Thank you for the opportunity, to serve as your president for the coming year. 

I have been associated with this chapter for my entire career as a facilities professional, which began in 1997.   A large part of the success, I have enjoyed in my career, is due to this chapter and the mentoring I have received from current and past members.   In the beginning of my facilities career; Dick Kusch was a great mentor for me, and I would like to thank him publicly, at this time.  

I don’t want to just look at the past, I very much want to look at the future. I believe that we have an opportunity and a duty to, reach out to new professionals entering our field and help them in their careers and actively promote their goals.  Developing our next generation of leaders is a key goal of mine.

Which leads me to my next topic:  to introduce Jill Elliott to the members. Jill is a newer member joining in the last year. She has great energy and great insight.  She and all the new members are the foundation for how this chapter will evolve in the future.  She has accepted the role of vice president.

Normally, in most associations the president is an old hand that has been involved with the organization for years. The vice president may typically be, like the president, a person involved for years… This provides continuity and steady leadership but, over time, it can lead to a:  “that’s the way we have always done it” view point.  I actively recruited Jill to break that paradigm.  We look forward to working as a team and flattening the top down leadership curve. 

New people bring new energy and new ideas!  We want to champion their growth and development. Jill and I want to help them use that energy and those new ideas to spark growth of our chapter and our industry.  

We will also encourage all of members to look at the people they work with on daily basis.  Look at:  supervisors, lead workers, and your front line field staff.  We should be encouraging their participation. This should not be just a club for “The Managers”.  This will be the message you hear from us on a continual basis this year. 

As we all know, we are in unprecedented times. Times that will bring a lot of change and a lot of reimagining of the new workplace. Both Jill and I look at this as an opportunity to re-evaluate what it means to be in this profession and the major impacts we make on an organization. We’re excited for the year ahead and can’t wait to shake things up!


Francis Balthazor, IFMA Madison President


As I step into the role of IFMA Madison’s new Chapter President, I wanted to take the time to reflect on what we as a Chapter have done this past year and the vision we have for the future.

During my time on the Executive Board of Directors, I have been blessed to volunteer alongside so many incredible people. These are people who are passionate about our Chapter, who are inspired by each Member to make our Chapter stronger and motivated to develop a Chapter that provides easy access to knowledge, networking and collaboration within the Facility Management industry. Over my past 3 years on the Board, I have witnessed commitment and dedication that cannot be matched!

Kendall McWilliams has worked diligently as the Chapter’s President to ensure that our Chapter was able to carry out the goals and challenges that were developed by the Executive Team when he took over the position. He dedicated himself far beyond what was expected and did not stop until achievements were made. He has high expectations of himself and exceeded the expectations of what anyone could do as President of our Chapter. Kendall’s perseverance will be tough to copy, and I am thankful for everything he has done, and will continue to do, for IFMA Madison. 

Mark Schwenn, Dirk Mason and JR Roethke have all shown unrivaled commitment to the Chapter as they have served on the Executive Board. I am confident that their enthusiasm and eagerness to see our Chapter succeed will continue on for a very long time. Additionally, our Teams have had a high level of involvement and oversight from our very own membership who each are the lifeblood of everything the Chapter does. We continue to get better because of the countless hours that these volunteers dedicate to their teams and the Chapter. Lastly, I look forward to working with Francis Balthazor as he steps into the Vice President position. He is an industry leader who is ready to make an impact with the Chapter!

Earlier in 2019 I attended IFMA’s Facility Fusion in Atlanta which is dedicated to Chapter leadership, development and growth. There were many eye-opening and “A-HA!” moments at this event and I took away three very specific goals that I want to challenge myself, our Executive Team and our membership to focus on in the next 12 months:

  1. Increase Volunteer Involvement and Engagement
  2. Attract and Increase Student Involvement/Membership in the Chapter
  3. Explore and Develop New Ways for Membership to Network, Connect and Mentor

I realize these are not easily attainable goals and I realize these are goals that will require resources and commitment from the Chapter. I also realize that if we can succeed in implementing these goals, we will have a stronger, more vibrant, more involved and more energetic Chapter.


We take on challenges without really knowing what is being asked of us or how we are going to accomplish them. We work until the problem is solved - not until the clock says 5:00 p.m. and then walk away. We help everyone who asks us to help and we do not expect a celebration after the issue has been corrected. We are responsible for millions of square feet, thousands of clients and an endless count of people but we get up each morning and think to ourselves “I’ve got this!”. At the end of the day, we can always look back on what we did and realize we had a positive impact on people, buildings, communities and “the bottom line”.


