scholarship to an outstanding student in a Facilities related field of study.  Now our review and selection of student candidates has always been supported remotely, but the awards presentation, well that was new territory for us all.  The Foundation had to switch gears from all of the face-2-face planning that was already in place, and figure out how to make Virtual Awards Night work.  In the two weeks prior to the rescheduled date of November 12th, Diane Levine and Alex Duggen scheduled several practice sessions to ensure we had the technology in place on by all parties involved, including the IFMA Foundation, the students and their sponsor presenters.  Each session was always a bit hilarious with frozen screens and presentations sounding like a fast food drive thru speaker, but in the end it was all figured out. 


So the November 12th presentation meeting was adjusted to a mid-morning Eastern  time to all for all the presenters worldwide to be somewhat awake as we had students and sponsors from Europe, Asia and North America, but in international business we are used to that.  During the event a total of 22 student scholarships were awarded, totaling over $100,000, as the scholarship includes a registration and travel to World Workplace 2021.  Now the presentations did not go without a few glitches, they never seem too, but all the presents eventually were able to virtually present and students virtually receive the scholarhips.  As for thethe West Michigan Chapter, I presented the Jim Hickey Memorial Scholarship of $3000 plus WWP expenses to Tyler Kleinsasser who is attending the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  Tyler is a Masters engineering student at the College majoring in Construction Engineering having already received a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the college.  His GPA is outstanding, having achieved a perfect 4.0 in his bachelors studies and continuing to maintain a 4.0 in his masters degree program…wow!  In addition to Tyler, I wanted to highlight that Ferris State students Emma Leary and Doug Postema also received scholarships from other sponsors.  Congratulations to all the scholarship winners and a HUGE “Thank You” to all the sponsors and the IFMA Foundation for the support!  I can’t wait to meet everyone in person, hopefully at World Workplace 2021 in Los Angeles.  May 2021 be a better year for us all…Happy New Year!

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