Dates: April 7-8, 2014
Venue: Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, 7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Booth: 4

IFMA Fellow Mark Sekula to Discuss How Strategic Facility Planning Helps Facility Managers do a Better Job

BOSTON—February 25, 2014—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management and IFMA Corporate Sustaining Partner, today announced it will host a complimentary webinar on “IFMA’s Strategic Facility Planning Approach” on Tuesday, February 25 at 2 p.m. EST. The webinar will feature Mark Sekula, co-author of IFMA’s white paper “Strategic Facility Planning.”

Sekula, president of Facility Futures, Inc., IFMA Fellow, Certified Facility Management Professional and LEED AP, will discuss how strategic facility planning (SFP) helps facility professionals to do a better job and ensure everyone in the organizations works toward the same goals and objectives.

Sekula will explain how a SFP approach to facilities management ensures that every decision made in business planning has a direct impact on an organization’s real estate assets and needs. Attendees will also learn how SFP can be used to develop both a flexible and implementable plan based upon the unique considerations for an organization.

To connect with VFA, please follow us on Twitter at @VFAINC, or visit our blog, Foundations, which provides information to readers that serves as a foundation for intelligent facilities capital planning and management.


It’s the last chance to register for tomorrow’s Webinar! This webinar features Mark Sekula, President of Facility Futures Inc. and co-author of IFMA’s White Paper “Strategic Facility Planning”.  The 2011 IFMA Fellow will be discussing IFMA’s findings and the approach of strategic facility planning (SFP). You’ll discover how a SFP plan can be used to develop both a flexible and implementable plan based upon the unique considerations for your organization. Tune in tomorrow, February 25th at 2:00pm EST!


For more information about our speaker Mark Sekula click here.


Click Here to Register!

The Olympics originated around 800 B.C. and since then, a lot has changed. What was once a male-only, running-focused event has become a globally scaled, season-spanning and world-uniting spectacle of diverse athletics.  As the games have grown and evolved, so have the requirements of the Olympic facilities.  Many of the challenges faced by Olympic host committees are the challenges that have also faced facilities managers. How can the venues reflect the Olympic mission while also displaying advances in architecture, technology and the host nations’ cultural influences? As the world watched Sochi rush to completion, the pride of Russia on the line, we remember that the venue itself is competing for gold.

Image: Hippodrome, Aphrodisias, Turkey

Hippodrome - Ancient Olympic Facilities

Humble Beginnings

The Olympics originated in Greece and were held every four years between 800 B.C. and the 4th century A.D. The Olympics originally featured a lone foot race but over time, more events were added and spread beyond running.  As the games grew in size, so did the facilities needed to accommodate the events and athletes. While the ceremonies were held at religious shrines, “…a vast complex of buildings and structures was constructed at Olympia to accommodate the growing number of sports and athletes. Chariot races, first run in 680 B.C. , were held in the hippodrome. Boxers and wrestlers trained in the Palaestra, which was adjacent to the gymnasium. The Leonidaion housed the athletes.”  [Source: Origin of the Olympic Games,]

The rise of Christianity in the 4th century would put a 1500-year hold on the ‘pagan festival’ until the tradition was resurrected by Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France in 1892. Per the History Channel’s coverage of Olympic history, “The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. In the opening ceremony, King Georgios I and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed 280 participants from 13 nations (all male), who would compete in 43 events, including track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting and fencing.”

A Century of Changes

Image: Olympic Village, Los Angeles, 1932

Olympic Facilities - Olympic Village, Los Angeles

As the Olympics moved into the 20th century, many of the struggles and changes that the world would undergo manifested in the Olympic Games. While world wars, political turmoil, and terrorism would all impact the Games, many advances in technology would equally transform the meaning of hosting them.

Looking through the lens of a facility manager, consider how these 20th century developments affected the creation and maintenance of the Olympic facilities.

