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Member Profiles

David Acquaviva

Divisional Vice President, Procurement, Sears Holdings Corporation

How long have you worked in facilities management?

I’ve been with Sears Holdings Corporation for 29 years and in Procurement for just under 12 years where one of my responsibilities is the facilities portfolio. This includes facilities management and procurement for all Sears Holdings Corporation brands such as Sears, Kmart, Sears Home Services, Sears Automotive and Innovel.

Why were you interested in FM as a career?

The portfolio allows me the opportunity to see tangible and immediate results. It irritates my wife when we go shopping. While she is shopping, I am looking at who made the shopping carts or what type of flooring is used or the logos on the housekeeper’s uniforms. This is why Procurement with a FM portfolio as a basis is exciting. It allows for the ability to acquire the best ideas from the marketplace/physical locations and apply those applications to your individual portfolio of stores. 

What is the most interesting FM task you have been asked to do?

From a procurement standpoint, the contractual elements are the most interesting aspect of the job. Depending on the business climate of the respective retailers, the goal may be consolidation or diversification of the supplier base in a particular portfolio. I enjoy the challenge of negotiating and finding a solution that works well for people on both sides of the table.

What are the main benefits you get from being a PRSM member?

Interaction and education. On the interaction side, you don’t realize how many suppliers that you collaborate with until you’ve been in PRSM a couple of years. It’s amazing how many suppliers in the group are now suppliers for Sears Holdings Corporation. The other side is education. Every time I go to a PRSM event, I walk away smarter. 

What PRSM committees have you served on?

I have been in the Sourcing Committee for several years. This year, I am a member and previously I have also held the position of the Retail Chair.

What advice would you give to someone entering the FM industry?

Be ready for 10 different things in a 10-hour day. Whatever you plan that morning, plan on it changing. You have to be willing to jump around here, there and everywhere. Also, the relationship between procurement and facility management is key. Neither one can live “in a bubble” and both teams need to collaborate on a daily basis.

What do you see as the biggest challenges to the retail FM industry and why?

Systems integration appears to be a large challenge. Many new products are being introduced to the marketplace and the IoT (Internet of Things) allows the retailers to become more educated on the day to day actives that were overlooked in the past. The challenge is to integrate these systems into our current infrastructure.

Kaitlyn Gibson

Owner, Fusion Mechanical Services, LLC

How long have you worked in Facility Management?

I’ve been working on the service provider side of facilities management for about 10 years. It all started with an opportunity to intern in the accounting department at an HVAC/R company while attending college. I had a great boss and mentor who fostered my professional growth by allowing me to be involved in many parts of the business. 

Why were you interested in FM?

My father owned his own business building and repairing residential houses, so I was surrounded by various trades throughout my childhood. Once I was introduced to Commercial HVAC during my college internship I knew I wanted it to be my focus.

What are the main benefits you get from being a PRSM member?

I’ve found that the biggest benefit of being a PRSM member has been the networking. I’ve had many opportunities at the PRSM conferences and local PRSM events to network with current and potential customers as well as other vendors. The relationships I’ve built at PRSM have led to great business opportunities and allowed me to grow professionally from the knowledge and insight of other service providers. 

What advice would you give to someone entering the FM industry?

Get involved. Learn from customers, vendors and industry veterans who’ve been working in facilities or in the trades. Remain engaged. Stay on top of latest trends and changes taking place in our industry. 

What do you see as the biggest challenges to the FM industry and why?

The biggest challenge facing our industry is the workforce shortage. As the workforce is aging and retiring, less young people are becoming involved in the trades. I recently attended a HVAC course at a local technical school and there were only eight students in the class. As a business owner thinking about future hiring that was concerning. It will be imperative to promote careers in the trades to grow class sizes at the technical schools. It is also important to foster the development of junior technicians in order to replace and expand the current workforce.     

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