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Executive Director, Facilities Management

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: Virginia
  • Client: Institution - Higher Education
  • Search ID: 19-0202-16

Helbling has been retained by a public university in Virginia to conduct an executive search to secure an Executive Director, Facilities Management. 

Position Summary / Essential Job Functions 

The Executive Director of Facilities Management is responsible for all areas of maintenance, operation, and renovation of existing facilities on the university's campus, which is currently more than five (5) million SF, as well as the planning and construction of future facilities. 
This position provides leadership in supervision, performance evaluation, coaching, guidance, and encouragement to the department, while ensuring a strong level of commitment to the university and divisional mission. Facilities Management departmental values include service, respect, stewardship, collaboration, creativity, professionalism, integrity, and craftsmanship.
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Business Services, the Executive Director manages a departmental operating budget of $56.5M, in addition to a large capital program currently in excess of $350M. With four direct reports, the Executive Director has responsibility for full and part-time employees totaling approximately 620. 

Individual departments reporting to this position include Operations (Building Support Systems, Mechanical, Scheduling, and Trades); Environmental Services (Carpet Cleaning, Housekeeping, Integrated Pest Management, Landscaping, and Recycling); Engineering and Construction (AutoCAD, Engineering, Facilities Planning and Construction, Sustainability, and Utilities Location); Support Services (Accounting, Storeroom / Warehouse, Building Inspectors, Events, FM Information Technology, and Transportation). 


  • The Executive Director of Facilities Management provides leadership of the department to ensure top quality design, construction, maintenance, and 24/7 operations for the university.
  • Ensures that Facilities Management staff is connected to the institutional mission, vision, and values and an ongoing sense of continuous quality improvement in customer service and functional effectiveness.
  • Leads the functions of Facilities Planning and Construction, as well as Facilities Engineering to develop a culture of project management based on accountability for time, quality, and cost.
  • Sets departmental goals / expectations and establishes monitoring system for Facilities Management departmental budgets and accounting functions, capital accounting and reporting, and interdepartmental budgets with university auxiliary customers.
  • Evaluates needs and provides recommendations / requests and priorities for budget initiatives.
  • Plans and monitors the use of expenditures to meet organizational objectives and allocates resources, procurement, and contract planning to ensure operational and fiscal stability.  The operating budget for the Facilities Management department is $56.5M.
  • Directs all facilities maintenance administrators in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, and provides for their training and performance evaluation.
  • Sets department goals / expectations for, and monitors Facilities Management employee productive work hours and work order backlog to ensure timely delivery of services; determines the appropriate staffing levels within the department; and verifies an acceptable level of employee productivity.
  • Provides direction and a means for collecting data and information for the development of, and ensures timely submission of the maintenance reserve requests and provides structured support to, customers for auxiliary reserve requests.
  • Interfaces with outside consultants on departmental performance reviews including efficiency and layers / spans for organizational management structure. Follows-up on results of reviews.  Reviews organizational structure of Facilities Management to ensure current makeup reflects and serves institutional needs.
  • Implements and monitors special / non-traditional Facilities Management projects throughout summer and holiday breaks that are time sensitive.
  • Establishes direction for and oversees customer service improvement initiatives through central functions including Work Control, BAS, Video, and Alarm Surveillance, and Life Safety Systems.
  • Improves diversity in Facilities Management staffing.
  • Leads the planning and development of, implementation, and continuity structure for a Facilities Management Sustainability Action Plan. Interfaces with campus OESS on initiatives and cooperative efforts with customers that further the institutional environmental sustainability goals.
  • Assures compliance with all safety, fire, environmental, and other regulatory requirements.
  • Develops strategic short-term and long-term maintenance plans as required for the operation of the university.
  • Works well with other members of the university and represents the department and the Division of Administration and Finance on selected University committees.


  • Substantial career in the operation, design, or construction of facilities that incorporates at least seven (7) years of progressive and successful facilities management experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with diverse populations and customer groups, including employees in a wide array of occupation and educational backgrounds.
  • Ability to work well with faculty, staff, students, architects, vendors, engineers, and contractors.
  • Demonstrated ability to monitor projects to ensure timely completion and budgetary compliance.
  • Ability to produce and monitor plans, project scopes, and project budget projections.
  • Superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Progressively responsible positions in facilities planning, design, and construction organization in a public sector or similar environment preferred.
  • Knowledge of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and procedures related to design and construction in the Commonwealth of Virginia preferred. 
  • Prior experience with the Commonwealth of Virginia Division of Engineering and Buildings preferred.

Education Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

Search Consultants: Wendy Zang and Aubrey Allen

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