Letter from the President (September, 2014)
When I think about this organization and why I’m a member, the first thing that comes to my mind is “Education.” Becoming more educated about best practices is one way that I sell my membership to my employer – it’s also a way to make me more competitive in the job market. The chapter leadership continues to make education one of its top priorities.
Over the past several years, the IFMA Atlanta board has spent a lot of time and money to be able to accredit its programs with International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Thanks to the hard work of the programs committee and the accrediting committee, we have started to see several of the luncheon programs we’ve put on this year qualify for CEUs. If you see an upcoming program that has been CEU accredited, please let any designer or architect friends you have know about this – for $30, the cost to get the credit is pretty reasonable compared to other means of attaining CEUs.
While I think the CEUs are a great benefit – to me they are only a small part of what we should be doing in the chapter. I know that the best educational opportunities I have experienced through IFMA have been the ones where I’m able to learn directly from other Facility Managers. We had an extremely successful FM Forum earlier this month, which some attendees described as the “best event” they’ve been to at IFMA. The education committee will be putting on another of these Forums in several months, and I hope you can make it.
Along the same lines – I would love to see more educational programs generated by Facility Managers. If you have a unique experience with some aspect of the profession, or if you just completed a major project, I would love to see if we could have you participate in a luncheon program for us. Joe Pearson, from EY, has been doing a great job leading our programs committee, and I would be happy to put him in touch with any professional facility manager who wants to present to our group.
Finally – and back to marketability – I have been having a lot of conversations with members about how they want the chapter to sponsor another CFM training class and study sessions. Our VP of Professional Development, Penny Whitlock, is coordinating this, and I’m hoping to have something to announce to you on this front very soon. Being able to say he or she is a “Certified Facility Manager” really does make a FM stand out from the crowd. If you haven’t already looked into this option, I strongly consider any professional FMs in the organization to at least consider getting the designation.
We definitely have lots of opportunities for you to get education and justify your membership. If you’re interested in some activity that was not mentioned above, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you’re thinking of. I hope to see you at an upcoming educational event soon.