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Elite agree - FM is different

Author : Tim Fryer

22 October 2012

One thing we can all agree on – FM is different every day!

Here at PFM HQ the excitement is reaching fever pitch as we career towards this year’s PFM Awards. At the big event on 7th November we will unveil the very best partnerships and projects in the FM sector and I can assure you that there are inspiring finalists in every category.

We do however not only look at the projects, we also have three categories that recognise people as well: The Team Member Award (as it will be known this year), The FMA Young manager of the Year; and of course the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 these three Awards were respectively won by Jo Wilson - Central Services Officer for Matalan, George Weekes – Senior Operations Manager at Balfour Beatty, and John Ellis one of the pioneers of the FM industry and who now runs Freidman FM.

I thought I would interview all three of them over the course of this year to get their different perspectives on their careers and the FM as an industry and you can read all three of these on our website (Jo Wilson – Help for the Helpdesk, George Weekes – Long Days for Weekes, and John Ellis – 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award).

All three loved the industry that they worked in and all three mentioned that no two days are the same. I think if you ask anyone in FM what they are going to do on any given day they will tell you what they intend to do, while realising that it is unlikely to actually happen as so much of the job is reactive. Apart from broad agreement on that, all three obligingly picked out winning their Awards as career highlights, but what else?

Despite arriving in the world of FM at different times in the industry’s evolution, none of the three had their hearts set on a career in FM as school-leavers. Jo worked as a sales assistant at Littlewoods, George wanted to be a volcanologist and John was an engineer originally. All three stumbled into FM following different paths, George following the most direct route through the Haden (Balfour Beatty) management training course, but it highlights a problem that has yet to be solved – nobody wants to go into FM, even if they thoroughly enjoy it when they get there!

And when they do get there, variety apart what is it that they enjoy. John thought it was the colourful characters that made FM so fantastic, along with the business challenges that need to be overcome. George liked the evolving business models and working with his teams to make them successful. Jo liked everything.

All three, while at completely different points of their careers, exuded enjoyment, enthusiasm and enviable energy. They clearly were worthy winners of their awards last year and it was a pleasure to interview them.

It is now only two weeks away from the unveiling of this year’s winners – I can’t wait to get a dictaphone in front of them!

If you are interested in joining us on the night, tickets are still available. Click here for more info.


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