Each year, ConnexFM takes great pride in the quality of member candidates nominated and selected for the ConnexFM Board of Directors slate. The ConnexFM Nominating Committee strives for candidates that exhibit leadership qualities such as strategic planning, foresight, innovative thinking, industry expertise, and an understanding of the varying interests of our diverse membership.
Who Can Vote?
ConnexFM is calling on YOU, the primary and/or voting Connex member of your organization, to cast YOUR VOTE for the 2022-23 Connex Board of Directors. The deadline to vote is March 31, 2022 at 5:00PM CT.
Effective January 1, 2021 each organization can add an additional voting member (for a total of 2 votes). 1) Click here to learn how. 2) Go to your Member Dashboard now to add your additional voting member. NOTE: Only the Primary & Voting Member from each member organization are eligible to vote (2 votes per member organization).
Primary Members and (1) Additional Voting Member will receive an email with their unique, personalized electronic ballot. If you have not received this ballot by Wednesday, March 9, please reach out to Brooke Cowart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multi-Site FM Candidates
(In Alphabetical Order)
Vice President, Facilities & Energy Management
Catherine Barnes has 25 years of Facilities, Real Estate, and Construction experience for Retail, RX & Healthcare. Currently, Catherine Barnes serves as the VP, Facilities & Energy Management for Rite Aid. Her achievements include leading the Rite Aid Facilities & Energy team by reinventing and building a sustainable program and in 2020 she developed and executed the COVID19 emergency plan for Non-Profit Healthcare in Chicago. Catherine is also a franchise owner of Dogtopia of Arlington Heights, a state-of-the-art dog daycare, boarding, spa and training facility.
Thank you for your consideration to be a member of the ConnexFM Board of Directors. Having spent 25 years growing in the Facilities & Construction industry, I have experienced the many changes of Facilities programs for small and large organizations. The challenges over the past 10+ years was just the start of what we are experiencing in the aftermath of 2020/2021. Organizations are continuously looking to the experienced Facilities & Construction professional to determine how to do more for less with leaner teams, streamlined processes, improved supplier partnerships, and better technology all while trying to maintain and improve the organizational brand. We are in unprecedented times with Facilities programs facing higher material costs, long lead times for repairs or replacements, and an already strained labor force. We have had to change the way we think of long-term strategies, quickly, without knowing where our industry or where our organizations will be in 5 years. Now more than ever, is the time for Facilities professionals and the Supplier partners to come together to bring solutions to today’s challenges and navigate through the long-term industry changes.
My goal, as a part of the Board of Directors, is to be part of the collaborative efforts to influence todays Facilities and Supplier leaders, provide tools and resources they need to take back to their organizations, and to build a platform for future Facilities leaders.
Vice President Facilities & Construction
Extra Space Storage
Kurt Gnessin has a diverse functional background and executive level experience directing teams of facility and construction professionals across a national portfolio of corporate brands. His 25+ years of experience includes strategic leadership and innovative problem-solving expertise in delivering solutions that grow the business, reduce cost, save energy, and improve customer service. Kurt still gets excited to learn new skills, develop people and teams, and come up with visionary solutions to complex problems.
I choose to be a leader. I believe good ideas come from a variety of sources and a diverse perspective is important to finding the best ideas to implement and enhance any organization. I enjoy my profession and love my job! These are important factors for being highly motivated and committed to success. I am passionate about people and helping them to find success in their career and in their daily lives. I choose to be a leader because it provides a sense of identity and purpose and motivates me to serve others in different ways.
As a member of the ConnexFM Board of Directors, I will serve to enhance the organization and its membership, by continuing to support the professional development of our members, grow the membership of the organization, solicit fun and creative ideas from our members, and present innovative solutions to the board of directors to better serve those who build and maintain multi-site facilities.
Vice President, Store Development
Ryan Haskell currently serves as VP, Store Development within T-Mobile's Consumer Group leading the RE, construction, and FM deliverables across TMUS' retail footprint (~14,000 stores). Previously, Haskell has led a retail transformation of the $26B T-Mobile-Sprint merger, championed retail portfolio management strategies and initiatives that have delivered $30+M in cost savings YTD, and spearheaded T-Mobile’s unprecedented new store growth strategy opening 1,500 T-Mobile stores in 2017. A fun fact about Ryan, his true passion is teaching, which he plans to do as his second career.
When I think about making large decisions in the workplace, I generally consider two lenses in which to look through to make those decisions. First, how the decision will benefit or impact the organization, and secondly, how the decision will benefit or impact people.
