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November 2013



Photos from the October Luncheon 






2013-2014 Board of Officers


Kenneth Bryson, AIA, LEED, AP

Tel: 770-488-2409

Vice President, Elect:

Joseph Geierman, CFM, FMP

Tel: 404-885-3557


VP, Communications: 

Christy Lowell

Cell: 404-734-1270


VP, Professional Development: 

Kenneth Stephenson, CFM, AIA

Tel: 770-488-2557


Gene Leyba

Tel: 678-366-7045 

Treasurer: Dan Walther

Tel: 678.731.5926 

Past President: 

Annette Gorelick

Tel: 770-314-5215





Chair - Sustaining Patrons

Harry Ludwig   

King & Spalding, LLP

Chair - Membership

Dawn Abraham   



Chair - Associates

Peter Van Cleave 

Water for Life 


Chair - Newsletter 

Tammy Weeks 



Chair - IFMA Foundation & Scholarships 

Dee Raya 

The Coca-Cola Company


Co-Chair Community Services 

Richard Yarbrough 

TL Gowin & Co., Inc.


Co-Chair Community Services

Emily Perry 

Harris Perry & Associates, Inc.


Chair - Programs 

Jeff DellaMaggiora



Chair - Education 

Tom Haslach

Trilogy FM


Chair - Sustainability

Clara Smith


Chair - Career Management 

Joseph Carroll 

IST Management Services


Chair - Tours 

Martha Smith
CH Briggs


Chair - Emerging Leaders

Carrie May



Chair - Golf/Tennis Classic 

Stephen Christopher 

Royal Cup, Inc.


Chair - Atlanta Workplace

Pam Essler 


Chair - CFM Certification

Harriet Whelihan




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As I'm sure everyone has noticed, we spend a fair amount of time here at IFMA Atlanta promoting the values embodied in IFMA's Core Competencies. There are numerous reasons for this, not least being the importance of being able to demonstrate those competencies in our professional lives as well as earning the IFMA credentials. I quote below from the IFMA International web site the characteristics of one of those competencies, namely the one titled "Leadership and Management."


Plan and Organize the Facility Function     

  1. Create a mission for the facility function. 
  2. Assess business trends.
  3. Plan facility function activities.
  4. Organize the facility function. 

Manage Personnel Assigned to the facility 

  1. Plan staffing needs and requirements.
  2. Hire, contract, reassign, retrain, right-size.
  3. Coordinate personnel assignments.
  4. Coordinate work performed as contracted services.
  5. Evaluate performance.
  6. Support personnel development.
  7. Provide leadership.

Administer the Facility                               

  1. Administer policies, procedures and practices.
  2. Administer the acquisition, distribution and use of material resources.
  3. Maintain documentation systems.

 Manage the Delivery of Facility Service                                 

  1. Plan for the delivery of services.
  2. Assure that services are delivered.
  3. Evaluate service delivery.

You can see from this list that "Provide leadership" is included among the elements that fall under "Manage Personnel Assigned to the Facility." In what ways do you, as a facility professional or as a businessperson responsible for managing personnel in other ways, perceive this element and its place in the process? I'd like to invite some constructive comment on this theme - please feel free to send me an e-mail with your thoughts.




Ken Bryson, AIA, LEED, AP

IFMA Atlanta Chapter President




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Upcoming Events



November 20 - The Innovative Imperative



Why Workplace Strategy and Design are More Important than Ever


Thomas Friedman's new book That Used to be Us: How America Lost its Way in the World We Invented describes the challenges businesses face today:

  • A hyper-connected, interdependent world that connects, competes and collaborates across borders; everything is speeding up
  • Average is over; the middle-skill/high-wage jobs are gone overseas; in this new world, work will consist of service jobs that have to be local, like hair dressing and auto repair, or creative, non-routine work
  • Startups know how to start, but not how to scale; legacy companies know how to scale, but not how to start

For many large companies that IFMA members are involved in, the focus has turned from 'footprint and finance' to creating innovative brand and customer experiences.  These companies are discovering that their old ways of thinking about people and workplace and real estate aren't aligned with the new emphasis on innovation.


