December 2023


Russell Williams profile picture

How did you get into FM/Accidental FM?

My educational background initially focused on Event Management and Operations when I graduated from college. I gained experience in this field by working at Pebble Beach Golf Club, where I managed special events as well as at Stanford University, where I worked within the athletic department and was responsible for overseeing Game Management, working with a team that handled various tasks related to on-campus athletic events.

My journey into Facilities Management (FM) was rather unexpected. It began when I interviewed with Conrac Solutions Operators, LLC. (CSO), initially unaware of the FM aspect. Interestingly, the opportunity came about through a connection I had; my brother was roommates with an individual working at Conrac Solutions in the context of the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Rental Car Center. Following the interview, I was offered a position as a Maintenance Tech/Assistant Facility Manager (AFM) at SFO. I made significant strides in my career at CSO. In 2018, I transitioned to the Portland International Airport (PDX) facility, where I assumed the Facility Manager (FM) role, becoming responsible for managing the facility independently. I have recently been promoted to the role of Operations Manager, where I oversee Soft FM responsibilities nationwide, providing support to the existing 15 sites managed by our company.

One distinctive aspect of the company I work for is its niche focus within the industry. Conrac Solutions specializes in the management of rental car facilities. The term “ConRAC” stands for “consolidated Rent-A-Center,” and our company provides comprehensive solutions within this domain. The organization also has a development company that takes an innovative approach to the industry. This approach enables us to bid on and manage new rental car center projects across the United States. The growth and development within the industry has been ongoing, and our expertise in managing these services plays a pivotal role in constructing state-of-the-art facilities for rental car companies to efficiently operate from.

One off weird experience in the industry

Indeed, the catalog of peculiar incidents is quite extensive, as most FMs are well aware in this industry. In my case, these odd occurrences are inherently tied to the realm of rental cars. One memorable incident transpired during my initial month at Portland International Airport (PDX). I had come to work on a Saturday to attend to a few minor tasks and as I was preparing to leave, a most unusual sight caught my eye – a Ford F150 that had been involved in a rather dramatic incident. It was perched atop the steel fencing, suspended in the air like an unconventional sculpture. What had transpired the night before was an audacious attempt by an individual to pilfer the truck. In a brazen move, they had tried to circumvent the barricade, ultimately scaling the fence, and leaving the vehicle in its precarious position. The security video footage of this episode was nothing short of remarkable and the thief was apprehended shortly after.

A highlight of your Facility or Operation

The PDX Quick Turnaround facility, also known as QTA, is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the local facility operations. Here, the magic unfolds, and it’s a stockpile of activity with an impressive array of features, including:

  • 4 enormous underground fuel storage tanks, each boasting a substantial 15,000-gallon capacity.
  • A remarkable total of 72 fueling points, ensuring efficient fuel distribution.
  • During the peak of summer, we dispense an impressive quantity of over 200,000 gallons of fuel a month.
  • The QTA is also home to 16 car washes, each equipped with its own reclaim pump system and a sizeable 2,000-gallon reclaim water tank.
  • To support the onsite RO water system, there are 32 tanks, each with a capacity of 2,000 gallons, ensuring a reliable supply of RO water.
  • Adding to the facility’s sustainability, the rooftop features a rainwater catchment membrane. This innovative system filters rainwater through a UV filtration system, making it a valuable resource used throughout the facility.