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Q&A Ted Ritter, President IFMA Greater Phoenix Chapter

As the economy recovers, how is the International Facility Management Association helping members?

We have a strong career resources committee, which is responsible for communicating employment opportunities to both facility managers and our associate vendor base. Employment opportunities that are available are posted to our local Web site, our alliance organizations’ Web sites, as well as to the national Web site. We encourage a very focused level of referrals and networking for our unemployed members, and in conjunction with support from the IFMA corporate entity, suspend dues and meeting fees in support of those who are in most need. … we also have established mentor and buddy systems designed to facilitate the introduction of less involved or new members to the greater community. Our goal is to help each new member get familiar with IFMA and to get the most out of his/her membership.

What are some of the issues IFMA is tackling this year?

The chapter, in collaboration with Arizona State University, is launching the first course (on) facility management (FM) beginning in the fall semester of 2010. The FM operations and maintenance class is one of the foundational areas of responsibility within the facilities management profession, and will provide students with an excellent overview of the scope and breadth of the role. There are no prerequisites to enroll in this class, as long as the individual is a non-degree seeking student; and existing students considering the FM profession can use this course as an elective for their current programs. We will continue to build on the foundation established last year with the Arizona chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC ), which we formally established through a memo of understanding in 2009. For this year, we are collaborating on joint association education throughout the year, as well as two key networking events that are designed to bring the two groups together in a less formal environment.

How do you see IFMA’s role and agenda evolving?

We need to continue to look to our global outreach initiatives to support the philosophies of the association, while also enhancing the growth of facility management around the world. This outreach is governed by a consistent assessment process by senior management that includes resource allocations, situational reviews, competitive advantages and cost-benefit analysis. As evidenced both by our practices and continuing relationship with the USGBC, facility management professionals have long been concerned and engaged in the environmental aspects of the facilities and workplaces they operate, especially from the perspective of energy conservation and high-performance buildings. Strategic facility plans also make the business case for investments in sustainability related initiatives. IFMA, as the premier representative for the profession and its concerns, holistically embraces environmental stewardship.