Facilities Weekly

Frank Laezza appointed Vice-President, Finance & Operations (VPFO)

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Frank Laezza as UBC’s new Vice-President, Finance and Operations.

Mr. Laezza will join us from Murdoch University, Australia, where he is Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for leading the university’s business and finance functions, as well as for the management of its financial and capital resources. Prior to this, he worked at Technical and Further Education State Vocational College (New South Wales Australia), University of Technology, Sydney; and University of New South Wales, among other institutions. In addition to his strategic financial and operational leadership, Mr. Laezza has experience with IT transformation, including Workday; and major capital works project oversight.

Mr. Laezza will be starting in his new role on or before March 13, 2023. We look forward to welcoming him to the university where he will bring his expertise to supporting the vision and goals set out in UBC’s Strategic Plan: Shaping UBC’s Next Century.

I would like to thank the members of the search committee who were instrumental in helping to find such an outstanding candidate to fill this role. I would also like to thank John Metras, Karamjeet Heer and Yale Loh for providing interim leadership to the Vice-President, Finance and Operations portfolio.

Professor Deborah Buszard
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

Read the full UBC Broadcast


Save the Date: Facilities Holiday Celebration   

You are invited to join us at the Facilities Holiday Celebration at The Nest during one of the following times:

  • Breakfast (Weekend/Night shift): December 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 am; Performance Theatre in The Nest
  • Lunch (Day shift): December 14, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm; The Great Hall in The Nest
  • Dinner (Evening shift): December 14, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm; The Great Hall in The Nest

Please complete the form to RSVP and indicate your food preferences: bit.ly/FacilitiesHoliday

We look forward to celebrating the joyous holiday with you!

Shared electric vehicle charging at the University Services Building

Many of the shared electric vehicles are no longer able to charge at the EV charging stations in front of USB due to inactive charge cards on the key rings. This currently only applies to the five older model stations out of the seven, but we anticipate that the remaining two will follow suit after the end of November.

The arrival of the new charge stations has been delayed due to supplier resourcing challenges. Until the new stations arrive, please follow the below steps when returning a vehicle key to ProxSafe as of November 14:

  1. Do not use charge cards attached to key rings as they will not work in most stations.
  2. If your vehicle at the end of use requires charging (%30 or less), please park at a charge station and leave the charge port door of the vehicle in the open position.
  3. Lock vehicle with charge port door open (do not plug in) before returning the vehicle key to ProxSafe.

A designated person will attend to the EV vehicle parking after 3:30 pm each day and plug in and charge all vehicles that are parked at charge stations with the charge port doors in the open position.

If someone signs out a vehicle key and notices that the vehicle’s charge is very low and requires immediate charging, please see Stores staff who will be able to assist. Additionally, there will be one charge card that works on all charge stations added to the ProxSafe, available for anyone to sign out for immediate charging needs.

If you have any further questions on the above, please contact Paul Harris and or Tamas Weidner.

Updated Facilities Policies & Procedures: UBC De-Energization and Lockout Program 

Safety & Risk Services is in the process of updating existing I-B Safety Policies and Procedures. Policies I-02 Isolation & Lockout has been updated to become the university-wide De-Energization & Lockout Program. As such, UBC Facilities I-B-02 Isolation & Lockout has been retired.

Below is a list of key changes:

  • Existing I-B-02 has been updated to reflect a UBC wide program document
  • Requirement to use a personal ID brass/stainless tag is now removed
  • New safe work procedure template created for managers and supervisors to use
  • Shop lock will also be referenced as continuity lock because not all UBC departments will have shops
  • Outlined the 5 steps for every de-energization and lockout process.

The new UBC De-Energization and Lockout Program document was reviewed by the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees within UBC Facilities.

Facilities staff who perform work that involves de-energization and lockout should review the updated UBC De-Energization and Lockout Program document, which can be found on the SRS website.

For questions, please contact Lori Takenaka, UBC Facilities Safety Advisor (lori.takenaka@ubc.ca).

Annual Respirator Fit Testing: Book Your Appointment Now

Get ready for Annual Respirator Fit Testing by booking your appointment now! Appointment times are now available for November and December.

