Public Announcements

 

Greater Phoenix Chapter FM Spotlight: January 2020

January 2020 FM Spotlight

Steve Georgoulis
Director of Facilities
TriWest

IFMA Phoenix:  Thank you for allowing us the pleasure of interviewing you for our January FM Spotlight!

Steve: My pleasure.

 

IFMA Phoenix: Where are you from?

Steve: I am from Lowell, Massachusetts. It’s about 20 miles from the border of New Hampshire. It’s the first industrialized town in the United States. Headquartered for textiles. It’s a city of around 100,000 and it’s a very blue collar city but a great city to grow up in.

 

IFMA Phoenix: Why did you join the Greater Phoenix Chapter of IFMA?

Steve: I joined the Greater Phoenix Chapter back in the early 2000’s when I was just laid off through downsizing. Our company that I worked for a number of years was bought out by another company and we were downsized. I had spent most of my time outside of Arizona, traveling California and other parts of the country. I didn’t really have a strong network in Arizona. I was aware of IFMA and reached out to Kent Miller who was the President of IFMA at the time. He welcomed me with open arms, invited me to meetings, he comped me to come to meetings. I thought, what a great organization. I felt like I had been embraced as a fellow FM, I felt like this is home. That was about 18 years ago and it has been a wonderful resource to me ever since.

 

IFMA Phoenix: What are your hobbies?

Steve: I don’t have a lot of hobbies, but I do have a boat that I take out to lake pleasant – I don’t necessarily drive around a lot, sometimes my wife and I will drop anchor and read a magazine or a book. Dive in the water every once in a while – when it’s over 85 degrees of course. Just enjoy a relaxing day. That is about the extent of my hobbies.

 

IFMA Phoenix: What is the craziest thing that you have experienced as an FM?

Steve: Well crazy and very interesting, classic FM story. I was responsible for several sites in the state of California and as we are all aware California experiences earthquakes from time to time. In the late 80s there was an earthquake that damaged several of our sites. One of the sites in Ridgecrest, California we had a field service side on the 6 story building and the entire side of the building fell away – luckily no one was injured – we had to relocate all those folks in short order. The surrounding buildings were also damaged to some degree. It was very challenging to find places for those folks to get back to work – this was well before the internet so working from home wasn’t even on the radar yet. It was quite interesting and quite challenging, but we managed.

 

IFMA Phoenix: What is fulfilling about being an FM?

Steve: Where to begin is the issue there. Everything is fulfilling about it – the people, helping people, getting things done, it’s learning. It’s a job where if you want continual learning you are missing the boat – you are really doing yourself and the people you work with a disservice. There is so much change going on in the industry and it is imperative that you continue to learn. It is interesting and I’m sure you have heard this on several occasions, the only thing that is consistent is change. You may be talking about something that is very high level at 9:00 and at 10:30 you are talking about something that is minuet, simple, simplistic. It is very challenging, interesting, and never a dull moment. It covers a broad spectrum of activity. From architecture to planning to basic maintenance to financial budgeting, it’s a great job and a great career path as well.

 

IFMA Phoenix: Why did you choose FM as a profession?

Steve: Well as most people will tell you, we didn’t choose it, it chooses us! It really is the way it happens. When I entered the facilities management environment it really wasn’t known as facilities management, it had multiple names. It was always an amalgam of different roles and it was sort of ill-defined. Some places people still don’t know what facilities management means. It found me for sure. My father had a small lumber company, so I was always around construction and I liked it. He owned some apartments and I was always involved in repairs – I kind of liked it. I like projects, getting things done. I joined a company after being in the military for some time – came out of that looking for a job before I went back to school. I took a position with a company; they had an ill-defined position in plant engineering at the time. I evolved from there, took on more responsibilities and really fell in love with it. Watched it evolve quite nicely from where it is today. Now it’s much better defined. There is educational programs and it’s a role a lot of people understand. We still need to do a lot more work to make it better known but we are getting there.

 

IFMA Phoenix: What is one interesting fact about Arizona?

Steve: Well as a New Englander this was only something that I read about in school. The wild horses in Arizona are still out there and they are relatively close to civilization. If you go out state route 87, the beeline highway, toward Saguaro lake you have the opportunity to see wild horses in their natural habitat, it’s absolutely a beautiful thing. Every once in a while, you will be driving by and they will be galloping along. It’s like seeing a page out of a history book – it’s really a beautiful thing.