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Chapter News


Holiday Social Rings in the Season

"Tis the season” so our chapter celebrated the holidays in a grand and giving fashion. More than 65 members and guests gathered at Beyond Broadway on Dec. 6 to share the spirit of the season.

We did so by spending time with colleagues and friends both old and new. And what a perfect spot to do so. The historic building once housed the A.E. Schmidt billiards factory. Dating back to 1847 and overlooking the original banks of the Mississippi River, its rustic setting features a grand stone fireplace and punched tin ceilings. It certainly brought the feel of an old-fashioned holiday party.

“It was a quaint venue that afforded the opportunity to network with IFMA attendees and meet a few spouses in a casual setting,” says Erin Valentine, chair of the chapter’s marketing committee and director of business development for McCarthy Building Cos.

“We also enjoyed a full meal, complete with a smores station and cocktails to really celebrate the season.”

It was more than a time to share fellowship and the feast. Our chapter never forgets the reason for the season. Once again, we provided much needed funds to Heat Up St. Louis. The charitable organization builds awareness and provides resources to help those in need, especially the elderly and disabled, and needy families with critically ill children, avoid illnesses and deaths during the area’s bitter winter season. We are honored to continue to support this organization over the past five years, including during the area’s scorching summer months.

Fire Captain Garon Mosby represented Heat Up St. Louis and accepted our donation on their behalf.  He underscored the importance of helping others by relating a recent story of a family’s home destroyed by a house fire. Unfortunately, the family needed space heaters to keep their home warm. Heat Up St. Louis works to help those in need avoid such tragedies, he noted.

We also used the occasion to honor one of our most loyal and dedicated members. Jennifer Johnston, chapter president and service account manager for Murphy Co., presented a Lifetime Service Award to Rich Janis. After 28 years as a member, Rich is officially retiring, Jennifer notes.

“Rich joined our chapter in 1991 and has served on the program and education committee for nearly 20 years,” she says. “He also served on the board of directors for six years, while hosting committee and board meetings, monthly programs, coordinated and presented more than 25 educational programs throughout the years.” 

Rich worked tirelessly to keep members abreast of the nuts and bolts of facility management, ranging from utility incentives to utility rates, from sustainability to design trends, from HVAC troubleshooting to building management ideas, she notes.

“Rich’s constant focus was to share his knowledge and expertise while presenting quality educational programs to the professional facility managers,” Jennifer says of his lifetime of service to the chapter and its members. 

Special thanks to all who attended this special celebration to ring in the season, serve others and honor Rich. And we couldn’t have had such a great evening without the guidance of Kristie Gabel of Elite Cuisine who made the arrangements as our special events chair.

Tis the season so best wishes for a joyous holiday!


Sustainability Snip It; Go Solar And Save!

Ameren’s Smart Energy Plan in Missouri includes $28 million in solar rebates. Homes and businesses can apply for the rebates starting on Nov. 1, 2018, with rebates for qualifying customers available on Jan. 1, 2019.

This exciting news also comes when solar is at lowest cost ever! Federal tax credits provide 30 percent with full depreciation during the first year. This brings cost reductions up to 47 percent! Add another great opportunity since Ameren offers a $.050/W incentive, which knocks off another 25 percent or so of the cost.

Commercial clients can purchase a 25-year power plant for up to 72 percent off its retail cost. The payback period for this investment is less than five years. Residential clients can expect cost reductions around 55 percent with system paybacks under 10 years.

There’s no better time than now to reach out to your IFMA St. Louis Energy Services partners to find out more about solar. Learn how smart energy can help your company’s bottom line while you also benefit the environment with a sustainable resource.

Sustainability Chair -  Keegan Corrigan @


Market, Workforce Shape /Real Estate Decisions

As companies weigh whether to renovate or relocate their real estate, facility managers need to consider several factors. Nearly 70 members and guests learned how market conditions and a company’s work force shape those decisions. Three panelists provided information during the Real Estate and Project Management program on Nov. 14.

Danielle Grubbs, senior associate with Cushman & Wakefield, gave an overview of today’s commercial real estate market. Warren (Sonny) Rogers, director of real estate for MilliporeSigma, addressed the internal and external resources needed to consider options and to finalize any deal. And Patrick Shaw, associate vice president with Cushman & Wakefield, outlined the factors to weigh in deciding to renovate or relocate in today’s market.

Whether your company renovates or elects new space, the panelists noted that the planning process takes from two to three years.

Overall, the St. Louis office market remains tight in high demand areas. Large, contiguous blocks of space are at a premium. This includes growing demand for urban locations such as the Cortex area in St. Louis.

As companies plan a renovation or relocation, there’s an opportunity to evaluate the type of young talent they want to attract and retain. Millennials and Gen Z workers are tech savvy and mobile, panelists noted. Consequently, the traditional office settings aren’t as necessary. Flexible work stations, smaller conference rooms and technology are key elements in today’s offices.

Companies also are adding amenities to their work space. Cafes, on-site gyms and game rooms are now common features that appeal to younger workers.

Many thanks to MilliporeSigma for hosting and sponsoring this informative program.