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[PODCAST TRANSCRIPT] Episode 4: IFMA's World Workplace | Mayra Portalatin of FEA

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Mayra Portalatin - FM Innovator

On this special edition of the podcast, Mike Petrusky talks with Mayra Portalatin of Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) to help "FM innovators" make the most of IFMA's World Workplace! Connect with Mayra & Mike in San Diego on Twitter:


For more information, visit: IFMA's World Workplace


Show Transcript:

Mayra: You know one of the things I'm a little bit guilty about right now is not being ready for World Workplace, and I want to make sure that you are ready.

Mike: So lots of great content, lots of educational opportunities, do your best to make most of them. 

This is "The Facility Management Innovator Podcast" where we talk with FM industry leaders about workplace trends, challenges, and the future of the built environment. This show is brought to you by Kayrell Connections, providing information, consulting and marketing expertise to help organizations deliver workplace innovation to the facility management community.

Mike: Hey there, and how's it going? I am Mike Petrusky and welcome to Episode 4...(is it Episode 4 already?) of the Facility Management Innovator Podcast, and this is a very special edition of the show, this is the IFMA World Workplace 2016 special. Can we play some music, some fanfare music for that? That sounds like it deserves a fanfare...Welcome to the IFMA World Workplace 2016 special! [Cheers & Music]

Perfect, that's perfect. We are just about one week away from IFMA's World Workplace in San Diego, and I really wanted to spend some time talking about this big event. It's what I believe is the premier annual conference for the FM community. Sure, there are many other great shows and conferences out there and we will talk about some of them down the road I am sure. But World Workplace is really something special, don't you agree? When I thought about doing this special episode I said to myself, "Hey! Self. I mean, hey DJ Mike P, listen... noone's gonna want to listen to you for 20 minutes straight talking. So, we need to bring in a guest that can bring in some other perspectives and insights about World Workplace" And bam! The first name that popped into my mind was none other than Mayra Portalatin from FEA. She has been a very good friend of the show, she is one of the original "FM innovators" that we interviewed last year. It was a video interview, and if you haven't seen it, please, I encourage you to check it out. But, she is a good friend and very knowledgeable, someone who has been too many World Workplaces and she can talk very intelligently on the subject, so let's bring her in, welcome Mayra!

Mayra: Thanks, Mike, for having me. It's great to be here everybody, and looking forward to sharing some insights about World Workplace coming up.

Mike: Or should I say welcome "Mayra" [with Southern accent]? That's a joke! If you haven't seen the video...please check it out online at YouTube or the Kayrell Connections website. Mayra and I talked about her background and her love for education, and has really elevated facility management community through her credentials, and you have a lot of credentials...

Mayra: I have a few.

Mike: You want to talk about them? Let’s talk about those later. Actually, check out our interview because if you want to know Mayra, and you should know Mayra, you will learn a lot about her, and there's some shocking information you will learn in that video interview. I don't want to say what it is, but you will be surprised, right?

Mayra: That's right, no spoilers.

Mike: Spoiler Alert! So for today's episode though, Mayra, I wanted to bring you in because there are people right now... maybe on a plane, maybe on a train, maybe in an automobile... listening to this podcast, and they need to know how to make the most of IFMA's World Workplace. So with today's episode, we are laser-focused on World Workplace, coming up on October 5th through 7th 2016 in beautiful San Diego, California. Have you ever been to San Diego?

Mayra: Actually I have, I used to live in Los Angeles for seven years. I worked out there, occasionally got to drive down to San Diego. For work really, so I didn't get to experience as much as I would have liked to. So I'm looking forward to getting to do a little bit of sightseeing while I'm down there.

Mike: It’s supposed to be beautiful. The weather is like mid-60s to mid-70s this time of year from what I understand, and there's a lot to do. I checked out some local info about things to see while in San Diego...Mission Beach, have you ever been to Mission Beach?

Mayra: I have not.

Mike: How about the Balboa Park area? There's a bunch of museums, gardens, and the zoo is there.

Mayra: I've been in the area, but it's been probably now about 15 years since I've been out there. I'm sure it's changed quite a bit.

Mike: I heard the Gaslamp Quarter is pretty cool. The historic part of town. Have you heard anything about that?

Mayra: Well, I love historic buildings. I love looking at the museums, checking out the architecture of buildings, so it's probably going to be on my list of places to go.

Mike: And that's where the Padres play...at Petco Park. So maybe we can see...Oh, no! The Padres' season will be over by the first week of October. And they are, I think, in last place. So, I don't think we'll be seeing them.

Mayra: I’m also a Dodger fans so...

Mike: Oh, oK. So how are they doing this year, do we know?

Mayra: No, I'm focusing on a football right now, so I've lost all sense of what's happening in baseball.

Mike: But we do have the first place Washington Nationals heading into the postseason, so we'll talk about that another time. Let's talk more about World Workplace. So what is World Workplace? I took a moment to check IFMA's official website to get the official definition of World Workplace. Wanna hear what it is?

Mayra: Absolutely.

