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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
MiAPPA members gather to discuss the latest trends, challenges and solutions facing facilities organizations within colleges and universities.

MiAPPA members gather to discuss the latest trends, challenges and solutions facing facilities organizations within colleges and universities.

MSU hosts MiAPPA Winter Conference 2013


Feb. 28, 2013

Attendees at this winter’s MiAPPA conference enjoyed visiting with friends and colleagues, participating in specialized presentations and tours, and contributing to a charitable cause.

MiAPPA is the Michigan chapter of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, the largest international association of educational institutions and their facilities departments.

This winter’s conference had three focuses: sustainability, operations and partnering with campus. Subject-matter experts presented on topics that fell into one of the three categories.

“People were pleased to see that most of our presentations were done by MSU employees; it gave us an opportunity to highlight what we are doing at the university. Not only did attendees compliment the fact we used our own employees, but also university members. We have such a big organization, it’s often hard to know what everyone else is doing,” said Acting Director of Engineering and Architectural Services Dan Bollman, who is also a MiAPPA board member.

In addition to the presentations, attendees toured some of the high-profile campus projects, including the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, the new addition to Wells Hall and the Molecular Plant Sciences Building.

“We sent out an e-mail to our staff asking if they had any ideas for presentations. We then took the top responses that we felt would interest attendees the most,” said Director of Building Services Gus Gosselin.

Attendees also took the opportunity during presentation breaks to visit the vendor room, where business partners and sponsors set up exhibits to demonstrate their services. Sponsors included companies that would appeal to the attendees. A majority of the sponsors this year were engineering and architectural consulting firms, but there was a wide variety ranging from companies that sell specialized seating to security companies. More than 40 sponsors registered this year, the most in MiAPPA conference history.

Associate Vice President of Facilities Services for Grand Valley State University and President of MiAPPA Tim Thimmesch praised the conference. “The staff here at MSU has done a great job putting together this winter’s MiAPPA conference; it has been a huge success,” said Thimmesch.

This year’s winter conference also saw the highest attendance of any MiAPPA conference with more than 400 registrants. As part of the conference, a raffle raised $6,129 for MSU Safe Place, a domestic violence shelter.

“The conference was great. Attendees were very pleased with the level of professionalism of the conference and how smoothly it ran, and our sponsors were pleased with the number of attendees. A huge thanks to all of the staff involved in helping create a great experience for MiAPPA members,” said Bollman.

“The number of attendees this year proves the success of MiAPPA as a whole. The conference has really grown in popularity over the past 10 years. It started with only university members attending and now we also have business partners attending. It has developed into something that everyone in this industry sees value in,” said Thimmesch.

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities builds and maintains the physical environment for Michigan State University’s education, research and outreach missions, and directs the university’s sustainability initiatives and long-term infrastructure planning goals. The unit’s experienced team of professionals keeps MSU running 24/7/365, delivering an immense menu of services and providing expert analysis for university objectives. Call 517-353-1760 for emergency service.