Russell Williams profile picture

How did you get into FM/Accidental FM?

Back in the late 80’s I was a Kitchen Manager of a Red Robin Restaurant in Boise, Idaho. Frustrated with the cleaning crew that was contracted, and with my previous experience in commercial cleaning, I had proposed to the General Manager to hire me as a vendor to clean the Kitchen and Restaurant nightly. I started my own cleaning business, that lasted a couple years until I left both industries. Then 10 years later, in a different career I found myself laid off around Christmas from a company that closed its doors. Trying to find anything to do to keep food on the table and roof over our head, I took a job as a Commercial Carpet Cleaner, with a daily quota for 15,000 sq ft per day minimum on detail hot water extraction. One thing led to another, one promotion to another, and 16 years later in that company, I was managing $15M in facilities services, over WA/OR/IO/MT/N. UT/N. CA/, from there I never looked back and just embraced the facilities career.

Highlight of your Facility or Operation

I love working in facilities. In my career, I have worked for many companies, in 9 different states, OR/WA/IO/MT/WY/UT/CA/NV/AK, but today I get to work with ISS Facility Services, a Worldwide Leader in the Industry, servicing a Global Leader in the Sporting Goods Industry, throughout USA and Canada. It just doesn’t get better than this.

One off Weird Experience in the Industry

In 2015, I was trying to grow the ancillary sales in Facilities business I was working for. I was referred to a FM at St Charles Medical Center off a lead from BMC. During our meeting the FM asked how were we different than any other Facility Service Provider. My answer was simple, we do things to extend the life of the assets we care for. Extending the asset life, decreases your overall budget Year over Year. From that comment he took me to the lobby where he pointed out a l5’W by 150’L walk off matting laid on top of Terrazzo Flooring. As he lifted it up it showed wear from the walk off matt being left on for years and basically removed the finish of the Terrazzo. He said it was his biggest pain point. His budget was going to be decimated by the replacement of that flooring in the main lobby. I told him, Challenge Accepted, I would fix the floor, at no cost until he approved the result. If he didn’t like the result he could leave the matting down and wait to replace like he was already planning, he would not be billed for my service. If he loved it, he would pay for the repair, and give me a invite to any other floor work RFP he was putting out for bid in the next 12 months. Two managers and I went to work on a weekend to transform the flooring, and applied a UV finish. Monday morning he walked in and he loved it. I signed 3 contracts with him for floor work within the next few months, $250K in Bend, and $110K, and $90K in two other hospitals in their network, plus was paid for the initial floor repair, securing $500K in floor work. Applying UV finish in ER, Labor & Delivery, Operating Rooms, Dialysis Rooms, etc., to change the Top Finish interval from Quarterly to every 5 years in those areas. That interval change decreased their maintenance cost dramatically and down times in those highly billable areas of the hospital. They saved a fortune!