Blogs

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President, Facility Plus   32 years with Facility Plus  Benefits of being a Connex member? “It’s an awesome educational resource and a great way to learn from what others have experienced. The networking events, tradeshows and coast-to-coast marketing opportunities are invaluable. We’re big fans of giving back to the association.”  Thoughts on energy management? “It is the way of the future. If you’re not energy-conscious you need to change your way of thinking. This is an amazing time to be a part of this industry — if you’re open-minded, creative and interested in rapid change.”  A Typical Day “I believe in working on your business as opposed ...
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Former VP Store Maintenance, Luxottica Retail; current Consultant, NBFM Solutions, LLC   Thoughts on energy management? “I see this as an interesting and challenging field within facilities that could potentially save your company a lot of money.”  Benefits of being a Connex member? “You can increase your industry knowledge, your credibility and your industry network.” Advice for someone starting out? Define your responsibilities, goals and deliverables, and share them within your organization. Measure and report on your successes and opportunities throughout the year. Align yourself closely with Store Operations and Finance to ensure ...
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Volunteers and donations alike help those in need.    The Connex Foundation took it over the top during the Connex2019 National Conference. It exceeded the original individual fundraising goal of $5,000 and raised more than $11,500 in individual donations to support Foundation programs. Foundation volunteers completed a renovation project that changed lives.  An additional $21,000 was generated through sponsorships. The title sponsor of Connex Foundation activities during the conference was Facility Plus, which donated $8,000.  Foundation activities kicked off with a Top Golf tournament on Sunday that saw almost 100 attendees compete on the digitized ...
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Eight companies were honored at this year’s National Conference.   The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) presented its Advanced Roof Top Unit (RTU) Campaign Awards during the Connex National Conference.  The RTU Campaign is a recognition and guidance program designed to encourage building owners and operators to take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency RTUs. This effort is a collaboration between ASHRAE and RILA, with the U.S. DOE providing technical support to Campaign participants (through the Better Buildings Alliance and the Federal Energy Management Program).   The winners of the 2019 DOE Advanced RTU Awards are: Walgreens, ...
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Connex welcomes its new leaders.   The 2019-2020 Connex Board of Directors assumed office on April 30 during the 2019 Connex National Conference in Denver, Colorado. The new officers are:     Chair: Myriah Kingen Director, Facilities Management, DaVita Kidney Care Vice Chair: Matthew Whelan President/CEO, W Services Group Treasurer: Shawn Browning RFMP, FMA, LEED Green Associate, Facility Manager, Nike, Inc. Secretary: Jaclyn Frenzel Vice President, OnSite, Inc.     Immediate Past Chair: Jonathan Bauer Senior Director, Store Development, Gap, Inc. As Director of Facilities Management for DaVita Kidney Care, Kingen, Connex’s new Board ...
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The dedication of committee members does not go unnoticed by our association and the FM Industry.   Connex committee members are the driving force that continues to make Connex successful. We want to ensure every committee member is recognized for their hard work and dedication to the association, and we would like to extend a thank you for your service to Connex during the 2018-2019 year. Your time and energy has helped Connex provide quality programs, resources and valuable information to Connex members and the FM industry.  Benchmarking Committee Chair: Michael Bowman, LCBO Tom Flanagan, Academy Locksmith, Inc. Steve Goyette, Telgian Corporations ...
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The ProFM credential provides facility managers with knowledge and skills beyond the traditional.   Connex is proud to become an Industry Partner with the Professional Facility Management Institute (ProFMI), the founding body and administrator of the ProFM credential.  After researching several different Facilities Management certification programs, it was determined ProFM was the best choice for Connex members as they continue their efforts to elevate their knowledge and reinforce their credibility.  “ProFM is an excellent credential for Connex members because of its quality, relevancy and value. The credential is a great addition to the education ...
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A Job Well Done

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Congratulations to RFMP Designees!   The Retail Facilities Management Professional (RFMP) a mark of excellence achieved by an elite group of retail facility management professionals, is considered to be a milestone in an individual’s professional development and proof of the individual’s commitment to continuous improvement in the retail FM industry.  This designation was offered by the PRSM Association from 2007 to early 2019. Connex, formerly the PRSM Association, is no longer offering the exam for the RFMP Designation. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact education@connexfm.com .  The RFMP Designation requirements:  Have ...
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Three Cheers

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Members were honored with industry awards at the National Conference.   Connex, formerly PRSM, announced the recipients of the 2019 multi-site facilities management industry awards at the National Conference in Denver, Colorado. Recipients included:  U.S. Multi-Site/Retailer of the Year Award—Ross Stores, Inc. U.S. Supplier of the Year Award—CBRE | Facility Source Canadian Multi-Site/Retailer of the Year Award—Aldo Group and Staples Canada (TIE) Canadian Supplier of the Year Award—1-800-GOT-JUNK Young Professional of the Year—Jessica Fumo, Party City Service Excellence—Curt Picard and Bob Barnard Volunteer of the Year—Amanda Smith, Superclean ...
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Connex2019 Keynote Speaker Mel Robbins gets to the heart of motivation and leadership.   This year’s National Conference was an enlightening and invigorating experience for all who attended, but it wasn’t just because of the exciting unveiling of the new Connex brand. It was also thanks to the dynamic and empowering keynote address by Mel Robbins. The bestselling author and world-renowned public speaker inspired the Connex audience, explaining how, with simple changes, people can harness anxiety and self-doubt to transform their personal and professional lives.  Just 10 years ago, Robbins told the audience, she was in a rut. She was unemployed, her marriage ...
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Members aim high and reach wide during final PRSM National Conference.   Not even a late-spring snowstorm could stop the final PRSM National Conference from being a major success. From changing the branding of the association from PRSM to Connex, to the motivational keynote address by Mel Robbins, members rocked the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center for three days.  From across the nation, members arrived early to participate in the PRSM Foundation Top Golf tournament and tour cannabis store operations as well as the Denver Broncos stadium.  Action ramped up Monday morning as more than 100 attendees participated in the PRSM Foundation Impact ...
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Charge It!

