Featured: Victoria P, Administrative Operations Manager

In the latest installment of “Spotlight On”, we spoke to Administrative Operations Manager, Victoria P. Victoria told us about her diverse career history, passion for problem solving and the importance of well-being.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an ambitious Administrative Operations Manager with a proven ability to create and execute operational plans. I have specialized skills and knowledge in identifying and addressing operational pitfalls by developing, re-engineering, implementing, and monitoring systems and procedures accounting for company objectives, contractual requirements, and work hierarchy. After two years in the role, I am transitioning from Administration Support Manager to Facilities Maintenance Planner.  I am excited by the next chapter with Bouygues and look forward to applying my knowledge and applying my skills from a fresh perspective.

Victoria with the administration team at GTAP’s 10 year anniversary celebrations

What do you enjoy about your role and working for Bouygues?

I find that working in a challenging environment can be stimulating and rewarding. In my role, I am required to navigate through multiple layers of contractual obligations and operational parameters, but I am energized by problem-solving and adapting to find the best solution. The satisfaction of finding a solution amidst the various requirements and stipulations is unmatched in my career.

What led you to your current role?

Throughout my career, I have gained eight years of experience in administration and operations management, working in a variety of industries. Prior to my current role, I worked as an Operations Coordinator for an online retailer before joining the Bouygues E&S team. It was a challenging role that involved managing and leading a customer service team, including a call centre in the Philippines and a drop-ship facility in Florida. I reported directly to the CEO and honed my skills in organization, analytical reporting, and effective decision-making. I enjoyed the dynamic nature of the role, from developing website landing pages and sales funnels to coordinating and planning marketing campaigns. Reporting trends and opportunities to executives was also an important part of my job, and I found it rewarding to see the direct impact of my work by monitoring sales trends.

How do you feel this experience lent itself to your current role?

As I transition into my role in facility management, I am excited to apply my skills and expertise to this new challenge. In all of my previous roles, I have been able to quickly adapt to the unique parameters and operational goals of the business, and find the most efficient and practical solutions and methods. I find it rewarding to identify patterns in organizational pitfalls and develop solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the business.

What is the most important aspect of FM?

In my opinion, the most important aspect and the success of Facilities Management depends heavily on the well-being and satisfaction of people. Facilities Management plays a crucial role in achieving this by ensuring that the building and its infrastructure are safe, comfortable, and efficient to support facility users. It’s all about providing a supportive environment where people can thrive and be productive.

“Spotlight On” is a series that introduces our key team members of Bouygues E&S Canada, for previous features, click the links below:

The BOMA Earth award, which recognizes best-in-class sustainability efforts, named the RCMP Site this year’s winner

We’re delighted to announce that the RCMP ‘E’ Division Headquarters site has been named this year’s winner of the BOMA Earth Award. Over the last 10 years, the BOMA Best platinum certified site has demonstrated an exemplary approach to sustainable FM management, including effective building user engagement, carefully considered equipment replacement, and industry leading diversion rates.

BOMA said “You and your team should be particularly proud as your property can be seen as a leader in the industry for demonstrating innovation, and excellent practices for energy management, indoor air quality, recycling, tenant awareness programs, and health and safety.”

Congratulations to the Bouygues team and everyone else working hard on a daily basis to support them; your dedication has contributed toward this success!

On this day, take time to recognize your maintenance technicians, cleaners, security guards, procurement professionals, health & safety mangers and groundskeepers (to name a few) that work hard to ensure the functionality, safety and efficiency of the built environment.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #breakthebias, a theme that focuses on bringing awareness to negative stereotypes that prevent gender equality, and bringing attention to the actions we can all take to combat them.

In the next few posts we’re pleased to introduce you to our team members that help to #breakthebias in FM.

We spoke with Elaine Gomez, CFM, P3 Services Manager. A dedicated leader and recent Certified Facility Manager (IFMA). We asked Elaine how she can #breakthebias, she said “By calling out gender biases in the workplace and letting them know its NOT OK.” Elaine also reminded us of the importance of leading the next generation by being a role model in the industry, her full quote included in the post below.