Mike: All right, see if you agree with this... IFMA's World Workplace is a hands-on interactive learning and networking event for professionals who support all aspects of the work environment. Together, we find solutions to common facility challenges. Together, we set trends in creating and sustaining livable, lucrative leading-edge spaces. We collaborate to innovate (I like that), creating opportunities for ourselves, our profession, our employers, and our world. What do you think?

Mayra: I think it absolutely captures the spirit of the conference. If I were to add anything to that, it would be that it is a place to help elevate the profession, and the facility manager.

Mike: Absolutely! And looking back to Denver, you were in Denver last year, I was in Denver, I've got the program here from World Workplace in Denver last year... I remember the theme was "collaborate to innovate", which I loved because about six months prior we had launched Kayrell Connections, and of course, we are all about delivering innovation, and new solutions to the FM community, so it really struck a chord. I knew I was onto something, and I'm just excited to be on board with the same type of philosophy, but who was that keynote last year? It was a guy who I really found entertaining and motivating. [Looking at the brochure pictures] That's Beth McKay, isn't it?

Mayra: Yes, it is.

Mike: One of our Chapter's very own, Beth McKay, was featured in the brochure last year... But the gentleman I was talking about was Josh Linkner. Josh Linkner was the speaker on innovation, and he gave his speech, and it was all about different companies out there, and all the innovative things going on. How to become innovative in your job, whatever it may be....And I went online and I looked up this guy and he's got a great message. He uses it across all industries. The fact that we were a facility management conference didn't matter. He adapted a little bit to it, but the message is pure, and the message is relevant across any industry really. The need to adapt with new technologies, and automation taking place, and staying relevant, and staying on top of our games, whatever industry we are in. So I really got a lot out of it, I think that was the motive behind IFMA using it as the conference theme. Any thoughts on that?

Mayra: I did happen to catch that keynote speaker, and I was pumped after that. It was high energy. It was just slides here and there, and you know I kept trying to tweet through the entire thing as well, just to kind of share some of his thoughts, and I loved it. If there's something that I always try to catch at these events, it is the opening keynote and the closing keynote. And do you know who's going to be our closing keynote this year?

Mike: I do. Do you want to tell everybody, if they don't already know?

Mayra: It's Steve Forbes! Are you signed up for that?

Mike: I am flying out right when he's speaking, so I'm gonna have to leave for the airport early and I will miss it, but I am very upset about that. I am a big fan, certainly anybody who follows my Twitter feed sees I tweet Forbes magazine articles all the time. I remember hearing Steve Forbes when he had some national prominence from his presidential run years ago. I really just admired and respected his business sense, and he is savvy, so I'm sure it's gonna be a great speech. What do you know?

Mayra: Well, you know you gotta want it, right? I mean...just change the flight, come on!

Mike: We'll see if there's not a huge penalty for doing so, I will try that. But let's talk more about this year's show in San Diego. The theme this year is: "The FM Story is Ours to Share". What do you think? I like that.

Mayra: Yeah, and actually the opening keynote is going to basically center around a number of FMs talking about their FM story, and I actually happen to be speaking at the conference this year. I have the privilege of co-speaking with Michael Hoffman from the General Services Administration and it's truly about telling his story, or the GSA story, on their path towards reliability centered maintenance. I'm excited because this is one of the things that I love about speaking, about teaching. It is about sharing stories, and best practices, and we're really looking forward to being able to finally talk about this. This is a project that we've been involved with for the last five years, so you talk about a long relationship, and being able to finally tell our story...it's going to be exciting! It was very fitting for us to finally decide to put in an abstract during this year, when the theme of World Workplace is "The FM Story".

Mike: That's awesome! Do you know the other people who are going to be telling their story? I know they've got it set up with like, the young professional, the experienced FM, all the way through to the senior FM. I think Teena Shouse is doing the closing session, if I am not mistaken. You know Teena!

Mayra: Absolutely! If you have not met Teena, you need to do yourself a favor, and attend any one of her sessions, get to know her. She is a powerhouse in the facility management industry.

Mike: I think my friend Carolyn McGary, who is someone I met in Denver last year...she's actually from the Denver chapter. I think she's the president of the Denver chapter if I am not mistaken, and she was quite the personality. We had a great time getting to know her a little bit last year, and she is going to be one of the featured FM stories, so that’s gonna be neat to see.

Mayra: Speaking of chapters, another great big pointer is to make sure that you connect with some of your own chapter members so that you have buddies to hang around after hours. Also, people that you might want to go to sessions with together, so that you're not hanging around on your own. So make sure that you connect with other chapter members.

Mike: There are so many times scheduled for getting to know people and building relationships. The Capital Chapter of IFMA, our chapter, hosts a big reception on the Wednesday evening of World Workplace every year, and this year it is at the "Emerald Hornblower Dock". What is the Emerald Hornblower?

Mayra: Well, actually, we thought to ourselves, wait a minute! We're going to be in San Diego. It's going to be perfect weather. We have to be on a boat!

Mike: Absolutely!

Mayra: Absolutely, so the challenge was, by the time you got out there to sea and come back, you've kind of lost some time, so we decided we're going to be on the boat, but we're going to stay in the dock! Because that way we don't lose valuable time, and that way people can come in and out without having been restricted to being stuck on a boat for two hours.

