Your Future... So Sodexo

Read stories about real Sodexo facilities people who help make a difference in the lives of people like you.

 

 

Lynn Baez, CFM, SFP, FMP, CBCP

Vice President of Operations for Facilities Management

 

What's the most important piece of advice you would give to women in Facilities Management?
Be flexible, agile and adaptable. FM is always evolving and what was true even 5-10 years ago is changing. We are becoming stewards and utilizing the skill of being open and flexible as we build the environment for future women in FM.

What do you personally enjoy most about working in FM at Sodexo?
What I enjoy the most is working with recruitment because there is such a diverse talent pool in the marketplace. As a leader in FM, it helps me look in areas such as IT and hospitality, which are industries that we did not typically consider in the past. People in these industries have talent and transferable skills. Getting the right piece of the puzzle for an account is so important, and when they all fit together, your team is unstoppable!

How has Sodexo contributed to your career growth?
In less than a year, I have had so much access to other accounts. The way they are designed and managed has given me the opportunity to leverage cutting edge insight that can be utilized internally or externally. I work on different types of contracts - domestic and global - and some use specific technology, some use different manpower, and this has really helped me as I grow my career.

Judy Yoder

Senior Construction Manager
University Hospitals Health Systems

 

How would you describe your role in a single sentence?
I lead and manage a large $20M capital asset management program at UH Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

What attracted you to your current role?
I have always worked in construction in roles including Engineer, Project Manager and Facilities Director. The capital asset management program interested me due to the complexity of the work. I was confident in my ability to lead the program with my many years of construction and facilities work.

What do you enjoy most about working in construction?
I’m passionate about my job and I thoroughly enjoy working on projects from cradle to grave. The satisfaction of seeing a finished project, through the design and construction phase, is an absolute joy. The finished project has a way of taking me into a new realm of thinking and helps me forget any issues during the construction timeframe.

What challenges have you overcome as a woman in construction?
The challenges of working on a construction site in 1985 were much different than today. I overcame the stigmas of working in a male-dominated field by working hard every day to prove that I could provide the same work product as my male counterparts.

In this business, it sometimes takes thick skin to be able to move past judgments and focus on providing a product you are proud of. Sodexo cares deeply about their employees and provides a diverse work environment where all individuals can succeed.

What can the construction industry do to support women and bring more into the industry?
There is a need to have more women in lead roles that can foster an environment to allow young women interns to imagine themselves working in this industry long-term. Women's forums and external and internal groups that would provide information to everyone. Women visiting colleges and high schools to discuss the benefits of working in this industry.

What advice do you have for the next generation of women in construction?
Work hard, don't get discouraged, be patient, listen and provide input wherever you can.

Is there anything else you'd like to share to better tell your story?
I’m proud to work in this industry. It’s been frustrating at times, but also joyful, interesting and always something different. It’s challenging but, most of all, it’s a job I have been proud to perform each day.

Debra Decapite

Senior Construction Management Manager
University Hospitals Health Systems

 

Describe your role in a nutshell.
I oversee the management of new build-outs and renovations of the ambulatory and community hospitals for University Hospitals Health Systems. This includes managing contracts, estimates, budgets and procurement (for architects, contractors, vendors and clients) to have positive outcomes within scope, schedule and budget.

What attracted you to your current role?
The ability to create and improve spaces that afford patients, employees and physicians an optimal environment for interaction, testing and care.

What do you enjoy most about working in construction?
The independence and ability to lead projects.

What challenges have you overcome as a woman in construction?
As a very direct and assertive person, I haven't had any challenges with anyone.

How does working at Sodexo compare to your work experience in construction or other industries?
I love Sodexo!!!!! Sodexo provides the support and training I need to perform my job. My Senior Director provides me with support that I haven’t experienced elsewhere in construction.

What can the construction industry do to support women and bring more into the industry?
Women who are independent and assertive and who have leadership qualities will have more success in this field. The industry needs to work with high schools, community colleges and universities to establish career tracks for women to get an understanding of what a construction career is.

What advice do you have for the next generation of women in construction?
Obtain your college degree. That is very important to receive promotions. Continually strive to improve yourself with certifications and training. Communicate well with architects, contractors, vendors and the clients. Establish that your word means something and you will have great success.