To do their jobs more effectively, IFMA members need to understand the innovation imperative, particularly the ways that facilities can drive innovation, through:

  1. Engagement - to be innovative, people need to be engaged; the work environment plays a big role in driving employee engagement
  2. Well-being - to be engaged, people have to feel well; the work environment is increasingly known to be a major factor in employee well-being
  3. Purpose - the spark of innovation comes to life when employees believe that what they're doing has a purpose beyond just making money.  The workplace can be a powerful medium to express a company's purpose.





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December 18th - Annual Awards and Non-Profit Luncheon


This year at the December Luncheon, we are collecting gifts cards to be distributed among our ten IFMA Atlanta Nonprofit Partners:  A Friend's House, Atlanta Community Tool Bank, Atlanta Mission, Clarkston Community Center, Covenant House, Decatur Cooperative Ministry, The Elaine Clark Center, Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, Project Community Connections, and Safe America Foundation.  Suggestions:  Home Depot/Lowe's, Kroger/Publix, Walmart/Target, Office Depot/Staples, QT,, Visa/AmEx.  Please bring gift cards to drop in the collection basket at the registration desk as you pick up your nametag.  Your generosity in support of our partner organizations is much appreciated!


Additionally, our Master of Ceremonies will entertain us with a live auction of assorted art and decorative pieces.  We will also present our annual membership awards for 2013.  Please come prepared to have some fun and take care of your holiday shopping.  All proceeds from the auction will go to the IFMA Foundation in support of our industry programs and educational support!








Past Events



Active Shooter in the Workplace


We at IFMA Atlanta hope you enjoyed the briefing of understanding the Human factors that are present "before" and during an act of workplace violence.  


Thank you Michael Briant, Founder of the Skydas Group which is a threat and risk management firm headquartered in Atlanta.       



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Associates Panel and Discussion Mixer

We hope you enjoyed the panel discussion and learned a lot more about the IFMA Atlanta Chapter and how to sell and communicate with your fellow professional members!  


A HUGE thank you to all the panel members: 

  • Shannon Karasiewicz, Earthlink , " Dragnet-Facts, Nothin' but the Facts, Ma'am" -Vendor Reporting
  • Anthony Maddox,   Southern Polytechnic U.   "Bend me, Shape me, anyway you want me!" - Flexibility and Responsiveness
  • Dan Walther,  Elavon ,  "Murder Mystery" It's a mystery"
  • Gean Leyba,   Blackberry  "Star Trek"   -Using Technology with a Facilities Flair
  • Stewart Smith, Flooring Solutions, "I've looked at things from both sides, Baby!" - A Past Professional, Current Associate, and Past President shares insights from both sides of the desk

Special thanks to Bobby White of Anchor Heating and Air for sponsoring the event and Professional, Darrell Gray, Georgia Tech Wardlaw Facilities Manager for hosting.




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New Member Breakfast


Thank you all for attending the New Member/Guest Breakfast on Friday, October 25 at Maggiano's Cumberland. We have a very active chapter and we are glad that you have either made the decision to join or are thinking about joining.  As you know, the best way to utilize your membership is to get involved!  Please don't hesitate to reach out to Dawn Abraham at if you have any questions regarding membership or the different committees you can be involved with.



 New members shown with Dawn Abraham, Membership, and Ken Bryson, President



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Congratulations IFMA Atlanta for winning Large Chapter of the Year!


Congratulations to the Atlanta Chapter of the International Facility Management Association for winning the IFMA Awards of Excellence 2013 Large Chapter of the Year Award!  The awards committee cited the chapter's innovation in a number of areas, including: 

  • Exceptional use of a Balanced Scorecard to track goals and keep the chapter aligned with its parent organization
  • An excellent 1-day educational event called Atlanta Workplace, which the chapter held in partnership with the USGBC of Georgia and IIDA of Georgia
  • The chapter's recent accreditation by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET), allowing it to award CEUs for its educational events.

