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People | May 2023

The Vital Role of Facility Managers

In honor of World FM Day 2023, we spoke with a few facility managers to learn more about their careers and what drives them.

World FM Day gives us an annual opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary and essential roles of facility managers and their teams. Although their work may not always be obvious to people going about their day, facility managers are vital to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone in environments like offices, hospitals, factories, and so much more. Today, we’re highlighting and celebrating a few of the individuals who help us maintain our spaces, stay safe, and do our best work. 

Three talented FMs told us about their career history and shared what motivates them each day. Here’s what they had to say: 

Lourdes Avelar, Assistant Facility Manager in Carlsbad, CA

Lourdes says that maintaining a culture of open communication is a huge part of her approach to leadership. For her, developing strong relationships and a sense of trust across her team is key to meet or exceed client goals. 

“You always have to put yourself in another person’s shoes and try to understand things from another perspective,” she says. “I started my career as a receptionist, and I feel very fortunate to be doing the job I do now. Because of my career path, I try to stay humble, and I’m invested in treating people with respect and dignity—I think it’s the most important thing for a team to function well.”

For a facility manager to be successful, she argues that maintaining a sense of responsibility and holding oneself to high standards are necessary. Because FM jobs performed in client spaces require a certain dedication to excellence, Lourdes says she draws inspiration from her mother, who motivates her to be the best version of herself. 


“My mother is so hardworking and selfless—a real motivator and encourager,” she says. “She’s always been willing to push herself and adapt to new challenges, and it’s inspired me to do the same in my life. I feel like I was meant to be in this role because it’s helped me grow as a person, do interesting work, and collaborate with people I may not have met otherwise. This is a career that will expand your horizons.” 



Tim Hilty, Facility Manager in Mettawa, IL

A Navy veteran with decades of technical experience, Tim has done everything from mechanical work to establishing and maintaining a one-million-square-foot plant throughout his career. As a facility manager, he points to a keen attention to detail as his biggest asset. 

“I’m very driven and I always want to ensure everything our team does is to the best of our ability,” he says. “I’m particular about the way things are done, but I’m always willing to listen and give my team opportunities to share their ideas. Each day, my goal is to make someone’s day better—and that makes my day better, as well.”

Tim’s approach to work is centered around finding contentment in his daily responsibilities and bringing a service-oriented approach to problem solving. By striving for excellence and building strong working relationships with clients and colleagues alike, he finds tremendous joy and purpose in helping others. 

“I have a personal mantra: if you’re not having a good time at work, or if you can’t enjoy what you do, it’s time to find a new job,” he says. “Life’s too short to be miserable, and it’s important to both enjoy your work and the people you work with. And I really get a lot of happiness from working with my staff, client, and superiors at ISS, building relationships and doing the best job I can do.”


Jeff Linville, Facility Manager in Thousand Oaks, CA

As a facility manager since 2019, Jeff remains dedicated to growth and customer service. He takes a comprehensive approach to each worksite, wanting not only to know how everything operates, but also how to best connect with his team to develop a solid working environment. 

“One of the key things I’ve learned is to truly listen to my team—to hear their concerns, their stories, and their perspectives,” he says. “Only by listening can I fully understand who my team is as individual people.”

Working at a site that develops life-saving medicines, Jeff uses his ability to nurture talent and deliver client support to ensure excellent outcomes, especially given the importance of the facility his team supports. While he and his team aim to keep the client happy, Jeff’s biggest focus remains on the patients who rely on certain medications to survive and thrive. 

“We have a saying that, ‘Every vial has a name,’ which reminds us that everything we’re doing to support the site is really for the patients,” he says. “By successfully keeping the site’s buildings running, we help ensure our client’s great work of saving lives continues.”