Similar to previous years, staff can sign-up themselves and complete the educational component online through Canvas.

A reminder that for an employee to use a tight-fitting respirator (e.g. full-facepiece, half-facepiece (ex. reusa­­­­ble elastomeric styles, N95, etc.), they must complete a fit test prior to their first use and annually thereafter.

For questions, contact Lori Takenaka, UBC Facilities Safety Advisor (lori.takenaka@ubc.ca).

UBC Parking Alert – Rose Garden Parkade Closure for UBC Graduation

A reminder to all permit holders that UBC Parking permits will not be valid at Rose Garden parkade on UBC Graduation dates from November 15–25 from 6:00 am–5:00pm.

Faculty & Staff permits will be valid at all other multi-level parkades on in addition to Faculty & Staff surface lots. All Rose Garden Student permits will be valid at Fraser, West, North, and Thunderbird parkades.

Learn more

Last chance to nominate your colleague(s) for the 2022 Facilities Staff Excellence Award!

UBC Facilities provides recognition and rewards through the Staff Excellence Award (SEA) Program, to staff who have consistently demonstrated excellence in the performance of their work and service to the university.

The winners will be chosen by the Staff Excellence Awards selection committee and winners will be announced at the Facilities holiday events in December 2022.


Staff with a minimum of one year of service who are actively working in UBC Facilities at the time of the award presentation. For the Kim Nulty Award, a minimum of five years of continuous employment with UBC Facilities is required.

Award Categories 

  • Leadership Development
  • Asset Stewardship
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Safety and Wellbeing
  • Inspiration: The Kim Nulty Award


Submit a nomination online or complete the attached nomination form. Please send the completed paper nomination form to facilities.vpfo@ubc.ca on or before Friday, November 18, 2022. 

Learn more: facilities.ubc.ca/SEA 

Participate in Facilities’ United Way Campaigns!

Win the 2022 World Cup finalists’ lottery

The 2022 FIFA World Cup starts on November 20 to December 18, 2022. To help fundraise for the United Way campaign, Facilities has started a World Cup finalist lottery, similar to a 50/50 draw.

Did you know that there are 496 different possible team pairings that might go to the World Cup finals? Try your luck! Buy a ticket to get matched with ONE of those 496 team pairings. Each ticket will be allocated in a random draw to be matched with a pair of teams that might go to the finals. Tickets are 1 for $2, 3 for $5, 7 for $10, or 15 for $20.

How do I win?

There are group matches starting November 20. Each day, teams from each country will play against each other. Teams will be eliminated after each round. First and second place winners will be announced on December 14.

Tickets will be on sale until November 20. Look out for our ticket sellers, or contact Caroline Macleod (caroline.macleod@ubc.ca).

For questions, contact Darko Jelic (darko.jelic@ubc.ca)
Join the Great Dip Off on November 23

Do you have a winning dip? Register your team and join our first UBC Facilities United Way ‘The Great Dip-off’ on Wednesday, November 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the University Services Building (USB) Atrium.

Just want some chips and dip? Donate a minimum of $5 to the United Way for a plate of chips and unlimited tasting! Help decide the winning team for the ‘People’s Choice Award’.

Team criteria 

  • Register a team (up to three members)
  • Create a team name
  • Prepare a minimum of six cups of dip
  • Provide a list of ingredients at your table
  • Decorations are welcome

To register your team, email Hoi Ying Yu (hoiying.yu@ubc.ca) by November 16.

Get involved: How do you champion VPFO’s strategic plan?

What do VPFO’s Strategic Directions mean to you? How does our Strategic Plan help you grow personally and professionally? How does your work impact the university?

Through sharing about your work and people, you can help other departments gain a better understanding of what you do, how you connect to others in the portfolio, and how your team helps move the strategic plan forward.

Complete the questionnaire on the VPFO website to share your story and get involved.

Note: The VPFO Communications & Engagement team will reach out to schedule a virtual interview and photoshoot when it’s time, which may range from 3-6 months.

