Rising stars of Facilities Management
Published: 02 Feb 2016
When FM World ran its 2012 search for the rising stars of the facilities management industry, the London Olympics were just weeks away and the coalition government at the peak of its powers. Times have most certainly changed, but the faith our judges had in the aspiration and enthusiasm of those we recognised on the night has clearly been rewarded, with many of our rising stars having changed employers or job roles. Others still have stayed with the company they were with in 2012, but have significantly developed their role within those organisations. All report how FM continues to evolve rapidly, with new challenges and opportunities presented to those willing to take advantage of them – and despite their own frenetic pace of professional development, some are also ‘putting back’ by taking on voluntary roles with BIFM special interest groups or others.
Here you can read how these FMs came into the industry, the steps they have taken to rise through the ranks, and nuggets of knowledge they have learned along the way.
From joining Rollright Facilities on an internship in 2007, Hulbert was moved through the ranks internally to become associate director in 2012. Via Bilfinger, Hulbert set up his own FM business, Pareto Facilities Management, in August 2014. “Opportunities for progression and a fulfilling career far outweigh those in most industries,” says Hulbert.
Pareto runs an external mentoring scheme, offering work experience to students, and management training for all staff at all levels. Says Hulbert: “Our ‘generation Y’ members have used technology since the age of five – it’s exciting to see how they are redefining how we do things.”
Best started her career working at the Northern Ireland Office as an administrative assistant. She was an associate director with Norland until May 2014, where she worked on the mobilisation of Microsoft’s first data centre in Singapore in 2013 and a secondment to the FA in 2014, where she was appointed as interim director of technical services at Wembley Stadium.
She is now a national account director at Mitie, looking after 630 branches of a national bank. “The key learning would be to not limit your expectations of what facilities people want in the workplace,” says Best.
“We continue to want to surprise our people and to make them feel looked after.”
Gurd previously worked as a site services co-ordinator at PepsiCo, manages hard services at the UK head office of a major multinational food manufacturer.
Since 2012, he has moved on to work for EDF Energy where his role was more strategic, overseeing the performance of outsourced service providers and monitoring compliance. Gurd moved to CBRE in July 2015, where he is facilities manager at the Ark building in London. “I’ve also increased my voluntary activities,” says Gurd, “and for the past two years I’ve enjoyed playing an active role in the BIFM’s Rising FMs special interest group, helping support other developing FMs.”
Kate Smith started her FM career as a helpdesk assistant for BBC Property. From the BBC, she was TUPE-transferred first to Land Securities Trillium and then to Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) in 2006, when she was principal facilities manager, BBC Television Centre.
In 2011, Smith secured the role of UK operations director on the Barclays’ account for Johnson Controls GWS. She is now the EMEAR accound lead at Cisco, under the re-branded CBRE.
“I felt I already had good cultural awareness, but my pan-EMEA roles have been a steep learning curve on the diversity of protocols, legislation and cultural norms,” says Smith.
Loizou continues to work for the Food Standards Agency, where he plays a central role in the facilities and estates team. He has been at the organisation since 2001.During the past three years he has made a key contribution in a number of areas. He has worked on two large-scale accommodation ‘re-stacks’, reducing the FSA’s footprint in Aviation House in London and freeing up space for other Government Departments to move in. Loizou has recently worked on the Government’s Facilities Management Framework, and in September he began a part-time MBA in Facilities Management at Sheffield University.
Andrews started his FM career in Melbourne, Australia, assisting in the management of a portfolio of five sites. He moved to work with Anabas in
London in 2008, managing soft services on the MTV Networks Europe contract, before moving to EDF Energy, where he is now facilities programme manager.
“There’s a lack of understanding of environmental management practices and the role FM has to play in improving building performance and influencing customer behaviour,” says Andrews, who has been working on safety management systems. “In my spare time, I am studying towards an MSc in
Head of operations – London at Mitie Client Services
Tyler is still working for Mitie Client Services, having joined the organisation in 2009 from Channel 4, and since January 2014 he took on the post of London head of operations. His remit has expanded, as well as his team. He is responsible for all London business, apart from two of Mitie’s national accounts, with a team of operations managers and client service managers overseeing the organisation’s London portfolio. “Working in FM is not all about the numbers – we are a people business, we don’t have any widgets to sell,” says Tyler. “I have also learned how to get the best from our teams without having to ‘bang the drum’.
“If you can spot talent and nurture individuals you create a happy and motivated workplace.”