  • Electricity – As electricity became an expectation, connecting to a source, wiring buildings, avoiding fires and shorts, and paying for usage were all added to the list of considerations when developing or modifying a building for Olympic usage.
  • Sports & Sporting Venues – The number of sports featured in both the summer and winter Games has increased and both the equipment and venues have evolved with the times.  If you check out Mashable’s Evolution of the Winter Olympics, you’ll notice that in the older images, many of the winter events were hosted outside and structures were made of actual snow or ice mounds. Today, many of the events require arenas or man-made structures, like the luge track or the snowboard half pipe. The spectatorship of the Games has also increased, necessitating arenas and stadiums that provide vantage points and places to host opening and closing ceremonies.
  • Olympic Village – The 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles featured the first official Olympic Village to house athletes and staff. The addition of the village became par for the course as each successive Olympic host vied to outdo its predecessor. This opened up an entirely different type of facility to be developed alongside the sporting arenas.
  • Communications
    • Telegraph, telephone, and internet have heavily influenced and revolutionized the way the world stays in touch. As these technologies became commonplace, access to them became a requirement of the Olympic facilities. More recently, security surrounding these technologies is also a concern, as highlighted in the coverage of Sochi’s WiFi security issues.
    • Television & Broadcasting – The Olympics were first televised in 1936 in Berlin and the first live broadcast of the Winter Games was in 1956 from Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Since then, television has brought the world together around the games and also given exponentially higher visibility to the aesthetics of the games, including uniforms, landscapes, architecture, and the artistry of the opening and closing ceremonies.  Olympic facilities must now be “camera-ready” and also allow for the broadcasters to do their work in the sporting arenas. There are camera tracks, broadcast booths, rigging, and satellite dishes all in the name of supporting the televised Olympics. For the Sochi Olympics, the 75,000 square foot International Broadcasting Centre was built solely to house the world’s media that would broadcast to over 3 billion viewers.

Managing Olympic Venues Today

Image: Solar City Tower, Rio

Olympic Facilities - Solar City Tower RioWhile Sochi spent a reported $50 billion to host the 2014 Games, the International Olympic Committee, future host cities, and the global audience are looking for more than glitz and expense. Like the requirements of any new building, demands on future facilities will include sustainability, security and automation. Buildings will need to be smarter, made of sustainable goods and energy efficient. The self-sustaining Solar City Tower for 2016 Olympics in Rio is designed to create renewable energy for use in the Olympic Village as well as the city of Rio. The facilities must meet counter-terrorism standards and communication technologies must also feature data security. Whether you’re developing a new study hall on campus or an arena to represent your country to the world, these are the challenges faced by all facilities managers in the changing global and technological environment.


Business in Vancouver

VFA.facility and FacilityView Product News

Below are a few of the key upcoming features for FacilityView™ 1.1.1 and VFA.facility® 10.4.4

  • FacilityView
    • Summary View printing
    • List View sorting
    • Safari desktop support
  • VFA.facility
    • Searchable custom properties in Region, Campus and Asset
    • Updates to default List Views in Assets, Systems and Requirements
    • Map coordinates updates
    • System Crosstab report update


For an illustrated overview of all new features and how to use them, check out What’s New in FacilityView/VFA.facility/Data Manager.



Learn more about our upcoming webinar speaker, Mark Sekula!

Company: Facility Futures Inc. and International Facility Management Association (IFMA)

Mark is currently serving as President of Facility Futures, Inc. a global facility management consulting firm in Milwaukee. Facility Futures provides strategic facility planning, real estate planning, facility management organizational planning, owner’s representation, facility management outsourcing transition management, sustainability consulting, and a variety of other services. Mark has over 36 years of facility management experience and has served as both a facilities management practitioner and FM consultant.  In addition, Mark is a certified instructor of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), where he teaches classes in facility management nationally.

Mark’s association with IFMA goes way back, serving on the board of IFMA’s Southeast Wisconsin Chapter and as a director on the IFMA International Board of Directors. He even founded the IFMA Facility Management Consultants Council. In 2011, Mark’s hard work and dedication to IFMA was recognized when he was awarded their highest honor and named an IFMA Fellow.

