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Jack Crutzen CFMANZ

Director, PRISMA Facilities Management

How did you get into FM?
Accidentally! I was about one year into my first role as Organisation/IT Change Manager for two large public hospitals.  The CIO and COO asked me to review how to merge FM solutions into one FM department. That department would be created from the integration of two technical teams, two kitchens, two services teams etc. This was during a time when facilities management was introduced in the Netherlands. Right time, right place!

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
As director of PRISMA FM, I provide business solutions to our clients in FM, Asset Management, Procurement, and Property. Listening to their needs and requirements and developing “solutions”. It’s a combination of consultancy, acting as change manager and “getting stuff done”. It’s about getting the best out of teams while lifting maturity and competence. I love the change management part, mentoring & coaching. I also provide training programs as I love to share my experience, but at the same time learn from others’ insights. The biggest challenge is to “convince” executives, bean counters and procurement that FM is not a cost, but an “enabler of business success.” We have to prove that we look after major assets (value) whilst managing all sorts of potential risks!

How long have you worked in FM?
Just over 30 years. I’m very fortunate that I have worked in different types of roles (in-house advisor, consultant, policy, operational and strategic roles), in different countries, in different market segments, on the supply and demand side. It has enriched my career and I owe a lot to my mentors, colleagues and clients. Being educated in the Netherlands helped me to see that Integrated FM really brings value to organisations and deserves an exec position. In the Netherlands, the FM Director overseas everything from FM operations to strategy, Property Management, Asset Management, Procurement, H&S-Compliance & Risk… to name a few!

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
Family & friends are number one. I love my work and hence I read and study a bit, dabble on our one-hectare paddock North of Auckland, love the outdoors and watch my favourite football team Ajax via social media! I also believe in ‘doing good for the greater good’ and that has inspired me to give back via governance to FMANZ (in several roles) as a committee member, part of the Asset Management Council, and developing three papers for AUT School of Engineering. I also mentor a few people, which is very rewarding.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
Educate and invest in your career. Look for mentors and try different FM roles early on in your career. Understand the business and engage with Leaders on the value of FM to the business. Think business! Invest in your FM competences and understand how to engage and manage staff and service contractors, the latter being part of your team. Focus on management of facilities! And learn how to yo-yo between strategic and operational thinking. Have an FM career plan and get mentors to guide and challenge you. Think BIG!

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
People! Finding and delivering solutions for issues and supporting the business to thrive. Change for the greater good! Working with different clients in different market segments is fascinating whilst realising that the majority of FM challenges are the same. No day is the same though! The variance in challenges and the diversity in services we offer are unique compared with other business functions.

What are the most important skills/personality traits FMs need?
Yo-yo skills, plus a willingness to engage and challenge decision makers and advise on business success via FM. Listen, analyse, collaborate, work in and as a team. Nobody is bigger than the team! Have a good work ethic and lead by example. Bring energy and have respect and empathy for other views. Collaborate and innovate/think out of the box. Talk and act with knowledge and ensure you have covered the FM competences as per the FMANZ or IFMA competency framework.

Natasja Barnard

Terminal Facilities Manager with Christchurch International Airport Limited

Briefly, what does your job involve?
My job is to keep the airport terminal facilities safe and accessible, so planes can land and depart and passengers can get from park to plane (and back again) safely and quickly. My portfolio includes the terminal building, baggage handling system, passenger boarding bridges, and some systems on the apron, to name a few.

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My role is to ensure all the terminal facilities remain fully operational (24 x 7); its assets are monitored, managed and maintained; the building is efficient, safe and compliant; and the occupants are happy. This includes a diverse range of assets from something as simple as a leaky tap to emergency power and fire systems.

I live and am inspired by the company’s mission to be a champion airport and am committed to three areas of focus: building a stronger business and enhancing customer journeys and being great kaitiaki (guardian of safety, security and sustainability).

How long have you worked in FM?
Almost three years now, though I was involved in asset and maintenance management for seven years before I started my FM role at Christchurch Airport.

