Building a stronger Facilities team

Last Friday, the Facilities Leadership Team met offsite for a conversation about our future and opportunities. We covered a lot of ground in a wide-ranging conversation that was very effective in bringing us together as a team and helping shape our direction.

As we’re all acutely aware, our colleague Jennifer Sanguinetti is taking an exciting new opportunity outside UBC. A key discussion point from our session was what will be our best structure going forward. Our goals were to:

  • Provide better clarity of structure and purpose for each of the departments and how they fit into the Facilities group as one team.
  • Allow for better integration and cross-functional collaboration across the Facilities group.
  • Reinforce a full life-cycle view of how we plan, build, manage, maintain, and renew facilities for the campus community.

After a lot of thoughtful discussion and review, we’ve decided that we will not be replacing Jennifer’s role and the department name Infrastructure Development will be retired on the UBC Vancouver campus. As a result, we’re going to make a few key people moves in consideration of our goals:

  1. The Directors within Infrastructure Development (Denise Brown, Jay Hiscox, Nikii Hoglund, Teresa Syrnyk) will now report directly to the Associate Vice-President, Facilities.
  2. Oversight and coordination of major building development projects across all UBC campuses and sites will continue to be led by Denise Brown, Director, Capital Planning & Development.
  3. The UBCO Infrastructure Development team led by Natalie Walliser will remain the same.
  4. Karen Abel, our Senior Manager, Facilities Information & Inventory Systems, and her team will now report to Director, Customer Services & Informatics, Kishani Gibbons. This will allow us to align our major information systems (Planon, Archibus, NAV) under one department.
  5. Carmen Raiche de Araujo, our Manager, Staff Engagement & Client Engagement, and her team will also move to report to Kishani Gibbons. This will consolidate customer service and administrative functions under one department.

I want to thank both the Facilities Leadership Team and all the people in this new reporting structure for their support and thoughtful feedback. I ask each of you to help your teammates find solid support in their new structure and keep us all moving towards our purpose of providing seamless facilities development and operations services that enable students, faculty, and staff to excel in their work at UBC.

John Metras
Associate Vice-President, Facilities