Member Spotlight – Chris Wilimitis
Friday, June 17th, 2022
The Biz Community is excited to shine our member spotlight on Chris Wilimitis! Chris has been an active member of the Biz Community for over two years and has helped to enhance the profession by sharing his knowledge and expertise with other members. He is always willing to lend a helping hand, and his dedication to the Biz Community is evident in all that he does.
1. How did you first become interested in Facility Management?
A combination of stops on my career path, starting with Plant Electrical Engineer with Chrysler (manufacturing) then Construction Supervisor with Ford Motor Co. then becoming a Facilities Engineer with Bristol-Meyers Squibb, which was my intro into FM and have enjoyed the opportunities and challenges ever since!
2. What motivates you to succeed at work?
One of the main themes in all the work we do as FMs is the involvement of people from many different stakeholder perspectives. I find that leading a team by creating a common focus and approach to facilitating the workplace for others is very rewarding.
3. What’s one major challenge that you’ve faced while working in FM and how did you overcome it?
It has been the same challenge, resulting from a lack of communication and transparency in the organization, sometimes from mixed agendas or lack of teamwork. The phrase “we are stronger together”, is absolutely true and applies to not just the core building or FM team but to the project team, workplace team, vendors, and consultants.
4. How do you handle stress in the workplace?
Focus on the positive, every day. It helps if you enjoy what you are doing, and FM is becoming a more diverse set of disciplines over time. There are so many aspects that need attention, on the surface or deep into expertise and now academia, which is truly exciting.
To take a break from the routine, I am involved with IFMA. I consider this a breath of fresh air in the field that I am grateful to be in. It is a chance to network, learn, and grow. It is an opportunity as some say, to get as much back as you are willing to give.
5. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Working with people, the blend of the technical field with the building structure, the workplace, communication, operations, safety, and security. As well, as opportunities for leadership and development, and the incredible responsibilities required of an FM. As a finance major in college, I enjoy managing each project or operations team as the unique business they are.
6. What upcoming trends do you see in facility management?
The field of FM is rooted in the hard service technical side of the industry. As we have progressed over time, the requirement to embrace the workplace as a whole now shares that spotlight, and it is here to stay. As each business and C-Suite looks to grow, their reliance on real estate and facilities increases over time, and this will continue to take more space within their strategic plans.
7. What has been your proudest moment while working in FM?
The culmination of all my experiences leading up to the role I am in now. (I can say this for each step along the way!) Having the current opportunity to work with so many good people, as I do now, does not come around at every step in one’s career, but when it does you really want to make it last.
8. What do you love about FM?
Finding the positive in each situation, plan or challenge or just each day allows me and others to accomplish so much more, professionally and personally. Each year is a learning experience, so each year we get to use those new experiences. It is truly rewarding to see others benefit from this growth as well.
9. What advice would you give to someone new to facility management?
Really understand your role as a team player. Learn, grow, and develop, take others with you. Surround yourself with good people, and always reach out to help those who may be struggling. Not everyone is going to see things the way you do or have the same work goals. Help identify and promote the common goals of the team, this will pay back so much in the way of overall success for everyone.
10. What do you think are the benefits of belonging to a professional community like IFMA Biz?
The opportunity to give, receive, explore, thrive, and enjoy what you do with others. IFMA is the global association for FMs and offers courses that benefit anyone who participates in them. The certification process is a big component, but also attending webinars, and just adding your contribution to the industry with so many channels like chapters, communities, or councils.