The award was accepted on October 4th, 2013 by Annette Gorelick, Immediate Past President of the chapter, at IFMA's World Workplace Conference and Expo in Philadelphia.


Winners were announced in 15 categories, with judging panels comprised of industry experts evaluating nominees individually and scoring them in a number of specific areas. IFMA recognizes local chapters and  individuals for their achievements that advance the facility management profession, as well as chapters and councils for their outstanding performance in key areas.  


Atlanta Chapter of IFMA Funds Scholarship for Facility Management Education




For over a decade, the Atlanta chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has been a strong supporter of educational programs in the field.  Over 10 years ago, it helped get a master's degree program in Facility Management started at Georgia Tech, and in the past year assisted in starting an undergraduate degree program at Southern Polytechnic State University. 


Besides its strong support of these two educational programs, the chapter has also regularly contributed to the IFMA Foundation scholarship fund, which awards scholarships to students of FM based on their exceptional educational work and activities.


On October 3, 2013, Joseph Geierman (IFMA Atlanta VP/President Elect) presented a $5,000 scholarship to Yeongchul Lee - a PhD student at Georgia Tech who is specializing in Building Information Modeling and Facility Management.  Lee is an outstanding student enrolled at Georgia Tech.  His scores were based on GPA, personal achievement and leadership, his involvement in FM related activities, letter of professional intent, resume and letters of recommendations.  He was chosen for a group of seventy-five applicants from the United States and abroad. 


Mr. Lee, a South Korean native, is extremely passionate about his research - and the Atlanta chapter is thrilled to be able to help support it. 




Sustainability How to GuideIFMA Sustainability


US Government Policy Impacts and Opportunities for Facility Management


In the interest of promoting sustainability, the U.S. federal government has declared that it will take a leadership role in energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental stewardship. In particular, various government agencies will develop supporting resources that cover sustainable buildings and campuses, operations and maintenance, greenhouse gases, water efficiency, data center efficiency, industrial facilities and federal fleet management. The "U.S. Government Policy Impact and Opportunities for Facility Management" guide examines the government's initiatives and describes the opportunities which they afford to facility managers who implement sustainability plans. The materials provide a significant body of knowledge, including best in-class tools, resources, benchmarking information and further support.



The guide is free of charge and available here: 




Thank you to IFMA Atlanta Chapter


I was so glad that I could be one of the folks representing Atlanta IFMA in Philadelphia for World Workplace 2013.  So, I was hoping that you could forward / pass-on my thank you to the "scholarship selection committee".  Before leaving for the conference and expo, a few folks had received a direct thanks from me.


I generally focused on the "workplace track" in selecting and attending particular sessions. Thus, the educational part was helpful and of course interesting  to me.





Thank you the Atlanta Chapter for the scholarship I received to attend WWP 2013.  I did my best to attend sessions and events that would provide some sort of added value to our chapter.  I plan to make sure you get a return on this investment!

Thanks again,


Joseph Geierman



SPSU  Corner

  Southern Polytechnic State University        

CM Chair/Faculty Awarded Grants for Major Development Partnerships


Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair-Construction Management, and Dr. Hussein Abaza have collaborated on the successful award of two grants, funded through the U.S. State Department, totaling $2 million.


The first grant was awarded to establish an academic partnership in Communication Design with Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi, Pakistan.The partnership between Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) and Indus Valley University (IVU) is particularly interesting because it involves New Media Arts, Architecture, IT, and Game Design.


The second grant awarded will lead to the establishment of a Center for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with Georgia Tech, Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU), Afghanistan, and SPSU. The GIS Center will collaborate to address the needs of the faculty of Geology and Mining at KPU to renovate and equip two GIS classrooms, develop four GIS courses tailored to the Afghan context, and to organize ArcGIS (a mapping and analysis software) training for KPU faculty and technicians.