Mike: The best of both worlds...we get to experience a three-hour tour...but not be worried about becoming members of "Gilligan's Island". [Crickets, Crickets!]

Mike: So yeah, it's gonna be fun, and it's always a great time. Like you say, this is a chance and as I mentioned there are so many people that come out that you don't see on a regular basis at local chapter events, they get away from their own office and they have a chance to really break free, which is hard to do, so this is a unique opportunity to meet new people, and have great, powerful conversations, discussions. There are about a 150, I'm guessing, folks from our chapter that will be there, and that's just wonderful. I see so many people that I don't know yet after all these years in the Capital Chapter, and then meeting folks from other parts of the country. It's the same story you hear from other FM practitioners, other sales and marketing people who know what it means to be a valued resource to the FM community, that have really bought into the philosophy of proving their value to FMs, and really taking the opportunity to provide information and expertise on their particular product or service. The Expo hall, let's talk about the Expo hall...FEA will have a booth, right?

Mayra: Yes, absolutely. We will have a booth. We usually are located really close to "IFMA Central". So if you get to IFMA Central, you will find us. It's a great place to meet up with people, and if you are in the pin trading game, absolutely stop by and pick up a pin from the Capital Chapter. We would love to have a pin from your chapter as well.

Mike: I would love a pin from our chapter as well, too! So back to the fun part of World Workplace... We talked about the Chapter's reception, but there is also the welcome reception that IFMA always puts on. It’s a big party, and it's always great, and this year it's going to be on the USS Midway. Have you ever been on an aircraft carrier before Mayra?

Mayra: You know I have not. But, I have been on a bomber airplane.

Mike: Please, do tell. What more don't we know about Mayra?

Mayra: Well, back in college, I was being recruited by the Air Force, and one of the perks was to get go to one of their Air Force bases. And I was in one of the Bombers. I actually got to fuel to jet planes on the way there.

Mike: Totally cool! I'm jealous now! I did not know this! I thought I knew everything about you after our interview, but now this plus Nine Inch Nails?? Come on! Oh, spoiler alert! Thank you Mayra for being here today. Anyone listening who happens to be in San Diego, we would love to connect with you, wouldn't we? I can say for myself, Mayra would you like to meet people?

Mayra: Absolutely, I do hope to get to meet a lot of you out there. Do stop by FEA's booth and say "Hi". Please ask for Mayra, and if not there, you will probably see me running around World Workplace like I always do. I'm usually going from one session to the other, or going to a booth, or I'm teaching. This year I'm not teaching, but I will be presenting, so do come and see me on Thursday at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Mike: And you can tweet me @MikePetrusky, I'm sure you can tweet Mayra...

Mayra: Tweet me @MayraPortalatin... Hopefully, Mike will share my twitter handle on the podcast.

Mike: Yes, indeed, it will be in the show notes. If you want to look us up on LinkedIn and connect there, I am the only Mike Petrusky, I believe. There might be one other Mike Petrusky, in Pennsylvania, who runs a Gold's Gym or a, what's it called? Those, that really hardcore gym?

Mayra: I know nothing about gyms.

Mike: Ok, so there's a guy in Pennsylvania... I believe he has my name, but he runs a gym in Pennsylvania, and that's NOT me! If you see the picture, then you know that's not me. So, I am the "Mike Petrusky" who doesn't look like he goes to the gym very often, and you can find me on LinkedIn, and I think....are there any other "Mayra Portalatins" on LinkedIn?

Mayra: You know, I don't think I've found any, but if you look for Mayra Portalatin, I should be the first one that shows up. Just make sure that you're looking for someone that's in the Fairfax, Virginia area.

Mike: So, please look for us in San Diego. I may even have my microphone with me if you are willing and able to sit down for an interview, we might be able to arrange that, so reach out to me. I would love to hear your comments on this podcast. Please visit us at iTunes or just go to our website at KayrellConnections.com, look for the podcast page, and you will be able to listen online. But if you're not an iTunes person, like Mayra said she's not...

Mayra: Yeah I'm sorry, I just don't do Apple.

Mike: Well, listen... we're open to everybody. We are an "open source" podcast... so if you can't do it through iTunes, come to our website. But if you do iTunes, please subscribe and rate us because that helps us get our name out there and get the podcast recognized. We would love to have your support if we are bringing content and value that is worthwhile to you. Thank you all again for taking time to listen to our podcast. I will talk to you again soon on future episodes. Until then, have a great time in San Diego, make lots of connections, share industry knowledge, have a fantastic time collaborating with our FM community, and as always... Be an FM innovator!® Thanks so much, Mayra!

Mayra: Thank you, Mike! And I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of you out there at World Workplace. See you then!

Mike: Peace out!

You’ve been listening to “The Facility Management Innovator Podcast”. We hope you found this discussion beneficial, as we work together to elevate the FM community, by building partnerships that lead to innovative, workplace solutions. For more information about facility management collaboration and marketing resources, visit www.kayrellconnections.com.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE: http://kayrellconnections.com/episode4

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/facility-management-innovator/id1154571864


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