How did you get into FM?
Before Christchurch Airport, I spent most of my career in heavy industry, including mining and pulp and paper. After my OE, I completed an apprenticeship in industrial measurement and control and worked as an instrument technician for a multinational commodity trading and mining company. Furthering my studies enabled me to transition into maintenance planning and asset management. From there, facilities management was a natural avenue.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
No two days are the same and I learn something new every day. I love all the cool stuff that’s happening behind the scenes in the engine room that keeps a facility going. The terminal is an ever-changing environment with change driven by growth, and statutory or regulatory compliance, so there is always something happening. Getting up close and personal with aircraft is an added bonus!

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
A good FM must be creative, decisive and passionate about the facility and its people and, essentially, must have an eye for detail. In this role, I need to be able to think on my feet and perform well under pressure. My success hinges on the ability to communicate, connect with, inspire, and engage our clients and team members. A technical background or understanding of engineering systems would be of significant benefit to someone considering FM as a career.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
A technical or engineering background is undoubtedly an advantage because many of the systems and day-to-day decision-making involve a certain level of technical insight. Good general computer-based skills also help, because management is done via computer-based systems, from ERP to BMS.

In general, STEM skills are important, but a desire to know more, and a ‘never satisfied’ inquisitiveness are just as vital.

Adam Garrett

Facilities Head of Department (HOD) at Wētā FX

How did you get into FM?
I started with a commerce degree at Victoria University, with a triple major in Commercial Law, Management and Human Resources. I always had a strong interest in commercial property, so I started to apply for roles in that area; first landing a job in a building services/HVAC company, before a natural transition into facilitiesmManagement, just by gaining general experience, meeting people and networking within the industry.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
Leadership and direction of the facilities department; responsibility for (~50) facilities crew, physical property, budget management, related commercial negotiations, vendor and key stakeholder relationships and strategic planning. Ensuring service and performance to meet Wētā FX’s current and future show needs and support a consistent global experience.

How long have you been in FM?
17 years

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
The varied nature of the job and the ability to use your skills and experience in any city, in any country, anywhere around the world. Each day presents a different challenge and I really enjoy working within arguably one of New Zealand’s most successful companies.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
Integrity, honesty, energy, enthusiasm, adaptability, strong communication/people skills, a good work ethic and being both technically minded and good with numbers.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
Set some clear goals and a concise plan on how you want to achieve them; ideally work with a mentor who can help you build your career path and give you some guidance along the way.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
Playing football, going to the gym, walking and staying as active as possible!

Georgia Thompson

Facilities Manager with Mackersy Property

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
I really enjoy the diversity that comes with the role. Your inbox will include a variety of different things you need to work through, so it really relies on problem-solving and thinking outside of the box. The fundamentals of facilities management are ensuring you are providing a safe environment for people to occupy and the importance of that really drives me.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
My job involves managing the built environment of a range of commercial buildings in the South Island, ensuring these properties are well maintained and compliant and our tenants can operate their businesses efficiently and effectively.

How long have you been in FM?
Just over a year.

How did you get into FM?
I initially started off working in residential construction. This grew my passion for compliance and when the time was right, I knew I wanted to move into commercial property. The opportunity came up for a Facilities Coordinator at Mackersy Property and I went for it. Mackersy have really helped establish my role as an FM and have given me all the tools and resources required to hit the ground running in this industry. I was just recently promoted to Facilities Manager.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
Networking and building relationships with contractors so that you can leverage these relationships and call on the expertise within your network when you need it.

What’s the one skill that is overlooked?
Staying calm and not buying into someone else’s panic.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
I think being an FM is a great avenue for anyone who likes understanding how things work and getting into the behind-the-scenes of things. You have to be comfortable asking questions and challenging things and I think doing this respectfully is really important. Not only that but understanding how to appropriately communicate with people who you hold different relationships with such as tenants, landlords, agents and contractors. It is a great career for young people coming into the industry as you can learn so much about how a building works, and it opens you up to a lot of opportunities.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
Spending time with my daughter and fiancée which usually involves a trip to the beach or a playground and stopping in at a local restaurant for some dinner.

Rory Chacko CFMANZ

Operations Manager – Estates with AUT

What are the most important skills/ personality traits a facilities manager needs?
People skills, empathy and an ability to multitask.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
The management of buildings and infrastructure in order to keep the university operational.

How long have you been in FM?
Forever. 21 years.