Patray Evans

Construction Manager
Corporate Services

 

How would you describe your role in a single sentence?
I facilitate and project manage tenant build-outs and office furniture changes and relocate staff within a six-building campus.

What attracted you to your current role?
I'm an interior designer by trade.

What do you enjoy most about working in construction?
The customer's responses in getting the job done—the "WOW" factor.

What challenges do you face as a woman in construction?
It’s a male-dominated field. Not everyone takes you seriously.

How does working at Sodexo compare to your work experience in construction or other industries?
Coming from the home-building industry, the client relationship is the same. You are working in the user's private space, where they will spend most of their day being productive.

What can the construction industry do to support women and bring more into the industry?
Provide more workshops and seminars geared toward the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated profession, like "How to Be the Head Chick in Charge."

What advice do you have for the next generation of women in construction?
Don’t be afraid to go for what you believe in!

Janine Debolt

Project Manager
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

 

How would you describe your role in a single sentence?
I manage a wide range of construction projects, from the design phase to construction completion, at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

What attracted you to your current role?
I liked the challenge and constant change involved with project management. I received my engineering degree but, instead of going into design, I found myself drawn to the field of construction management. I am definitely not a person who can sit still at a desk all day, running calculations or drawing on CAD. I enjoy the challenge of creating something new and being able to say, "I was a part of that" once it is finished.

What do you enjoy most about working in construction?
I enjoy how the job always changes. You never know what you will be doing day to day. You might be inside working on bills, drawing on CAD or catching up on paperwork, when an issue occurs on the construction site. Suddenly, your entire day changes and you may end up covered in mud troubleshooting an issue.

I also enjoy the challenge the job brings. Part of my job is working with our client to make sure we are giving them not only what they want, but also what they need. Needs and wants are not always the same thing, and it may be a challenge to get them to see it. I enjoy the challenge of overcoming problems that arise when building something. Even though a design may look good on paper, there are always little challenges that take place while building that design.

What challenges do you face as a woman in construction?
There are many challenges as a woman in the construction field. I’ve been lucky and for the most part have been treated well on construction sites. My personality has helped me to be able to fit in and be accepted.

However, I feel I’m constantly tested to see if I really belong, where a male counterpart could walk on a site without question. From being asked simple questions to see if I really know the answer, to having someone standing over me screaming to see if I’ll back down (I didn’t). I’ve been completely ignored or told my idea/solution was not correct until a male came up with the same idea.

Recently, our team was meeting with a sales rep for a ceiling product. The rep completely ignored me the entire meeting and didn’t even introduce himself to me. After the meeting, my co-workers pulled me aside because they couldn’t believe his behavior. Unfortunately, for me it’s a common experience. There seems to be an assumption that when there’s a woman working among men, they play the supporting role.

How does working at Sodexo compare to your work experience in construction or other industries?
I have worked in government and industry and at a college, and they all have their pros and cons. I really enjoy working for Sodexo, especially at my unit, Hobart and William Smith Colleges. With the all the diversity and inclusion policies and procedures, the challenges faced by women in a field like project management are reduced. With the support I receive, I feel I’m not only able to grow in my field, but excel.

What can the construction industry do to support women and bring more into the industry?
First, the construction industry needs to get rid the notion that women do not belong on a construction site. That stereotype still exists, but is slowly going away. Women are a large, untapped resource of ideas for any industry.

I feel change starts in our schools. Young girls need to be challenged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes. The idea that women are not good in science and technology needs to stop. Once girls start being empowered to do what they enjoy, the industry will change.

What advice do you have for the next generation of women in construction?
Speak up. It will be difficult at times, but make sure your ideas are heard. Also, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You will need to get into a trench, climb a ladder and possibly pick up some tools. The first time you refuse to get your hands dirty, you will lose any respect that you have gained.

Lori Alberino

Project Manager
University Hospitals Health Systems

 

How would you describe your role in a single sentence?
I help the client achieve their goals by managing the completion of construction projects.

What attracted you to your current role?
I enjoy watching an idea develop from the beginning and come to full completion.