Would you please consider getting involved in the Chapter over the next 12 months and help us develop and implement the goals I outlined above? I am certain you will be rewarded in so many ways!!! I know you will absolutely love what the Chapter is doing, and you will be an active participant in helping form its future! Please, get involved and let’s work together to create some amazing new ways for our Chapter to define Facility Management in the Madison area - it is a fantastic way to get the most out of your membership!

I look forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming events and helping however I can to make IFMA Madison an organization that continues to be the best group of Facility Management professionals around!

 - Todd Greenwald, IFMA Madison President

January 2017 Newsletter Print

President's Report

I know we’re all into the New Year but I wanted to reflect for just a moment on 2016 and the people who made it great!

As many of you may know, one of my biggest priorities as a leader is that I want to Empower People! I feel if you empower your people they can soar and WOW… can they do amazing things! You just need to let them go. One example in my life is a job I got from a cold call I made to a privately-owned medical provider. This company provided critical care to people who were in great need. Now, there was no job opening at this place of business, but I still charged into the business office where I just happened to meet the CEO. I told him that if he hired me, I could help him make his business great. Little did I know at the time, but 15 minutes later I was newly hired on just a handshake. Then a funny thing happened - some eight years later the new HR director came to me and said, “JR you need to fill out a job application.  Here is the employment application form - please fill it out so I can have it on record.” I said “Of course, fine, but remember… I was hired on a hand shake and I would leave if that handshake was to go away.”

On a seemingly unrelated note, I hope you had the chance to go to this year’s Holiday party, as it was a wonderful event. The event was planned by your executive team as a whole but I want to recognize one person in particular, as she really made the event a smash! So you may wonder who I am talking about that made this year’s holiday party so good…. Well, it’s none other than your immediate Past President, Leah Samson.

As part of the planning process the executive team asked Leah to:

1)      Think outside the box and take this year’s event to a new high.

2)      Look for a venue that was exciting for members.

3)      Provide great food and beverage options.

4)      Hire a band to rock the house for hours

5)      And most of all I, as your President, I wanted an event to draw out our members to an event that perhaps they would not normally have attended.

As the Team put forth our requirements to Leah, we knew she would not disappoint us. She took the ball and went running with it!  The event was a hit and all five requirements were met! As I greeted as many people at the door as I could, I found myself talking to many of the members that said that they had never attended an event or had not in many years! This made me very happy to say the least. Our chapter was able to reach out to a few members who perhaps any other year would have just stayed home.

So as I look back on the 2016 holiday party, I am glad that for so many members it was a great success. And as for empowering your people… well, I think Leah’s efforts this year have said it all.  Great job Leah Samson, you made a real impact on 2016.

JR Roethke, President 

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Lunch Bunch

The February speaker will be David Bavisotto and will speak on "Qualifying Contractors"

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The IFMA Madison Chapter has been Chartered since 1985. As the Association has evolved in its structure and grown to meet the expanding needs of the professional facility manager, the structure of Chapters have evolved with more formalized structure. This month, the Madison Chapter will ratify and adopt new Chapter by-laws. By-laws are the foundation of the Chapter Operations. They describe how our chapter does what it does, by whom and when. As our Treasurer prepares our annual recertification, the newly adopted Chapter by-laws will be included with that submittal to IFMA International. 

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Monthly Tour Recap

As past president it is my job to plan the annual holiday party. As we were cleaning up the 2015 holiday party discussions started on trying something new. This led us to asking The Edgewater to host us for the event. They provided a lovely venue with views of Lake Mendota and the Capital as well as delicious food that was all consumed except the fruit. Apparently, no one wants to eat fruit during the holiday season, no wonder the waist bands seem to grow!


Our past president Kyle Roux and band played great music. They got many of us dancing! Always a good time has been had when the facility mangers get out dancing. There were ugly sweaters and some really cute ones. But Team Gene Post and Melissa  Schumacher won the contest. This is Gene’s second time winning with his infamous ugly sweater.


Thank you to all who attended to share laughs, holiday spirit, and good times. I hope to see you next year. 

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Our theme is “Bridging the Multigenerational Gap”.  We will be focused on helping our members, sponsors, and guests understand the challenges of the new millennial and to give them the tools they need to identify opportunities to help them build value for their organizations to begin taking advantage of.  

Read more here: 

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