How did you get into FM?
I’m an electrical fitter by trade, but in the late 90’s I tried my hand at being a barista, then a bookseller. I went to London to do a bit of an OE and found myself working for Borders Books and Music in Charing Cross Road. When a job came up in the ‘site services’ department at their Head Office to cover maternity leave, I applied and got the role. When the person chose not to come back the role became mine. Over the years I’ve managed to climb the ladder to get where I am today.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
Helping people, and exceeding their expectations. In an educational environment, I also get to influence young minds through applied projects.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
Be a good communicator, work at lots of organisations doing lots of different jobs. Take an interest in buildings and what makes them tick.

Tayla Capazorio AFMANZ

Facilities Management Intern with PAE

How did you get into FM?
I recently started a great opportunity through PAE after graduating from Massey University with a Diploma in Facilities Management. I learned a variety of things through the course, such as facilities, asset management, project management and health and safety. Starting this opportunity with PAE will allow me to put all my newfound knowledge into action.

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My work experience has mainly been in retail but my time working at Elite Services 2008 Ltd allowed me to realise my passion for facilities management. So when Massey University implemented the Diploma, I knew I had to take this chance to start my career in facilities management.

I would like to say thank you to James Wallace for helping and supporting me to get to where I am today. I would also like to thank Grant Robertson, Julia Harrison and everyone at PAE for providing me with this opportunity.

Briefly, what does your job involve?
My role at PAE is as a Facilities Management Intern. As a key member of the client services team, I support new business scoping, solution design and development, and transition activities. An aspect of my role also includes supporting our internal business in the delivery of new technology solutions to our existing customers. No two days are the same in my role. I am involved in the end-to-end process from solution through to delivery (and sometimes beyond).

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not at work, my hobbies are painting and close-up photography. I am also part of a local Kapiti netball group, playing as a goal defence. I have been part of this club for four years and am the captain of one of the teams for the second year in a row.

Stuart Bryant CFMANZ

GM – Facilities NZ, SkyCity

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
There are opportunities and life lessons everywhere. The first study I completed after secondary school was a snowboarding instructor certificate. I still use some of the skills I learned during that training today when dealing with people. FM offers a wide variety of roles so find something you like doing.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
Keeping the buildings and services functioning across our site – from the lightning conductor at the top of the Tower to the pumps in the lowest basement, and everything in between.

How long have you worked in FM?
22 years.

How did you get into FM?
I was working in FM without knowing it when I was an office manager. I then ended up working for the facilities team in the building that I was a tenant in.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
FM allows me to know about all departments within the business. No day is ever the same and I get to help people out when they have issues.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
While a good technical understanding is great, being a good communicator is key. The change in my facilities roles over the years has led me to a more strategic place where leadership and business savvy are now also very important.

Simi Mukherjee CFMANZ

Head of Facilities Management, PMG Funds Management Ltd

Briefly, what does your job involve?
I head the Facilities team and we look after 48 buildings, 200 tenants and over 250 service providers. We have built a proactive structure to manage health & safety, compliance and make sure that our buildings feel loved.

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How long have you worked in FM?
Over 13 years.

How did you get into FM?
I worked in customer services roles for a while and got an interesting role with Noel Leeming where I managed the after-sales support role – dealing with disgruntled customers when things go wrong. It gave me a good insight into how to manage delicate relations and that then gave me the idea to look for roles focussed on relationship management.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
Dealing with people and understanding customer requirements.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
Listening skills, multi-tasking, and the ability to handle pressure and stress.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
FM is a great career path for someone looking for an opportunity to really grow as an individual, manage difficult situations and be a good relationship manager.

Any advice specifically for women thinking about a career in FM?

We need women to come and join FM so it’s not conceptualised as a male dominant industry.  I believe we women can really make a difference in building those deeper relations with our stakeholders and naturally earning their support and confidence – the essence of a successful FM.

Matt Milligan CFMANZ

Head of Property at Spark Arena / QPAM Ltd

What’s one skill that is overlooked?
Humour; learn to laugh things off. Yes, things will break, even after you have just repaired them. There is no point throwing your toys out of the cot, you will only need to get the wall re-painted!

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
I maintain Spark Arena to the building codes to which it was built, oversee preventative and reactive maintenance along with the building warrant of fitness requirements. Spark Arena is a multipurpose venue that needs to meet the operational demands of a variety of different-sized events such as concerts, sports, banquets, exhibitions, theatrical and ice shows.