What do you enjoy most about working in construction?
The many aspects of the field. Every day is a learning day, and no two projects are the same. I enjoy being able to help the client realize their vision and then being able to put that into action.

What challenges have you encountered as a woman in construction?
I’ve found construction is still a “man's world.” Some tend to not take a female too seriously in this industry. You must really assert yourself and show that you are just as qualified (if not more) than they are to do this type of work.

How does working at Sodexo compare to your work experience in construction or other fields?
Sodexo offers more training and really encourages you to be the very best you can be.

Do you currently have a mentor or have you had one in the past? If yes, how has this changed your professional development?
I’ve had both male and female mentors, as they both have a tremendous amount of knowledge. It is not what your gender is; it’s about the knowledge you have and your ability and willingness to share with others.

What advice do you have for the next generation of women in construction?
Don't hesitate to explore this field! It offers a wide variety of growth and knowledge. When entering the construction field, I don’t believe you need to be overbearing to compete. Be yourself, be strong and be confident with yourself. Don't be afraid to ask questions and speak up. You never know who will be your best ally!

Kelsey Hirsch

Sodexo VP Business Development

 

How did you get started in FM?
In 1995, I returned to the US after living in Germany with my husband, who was in the military. Fresh with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, and a few years of office / administrative experience, I responded to an ad for an administrative assistant for a real estate company. Within 18 months I was promoted to my first managerial position, managing the subcontractor services and entire operational budget for the state of Illinois, and at the end of 3 years was managing two states as an Area Manager/ Assistant VP.

Why did you choose to work for Sodexo?
By the time I was hired by Sodexo, I had a varied operational skillset, working for both a service provider and a corporation supporting corporate real estate portfolio. I had managed in-house maintenance crews and sub-contractors, built operational and capital budgets, sold small account services, managed tenant improvement construction projects, facilitated the outsourcing of FM services to a third party provider and participated in lease negotiations. Sodexo afforded me the opportunity to develop the FM business, using a self-perform model that focuses on the Quality of Life of those they serve and their own employees. It was a natural fit.

Sandy McCurdy

District Manager of Sodexo Healthcare Facility Solutions - Northeast

 

How does your work support Sodexo's mission of delivering Quality of Life?
The physical environment of a facility impacts the quality of life of both patients and staff. Providing a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing hospital is crucial to the patients healing and their experience. It also plays a critical role in staff retention and employee satisfaction.

What does your work mean to you?
The environment of care and physical building aspect of a hospital plays a large part in the patient experience. Our facilities management departments can truly affect the patient stay. No patient wants to be in the hospital so it is a necessity that we all do our part to ensure that their stay is as positive of an experience as possible.

What would you say about working at Sodexo? 
I love my job as a District Manager as I have been given the ability to share best practices that I have observed throughout the industry and put them in place in our facilities engineering departments. It has been great being able to break down the silos and create a cohesive, successful team.

Edward Collins

Operations Manager
Hobart & William Smith College

 

What would you say about Sodexo as a place to work?
I knew I'd made the right decision in August of 2007 when I started working here. The manager at the time was fantastic and made me feel at home right away. As a result, after only being here for three or four months, I felt like I've been here for a long time.

The compassion that Sodexo has for employees as a company is amazing. We really care about the employees that work for us and we do what we can to work with every employee. I'd say it's an employee driven company!

What's the work culture like at Sodexo?
It honestly feels like home. You work with people side by side, and it's a fun atmosphere. These people stand by your side through thick and thin, especially when situations go bad. I remember one day, a sprinkler line froze in the middle of the night and burst. Our general manager was there at 2:30 in the morning with me for the repair. I think it showed such a great sign of leadership and teamwork.

Howard Simmons

District Manager
Hobart & Williams Smith Colleges

 

As a "Sodexo for Lifer", what would you say about Sodexo as a place to work?
At Sodexo there is great career growth. I started out as a project manager in 1989 and after I spent a few years in that service, I moved over into Maintenance to be Assistant Director of Facilities. Every couple of years, I was provided with opportunities for advancement. Twenty-five years later, I'm a District Manager in western New York with responsibilities at both Hobart and William Smith Colleges and other colleges within this district.