Preparing for Cooler Campus this Winter

The temperatures have dropped and winter conditions are coming to our campus. With the cooler weather outside, UBC’s heating energy will go up to compensate. A reminder to bundle up and dress appropriately to stay warm and safe from the winter elements.

We encourage you and your team to practice these less energy-intensive methods to stay warm and cozy this season:

  • Layering up! Grab a sweater or blanket. Layering can help adjust your body temperature by putting on and removing items to maintain an even level of comfort while you work or study.
  • Checking that windows are closed before leaving your building. Ensuring doors, windows, and window blinds are shut/closed and latched to keep heated air in the room it’s intended. When windows are left open overnight, your space will likely be cooler when you arrive and may take more time to reach a comfortable temperature level.
  • Check that vents in your area are free from obstructions. Make sure air can flow freely in your areas to ensure heat is evenly distributed in your space.

By taking these actions, you are helping to address climate change, and will help you preserve heat, stay comfortable and save energy!

Learn morefacilities.ubc.ca/coolercampus

Welcome to the team

  • Gardenia Honório transitions into her new role as Business Operations Manager in Customer Services and Informatics. She will lead the Facilities Service Centre, Clerical and Staff Records team, support training and other Facilities initiatives.

Job openings

All positions at UBC are available on the UBC HR Careers website, or through the career application in your Workday account. Please note that applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on the day prior to the posting end date. The following VPFO positions are currently open:

  • Evening – Full-Time Service Worker (7 Positions) (JR10443) – 11/16/2022
  • Millwright (JR7181) – 11/18/2022
  • Power Engineer (EWS) (JR10419) – 11/21/2022
  • Head Service Worker (JR10486) – 11/22/2022
  • Relief Shift Team Leader (EWS) (JR10427) – 11/23/2022
  • Trades 2 – Bricklayer (JR8528) – 12/30/2022

Don’t forget to apply as an internal candidate! Please review the Apply for an Internal Job Posting guide in the Workday Knowledge Base for instructions on how to apply. Reminder to attach a copy of your resume when you apply for a career opportunity in Workday.

EDI: Equity, diversity and inclusion in climate action in Canada

Two climate activists recently threw maple syrup on a painting by Emily Carr at the Vancouver Art Gallery to bring attention to the global climate emergency.

Whether or not you agree with their method of getting the point across, we can all agree that climate change is a pressing topic that impacts everyone, especially marginalized communities.

Marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by climate change

Climate change and its effects are not experienced uniformly. Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), particularly those from lower economic countries, are disproportionately impacted by changing climatic conditions.

Read about the four ways in which these social groups are disproportionately affected by global warming.

Diversity in climate conversations 

Ironically, the communities most affected by changing climatic conditions are the least likely to be invited to participate in discussions.

It is important to include a broad range of perspectives in Canada’s conversation on the climate crisis to truly represent all people living in Canada, specifically those most affected by climate change.

Read this article by Aisha Poitevien, a development officer at the David Suzuki Foundation to learn more

Emergency tip: Emergency car kits

Emergency car kits are an essential part of our personal emergency preparedness. Whether we are commuting to and from work or going on a family vacation, we spend increasing amounts of time on the road. A good emergency car kit should have the following items:

  • Water and energy bars
  • Flashlights and road flares
  • Booster cables
  • Blanket and extra clothes
  • First aid kit

For a complete emergency car kit list, visit the Government of Canada’s Get Prepared website.

Managing your mental health

Human Resources has collected mental health resources to help you manage your ups and downs. To view more workshops, webinars and events visit the HR event listing.

Representatives are always available for a confidential conversation:

  • Monica Haab (monica.haab@ubc.ca): Building Operations, Energy & Water Services, Customer Services & Informatics, and Infrastructure Development
  • Gregor MacDonald (gregor.macdonald@ubc.ca): Custodial Services and Municipal Services

In case you’ve missed it

In case you’ve missed it Here is a quick recap of key events and information that you may have missed. For more details, please click on the links below or refer to our weekly portfolio newsletter, VPFO Update.

Thanks for reading!

Find this newsletter and past issues on the Facilities website

For questions and content submission
Email: facilities@vpfo.ubc.ca.