Mark’s impressive resume does not stop there! He has co-authored two books The Facility Manager’s Field Guide” and Sustainable Facility Management – The Facility Manager’s Guide to Optimizing Building Performance”. He has also had over 25 articles published on facility management and business issues in a variety of professional journals. In 2013 Mark was recognized by IFMA once again when he was named Distinguished Author of the Year. Currently Mark serves as a Subject Matter Expert for the development of facility management curriculum for IFMA as well as IFMA Certification Liaison for the State of Wisconsin.

Did you know? Mark Sekula conducted a national research project on the physical workplace in relation to its impact on the Best places to Work in America.

Tune in for VFA’s free webinar on Tuesday, February 25th at 2:00pm EST as Mark discusses IFMA’s findings and its approach to strategic facility planning (SFP).  You’ll learn how a SFP plan can be used to develop both a flexible and implementable plan based upon the unique considerations of your organization.

Click Here to Register!

Sochi Olympcs Aerial View
Developing and Managing the Sochi Facilities

As athletes arrive from around the world and 3 billion people gather at their televisions, all eyes are on Sochi.  While the Games reward excellence in athleticism, our focus is on the Olympic size feat of developing the Sochi venue. Though our customers may not have staged such a globally sized event, many of them can relate to the factors affecting the development of Sochi, including changes in management, deadlines, technological requirements, and budgetary fluctuations.

The Facilities

The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2014 Winter Olympics bid to Russia in July of 2007. In less than 7 years, Russia developed the Black Sea resort town of Sochi to cater to the influx of over 7,000 athletes, 25,000 volunteers, 37,000 security officers, and the tens of thousands of tourists coming to view the Games. They would not only need to build sport facilities but also provide the supporting infrastructure to make the Games possible.

Previous bids to have the games in Sochi failed, due largely to the necessary infrastructure to bring people from the coast into the mountains. This obstacle was overcome with a combination highway link and rail line for the 2014 Games.  In total Sochi consists of 11 Olympic venues and a variety of support facilities, such as the Olympic Village and a broadcasting center.    Below are some cost estimates for these developments, sited in the February 2014 Vanity Fair article, “Putin’s Run for Gold.”

  • Bolshoy Ice Dome $302.9 Million
  • Coastal Olympic Village – $778 million
  • Rail-Highway Link – $9.4 billion
  • Iceberg Skating Rink – $277.7 million
  • Fisht Olympic Stadium – $778.7 million
  • Russki Gorki Jumping Center – $265 million
  • Rosa Khutor Resort – $2.6 billion

(see images of all the facilities here)

The Budget – or lack therof…

Costs added up rapidly with the construction of new ski runs, indoor skating rinks, stadiums, ice domes, and arenas. The construction and renovation is expected to cost upwards of $50 billion US dollars, making the Sochi Olympic the most expensive Olympic Games ever, beating out Beijing’s budget of $40 billion for the 2008 games. The previous winter Olympics in Vancouver cost approximately $7 billion to mount.

How did Sochi spend so much money? A variety of factors contributed to their out of this world Olympic price tag and to a certain degree, many of these factors are also what face facility managers today.

  • Construction & Deadlines – Huge construction costs, kickbacks to construction companies, and continual changes in management caused the Sochi budget to quickly escalate and fall behind schedule. The state run construction authority, called the Olympstroy, has gone through four directors in six years and is being investigated for several misuses of funds.
  • Technology  – Most facilities managers are familiar with the expectation of Wi-Fi accessibility in new facilities and with that comes the need for data security. Recent reports have revealed that the public wireless networks in Moscow leave users open to malware and transmitting personal data. Visitors to the Games have been advised to avoid public wireless networks. There are also the demands of the press, for which the Sochi developers created the 75,000 square foot International Broadcasting Centre.
  • Geography & Security – The difficulties of building winter facilities in Sochi’s mountains along with the highway and rail link from the coast added significantly to the price tag for the Games. In addition, the need for extremely tight security to prevent possible terrorist attacks serve as a reminder that Sochi is geographically proximate to much unrest.