Sodexo is also a company that I'm proud to work for because they are family minded. Not only do I have opportunities to grow and advance my career, but also to have desired benefits and compensation. Being able to grow my career, to raise my family in a beautiful community, and to have the company take care my needs is a dream come true.

How did your work at Sodexo impact others' lives?
"Making every day a better day for our clients" is a common theme within Sodexo. We walk around and check out the campus as if we are prospective students and their families. Hobart and William Smith Colleges expect a high quality of everyday solutions from us, as they maintain the campus at a high level.

How was synergies created between Sodexo accounts?
In our district, we started a Best Practice Program, where we share what managers in each college have done so that others can benefit from the knowledge. We had a biodiesel program that our grounds manager at Nazareth College developed, where we turn kitchen oil into biodiesel for our tractors and lawn mowers.

Another example was a safety training program called "where is viola?" It was started by the custodial team at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where the management team creates safety incidents in the buildings, and the team members will be invited to identify safety hazards at a particular location. This experience gives staff a first-hand experience dealing with everyday safety concerns in the building.

Christy Rager

Operations Manager
International Monetary Fund

 

How did your career in construction start and advance?
I grew a passion for the trades industry from my dad and my husband. My career started in an apprenticeship program that led to a position in the mechanical field. I progressed from a building maintenance mechanic to the manager of Operations and Maintenance at a small university campus.

Then I found this job at Sodexo, which is a part of a two million square foot occupied building renovation in the District of Columbia. I was initially nervous about joining such large-scale construction project, but it was a very welcoming environment.

What would you say about Sodexo as a place to work?
Sodexo is a great company with supportive management. There's a lot of expectation for this job, but you're rewarded for doing it right. Also, since it's a worldwide company, there are opportunities everywhere. When this construction project ends, I can choose to stay at this location with integrated facilities or move on to another project. The diversity here is truly wide, ranging from gender to languages, race, color, and nationality.

One of the moments that I knew this was THE company to work for was after the three-day "Get Live" training. I learned a lot about Sodexo's ethics and diversity culture, which was very impressive and made me feel like THIS was an absolutely great decision.

Tina Reitsma

District Manager, School Services

 

The future for women in Facilities Management and Engineering is booming. There are definitely leadership opportunities in healthcare, schools and campus environments. More and more, our clients are looking for the facilities expert who can also be a strong leader. Women can excel with knowledge in areas like safety, regulatory compliance, capital planning and engineering design.

Joseph Brutto

Facilities Solution Developer
Columbia, SC

 

What led you to your current position at Sodexo?

After 25+ years on the operations side of facilities management, I was very interested in expanding my knowledge and experience on the business development side of facilities management. My current role as a Solution Development Manager supporting Sodexo Health Care’s Facilities Management Business Development allows me to develop and create solutions that will add value for our clients so they can focus on their core business while we support their facilities management needs.

What do facilities management careers look like at Sodexo?

As a company, Sodexo is the only facilities management provider to offer comprehensive asset management capabilities globally and to clients in diverse segments ranging from corporate and healthcare to manufacturing, mining and oil and gas, which means we can offer a career full of variety, challenge and tremendous growth opportunities.

At Sodexo, we partner with clients to help them attain their strategic vision by developing facility management service solutions that increase the effectiveness of their people, enhance their business processes and optimize their infrastructure, which delivers tangible outcomes. Our clients depend on our facilities managers’ expertise to help them to optimize their business.

As such, the contribution of facilities management services to Sodexo’s revenues continues to rise, reaching 28% in 2014. This reflects the increasing demand of Sodexo’s clients for integrated services, as well as the industry-leading technical expertise of its teams, an expertise which is backed by the implementation of Sodexo’s Asset Management Framework. The framework enables the capture and standardization of best practices across all sites.

Therefore, Sodexo facilities engineers are proficient in project management software and financial accounting systems and have technical design knowledge of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Our facilities managers train and lead teams of employees and manage their unit and client relationships. And, we offer varied career options to match individual interests, such as managing overall Plant Operations and Maintenance or specializations in Energy or Clinical Technology Management.

