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Summer Social Puts St. Louis First In Facility Management


First in shoes. First in booze. And last in the American League. That description of St. Louis harkens back many years, and only the middle moniker somewhat applies. OK, we are adding first in facility management to the description, too.

Nearly 100 members and guests got a first-hand look at the city’s ties to beer on June 21 when they gathered to celebrate National FM Day at the organization’s annual summer social event. The private party was held at The Corner Gates in the Cherokee District. The venue is located in the historic Lemp Brewery Complex, which was once the king of beers before that other brewery knocked it off its throne and labeled one of its beers the king.

Dating back to the 19th century, the space once served as the Lemp Brewery stables, holding the beer wagons and horses that delivered Lemp beer around St. Louis. Now, the renovated space connects the past with the present, maintaining its historic charm while our group marveled at its 13-foot tall chandelier, custom-made iron gates and rich décor.

We also mingled on the patio and enjoyed the comfort inside while sipping on beverages, noshing on some great food and sharing time with colleagues and friends, many of whom may become future members.

The evening also celebrated our chapter’s mission and direction by honoring this year’s award winners, installing the 2017-18 slate of officers and offering help by presenting a check to Cool Down St. Louis.

Honoring Achievements

As part of the FM celebration, two members and a facility received accolades. The awards underscore the value and contributions of facility managers in St. Louis who ensure that commercial buildings provide a safe, healthy and productive environment.

Honorees were:

Achievement in Facility Management Award: Tauquincy Neal, Facilities manager for the St. Charles City/County Library District

Tauquincy joined our chapter in September 2015. She jumped right in and hasn’t stopped since.

In early 2016, she began her journey to earn her Facility Management Professional (FMP) designation. After completing this, she immediately moved on to the Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) course. And Tauquincy successfully completed the curriculum to earn her SFP credential in early January. How many professionals can you name that earned both FMP and SFP credentials in just one year!

Neal started with the St. Charles City-County Library District in August 2015, as its first facility manager. She manages the day-to-day maintenance of all buildings and grounds, projects, and all contractors and vendors, as well as its delivery and supply operations. The library district comprises 12 branches in St. Charles City and County. She also is responsible for its administrative office.  

Distinguished Member Award: Jeff Touchette, Jarrell Mechanical Contractors

Jeff embodies the principle of service. When he joined our chapter five years ago, he made a commitment to get involved and engage with our members.

He has played many roles, serving as education, membership and program chair. As anyone knows, all of these positions require leadership and commitment. Jeff has never wavered in showing enthusiasm, dedication and leadership in every aspect of these volunteer positions. His service continues as he joins the board as our chapter’s treasurer so we are quite fortunate to have Jeff as a valuable member of our team.

Facility of the Year: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

St. Louis may no longer be first in shoes but it has made a mark in the bioscience field. A big part of this can be attributed to the Danforth Plant Science Center Expansion (DDPSC). The facility enables world-class research in plant biology, bioenergy and sustainable agriculture with lab, office, conference and community space for 100 new scientists.

Design plays a large role in attracting and retaining such talent. Its innovative features include Human Factor Design and Environmental Stewardship.

The DDPSC Expansion provides flexible, efficient and transparent research space. Large, highly efficient open lab “neighborhoods” share support lab facilities and are directly connected to write-up space. Ground floor labs are highly transparent, putting science on display.

Visual connectivity between the open labs and write-up areas and at enclosed offices and conference rooms is maximized with glass partitions. Shared support facilities and open labs increase interaction, and the atrium accommodates informal teaming activity and chance meetings around coffee and food.

A new atrium acts as a social center to the whole community and brings together researchers from both the new and existing labs for meals, coffee and informal meetings.

Additionally, the project targets LEED Gold certification. Environmental strategies include run-around coil heat recovery loop, smart lab exhaust, indigenous prairie and landscaping, green roofs, daylighting and a high-performance envelope with integrated solar shading.

The design transformed the landscape to be more indigenous, while building volumes are configured to interweave this landscape with the spaces inside.

Our members will get an even closer look at this spectacular facility when we hold our Aug. 9 monthly program at the center.

Welcome Your New Leaders

The chapter also announced officers elected to its Board of Directors. Their terms run from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

  • President, Jennifer Johnston, Murphy Co.
  • Vice President, Jacque Mattingly, Monsanto
  • Treasurer, Jeff Touchette, Jarrell Contracting
  • Secretary, Scott Held, Ameren Corp.
  • Immediate Past President, Nancy Cripe, GRS Auction Services

The following members have graciously accepted to chair our committees:

  • Sustainability Liaison, Chris Laughman, Federal Reserve Bank
  • Membership, Gary Wood, Stryker Construction
  • Marketing, Sean Gallagher, Bolyu
  • Education, Michael Wright, Ameren Corp.
  • Programs, Craig Miller, Webster University
  • Sponsorship, Karl Gnau, Veritiv
  • Advocacy Liaison, James Delgado, Cozad Commercial Real Estate
  • Golf Classic, Michelle Hoff, Vogel Heating & Cooling
  • Special Events, Kristie Gabel, Elite Cuisine

Providing Help

Everyone knows that St. Louis’ summers can be brutal. Once again, our chapter recognized the need to help so many less fortunate battle our hot, humid summers by donating $1,000 to Cool Down St. Louis. The nonprofit organization builds awareness and provides resources to help those in need avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths, especially the elderly and disabled, and needy families with critically ill children. Nancy Cripe, outgoing chapter president, presented the check to Lance LeComb, a board member, who represented Cool Down St. Louis.

What a great way to celebrate National FM Day and position St. Louis as first in facility management.