Planning for the Future

Following in the footsteps of many Olympic host cities, Sochi hopes to drive up tourism and make Sochi a tourist destination. Facility management and capital planning will be key in making these new constructions last. They will need to be diligent about keeping every facility operational and providing all facilities with the necessary maintenance.  Though we know the venue cost $50 Billion to develop, the real question for Russia is what will it cost to maintain when the games are over?

Jeff O’Connor, Matt Steeves, James Trotter and Bill Norberg to Support VFA’s Growth Across the U.S. Healthcare and Corporate Sectors

BOSTON—February 4, 2014—VFA, Inc., the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the appointments of four business directors. In their new roles, Jeff O’Connor and Matt Steeves will foster relationships with healthcare organizations that rely on VFA to gather accurate condition information and develop capital plans and budgets, while James Trotter and Bill Norberg will be responsible for developing new business with corporations that turn to VFA to strategically manage their real estate assets.

O’Connor and Steeves will leverage a combined 40 years of sales and management experience to identify, build, maintain and grow positive relationships with the hospitals and health networks that depend on VFA to ensure that their facilities continue to deliver the highest standard of patient care. O’Connor most recently served as director of business development at Medical Management Services. Prior to that, he was the director of sales and business development at MD Solutions. Steeves recently held the position of director of business development at WorkOasis. He previously was regional sales director at Virtual Premise and Neoforma, and a sales executive at i2 Technologies.

Trotter and Norberg bring more than a combined 50 years of sales and management experience to VFA. Trotter is a successful serial entrepreneur with knowledge of software sales and implementations. Prior to joining VFA, he held sales leadership positions at Tivoli (now IBM), MetaSolv (now Oracle), Interwise (now AT&T), and Macheen. Norberg has expertise in designing and executing strategies that deliver long-term growth, and has built relationships with Global 1000 companies. He previously held sales leadership positions at Worksoft, Courion, and Parametric Technology Corporation.

“We’re excited to have Jeff, Matt, James and Bill join the team as VFA continues to grow its market leadership position in the healthcare and corporate sectors,” said Rick Mongeau, senior vice president, VFA. “They bring a wealth of sales experience, and are proven performers in developing client relationships and driving sales growth, performance and profitability.”

To connect with VFA, please follow us on Twitter at @VFAINC, or visit our blog, Foundations, which provides information to readers that serves as a foundation for intelligent facilities capital planning and management.

Sheynal Saujani and Jen Marshall Strengthen Sales Team in Western and Eastern Canada

BOSTON—February 4, 2014—VFA Canada Corporation, the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced the appointments of two business directors. In their new roles, Sheynal Saujani and Jen Marshall will be responsible for developing new business in western and eastern Canada, respectively.

Saujani represents VFA Canada with over twenty years of experience in helping clients meet their organizational objectives of reducing risk, improving inefficiencies and achieving excellence. Prior to VFA, he was an enterprise performance management sales representative at Oracle and a client software sales representative at IBM. Marshall brings eight years of experience in business development and client support, and most recently served as director of sales and marketing at Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa East.

“We’re pleased to welcome Sheynal and Jen to VFA Canada as we continue to help organizations with their strategic facilities capital planning and management efforts,” said Susan Anson, president, VFA Canada. “Sheynal has a background in software that will help the team deliver engineering solutions that meet client needs. Jen has been successful in sourcing new business, as well as managing and strengthening existing client relationships.”

To connect with VFA Canada, please follow us on Twitter at @VFACanada, or visit our blog, Foundations, which provides information to readers that serves as a foundation for intelligent facilities capital planning and management.

About VFA Canada Corporation

Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, VFA Canada Corporation is the leading provider of end-to-end solutions for facilities capital planning and management. Over the past 15 years, VFA has shown more than 800 organizations around the world how to ensure that their facilities optimally support their strategic business objectives. Partnering with VFA, our clients have been recognized for delivering programs that impact the bottom line by aligning facilities capital plans with organizational objectives to reduce risk, lower costs, improve service quality and client satisfaction, and satisfy compliance requirements. VFA’s flagship software product, VFA.facility®, is used to manage more than 400 million metres squared of real estate. For more information, please call 888-685-3757 or visit