For consideration of this board appointment, I would submit to the same philosophy. First, relative to how my appointment could benefit the organization, would primarily be centered around my unique perspective and insights operating as a disruptor in both large and small company environments. Board positions, to me, are largely about envisioning the future, challenging the status quo, and helping to establish and monitor the strategic direction of the organization. These objectives, while not all-inclusive, align beautifully with a disruptor’s perspective and insights.
Second, as the workforce continues to evolve, organizations, including ConnexFM and its members, will need to provide tools, resources, technology, personal networks, curriculum, certifications, etc. to meet the demands of that evolving workforce. Largely because of my current and past roles both inside and outside of T-Mobile, I am uniquely positioned to provide relevant insights and ideas to alter the landscape of the FM workforce into the future.
Finally, regarding my vision for ConnexFM, I see the opportunity to elevate the stature of the organization as the undisputed leader in the FM space by building and offering preeminent certification programs.
Sr. Director Facilities & Energy Management
Over the past 15 years David Hughes has had the pleasure to support and lead facilities and energy programs across three (3) Fortune 100 companies. Some of his fondest achievements are, identifying, developing, and deploying great talent across companies and industry, driving increased efficiency, automation, and analytical insights into managing the business and charting more sustainable ways forward for companies to support our global community.
I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a time of transformation in our industry. Technology continues to redefine the work we do and how. Labor and talent markets (already stressed) are in a state of upheaval. Sustainability is calling on us more and more each day to deliver better solutions for our customers and communities.
After taking a year pause, I am running once again to be on the ConnexFM Board of Directors, because of the role this amazing and critical organization plays in helping us all navigate through these times. I truly believe ConnexFM is ideally positioned to help all of us define the path ahead and how we tackle it together. The focus on identifying emerging technology solutions, partnered with ongoing education for both suppliers and customers will help bridge these gaps faster than we can accomplish separately. The championing of FM certifications helps to improve the skills and careers of new and legacy members of the facilities management industry to both improve the labor situation and more importantly the personal lives of those we call colleagues and friends. These, combined with continuing to push for integrating sustainability more and more into our core work is what I’d like to advocate for if given the privilege to be elected to the Board.
Director, Facility Services
Adam Oryszczak leads ULTA Beauty's Facilities and Property Management teams emphasizing team development, collaboration, and financial accountability. Prior to managing facilities in specialty retail, he worked in various facilities roles in Big Box retail.
Adam received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. He currently resides in Inverness, IL with his wife and young son. In his free time, Adam can usually be found on a golf course.
My motivations in pursuing a position on the board reflect my interests in continuing to grow the ConnexFM association's influence on the multi-site facilities industry through networking and educational resources. ConnexFM has impacted my career as a facilities professional and I would love to help guide the organization to continue to be a trusted resource for others in the field. My experience in big box retail, specialty retail, corporate facilities and property management have allowed me the unique opportunity of interacting alongside many peers within the membership. The insights I have gathered from these professional relationships have provided me with an understanding of how ConnexFM can best support the membership in achieving their strategic goals.
Thank you for reviewing my candidacy for a position on ConnexFM's Board of Directors. I would be honored to receive your support.
Sal Alhelo, PE, LEED AP, MBA
With 15 years of experience in many industries around designing, constructing, maintaining, and optimizing facilities, Sal’s experience covers the entire life cycle of buildings. Sal has worked on projects totaling billions of dollars in budget and has contributed tens of millions of proven savings through sustainability innovation. Sal is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states, LEED AP accredited, and an MBA graduate. Currently Alhelo serves as the Chair of the ConnexFM Tech Council. Sal is married with two children and loves to spend his spare time playing with his 30-year-old Gameboy Advance.
My vision is to see the industry becoming more innovative and attractive to younger talents who, with the help of ConnexFM, are succeeding in every role in the industry.
I think the rapidly changing landscape of the FM industry; along with the entrance of new type of FM professionals to the market, brings in the need for a new role that ConnexFM can fill, the role of an industry guide. A role that goes beyond providing educational material; a guide provides actionable and customizable blueprints for today’s relevant challenges.
ConnexFM is positioned very well to become the pioneer in adopting such approach in the facility management arena, and I want to be a leading voice in promoting this transition.
