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a student again.
It has been more than 30 years since I sat in a
classroom all day, but this summer after teaching for 10 years at the IAAM
Public Assembly Facility Management School at Oglebay, I became a first-year
Now, why would someone like me want to sit in a class
all day, take notes, study on the free afternoon and take a test — two years
in a row? I’m not looking for a new job. My résumé doesn’t need beefing up.
I’ve been in the business for more than 25 years, so I’m not exactly a
You know the answer to that question if you have
It’s the whole experience. The “Wheeling Feeling,” if you will.
The classes are great and the instructors outstanding —
if I do say so myself — but it is really about the relationships you
establish in these five days of intense learning. While I’ve been enjoying
these benefits to a large degree as an instructor, I found the sense of
pride I had in actually being a student really magnified the experience for
me. Like PAFMS graduate and instructor Rich Singer, I can’t wait to
introduce myself as “Robyn Williams, class of 2009.”
That’s why all of you should attend if you haven’t. If
you are a graduate, then you need to send your staff. We are fortunate to
have the “Triple Crown” of facility management education available to us as
IAAM members. Aside from PAFMS, we have the PAFMS Graduate Institute at
Oglebay. There is also IAAM Europe’s European Academy for Venue Management
(Aug. 31–Sept.4) and the Venue Management Association’s Public Venue
Management School (Nov. 9–13). All these schools provide an intense
atmosphere of learning and camaraderie that can’t be found anywhere else. So
don’t miss out. When the going gets tough, the tough ... get to school!
See you in class!
Robyn Williams, CFE IAAM President
PS: I almost forgot. We’re going to shake up the president’s message a bit
this next year. Watch for details in the newsletter
Michelle Doumitt, assistant events
manager; Tom Bugas, assistant operations manager; and Judy Siemssen, sales
and booking manager, pose in the lobby of Hatfield Hall, one of the venues
for the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Doumitt and Bugas are PAFMS
graduates, while Siemssen is a Graduate Institute graduate.