I am honored to lead the Charlotte Chapter of IFMA through these next two years as Chapter President. As I take the reins from our Immediate Past President Dallas Schwerin, I reflect on the ways that we have grown and brought value to the Facility Management industry here in the Queen City and surrounding areas.

The most well received change we made in the last two years was the rotation of our monthly Chapter luncheons between the facilities of our members. We visited SPX Flow, AvidXchange, the Federal Reserve, Roush Fenway Racing, Johnson & Wales and Presbyterian Medical Center, just to name a few. In each of these facilities, we were able to learn about the challenges our FM's face day to day and how they overcome them to provide a safe and productive environment for their employees and occupants.

Another shining star from the past year was the 1st Annual IFMA Carolinas Education Summit & Gala. This event, held in early March, brought together our five North and South Carolina Chapters for a half day of educational sessions followed by an awards celebration. Justin Barber of Highwoods Properties (Triangle Chapter) was awarded FM of the Year, Danny Havens of Pristine Environments (Upstate Chapter) was awarded Service Provider of the Year, and Dallas Schwerin of Cognizant (Charlotte Chapter) was awarded Young Member of the Year.

Unfortunately, we are all going through this pandemic, and it's impossible to continue our face to face to meetings and networking events. None of us know when this may end or when we may be able to meet face to face and shake hands again. It is for this reason that our board is making every effort to provide meaningful connections through the continuation of our monthly education sessions via Zoom, stepping up our social media engagement to share relevant information, and finding creative ways to bring us together.

We are also focused on our sponsors who make it possible for the Chapter to hold special events like the Golf Tournament and Holiday Party, as well as support our operations. We need to apply this same creativity to finding ways for them to share best practices and products with our FMs so that we are  better equipped to operate our facilities in these uncertain times.

At our recent Board Retreat, we laid out three goals that are aligned with IFMA's core values of LEARN, CONNECT and ADVANCE.

LEARN: Provide contemporary learning opportunities and networking events for career progression and development

CONNECT: Engage with membership to continuously share relevant and timely resources and make meaningful industry connections to improve facility operations.

ADVANCE: Create new sponsorship opportunities, develop a mentorship program and expand community outreach.

By focusing committee activities on these three goals, we aim to continue to build the Charlotte Chapter of IFMA into the leading organization focused on professionals managing and supporting the built environment in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

David Stephenson| IFMA Charlotte President, 2020-2022
Director, Consulting Specialties | Smart Building Studio
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