Since opening in 2007 we have had a number of large projects where alterations or major upgrades were required and I’ve taken a lead role as the project manager. As a member of the senior management team and in addition to my property responsibilities I also take a lead role in the event day operations as the venue incident controller having oversight and responsibility for building operations and health and safety.

How did you get into FM?
When I left school I trained in mechanical/electrical engineering and from there I branched into a more technical and electronics field which left me with a varied technical background. In London, I ran the media services team at a university. When I moved to Auckland, I worked in events, setting up lights, sound and cameras before being approached by QPAM (then Vector Arena) who wanted someone to commission and look after a new building. The rest, as they say, is history…

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
The changing technology. For some time after we opened, I would run up to a plant room to override equipment at source if a computer failed or had crashed! It’s exciting to upgrade systems and see how much more you can now get out of everything.

What do you think are the most important traits an FM needs?
Be of mechanical mind but most of all curiosity! Roll your sleeves up, get stuck in, find out how it works, and don’t be afraid to ask.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. We have taken on a maintenance and electrical apprentice. The person we chose had limited experience but in his own time had been buying broken items from charity shops, then trying to repair them at home.

My facility electrician has been with me for a number of years as part of the team and has recently been appointed as the Facility Manager.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
Target shooting. I am a secretary of a shooting club, on the board of Target Shooting Auckland and a member of TSNZ. I recently completed certification and became a shooting range inspector recognised by NZ Police. Also activities with the family – fishing, walking the dog, rugby (but no longer coaching as the kids are grown up!)

Tracy Massam CFMANZ

Pou Herenga Whai Rawa – Manager Asset Planning with Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC)

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
Connecting with people, seeing them interact with and enjoy the built environment, knowing they have discovered cool spaces and innovations and are using them in a way that suits and was designed with and for them is what makes the job worthwhile. He Tangata – It is People.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
I’m privileged to lead an incredibly well-rounded team of facilities and asset management planning practitioners who help make sure the homes we manage are warm, dry, safe and secure so tenants and their whanau can get on with living their best lives.

I act as TRC’s asset owner and am accountable for the design of all the new homes we build and the development of planned maintenance programs for our existing 2,600+ homes across the suburbs of Glen Innes, Panmure and Point England, Auckland. Whai Rawa – Future Focused.

How long have you worked in FM?
I have 15+ years’ experience working across the fields of asset, facilities, property management as well as service development and delivery which adds a unique perspective to lifecycle asset management. Pou Herenga – Knowledge Repository.

How did you get into FM?
I love great design and seeing the connection between form and function come to life so when roles came up in property management and network planning at the Ministry of Education, I applied. I then got into facilities management and asset management planning and the rest is history. Mahi Pono – Doing Things Right.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
The job is as much about people as it is about buildings and services so having the ability to see and understand the connection between the building, the services that operate within it and the people that use both are extremely important attributes. Hononga – Joining Together.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
If you’re a long-term, big-picture thinker, curious by nature and have the ability to translate and communicate information calmly and clearly, Karawhiua – Give it a go.

Any advice specifically for women thinking about a career in FM?
FM needs more women!  We bring a different mindset to planning and delivery and I believe we are naturally more inclusive and supportive.

Finally, any advice for managers/ team leaders on how to forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers in FM will thrive?
Seek out opportunities to help lift each other up.  Set a great example and motivate other women to be their authentic selves in all things and in all spaces.

Raden Chavez MFMANZ

Site Services Manager, with Fonterra Brands (NZ) Ltd (Takanini Site)

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
I think an engineering degree sets you up really well for a career in FM.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
I am responsible for the maintenance of site services, utilities, buildings and facilities to keep the plant running 24/7. My role is to make sure that all maintenance schedules and activities are being implemented and attained 100% and that the building and facilities are compliant with regulations. This includes a wide range of assets, from a blocked toilet to ammonia refrigeration and steam supply.

How long have you worked in FM?
Over 20 years.

