Insight Blog

APPA's Conference to Cover Pressing Facilities Topics

APPA's Conference to Cover Pressing Facilities Topics

Decades ago, facilities management (FM) teams were simply responsible for making sure buildings were in good operating condition, campuses were well-maintained, and equipment was running well. As the saying goes, “facilities isn’t what it used to be.” Today, these teams are highly valued and respected as FM has matured into an ever-changing environment of advanced technologies and progressive operational concepts. Furthermore, it’s a component of institutions that directly impacts long-term success.  

APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities, one of the most prominent and progressive associations for educational facilities professionals, understands these facts well. Around since 1914, it has seen the FM sector evolve into what it is today. Next month (July 15th – 17th), it will hold its 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Denver, and from the program, it’s evident that the association understands what it claims. 

This year’s topics are surely those that keep professionals up at night, and if you’re involved in facilities yourself, you won’t want to miss out on the information to be shared. Helbling & Associates’ Wes Miller, Managing Director – Southeast Region, works extensively with higher education institutions in his region, as well as in others, and is looking forward to attending. The most difficult decision he’ll have to make, along with fellow attendees, is which presentations to attend because all speakers are going to share valuable insight and expertise. 

Miller says, "I’m looking forward to this year’s conference not only to reconnect with those I’ve worked with and meet new people, but to learn more about the challenges and opportunities for improvement facilities professionals are facing today and what they foresee coming in the future. APPA has a tight knit community of members, and it’s always impressive how eager they are to share their knowledge and experiences to better the industry.”   

Topics aren’t only going to be about the technical aspects of managing educational facilities, but also the pressing issues surrounding recruitment, talent management, and leadership development, such as:  

  • Creating, Cultivating, and Measuring Organizational Culture by Jim McConnell, Associate Vice President of Facilities Services, The University of Chicago; and Matt Adams, President of FM2 Consulting.
  • Creating Effective Teams by Jason Wang, Senior Director Physical Plant Management, California State University Northridge.
  • An Untapped Resource for Your Next Hire by David Reynolds, P.E., CEFP, F.SAME, Associate Vice President for Facilities, University of North Texas and Commander Marcus Williamson, P.E., U.S. Navy, Staff Engineer, The Joint Staff for the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • A Leadership Program That Works by Judie Cooper, CFM, Associate Director for Organizational Development, Smithsonian Institution. 
  • Why Words Matter: Future-Oriented Facilities Hiring by Dave Brewer, PhD, Director, Building Services, Infrastructure, Planning, and Facilities and Sabrina Hebeler, Chief of Staff, Infrastructure, Planning, and Facilities, both of Michigan State University.  

If you’re interested in attending but haven’t yet registered, don’t worry because registration is still open! Visit APPA's Annual Conference’s main page to learn more. If you’ll be attending and would like to get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with Wes before or between sessions, feel free to reach out to him directly at or (724) 935-7500 x120.