WORLD WORKPLACE 14’
As seen through the eyes of a
By Quindell Myrick, FMP, Southern Polytechnic State University
This year World Workplace 2014 was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, It was really great and exciting especially for a first-time attendee and facility management student. Before I tell everyone about my WWP experience, I would like to say THANK YOU!!!! to the IFMA Atlanta Chapter for awarding me sponsorship to attend World Workplace it was truly a rewarding experience for me personally.
My experience started Monday when I first arrived to New Orleans before I even reached my hotel. I was contacted by IFMA Atlanta past president, Christy Jellets to attend a meeting about logistics for a very important project we have coming up for the organization we both work. After the meeting it was time to attend the Chairman’s Reception hosted by IFMA Foundation chair, Diane Coles-Levine that was being held on the top floor of Manning’s restaurant. Where I was personally introduced to IFMA chair Jim Whitaker and a host of other FM professionals from coast to coast who gave tons of advice and their own personal journeys throughout the FM field.
The next day I go pick up my registration packet for the conference and stopped at a close by restaurant to have lunch and met two Facility Managers who came from Toronto, Canada we had about a 1 ½ conversation all about FM. Later on I stopped by the Hospitality Suite at the New Orleans Marriott on Canal St. This is where I met IFMA VP Christy Lowell, Dee Raya, Meaghan Baker, & Penny Whitlock, also I ran into my mentor William Broome who gave me some words of advice for growing in the profession and maneuvering through the streets of New Orleans safely.
Here it is Wednesday and I’m super excited about attending the First-time attendee breakfast. I’m usually a quiet and reserved person, so I said I would introduce myself first. By doing that I was able to meet Ian van der Pool who sits on the Board of Directors for IFMA ,also I met Byron Edwards the IFMA Denver’s Chapter President (I have found my WWP 15’ connection) who took me under his wing to guide me through my first World Workplace experience. Then it was time for the Opening Keynote where Peter Sheahan encouraged everybody to think innovative, next was the opening of the Expo Hall, where I found products that my organization and university may be interested in utilizing. Later that evening I attended the Welcome Reception hosted by “CAT” (let me just say IFMA members know how to PARTY!!!). This is where I ran into Sharon Jaye who tried to get me on the dance floor (I have two left feet). I had invites to the CORT and Millicare Parties but those are for the seasoned WWP attendees. Also I met a nice lady from the IFMA Nevada Chapter who gave me my first lapel pin and that made we want to get more pins which I did.
Three days down and two to go and I haven’t even scratched the surface of everything that happened. I attended some events in between such as the IFMA Foundation ePoster contest and the Foundations Academic Award Reception. Now getting to the sessions they were amazing I attended 8 sessions but the ones that stuck with me the most were the ones by Linda Talley, “The Secrets of Body Language & the Messages they Relay” this one was standing room only, also Becky Spohn’s “C- Suite: Business Etiquette to show them you belong in the C-Suite”, this session was truly memorable being that I got to do an exercise with Kathy Roper who has written just about if not all of the books in my FM classes at Southern Poly.
It now is Friday afternoon all the sessions are over, and I decide to attend the Awards luncheon. What was cool about this particular event besides the improv comedy group and the closing keynote speakers is that Anthony Maddox from our chapter won the “Emerging Professional” award. The night was even better I also got to witness my mentor William Broome who received the “Sheila Sheridan Award” for Sustainable Facility Operations and Management. Near the end of the banquet I was given a challenge by Ken Stephenson to bring home the hardware for “Student Chapter of the Year”, believe me I’m already on it. In one week I have gained a lifetime of knowledge and experience that I will utilize and never forget. So to anyone who hasn’t been to World Workplace make it a must do or add to your bucket list. “I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE EVERYBODY in #DENVER2015!!!” One last thing THANK YOU!!! again to the IFMA Atlanta Chapter for sponsoring me this year.