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Expert tips and considerations for installing vehicle charging stations.   As more consumers switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs), one problem has cropped up: Where can EVs refuel? While gas stations have long been a feature of the American landscape, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) — or charging stations — have been few and far between. But that is changing.  Because retailers have to be attuned to the emerging needs of consumers, installing charging stations is an opportunity to offer an amenity at relatively little cost while bringing in a highly desirable customer base. On average, EV drivers have twice the national ...
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Going Solar

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Target is making progress toward its ambitious goal of generating cleaner energy for store operations. Retailers are leading the way when it comes to corporate solar adoption in the United States. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), nine of the top 10 corporate solar users in 2017 were retailers or mall owners. (Note: 2018 figures aren’t yet available.)  Target topped this list of solar energy adopters for the second year in a row by having installed more than 203.48 megawatts (MWs) of solar capacity. (In some cases, Target sells the renewable energy credits generated by such solar capacity.*)  The retailer completed its ...
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Batteries Included

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In the face of rising energy costs, battery storage can make retailers more resilient, more sustainable and more profitable. Faced with increased operating costs and pressure from environmentally conscious consumers, retailers have spent the better part of two decades trying to reduce their energy footprints. They’ve replaced traditional lighting with LEDs, installed energy management systems and spent millions updating HVAC systems. And yet, utility costs still constitute 35 percent of the typical retailer’s operating costs, according to the Connex 2018 Dynamic Benchmarking Report.  Clearly, energy efficiency is not enough. To impact their bottom line, ...
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Your Current Rate: What are you currently paying for electricity or natural gas? Are you on a variable rate or on a fixed rate? Your energy provider should be able to put together a product that works best for you.  Your Business Plans: Do you have leases that may expire? Are you planning on expanding or reducing your operations in a way that may affect your energy consumption? Do you have properties you can aggregate under one contract? Your energy provider should be able to provide a product that addresses your specific business plans.   What Is Included in the Proposed Rate? There are many ways energy providers can present rates. You need ...
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Power Prospects

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Lithium ion batteries may be the power source of the present, but what about the future? With scientists and tech companies constantly searching for more dynamic and efficient energy sources, several innovative solutions are in the works:  Wi-Fi antennas—Researchers have developed what they call a rectenna, a radio wave harvesting antenna that can pull energy from Wi-Fi as AC energy and convert it into usable DC power. This antenna, only a few atoms thick, is thin and flexible and can potentially be applied to a wide range of technology, including mobile devices and wearables.  Laser-made micro supercapacitors—Scientists at Rice University made a breakthrough ...
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Ambitious Reductions

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Target sets new goal for company and supply chain.   Target announced a new reduction goal for itself and its entire supply chain on March 27, 2019. The company plans to reduce its absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent below 2017 levels by 2030. Target is also committing that 80 percent of its suppliers will set science-based reduction targets on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2023. Currently, the company estimates 96 percent of GHG emissions related to its business comes from its supply chain.  “Our new climate goals will reduce our carbon footprint from source to shelf, as we work alongside our partners within our ...
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Customer Comfort

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Expert advice for facility managers in need of HVAC assistance.   Creating a comfortable environment for customers is a basic, yet essential, goal of every business. Walking into a building, consumers expect to enjoy a comfortable, controlled environment. However, people take for granted the amount of work involved — and the complexity of the equipment needed — to create a pleasant atmosphere for customers. As a facility manager (FM), understanding the ins and outs of your store’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system is a must.  Two HVAC experts — Frank Bacchetta, Founder, President and CEO of Total Comfort Group, and Walt Jacobe, York ...
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Welcome to Connex, the Power of Connection. If you missed our National Conference in Denver, you missed a lot! Most importantly, PRSM is now Connex. This rebrand is a significant plank of our Connex2023 strategic plan. Our new name and brand underscore the cultural shift our association is undergoing toward a culture of innovation.  Connex’s Culture of Innovation. Building and maintaining a culture of innovation is challenging for an almost 25-year-old organization. In the January/February issue of Harvard Business Review, Gary Pisano discussed “The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures.” Pisano mapped out challenges to successfully building and maintaining ...
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As a first-time attendee of Connex, I was very impressed with everything the show had to offer.  The networking and education opportunities were so valuable, and the Veteran’s job fair was a great way to provide support to the men and women who have served our country.  In my position as Business Development Manager for Royal Services, it is imperative that I not only make new connections but build on existing relationships as well.  Connex provided so many opportunities for me to do just that.  The Women in Action networking events were so important, as they brought women, as well as men, together for a common goal: to empower women in the workplace.  The ...
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