What education should candidates consider to begin their career? 

There is a small, but growing number of colleges and universities that offer degrees in facilities management. Obtaining a college degree is just the beginning. Additionally, there are many certifications in facilities management that are available and are very beneficial to aspiring or growing professionals in this area.

It’s also important to understand that this business has evolved to a point where just knowing facilities management (boilers, chillers, HVAC, plumbing, etc.) doesn’t cut it anymore. Facilities management professionals today must possess/pursue equally important skill sets in financial/business acumen, as well as strong communication/relationship skills.

What does the future hold for facilities management careers?

This career field continues to evolve as more and more responsibilities are being placed upon facility management professionals. Sustainability is even moving in a new direction now; where in years past it was more geared towards new construction, today serious discussions are taking place on how to take existing structures and make them more sustainable through innovative ideas. As these and other best practices evolve, careers will continue to expand and grow as well.

What advice would you give candidates who are looking to grow their career with Sodexo? 

Network, network, network! You need to begin building relationships with Sodexo’s facilities teams and recruiters. And, as you search for jobs, set strong goals and objectives for yourself, know where you want to land, and be strategic in choosing positions that match your qualifications and will naturally lead to career growth. Once on board, Sodexo has a number of tools to proactively manage your career, as well as numerous professional development opportunities to support your career objectives.

Venus McCoy

General Manager
Shell Oil, Houston, TX

 

What do you get out of your current role that you couldn't get from any other work?

I get satisfaction from a job well done. Having two great mentors helped me gain knowledge from different resources and afforded me the ability to think differently and bring my whole self to work. Many dimensions of diversity are alive and well in this organization such as gender and minority, to name a few. This personally allows me to contribute to my full potential. Sodexo provides many development and training resources that facilities, engineering and energy management professionals can tap into, including professional certifications and Lean Six Sigma concepts.

How have you grown to succeed at Sodexo?

Being a General Manager at Shell Oil has challenged a different side of me. I have a very supportive leadership team that encourages me and thus brings out my creative side and strengthens my areas of development. This has allowed me to build a very strong collaborative relationship with the client and can ultimately represent Sodexo proudly.

How do you go “above & beyond” for a client?

One of my responsibilities is conducting tours of our site for “VIPs” from overseas. One area that we did not manage was the labs, which was not up to par by Sodexo standards. I knew the tours would lead to the labs and approached the client, stating that my team could get them deep-cleaned and could refinish the floors to enhance their beauty. My client agreed and the tour was a success. In turn, I received lots of compliments, as they expected something simple, but in reality, they were wowed because we took the time to go above and beyond a simple cleaning.

What advice would you give to someone who’s considering a career in FM?

In my current role, there is so much room for creativity and I truly enjoy it, considering my background in hospitality and degree in arts. This kind of work gives me enthusiasm and continually re-inspires me. Every career field has its challenges, but so does everything in life! If you take the chance and go for it, you’ll quickly see that being a General Manager for Sodexo a very satisfying career.

Kimberly Egloff-Boehm

Intrinsic Coach® Director, Quality of Life Services, Sodexo Corporate Services

 

For the last four years, Kimberly Egloff-Boehm has been the Director of Quality of Life Services for Sodexo with a large pharmaceutical account. Her original responsibilities included U.S. oversight of employee wellness programs, 10 on-site fitness centers and program integration of food and fitness delivery.

In 2012, Sodexo was asked to develop innovative service approaches for this account’s double-platinum Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) building in Philadelphia’s up-and-coming business campus, The Navy Yard. It was at this time the concept of a Workplace Concierge service emerged. Kimberly has developed this program, which includes a team of nine and supports customers in all aspects of workplace services, such as meeting room and event management, AV support and catering. On average, the team participates in more than 1,300 customer service interactions per month. In addition to the entire Navy Yard Transition Team, Kimberly was a recipient of the 2013 Spirit of Sodexo Platinum Team Spirit Award.

Since being given this stretch opportunity, Kimberly continues to provide support to the Fitness Program, oversees the Meeting Service line for U.S. sites and was recently appointed to the U.S. Transformation Team.

