For Episode 131 of the Asset Champion podcast, host Mike Petrusky welcomed Lesley Groff, CFM, IFMA Fellow, the Facilities Manager at Pep Boys, and Randy Groff, CFM, SFP, Director of Facilities and Energy at Four Seasons Produce.

They are both passionate about FM and active members of IFMA. Mike P discusses their career journeys, finding each other, and the importance of connecting with a supportive network or “tribe” in the asset management industry.

They explore the need to diversify knowledge and experience in facility management to add more value to organizations while gaining insights and learning from the experiences of other professionals.


The importance of networking and diversifying knowledge in the industry
Discussion on the role of IFMA in their careers
Advice for those starting out in the business


What you need to know: Facility and maintenance takeaways

Takeaway 1: Networking plays a critical role in career growth

One thing is agreed on between host Mike P, Lesly, and Randy: the significance of networking in the asset management industry.

They emphasized that having the right connections can help professionals add value to their organizations, solve problems, and tap into unique perspectives from a diverse range of experiences.

“Find your tribe. Find somebody who’ll tell you you’re wonderful, who’s going to be your cheerleader, somebody who will challenge you,” advised Lesley. She stressed the need for a supportive network that helps professionals grow and continuously challenges them. Randy echoed this sentiment and said, “Network. Network. Like Lesley said, find your tribe. Keep your mind open. Look for new opportunities. Look for ways to grow.

Mike P highlighted how the community nurtures connections and learning, emphasizing, “The value of the community here and the expertise that’s available… I think networking is very powerful, very meaningful, and it’s always been something I look forward to.”

Takeaway 2: Diversifying knowledge and experience add value to organizations

Lesley and Randy highlighted the importance of diversifying knowledge and experience within the asset management industry to stay valuable to organizations. They agreed that professionals should be open to learning from different industries and roles to broaden their perspectives and problem-solving abilities.

Lesley suggested, “If you can diversify, however you do that, I did it by being a little bit of a gypsy in the industry.” Elaborating on this, she explained how her experience across healthcare, public sector, utility world, manufacturing, and retail has helped her bring different insights to her current organization.

Takeaway 3: Facility management professionals can contribute to revenue generation

Lesley and Randy underscored the potential of facility management professionals to not just manage operations but also contribute to revenue generation. They suggested that professionals should aim to move from being boiler room operators to boardroom contributors.

Randy shared, “Facilities can be a revenue stream which nobody ever talks about. I’ve made the facilities department at Four Seasons a revenue stream in many ways.” He added that networking and understanding there’s more beyond the four walls of a boiler room can help facility managers make significant contributions to their organizations.

Lesley echoed this sentiment, saying, “We should not have to recreate the wheel in this business”, emphasizing the need for facility managers to leverage their industry connections and knowledge to add more value to their organizations.

Facility and maintenance insights

Networking and diversifying knowledge in the facility management industry is critical, as is mentoring and supporting others
Facilities teams need to move from the boiler room to the boardroom, signifying the need for recognition and value in their roles
Facilities can be a revenue stream and not just an aspect of a business to be managed


Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Do a deep dive into more FM insights by exploring all of Eptura’s Asset Champion episodes.

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Gabi is a London-based writer with 8 years of experience in copywriting and strategy across various verticals. She has been immersed in tech for two years, previously writing for a fintech company. Her specialities lie in long- and short-form writing, SEO writing and strategy, and market research. In her current role at Eptura, she covers the latest worktech and workplace experience trends.