Featured: Jacky, Assistant Facility Manager

In the latest installment of “Spotlight On”, we spoke to Assistant Facility Manager, Jacky Lau. Jacky told us about the beginning of his FM career in Hong Kong, and what it’s like to be part of a fast growing FM team with Bouygues in Eastern Canada.

What do you do?

I am Jacky, an Assistant Facility Manager primarily based in Toronto. I am currently an operational lead for multiple service contracts in the GTA region, for both hard FM and soft FM.

On a daily basis, I liaise with clients to ensure that the services we are providing to their portfolios are excellent. I work with both in-house team members and outsourced contractors to ensure that client expectations and requirements are met.

What led you to your current role?

I’ve always worked in the FM industry, and started my career in Hong Kong as a graduate trainee in the FM department, for one of the world’s largest charitable organizations.

Back in late 2020, I was hired as Facility Administrator to support the business in the GTA with Bouygues.

Following the growth of our operational activities in the GTA, I was promoted from Facilities Administrator to Assistant Facility Manager, which included taking more responsibility for operational activities.

What do you enjoy about your role and working for Bouygues?

One of the most interesting, yet challenging, aspects of working for Bouygues would be the expanding pipeline in Ontario; I am always engaged in managing the full life cycle of the project, from planning to implementation.

In Ontario, the expansion of our business has led to more exposure of different industries, and the opportunities to work with various stakeholders.

From the bidding process, we have had the opportunity to start projects from scratch by working alongside the client to understand their needs, which ultimately allows us to provide excellent services during the operational phase.

What is the most important aspect of FM?

We always say FM is all about people, process, place and technology. As the operational lead of different projects, it is important to embrace changes from all of these perspectives and recognize any opportunities in enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness.

It’s also important to demonstrate to the clients that we are their business partner who work alongside with them and put ourselves into their shoes, add value and bring operational efficiencies to the contract.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

I am thankful to work alongside with Kingsley Fixon (Contracts Manager) and Matthieu Dannoot (Regional Operations Director) who are really experienced in the industry and the company. They have always guided me whenever I have faced the obstacles. Our team dynamic continues to develop, and has made us as a strong team in providing operational excellence to the client.

We spoke to Matthieu Dannoot, Jacky’s Manager, who told us what it’s like to have Jacky on the team:

Matthieu Dannoot, Regional Operations Director

“Since joining in November 2020, Jacky has quickly become instrumental in supporting the development of our activities in Ontario with both public sector and private sector clients.

Jacky now manages a portfolio of data centres in the GTA and is one of our key mobilization resources for our next addition (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) headquarters) which commences services in 2022).

Jacky’s consistent positive attitude, organization and calm demeanor has made a big impact on the FM activities, this side of the country, especially when dealing with prestigious clients and time sensitive deadlines.”

“Spotlight On” is a series that introduces our key team members of Bouygues E&S Canada, for previous features, take a look at our news section.

In the latest installment of “Spotlight On”, we spoke to P3 Services Manager Elaine Gomez. Elaine told us about her journey to becoming a manager, the challenges she has faced this year, and what she is most proud of since starting with Bouygues.

Who are you and what do you do?

As a P3 Services Manager, I oversee the soft FM side of the business which includes Housekeeping, Help Desk, Administration, Food Services, and Parking. My responsibilities include delivering the soft FM services through strategic planning ensuring the provision of excellent customer service that exceeds expectations as well as maintaining a productive and trusting relationship with the clients. Working in a Public-Private Partnership (P3) environment involves a lot of contractual obligations and metrics that need to be satisfied by establishing processes, procedures, and practices to ensure risks are mitigated. In my role, I also provide support to other Bouygues departments such as Business Development.

What led you to your current role?

I spent over ten years in the hospitality industry working for different hotels in downtown Vancouver and the Airport area in Richmond, BC. I transitioned to the Healthcare industry soon after where I learned about disinfection and infection control, the difference between a hotel and a hospital clean. My move to Bouygues was driven by a personal desire to work closer to home and closer to my son’s school. I have been with Bouygues for just over four years.

What challenges have you faced this year?

The onset of COVID was a challenge for the departments that I managed which involves transitioning to the new normal and adjusting the operations to address COVID-related concerns. Twenty months after and we’re still under the realm of COVID but have gotten used to the new processes that were introduced and have adjusted as the days go by. The supply chain issue was one of the biggest challenges that our departments encountered not to mention the fear of the unknown of what COVID brings.

