Sometimes when you belong to a professional organization for a period of time, you may become so entrenched in a committee and the relationships you have built that one can lose focus on what the organization stands for. For those new to the organization, there are so many terms, acronyms and categories of members that it is difficult to fully understand what the organization is all about. Since we have gone through a period of rapid growth, have a great mix of new and established members, and are in the middle of our “Celebrating the Facility Management Profession Campaign”, I thought it would be a good time for an IFMA 101 refresher. So here we go – here are the key facts about IFMA:
- Facility management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology.
- The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting 22,655 members in 78 countries with 129 Chapters.
- Our Greater Triangle Chapter of IFMA, is one of the 129 Chapters. The mission and vision of our Chapter is as follows:
Mission: To promote participation in and vitality of the Greater Triangle Chapter of IFMA by focusing on education, networking, and leadership to further develop the core competencies of the facilities profession.
Vision: To serve as the ultimate resource and representative for facility management.
- Our chapter currently consists of approximately 330 members with five elected board members (President, Past President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and six Committees (Communications, Community Outreach, Networking and Events/Sponsorship, Professional Development and Programs – https://www.ifmatriangle.org/category/committees) consisting of over 60 committee members.
- Our members fall into two general categories – Professional and Associate members. Our professional members are those whose primary job involves facility management or facility management education. Associate Members provide support services to facility managers. Sometimes the boundaries to these categories can be blurry as there are some individuals who have several different job responsibilities within their company, one of which is facility management. Some of us are also considered professionals in our own industry due to licenses and certifications but are not considered professionals within IFMA because we are not facility managers. As a rule of thumb, if your primary responsibility is to keep a facility up and running, you are a Professional member. If your primary responsibility is to provide services that can be used by Professional Members, you are an Associate member. This would still apply even if you are an Associate and are also an office manager for your company.
- Our Chapter exists due to the membership of Facility Managers and Assoicates, the volunteer efforts of our members and sponsorship dollars. To get what you want out of our organization, you should actively involve yourself in one or more of these aspects of the chapter.
I have spent a little time on distinguishing the differences between Professional and Associate Members because we ask you to select one category when you sign up for a Chapter event on our 123 Signup page. It is important that you select the correct category as we use this information to gather data about our Chapter to make informed decisions on how to continually improve our services. If you think you did not sign up under the correct category when you originally joined IFMA, please contact our Chapter Secretary at IFMAlorana@gmail.com.