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Executive Director, Operations, Maintenance & Utilities

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: Maryland - College Park
  • Client: Higher Education
  • Search ID: 19-0506-16

Helbling has been retained by our long-term client, University of Maryland, to conduct an executive search to secure an Executive Director, Operations, Maintenance & Utilities. 

Position Summary / Purpose of Position 

The Executive Director is a senior member of the division's leadership team responsible for over 300 trades persons, engineering technicians, contract managers, project managers, utilities specialists, engineers, and incident response specialists. This individual will be responsible for a $25 million operating budget and a $20 million facility renewal budget, and the department oversees operations, maintenance, repair, minor renovation, and all utilities distribution and delivery systems for 14 million square feet of the campus’ facilities.  

In addition, the Executive Director is responsible for a five-year Interim Energy Bridging Program (IEBP) for the University’s central cogeneration plant, electric, and steam systems with responsibility to oversee development of the Next Generation Energy program for future privatization of those areas. Other responsibilities include ensuring Facilities Management support of the University's teaching, research, and service missions; ensuring efficient and effective service delivery by a diverse in-house and contract work force; and long-range organizational effectiveness driven by strategic planning. This position is a Unit Head with a large and diverse staff that includes seven direct reports and approximatley 300 indirect reports.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • 40% of time - Ensures the University's facilities and utility systems operate properly to support the University's teaching and research missions for students, faculty, and staff, 24/7.  Identify maintenance and repair requirements, establishes work priorities, and effectively and efficiently responds to emergencies in order to minimize impacts to service. Financial stewardship of the Operations and Facilities Renewal budgets to support all of the above, and advocates for additional maintenance and renewal funding, using data-driven business cases. 
  • 20% of time - Communicates with campus customers to identify service problems, establish priorities; works with faculty, staff, and students. Promotes a contagious and positive customer service and communications mindset throughout his/her organization using these interactions. Actively supports the Thriving Workplace Initiative.  
  • 15 % of time - Analyzes and improves performance by developing, refining, and using metrics and customer survey feedback in order to create a culture of continuous process and performance improvement.  \Ensures work tasks are completed in a timely, quality manner, and monitors efficiency and effectiveness of service provided. Performs these quality control functions through the effective use of various management information systems, including the FM Integrated Work Management System (IWMS). 
  • 15% of time - Through the Engineering and Energy Department, oversees operations and maintenance of the central cogeneration plant and associated utility delivery systems, using the five-year Interim Energy Bridging Program (IEBP). Supports development of the NextGen Energy Program, the future 30-year privatization model for the same systems. 
  • 10% of time - Performs continuous strategic planning and visioning for the most effective and efficient future delivery of operations and maintenance products and services, including right-sizing the organization and ensuring the proper mix of in-house and contract delivery of products and services.  

Direct Reports & Areas of Supervision

Direct Reports:
  • Director, Engineering and Energy (1)
  • Deputy Director, Operations and Maintenance (1)
  • Associate Director-HVAC Systems (1)
  • Associate Director-Renovation Services (1)
  • Assistant Director-Electrical Services (1)
  • Assistant Director-Facility Maintenance Programs (1)
  • Clerical Support-Executive Administrative Assistant II (1)
Direct Supervisor:
  • Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer, Charles R. Reuning


College Park, MD – greater Washington D.C. area

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park, one of the nation’s premier research universities, seeks a forward-thinking and action oriented Executive Director of Operations, Maintenance & Utilities.
Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland (UMD) at College Park is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, ranking in the top 25 for all public U.S. research institutions, as well as ranking 15th for most innovative school, 8th for best college value and 9th for entrepreneurship for undergraduates. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the University is home to more than 38,000 students; 9,000 faculty and staff; and 250 academic programs (71 in the top 25). The faculty includes numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and members of the national academies.  

UMD’s 1,335-acre campus is designated as an arboretum and botanical garden. It is located eight miles from Washington, D.C. in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor and offers unparalleled proximity to cultural, government and entertainment venues. The University is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff who support the school’s missions and values.  

The University has an active capital program with more than one billion dollars of new investment into the campus expected in the coming years, and it has been engaged in several large-scale capital projects including construction of new classroom and research facilities, infrastructure expansion and major redevelopment of student housing amongst other projects. In addition, the University is an active participant in the collaborative efforts to enhance the surrounding community to create a sustainable Top 20 college town.

Minimum Qualifications Required to Perform Work

  • Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, Architecture or related field (Engineering, Construction Management, Business). Master’s Degree preferred. Registration as Professional Engineer preferred.  
Required Experience:
  • Fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible positions in facility maintenance/construction in a multi-facility environment (8 of which were supervisory in nature).
  • Ability to work in a cohesive and collaborative team environment with the other departments of Facilities Management. Ability to thrive in a distributed governance political environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a large and diverse unit with a focus on customer service, improving processes, employee development, and fiscal responsibility.
  • Knowledge of facilities operations related to business administration, budgeting and control, and reporting.
  • Hands-on computer literacy and understanding of how to use an Integrated Work Management system to manage product and service delivery.
  • Working knowledge of modern facility management applications and data networks.
  • Demonstrated ability to implement processes that work toward improving customer service.
  • Demonstrated efforts to support and challenge employees.
  • Ability to cope with changing requirements, finances, and goals.
  • Knowledge of terms, skilled trades, blueprints, buildings, grounds, equipment, housekeeping, construction, repair, maintenance, and safety management as it relates to facilities operations in a multi-site or campus operation.
  • Thorough knowledge of the types and inter-relationships of codes related to construction, maintenance, and operations of buildings. Working knowledge of building codes, NFPA codes, and worker safety codes.
  • Knowledge of construction contract issues and different contract delivery methods.
  • Knowledge of policies and practices guiding work place issues regarding discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Ability to coordinate, supervise, and motivate the people within a large unionized organization.
  • Ability to enforce policies and procedures.
  • Ability to analyze problems and present courses of action to higher administration.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to support and conduct effective professional development and training efforts both personally and through staff.

Physical Demands of the Position

  • Work is performed in an office environment and requires the ability to operate standard office equipment and keyboards. Must have the ability to walk short distances and/or drive to meetings and project sites on or off campus.  
  • Incumbent will be required to travel to meetings and/or work sites. If driving a state vehicle, must possess and maintain a valid class C driver’s license or equivalent with fewer than 6 points.
  • Incumbent will be required to file an annual State Financial Disclosure form.
  • Incumbent is considered Essential (Catastrophic):  Facilities Management is a 24/7/365 operation.

Search Consultant: Wendy Zang

Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of Maryland is an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate in hiring on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact Staff Relations at 301.405.0001 and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that this phone number cannot be used to check the status of an application for employment.

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