Elaine and colleagues during the commissioning of the RCMP Forensics Laboratory

What are you most proud of since working at Bouygues?

On a personal note, I am most proud of finally getting my CFM designation. It was something that I wanted to get a few years ago but did not have the time to work on it.

Professionally, I am proud of the team that I work with at Bouygues. The team achieved several milestones the past several years which included commissioning a new LEED gold building, maintaining BOMA Best Platinum Certification for the rest of the buildings on the campus, receiving recognition from the P3 awards for Best Operational Social Infrastructure Project in the Americas 2020 for the RCMP “E” Division Headquarters facility, and so much more.

Any career or role highlights that you want to mention?

Transitioning from a rank and file to management requires hard work, focus, and commitment. When I started in the industry my goal was to be in a management position. The transition did not take overnight but took years to accomplish with continued education and upgrading of my skills and knowledge in between.

Last year, the site team was awarded the “Best Operational Social Infrastructure Project in the Americas 2020” by P3 Bulletin.

What is the most important aspect of FM?

The most important aspect of FM to me is keeping the building safe and its occupants. Establishing processes to attain that and supporting people and their needs.

“Spotlight On” is a series that introduces our key team members of Bouygues E&S Canada, for previous features, take a look at our news section.

This month, we spoke with Jessica Gillis, Soft FM Supervisor at Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre. Jessica started as a Facility Administrator in 2018, and has held a number of positions since the beginning of her career with us.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am the Soft FM Supervisor for the Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre. I manage Security and Housekeeping on the site.

What led you to your current role?

I was hired as the Facility Administrator back in 2018 and moved on to Operations and Mobilization Specialist which and grew into the role of Soft FM Supervisor. It happened very naturally as I have always had an interest in contract law and regulated environments, which is required in a P3 contract such as this.

What challenges have you faced this year?

This year we have already faced the pandemic, and will hopefully face the challenge of opening the facility for its first show. We’re looking forward to working with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) and their staff, providing a first class experience for guests and artists.

What are you most proud of since working at Bouygues?

I am proud of my team, security and housekeeping. They all work very hard to get the job done. Everyone of my team members have improved and deserve all the recognition working towards opening the Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre. They constantly improve and seek to find better and more effective ways to conduct business practices. I enjoy managing a team that has an open and professional relationship where we can discuss issues and solve them together. My team has made me a better Supervisor learning together.

What is the most important aspect of FM?

The most important aspect of FM is to improve performance, lower costs and optimize customers experience. I train my team to ask questions and recognize where there is opportunity to further advance how our services are delivered.

The Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre is due to open later this year, Jessica and her team are looking forward to hosting world-class performers and taking care of guests that visit the site.

This month, we spoke with Kingsley Fixon, Contracts Manager. Kingsley joined Bouygues over 19 years ago as an apprentice, moving to Canada in 2016. Kingsley is an asset to the team, and currently manages operational activities in Eastern Canada.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am currently a Contracts Manager. I manage a number of FM contracts in Ontario, where we work hand in hand with our sister company Plan Group. I also work with our Business Development team to help develop and conceive new business  in the Ontario market.

What led you to your current role?

I began my career in the UK as a mechanical apprentice. I was a 16 year old looking towards an career in the Engineering sector, as I always had a passion for this field. The Bouygues Apprenticeship gave me the ability to grow not only in the technical/ theoretical knowledge of Electro-Mechanical Engineering but also provided valuable experience working as part of a team; meeting deadlines in a fast pasted environment.

After 14 years in the UK, I was given the opportunity to transfer to Canada, where I worked as the Contract Manager at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in BC (western Canada). Three and a half years later I transferred to Toronto (eastern Canada) where I now manage multiple FM contracts.

What challenges have you faced this year?

The pandemic has affected everyone; it has been a challenging year for us all. I’m grateful to be supported by a team that truly understands and works in partnership with our staff and clients during these difficult times.

What are you most proud of since working at Bouygues?

This year is my 19th year with Bouygues, and in that time I’ve worked in two continents across a varied range of positions. In all of these, I have had the opportunity work across a number of different business groups, as we work to further develop our north American presence.

