Regional Facilities Manager, Americas
Facilities Management, North America
Being responsible for the entire service delivery for a national financial institution is no small task. But when you have worked across the Americas in facilities management for over 25 years, both client and provider side, staying one step ahead comes naturally to Mike.
- How did you get into what you do?
- There is a common expression used in our field and that is, “You don’t find facilities – it finds you.” It’s true. It was a previous role many years ago that launched my facilities career. I was asked if I would start up a facilities team to look after the distribution center and the head office at a well-known sporting apparel brand. I agreed, not knowing yet what facilities was, nor what I needed to know in order to make this new department successful. Needless to say, we executed on the strategy, built an amazing team and 25 years later I am still loving working in FM.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
- I joined Mace in March of 2015, as the north east regional manager for a strategic client looking after sites in the US and Canada with four facilities managers on my team. In 2018 I was offered the opportunity to stand in the client’s shoes while she was on maternity leave. It was such a valuable experience. I was able to understand their side of the business in much more depth, allowing me to apply my learnings to Mace’s side of the business when my secondment ended and I returned to my role in the FM team. My experience eventually propelled me into the next step in my career, now overseeing regional facilities for all of the Americas. My team has proudly expanded to 11 managers and another 50 indirect supporting teammates.
- How does a good facilities management strategy benefit a business?
- A good facilities management strategy benefits a business more than one would think. Facilities isn’t a profit centre for organisations, so it’s easy to overlook or take for granted. A good strategy is critical in distinguishing a ‘good brand’ from a ‘premium brand’ for the client. When a business keeps its sites safe, secure, clean and running efficiently for all members of the team, it ultimately means its team comes first. In-turn, it lays the foundation and space for a business and its team members to do their best work and thrive - resulting in the overall success of the business.
- What does the future hold for FM in North America?
No one could have predicted the impact of the events of 2020 and what would happen next. In North America, much like many established economies, companies will be looking at their real estate portfolios and asking the question “do we really need this space, and if so, how much”. Some companies are using this opportunity to retain and attract good talent as remote working allows for a larger talent pool and businesses are committing to blended working models.
I think we can expect to see more boutique type offerings and concierge services such as dry cleaning delivered to your home or providers partnering with a door-to-door grocery delivery service, or maybe even a personalised wake-up call service - but either way you look at, we know one thing, normal, will not be as it was before.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
Coaching and leading my amazing team. I not only enjoy the daily interaction with them but, most importantly, I enjoy helping them advance their careers and seeing them solve challenges. I can only be as successful as my team and so watching them develop and grow makes the journey in my current role all worthwhile.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- I would certainly encourage anyone to give facilities a try. Just remember to be open minded and accept the challenges as they come. There is a whole new era of facilities and workplace barriers just waiting to be broken down, with technology changing so rapidly. You can use these advances to your advantage and create new ways of getting work done. We all have the tools at our fingertips, it’s just a matter of applying them.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
- I’m really passionate about family time and finding a good work-life balance. I’m very involved and focused in my Monday to Friday day-to-day work routine so, naturally, I feel my family deserves 100% of me afterwards. I have an amazing wife with four amazing kids and now our newest addition, our grandson, that encompass our precious family time.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
- When I got out of school, I just wanted to help people in any way I could. I started taking some first aid courses and thought I could focus on saving lives and potentially even become a paramedic, so I think that is what I might be doing had I not got into this line of work.
“When a business keeps its sites safe, secure, clean and running efficiently for all members of the team, it ultimately means its team comes first.”