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Ten faces of facilities management

The Facilities Management industry is full of inspiring individuals whose professionalism, dedication and strategic thought have had a considerable impact on workplaces and organisations across the country. RICS exclusively tells FMJ its thoughts on the best talent in the industry

RICSThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) works with many of these professionals on a regular basis through its membership demonstrating the importance of high-quality FM and its ability to bring about increased productivity and greater efficiencies within all sizes of organisation. To showcase the FM industry’s successes and highlight those individuals responsible for delivering them, RICS has identified 10 ‘Faces of FM’ for 2015. 

Each of those featured has added notable value to their organisation and helped to push the boundaries within the FM sector. Collective successes include campaigning for the living wage to be a constant across the sector for all staff members irrespective of level, moving an entire office of 10,000+ staff to the other end of the country, and raising the profile of FM as a value-adding, strategic discipline. The world of FM has achieved many milestones thanks to these individuals.

Kath Fontana has 25 years’ experience delivering Facilities and Asset Management solutions for a wide range of blue chip organisations. Kath’s former employees have included Serco, Aspire Defence Services, and Interserve. She‘s currently employed at BAM FM Ltd, a subsidiary of BAM Construct UK.

Drawing on this extensive experience, Kath is a great advocate of the power of FM to transform the built environment for the better. Often responsible for managing the interface between construction contractors and FM teams, she ensures that innovation, collaboration and integration around the whole life management of a building are firmly in place right from the start of all the projects she’s involved in. Unsurprisingly, she is also a key influencer in the industry wide development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and is vice chair of the government’s BIM4FM Group.

As a member of RICS’s Professional Group for Facilities Management and the BSI Facilities Advisory and Technical Committee, Kath is fully committed to ensuring that FM becomes a recognised and fully professionalised discipline.

Sam’s career got off to a flying start when he was hand-picked from Alfred McAlpine PLC’s graduate leadership programme – a year ahead of his scheduled completion – to take up a post within one of the business’ management teams. Since then, his development and progression in the FM and business services sector have continued at a notable pace.

Now director of operations at international service company, Serco, Sam’s expertise sees him heading up delivery for a number of businesses across the private and public sectors. These include: facilities management, patient contact centres, forensic examiner services, GP out-of-hours and community services.

Sam is incredibly passionate about delivering outstanding results for his clients, engaging his teams and exceeding expectations in the organisation he works for. This commitment has seen him become an eminent figure in a number of leading industry bodies – Sam is currently a fellow of RICS, a member of the Institute of Business Continuity and an associate member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

He has even shared his wealth of knowledge with others in the sector, through talks for RICS on the professionalising of FM, the importance of facilities services as part of an organisation’s critical operational infrastructure, and how well-managed property can deliver significant, tangible outcomes.

Wayne Goldsmith has been sector director for transport at Interserve since May 2012. Over the past three years he has overseen a major transformation of the company’s work in the sector, winning a series of significant contracts and nearly doubling the division’s revenue portfolio in just 12 months.

He leads Interserve’s 5,500-strong transport support services team, which works with a range of major transport clients including London Underground, Network Rail, DLR and Eurostar. Under Wayne’s stewardship the division now supports over three billion passenger journeys annually, delivering the full range of FM services including cleaning, maintenance and security to transport sector clients. The transport team also checks 125,000 tickets a week for the Docklands Light Railway, prints and posts one million adverts in the UK’s main transport hubs each year, and prepares every London ambulance each morning for the day’s work.

Prior to joining Interserve Wayne was operations director at ISS Facility Services, where he was responsible for over 4,500 staff and a revenues of over £63 million.

Deborah is hugely experienced in the field of FM, having worked in the industry for more than two decades. Her role, particularly in public sector FM, has heralded many significant breakthroughs during this time.

She currently heads up property asset management at the Ministry of Justice, where she is responsible for the entire judicial estate. Prior to this, she worked at the Cabinet Office, leading the development of a central FM strategy across all government departments: to establish how FM is procured and managed.

With the public sector currently facing enormous pressure to increase financial and environmental efficiencies, Deborah’s remit with the Government Soft Landings (GSL) policy is crucial. Through this work, she is playing a leading role in streamlining and improving public sector construction processes. This role has also put Deborah at the forefront of new FM skills and technology, given that GSL forms part of BIM Level 2 being implemented in readiness for the mandate in 2016.

Deborah has an MSc in FM, is a Fellow of RICS and has recently graduated from Oxford University’s Major Projects Leadership Programme for Government.

Her position as one of the most eminent contributors to the FM sector was recognised in 2014 when she claimed the Global FM Platinum Excellence award.

Debra Ward is the managing director of the international FM organisation, Macro. As part of her role Debra is responsible for ensuring that every aspect of the company, including its political, economic and environmental activities are compliant with the required legal standards. Not only is she responsible for the company in the UK, she also oversees its Europe, North American and India branches too.

Debra prides herself on ensuring that all the team members she oversees have the very best support when it comes to their professional development – helping them to exceed personal and business targets.

One of Debra’s greatest achievements was leading a client services start-up company for MITIE. Having grown this part of the business from a standing start, Debra helped it to generate £25 million in its first five years and grow its workforce to over 700 team members across the country. Its success didn’t end there, as the company was voted among the Sunday Times Top 100 places to work in 2013.

As a champion for women in the workplace, Debra has taken an active role in mentoring over 20 women and has even become a certified executive coach to better support her mentees. What’s more, she is a former chair of the Women in FM group which has been set up to champion females in the sector, and acts as a source of advice and guidance. As testament to this Debra was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Women in the City, Woman of Achievement award, overall for her business acumen, support and development of businesswomen.

About Sarah OBeirne


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