This month, we begin a new series of interviews between Arletrice Green — one of our younger members who is just starting out in our career — and some of our more seasoned professional members. Arletrice is a Facilities Management graduate student at Rochester Institute of Technology. She graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Design. Arletrice has over six years of experience in Design and Customer Service which she plans to intertwine into one cohesive career path to be successful within the FM industry. She is also a student member of IFMA serving on the Community Service and Newsletter Committees.
This month’s interview is with Joyce Roper.
I had the opportunity to sit down to interview IFMA member, Joyce Roper, Manager of Workplace of Services at Coca-Cola. Joyce provided some insightful information regarding the Facilities Management industry and her career. As a new IFMA member I gained knowledge about the profession and got to know an existing member. Hopefully everyone reading this will also gain something from reading about one of IFMA’s own.
Joyce’s previous roles in Administrative Management and as Director of Contracts at Holder Construction helped her transition into her role at Coca-Cola. In 1993, when Coca-Cola Enterprises and The Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company were merging office into their new location at Wildwood, there was no Facilities Manager. Because of her background and experience, Joyce was selected to fill the role. She credits her customer service aptitude and her listening and communication skills for her success in her current role.
Her advice to someone starting their career in the FM industry is to become an IFMA member and join an active committee. Joining IFMA will allow you to network and interact with like-minded professionals, as well as attend a variety of educational programs, seminars and other targeted training. She also suggested pursuing certifications offered by IFMA such as the FMP, CFM, or SFP designations, which will add value to your career. The best piece of advice she offered was that education alone will not help you succeed. You have to be well-rounded, take advantage of every opportunity, and build relationships. As she stated, “You get out of it what you put in.”
She has found that some of the most challenging aspects of the Facilities Management profession are: 1.Developing a team that knows what excellent customer service is all about; 2. Keeping your team motivated, engaged and able to collaborate as a team; 3. Educating Senior Management on the value of Facilities Management as a vital part of the strategic team.
Joyce stated that one of the reasons she is passionate about FM is because she loves to work with people. This was evident by her openness in our interview. As a FM professional, she is most excited about being involved in the design and construction aspects. The feeling of planning something of value that will last far beyond her career is another aspect of FM that Joyce enjoys.
Over the years being an IFMA member has enabled her to meet other people, find products, receive education from many associate members, and do her job better. Serving as a board member has enabled her to build valuable friendships.
Each of us has our own experiences to share which will help others learn. In any industry you have to start from the bottom and work your way up. It’s people like Joyce who will help pave the way for the success of future and experienced Facilities Management professionals, through her dedication and knowledge of FM. I would like to thank Joyce for her willingness to share her experience and knowledge with an emerging FM.
Written by Arletrice Green (RIT Grad Student)