by Travis Dodson, MBA, CFM, CIPM, FMP 

The Greater Triangle Chapter recently had the honor of awarding two IFMA Foundation scholarships in the name of Buck Fisher at World Workplace 2019.  The IFMA Foundation is dedicated to the mission of promoting education for the facility management profession around the world and making FM a Career of Choice. The scholarships would not have been possible without your support and your commitment to promoting Facilities Management. Let us not also forget the hard work of our Golf Committee that plans our annual Mike Bradley Memorial Golf Tournament (only 6 months away) and the proceeds help fund this scholarship.

The two individuals receiving the scholarships have diverse backgrounds with bright futures in the area of facilities management.  The scholarships were presented to Monica Anand and Victoria Smikowski.  Monica and Victoria were just two of twenty-seven scholarship recipients honored at World Workplace 2019 in Phoenix. Each received a $5,000 scholarship which includes attendance to World Workplace.  During World Workplace, we invited Monica and Victoria to our joint chapter appreciation event where they got an opportunity to meet with members of the Greater Triangle, Charlotte, Triad, Upstate and Columbia chapters to learn more about our chapters and the various roles within facilities management.

As part of the IFMA Foundation Scholarship award, both Monica and Victoria participated in the Ignite FM! Student Challenge sponsored by FM:Systems. The Ignite FM! Challenge presented the students with a real-world problem focused on the Environmental and Sustainability core competency.  The students were asked to assume the role of a facility management team working for a university.  The university has a historic building that is very energy inefficient and a decision must be made to renovate it or demolish and re-build. They were given two options (demolish or renovate), the students were split into teams and then had three hours to develop a proposal and present to the audience which included a panel of judges.  While Victoria was part of the team that won the challenge, they both were winners since the challenge provided them with an opportunity to gain greater visibility within the IFMA community, work together with fellow students and tackle a problem that many of us have been faced with or may be faced with.

Monica holds a Facilities Management degree from Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Zurich, Switzerland and is currently a young professional in FM at the University and a PhD candidate. After graduation, she hopes to focus on procurement. After getting an opportunity to get to know Monica at World Workplace, she wanted to share the following with the chapter:

I would like to sincerely thank the Great Triangle Chapter for awarding me the Buck Fisher IFMA Foundation scholarship at the World Workplace Conference 2019 in Phoenix. I really appreciate the fun spirit I experienced of the great Triangle Chapter members and the efforts they put in to getting to know me more closely in person. The encouraging support they offered me with their presence at the student Ignite FM challenge added a real positive boost to my participation. All in all I enjoyed the experience and I am looking forward to more exciting and continued student exchanges with the GTC chapter. Also, I am definitely looking at participating in the next year’s IFMA foundation’s world Workplace conference in Chicago.

Victoria is currently a student at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design pursuing a degree in Interior Architecture. Her goal is to obtain a Master’s in Architecture from Boston Architectural College and plans to focus on designs that promote sustainability.  She currently works for the Waukesha County’s Government Center in its Facility Management Department where she has been given the task of redesigning the employee’s fitness center along with updating the master AutoCAD plans to Revit. She wanted to “thank the chapter for our support and the opportunity to be at World Workplace as it has already made such a difference in her life.”  Thank You Note