How did you get into FM?
I am a mechanical engineer by profession and started in tools in the vehicle manufacturing industry. Of my 32 years in manufacturing, 25 years have been in foods and beverages and the rest were in the vehicle, telecommunications and gas industries. I started as a manufacturing cadet engineer and over 20 years ago my career led me to maintenance engineering and facilities management.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
Every day is different. As I always say, “Better fix the job today or else tomorrow will be another job and it will be stacked up”. In our industry, you need to have ‘Kaizen’ all the time – continuous improvement to keep the plant running according to best practices by acquiring new methods and development from other industries.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
An engineering background is helpful and technical aptitude is really important, as is good time management and organisational skills.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
Volunteering. I’m a member of ALPHA PHI OMEGA (ΑΦΩ) Philippines Inc. Here in NZ, we have an APO Auckland New Zealand Alumni Association Inc. Currently, I am the Regional Director in the Administrative Region of the Pacific (Australia and New Zealand). We participate in humanitarian, community and environmental volunteering and services worldwide.

Samantha Whybrow MFMANZ

Property and Facilities Manager Central Region, The Order of St John

Briefly, what does your job involve?
I manage the property assets in the Central Region for St John.  A mixture of owned and leased sites. Overseeing and supporting the maintenance and renewals for all the buildings as well as responsibility for leasing.

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How long have you been in FM?
Seven years.

How did you get into FM?
My parents renovated many houses so I grew up around this.  When I had my children I was volunteering for Plunket and took on responsibility for their properties in Auckland. This led to me going back to university and doing a business degree with an operations management major. I left teaching and along with my property knowledge and new qualifications changed careers to become a facilities and property professional.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
That you’re keeping the places that people go to work in every day nice to be in and safe to work in.

What are the most important skills/ personality traits facilities managers need?
Be calm under pressure and be able to plan for what needs to happen next. Listen to the people who you work with and do what you can to help them.  Setting up good processes so you’re not reinventing the wheel all the time. Have a really good visual understanding of all the facilities you are responsible for. Trust and value the knowledge of your trades and suppliers; you can learn a lot from them.

What’s the one skill that is overlooked?
Future/big picture strategic planning.  We often work too much in a reactive space instead of taking the time to implement planned preventative maintenance.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
You’ve got to understand that our main role is customer service in the property space. If you don’t like fixing problems for customers then it will never be the right career for you.  Knowing your way around the built environment and all the services that are needed to maintain that is the best knowledge to have.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I love to cook and bake.  I ride vintage Vespa scooters and enjoy time with my family. I love my two dogs and traveling around New Zealand.

Anthony Goldsmith AFMANZ

Facilities Manager, Metlifecare Retirement Villages

How did you get into FM?
In high school, I was student representative on the property committee and one of my first jobs was as a supervisor on a large cleaning contract working with the client’s FM team on service delivery. These roles exposed me to many facets of FM. Prior to Metlifecare, I spent 14 years as an asset manager where I also assumed responsibility for many tasks related to FM.

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Briefly, what does your job involve?
I have responsibility for planned maintenance and BWOF-related activities ensuring that compliance is maintained for our villages. These works allow us to plan for future requirements such as lift upgrades or replacements and exterior painting programs.

How long have you worked in FM?
15 years internally; prior to that for five years with an outsourced FM services provider.

What do you enjoy most about working in FM?
I have always been curious as to how buildings work, what it takes to make them run and what it takes to keep them looking good. I enjoy working behind the scenes with our contractors, but I also enjoy meeting with our residents and hearing their feedback on what is important to them and then thinking how my role impacts their lives.

What do you think are the most important traits an FM needs?
Facilities Managers should be curious and inquisitive. They should be willing to immerse themselves in every aspect of the business they work in so that they know how their customers use and interact with the buildings and facilities they are provided and gain an understanding of what is important to ensure that they get the most out of the facilities. With retirement villages and aged care this has meant putting myself in the shoes of an average resident, which tends to be female over 80, something I am not!

What’s one skill that is overlooked?
Effective communication appropriate to the audience you are communicating with. Different levels of the business require different levels of information to enable decisions to be made about day-to-day operations. Providing too much information often gets glanced over whereas not enough can cause frustration.

Any advice for someone considering a career in FM?
Be interested and ask questions. There are many roles within a business that can end up on a path to FM. For people working within businesses with no ‘facilities team’ their role may be a quasi-FM role already; for example, the receptionist who looks after maintenance and cleaning requirements of their office may have an easy transition into an FM role.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy traveling. Prior to Covid, I spent a lot of time overseas as both my brothers and their families live overseas. I find I need to get out of the country in order to get away from my job and truly switch off!