Congratulations to Dr. Siddiqi and Dr. Abaza on their result in pursuing these grants. We are looking forward to future updates.


Construction Management Annual Fundraiser

The Construction Management Department's 12th Annual Construction Industry Advisory Board Fundraiser took place at the Cobb Energy Center of Performing Arts this year on September 26, 2013.


The festivities began at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction. After a very nice dinner, Mr. Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group spoke on the economics of education and economic development, including the contribution of the construction industry to the U.S. economy.


An additional highlight of the evening followed dinner. With great appreciation and pride,  $10,000 dollars in student scholarships were awarded that evening. Heartfelt thanks from SPSU and the students to CIAB and Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association for their generosity and support of our students success.  


SPSU 2013 Scholarship Celebration

The annual Celebration of Scholarship 2013 dinner was held on October 22nd at the Marietta Hilton Conference Center. Scholarships funded by companies, friends and professional associations affiliated with the Construction Management department were presented to 16 very happy and deserving Construction Management students.


Many thanks and great appreciation to Golden Hammer, Flagler Foundation, the Construction Management Industry Advisory Board, Grainger, Juneau, AECA, Dr. John Mench and friends for their generous contributions to the success of our students. We are confident in saying these gifts will be put to very good use.


Dr. Siddiqi, 2013 ALA Scholar Award

Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair-Construction Management, has been selected as the Accelerated Leadership Academy (ALA) Scholar for 2013.  The ALA is sponsored by the University System of Georgia. ALA provides a high level of structured, continuous, executive leadership development that builds upon the ELI (Executive Leadership Institute) experience. Dr. Siddiqi was selected by the SPSU leadership, in 2009-10, to participate in the USG ELI Scholar Program, where he committed 100 hours to group learning, completed 360 assessments, participated in cross mentoring, alumni activities, and performed job shadowing and evaluations. Dr. Siddiqi also completed a personal project focused on identifying the tools needed for better coordination and improved efficiency amongst university services including admissions, financial aid, the registrar's office and the university's academic department. Dr. Siddiqi, we are proud to work with you!

Dr. John Mench Receives Legend in Energy Award

Construction Management senior lecturer, Dr. John Mench, has been recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) as a distinguished energy professional and winner of the Legend in Energy Award. Dr. Mench is the founding professor of the specialty and facility management concentrations in the CM department.  Congratulations, Dr. Mench!


TCM Matching Grant Campaign

Dean Richard Cole and Dr. Khalid Siddiqi recently met with members of the SPSU Advancement Office to discuss strategies for designing means of matching contributions given by friends of CM in the professional community. The idea is that money gifted by CM supporters will be matched by the Construction Management Department. The Construction Management Industry Advisory Board, along with the CM department, will be the face of the campaign and Advancement will provide the overall organization and strategy and drive the effort.


ACM Tech Lab Opening

Drs. Siddiqi, Abaza, and other CM faculty hosted an open house in the soon to open Architecture Construction Management Tech Lab. CM student and Lab Technician, Brian Hogue, lead the event by serving as MC, providing equipment demonstrations and tours to a packed house of interested students, staff and faculty members.  Terrific job, Brian!




Many thanks to Dr. Hussein Abaza and Dr. Pavan Meadati for their tireless work to make the ACM Tech Lab a reality.


IFMA National Convention

Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Chair-Construction Management, and Professor Brandi Williams, represented Southern Polytechnic at the International Facilities Management Association convention in Philadelphia in October. Many thanks to the Atlanta IFMA Chapter for their support of our participation. We look forward to sending a competition team to the conference in New Orleans next year!



Interested in contributing an article - or even in joining the Newsletter committee?  If so, then contact our Newsletter Committee Chair, Tammy Weeks, at