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Greater Phoenix Chapter Spotlight: July 2019

July 2019 FM Spotlight

Marshall MacFarlane
Parks and Facilities Manager
Town of Gilbert

July 15, 2019-  Gilbert, AZ – Tempe Miller with Whelan Security had an opportunity to interview Marshall MacFarlane the Parks and Facilities Manager for the Town of Gilbert at one of the best baseball parks in the state, Cactus Yards. He is the Chapter’s FM Spotlight for June.

Tempe: Thank you for allowing us the pleasure of interviewing you for our July FM Spotlight!

Marshall: The pleasure is all mine.

Tempe: What is the most fulfilling part about being a Facility Manager?

Marshall: I like that every day is different. I get to work on a lot of cool and interesting projects and I get to help people. When I get a day where I can do something more hands on, I am able to.

Tempe: What are your hobbies?

Marshall: I like to hunt and fish, although I am better at fishing than I am hunting. I am a freelance outdoor writer. I also like to read and watch movies.

Tempe: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you as an FM?

Marshall: When I was working for the University of Arizona, we took possession of a building and the time between purchasing it and taking possession of it, it became full of transients living inside. I had to go up with the police department and help evict all the transients – they went inside with guns drawn. At one point as they were clearing the building, I was out of the patio with 7 or 8 people that were previously living there. 

Tempe: What is a new piece of advice that you would give a new or aspiring FM?

Marshall: My best advice is to not take anything personally. In our line of business, it’s kind of thankless and usually the only time you hear from people is when something is wrong. Often, they are frustrated at the situation and not you. But as person that is proud of their job, it is sometimes hard to not take them personally. Especially if they are upset or mad or something. My advice is to take a step back, take a breath, and understand that they are likely not mad at you, but the situation.

Tempe: What do you love about the Greater Phoenix Chapter of IFMA?

Marshall: What I love about the Phoenix Chapter of IFMA is the access it gives me to new people and new relationships. Over the years I have developed two tracks of relationships. Really cool relationships with vendors, I’ve gotten to know folks and trust them. When I’ve changed jobs and needed something I have a pool of vendors, that I consider friends, I can call and trust and know what their services are. On the other side is the relationships I’ve made with professional Facilities managers and similarly, if I get into a bind or have a question I have a whole pool of folks that understand what I do for a living and if I don’t have the technical knowledge to deal with a problem, one of those folks will.

Tempe: What is your favorite sport?

Marshall: My favorite sport to watch is the NFL, I am a Cardinals fan – GO CARDS! My favorite sport to play is rugby, it was the only sport I was good at (laughing). If you consider fishing a sport, that is my ultimate favorite sport – some people don’t consider it  a sport so we will go with Rugby

Tempe: What is your favorite food?

Marshall: If you know me you’ll know that I like a lot of different kind of foods. I love a lot of seafood but if it were my last meal at the penitentiary before I get fried, it’s probably going to be steak. I really like a good steak

Tempe: What is your favorite place in the world and why?

Marshall: I have three favorite places; my favorite place to visit is my home in Eastern Canada, in New Brunswick.  It’s beautiful there. It’s green. There’s brooks. Animals. Family. But there is also winter from October to May. My favorite place to live is Arizona, I love it here. I love the topography and the different geography. I love that you can drive 2 hours in any direction and be in completely different county. My favorite once in a lifetime place would be Panama, I was blessed to go on a fishing trip 2 years ago and it was literally a trip of a lifetime. Beautiful and fun. I enjoyed the beaches and ocean, I loved it.

Tempe: Why did you choose FM as a profession?

Marshall: Well I kind of fell into it. I didn’t start out thinking I was going to be a facilities management professional. I am a millwright by trade, so that evolved into being a maintenance supervisor and then assigned security and environmental stuff. From there I took on more responsibilities and then grew into a Facility Manager

Tempe: Can you provide a fun fact about Arizona?

Marshall: Yeah, I moved here from the Northeast and I hunted and fished a lot. I was worried about moving to Arizona and not having things to fish and hunt. When people think of the desert they think of the Sahara, but I will tell you there is more species here to fish and hunt then the Northeast. I love it here.

Tempe: What is one fact about you that people don’t know?

Marshall: I’m terribly shy and introverted. In my positions with many organizations I have to be in front of people and do public speaking. In my natural condition, I am very shy and very introverted. Having an idle conversation with someone is almost painful for me. I really have to put myself out there sometimes to do my job.