Hawkins joined Eurest Services (part of Compass Group) in 2011 to head up its contract with Logica, overseeing the entire FM service delivery across its UK estate. Hawkins moved into business development, before accepting a role with CBRE as alliance director on a contract with Macquarie Bank this year.
“We have to stop only solving frontline issues – stop putting plasters on things that are broken and root out the cause,” says Hawkins, who is enjoying the tactical challenges of his new role.
Tucker, a senior lecturer in facilities management in 2012, became programme leader in FM and building services at Liverpool John Moores University.
“We are working on a standalone BSc honours undergraduate degree in FM, with three CPD programmes aligned to BIFM Levels 4, 5 and 6 qualifications,” explained Tucker, who has also developed a BIFM Level 7 course in Applied FM.
“I also spent time researching in the US with the Georgia Institute of Technology after winning the Fullbright Scholarship in 2012, which is an immense honour.”
Harris moved into the FM sector after he spent three years in the recuritment sector, headhunting facilities managers. Having got to understand what FM was all about, he worked on Serco’s Deloitte contract, before he was approached by Norland in March 2014, taken on board as a fast-track manager and subsequently fast-tracked again, where he is now area general manager overseeing four clients in different industries.
“I’m also part of the junior board of directors at CBRE, where managers come together to share common practice and experiences,” says Harris, who has taken what he has learnt on board to offer to his clients.
Hodgson, assistant facilities manager for Mace’s Invesco contract in 2012, has stayed with the company, but her responsibilities have grown. Still working remotely in Dublin, Hodgson oversees offices in Paris, Brussels, Milan, and
Madrid, and now Dublin and Luxembourg.
“I’ve also been involved in ‘Developing Success’, the executive development plan at Mace,” explains Hodgson. “I have implemented an annual team-building event.
This has not only been motivating for the team, but also provided a platform for good communication, as well as open forum discussion.”
Jackson Matthews joined Telereal Trillium in 2008, working in compliance, before moving into operational FM in 2011. He moved to Cofely from
Telereal Trillium when his former firm outsourced its FM delivery in July 2014.
Now working as an account manager on several government portfolios in London, the South East and Manchester, Matthews has this year begun working with the Imperial War Museums, a role he describes as “mixed and fast-paced.”
“Awareness of FM is far greater now, but with that comes more pressure for innovation and improved delivery,” says Matthews.
Now associate director, Gardiner & Theobald LLP, strategic asset & facilities management consultancy
Martin Bell started his career at Johnson Controls, where he became an associate director with responsibility for managing a team of consultants. After spending time consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he joined Norland Manages Services as associate director in 2012m before consulting at Gardiner & Theobald. “I work on some interesting commissions involving strategic reviews for local authorities,” explains Bell. “I’m a support judge for the BIFM Awards and a member of the FM World editorial advisory board. Volunteering has helped me understand the challenges facing our industry.”
Bowen came into the FM sector with a construction background.
He spent time working as facilities manager for Sevenoaks District Council, efore moving on to international charity ActionAid, managing a total FM service across its UK premises.
Bowen has used his experience working with security initiatives to expand his role at ActionAid, which now involves Bowen completing security and premises audits at ActionAid sites worldwide.Bowen advises FMs to “persevere and take on new challenges. Our industry is full of excellent networks [Bowen is a committee member on the BIFM’s International special interest group] and members with high levels of knowledge.”
Cooper began her career with Atkins Asset Management, before moving to Willmott Dixon, where she grew the organisation’s Birmingham business by £8 million in four years. Cooper became the first female operational board director in the Willmott Dixon Group.
Cooper co-founded Diamond Facilities Support in 2010, where she is currently joint managing director. “Our ethos is ‘right first time and every time for our clients’,” says Cooper. “My next step is to continue our growth. We are looking to break the £10 million mark in three years and move into soft services.”
Now a senior consultant within FM Consulting at AECOM
In 2012, Rishi Sharma was a senior consultant within the facilities management consulting team at Davis Langdon. Since then, the company became part of AECOM, and as such, Sharma’s consulting team spread across the rest of the business as it continued to grow.
He has developed strategic FM projects and worked on assessments of property portfolios, through to whole-life costing of future new builds. Sharma explains that his projects have become even more challenging, “with some projects lasting a couple of days and others a 12-month secondment.”
“There has also been a shift in perceptions regarding FM at the design/development stage of new builds, in part linked to BREEAM, but also with clients appreciating the importance of designing an effective building.”
To read more from the 2016 FM World Guide to Career Development please click here.