Executive Vice President
Todd Brinegar is a mentor, Change Manager, and Explosive Growth Leader. As a professional business fixer, Brinegar brings a wealth of experience carried from a wide range of manufacturing, service, technology, and consulting organizations. Todd Brinegar joined ENTOUCH in 2020, because of the organizations mission and culture, and has built a new team that led sales to a record year. A fun fact about Todd, he has lived in 19 countries.
I joined ENTOUCH in 2020, because of our vision, mission, and culture. Through Connex, I joined a community of like-minded professionals seeking to explore new ways to build sustainability and cost savings programs, which will enhance the Facilities Management industry.
Through my experiences as a speaker, author, mentor, thought leader, and change manager, I will bring new perspectives that will spur ideas for the leadership and membership of the organization.
Having lived in 19 countries; working for start-ups through multi-billion-dollar organizations, and yes - being a television director, producer, and cinematographer in my 1st career, provides me a wealth of knowledge in the workings of any organization.
My overriding goal is to help people to be better in their professional and personal lives and help to build skills that will assist them in promoting themselves.
I feel my experience, broad industry knowledge and thoughtful approach will be substantial assets to joining the ConnexFM Board. I humbly wish to serve as your voice on the ConnexFM Board and request your vote.
Strategic Sales Manager
Alex DiPietro is a SWFL Native and a UCF Alumni (Go Knights!). Alex started her career in financial services, followed by a role working with tech start-ups in the IT Research & Advising industry, and was led to the equipment rental industry where she has been working to support FM, ever since. DiPietro is a dog lover and recently adopted a border collie to join her border-aussie!
I am continually impressed by the wealth of knowledge and expertise of the multi-site FM industry that comes from within the ConnexFM association. As a young professional and ConnexFM YP Committee Member, I am passionate about leveraging the memberships' shared expertise to advance the industry, through increased collaboration and partnership.
As a board member, I will seek an expanded role in making connections to advance industry and career development, for young professionals and tenured professionals alike, and work to create meaningful mentorship opportunities along the way. Thank you for your consideration!
Steve Hearon began his career in the trades in 1990 as a painter for one of his fraternity brother's College Pro Painters franchises. Steve eventually acquired a franchise and by his senior year had 31 painters employed. Today, Steve is the President of BrandPoint Services (since 2012). Steve also coaches his two daughters in travel softball and sits on the board of the TKD Foundation for Suicide prevention, which Hearon co-founded.
It has been a goal of mine to serve on the ConnexFM Board of Directors for several years now. I'm proud to be on the ballot once again, as the screening process is quite rigorous. Serving on the board is a significant time commitment and requires someone completely dedicated (and able) to invest the effort to form and build relationships to get things done. I know this because I have been serving as a board alternate; this has allowed me to attend meetings (although without voting power) and gain an understanding of how the system works. I feel strongly that I am better positioned than anyone to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact. Our industry is rapidly changing and the goal of Connex is to give its members a "competitive advantage" - this can only be accomplished if all of us work together to continue to build Connex into the strongest association in the world of FM.
I pledge to you that if you elect me, I am 100% committed to this cause. I have extensive experience serving on boards, and my work on the Connex Foundation committee and as board alternate has given me a close up look at inner workings of our great association. With your vote I can help us take the next step in elevating our entire industry as we work together to enhance our competitive advantage.
In 1999, Brad Shyver started at ROYAL as a Project Manager. In 2014, he advanced to his current position as CEO. Within 4 years, sales grew by 345% and profit by 2,153%, and headcount increased by 43%. ROYAL’s current evolution focuses on long-term, sustainable industry partnerships, teammate empowerment through servant leadership, and continuous innovation driving multi-site clients’ brand experience. Brad Shyver has been with his wife for 18 years, has 3 kids, 3 Newfies, and 2 Persians!
Over the past years leading ROYAL, I’ve been blessed and fortunate and feel like now is my time to give back to the industry. Since it was founded in 1993, ROYAL’s vision has been to create partnerships that continuously improve people, processes, and outcomes for the benefit of the stakeholders, environments, and communities we serve. With over 20 years of experience at ROYAL, 8 as CEO, I feel I can bring this strategic vision to ConnexFM and help shape the future of the industry. I have a varied background in Facilities, Construction, and Retail Technology. I would like to see ConnexFM increase membership, through greater diversity not only amongst the members, but adding new verticals to the association. I think ConnexFM has a great opportunity to take advantage of technology to create more virtual events to drive not only revenue but allow members to connect when factors prevent them from traveling to in-person events. I have a passion for building exceptional teams and feel as a Board member I could continue to keep ConnexFM as industry leader.