Predictions for the FM Industry:
“Although relatively new to the FM industry, I have already seen so many changes in client expectations. FM used to be solely about providing specific services in a designated space, and now it is growing into providing an experience in that space.”

Bob Pfeifer

District Manager East - Laundry Division, Lansing, MI

 

What led you to your current position at Sodexo?

A career progression led me where I am today. With each job and move (13 over 10 years), I took on additional responsibility at larger facilities. After achieving the most successful new opening ever for the laundry division, I was chosen for my current role.

What is your typical day like?

I am responsible for the complete operations at 7 different laundry facilities from Lansing, MI to Miami, FL. My responsibilities include profit & loss functions, as well as growing relationships with our clients. I also participate in new business surveys and cost modeling for the laundry sales team. An average day starts early with a trip to the airport. Depending on the week, I may travel to three or four states. It is important and necessary to juggle multiple concerns and to quickly be able to switch gears as they relate to one facility and client or another.

What are some of the challenges you enjoy most?

For me the laundry process has always been simple: find the best way to get from point A to point B and make sure everyone knows how to do it. That is not always easy when you could be relying on 100-plus people to be successful. Getting the team to buy in and share my vision is a major challenge.

What's the best advice you could give to someone looking to get into your field?

Learn the business by doing it. Start at the bottom and see what it is like to soil sort, run the washroom and feed sheets. In order to know what your facility is capable of, you need to understand how the processes/equipment work.

Learn more about a career with Sodexo in Facilities Management.

Richard McLaughlin

Regional VP for Operations, Sodexo - Healthcare Systems Division, Charleston, SC

 

What led you to your current position at Sodexo?

Prior to my current role, I spent a year helping launch our Right Start Resource Mobilization team, which supports the new unit opening process. The opening of a new site is a critical phase in determining the future success of our client partnerships. By serving on this team, I helped create a positive first impression during the start-up process. My career prior to that included positions as a Retail Manager, General Manager and District Manager in Healthcare.

What professional development steps did you take to improve your chances of being promoted?

I volunteered for everything! There is always a new unit opening or a challenge to be tackled somewhere at Sodexo. It's important to let your manager know your ideas to help solve these problems and, in turn, help the company grow. When you volunteer to be a part of new projects, you'll meet a lot of people, including leaders in the organization. The leaders I've met provided me with valuable mentoring throughout my career. I am still learning from them every day!

What advice would you give candidates who are looking to grow their career with Sodexo?

My advice is twofold. First, challenge yourself with a new project or brush up a skill and become the “go to” person. Second, don't be afraid to take a lateral move to learn something new. You'll be more knowledgeable in your field and bring more perspective to your new position.

Yolanda Holmes Williams

Operations Manager
International Monetary Fund

 

What made you come back to Sodexo?
I worked for Sodexo from 1995 to 2006, left for two years, and then came back for the job in DC. In those two years, I worked for other companies but none of them offered the opportunity to grow like Sodexo did. They also didn't provide the training I needed.

What's the Sodexo mentorship program like?
It will help you grow your career! I mentored one of the very first supervisors I hired, because I wanted to afford him the opportunity to grow within Sodexo like I had. He was a custodian for over twenty years, and wanted to become a supervisor. I ended up giving him that opportunity, and along the way I trained and mentored him to become a better manager.

Could you tell us a project you worked on?
The Deep Cleaning project was huge! The client and I worked together to come up with a game plan as to how we could start this project. The client and I worked hand-in-hand to develop the process. We knew it was successful because of the accolades we received from the staff members.

Horace Fulton

Operations Manager
Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, Nebraska

 

After working for Sodexo in Nebraska for eight years, I decided to transfer to a Sodexo account in Texas, which is where I’m from. I left that position after two years for an opportunity with another company. I returned to Nebraska for Thanksgiving and had dinner with my former General Manager. He mentioned that my old position was open and encouraged me to apply for it. I really loved it at Nebraska Medical and that’s one of the reasons I came back. Sodexo is an awesome company to work for. They’ve given me plenty of opportunity for advancement and education.

 

 

mobile-search-jobs
mobile-talent-comm
mobile-recruiter-conn

 
recruiter connection