What are the benefits of career mobility?

One of the key features of working for a global company such as Bouygues, is the opportunity to work across a wide spectrum of business sectors in different countries. I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to be part of a group that has allowed me the grow within the company and experience living/working in different countries.

The RCMP ‘E’ Division Headquarters recently received BOMA Best Platinum recertification, following a rigorous assessment that assesses the environmental performance and management of the site.

The re-certification process takes up to six months to complete and includes an online assessment accompanied by an on-site verification. Verification and subsequent certification is coordinated by BOMA.

The site has been certified since 2014, initially to Gold, and was upgraded to platinum in 2017. A condition of the award is that it is re-certified every 3 years.

Since the beginning of the contract, the Bouygues site team has worked to implement and preserve a number of sustainable building practices, including:

  • Certification to ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems
  • Green cleaning training of custodians
  • Upgrading the air filtration system by replacing air filters with MERV 15 filters
  • Practices to increase waste diversion, which reached a whopping rate of 88% waste diverted from landfill for the whole of 2020
  • Utilizing environmentally friendly chemicals and materials to perform cleaning and maintenance services of the building
  • Heat Recovery System: The site utilizes a sophisticated heat recovery system to provide heating and cooling exchange in three buildings on the campus to minimize natural gas consumption and associated GHG emissions. In the last 12 months, the three buildings emitted just 207 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Congratulations to the site team for this achievement, and for working toward using implementing industry leading practices to reduce our environmental impact.

Only 3% of buildings received BOMA BEST Platinum.

*2,592 buildings certified by BOMA, 103 hold BOMA BEST platinum

This week we caught up with Farzad Kasad, Occupational Health & Safety Specialist. Farzad shared some professional experiences of what he does, what makes him proud, and some common misconceptions about his role.

What led you to your current role?

I have always had a passion for understanding human behaviour and how it relates to workplace dynamics. My last 7 years in the Occupational Health and Safety field have provided me an avenue by which to follow my passion and influence Safety behaviours, actions and mindset. I joined Bouygues E&S Canada in January of 2018.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist. I advise and guide all levels of the organization in the implementation of our Health and Safety program. Key duties in my role include providing Health and Safety training to workers; supporting effective incident investigation processes; managing disability and return to work processes; mentoring our Joint Health and Safety Committees on all sites and reviewing and planning Safe Systems of Work. I also partner with external stakeholders such as Regulatory Authorities and Insurance Carriers to ensure that the interests of Bouygues E&S Canada are adequately represented.

What challenges have you faced this year?

The COVID19 pandemic has provided a challenge that has not just been unique to Bouygues E&S Canada, but workplaces everywhere. It has been rewarding to see the resilience of our team during these times. Our workers have done a fantastic job of following our site-specific COVID exposure plans, along with adhering to all Public Orders from Health Authorities. There has been a large amount of engagement and collaboration between cross functional teams in the organization as well, which has led to improved communication lines and stronger internal controls.

What are you most proud of since working at Bouygues?

We have continued to drive down our accident rates, both in frequency and severity on a year to year basis. This trend has been a reflection of the commitment from all levels of the organization towards our Health and Safety program. Through focusing on a stronger return to work program, pro-active communication and planning, and focusing on creating a stronger safety culture, these results have been made possible.

We also won the BOMA BC Health and Safety Award on May 28, 2020. Our Award submission covered how we monitor, manage and improve workplace safety, in addition to creating a strong safety culture.

What is a common misconception in your role?

I think a common misconception that is probably more applicable to the Health and Safety industry in general is that Safety needs to take on a policing or enforcement role in order to achieve compliance. The reality is that workers need to have Safety ingrained in their daily habits and behaviours. They need to practice safe work procedures every day, not sometimes or whenever it is convenient. In my experience, I have found that empowerment and education are key drivers in achieving long term safety compliance with workers. Finding what drives employee behaviour and their motivations as to why they want to work safely is as important as finding out how they can work safely. Although policing or enforcement roles have their place and are key in certain situations, they are not the only tools available to OH&S professionals.

Farzad on Health & Safety Tour with two colleagues in Surrey, British Columbia.