Randal Froebelius has seen a lot of the country while visiting each of the 11 local chapters in his first few months as Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Canada chair.
The cross-country tour was to gather information for a board of directors meeting later this month where a new strategic plan will be created to replace the one Froebelius said was instituted around the time BOMA Canada moved its headquarters from Ottawa to Toronto in 2007.
“My number one priority is this strategic plan and to build relationships between the locals and the national organization,” he said. “I really believe that we have a strong group of locals that want to work together with BOMA Canada to build a national platform.”
BOMA BESt of primary importance
Continuing to grow and improve the BOMA BESt environmental certification process for buildings is also of primary importance, and Froebelius cited the recent additions of a healthcare module and a portfolio-based application as indicators of the progress being made.
That latter program introduces centralized verification that will allow owners and managers to certify multiple properties with fees apportioned on a square-foot basis across the portfolio. The system is expected to reach more light industrial and open-air retail properties and will largely rely on portfolio managers ensuring all buildings match what’s been reported. Verifiers will examine portfolio-wide documentation and conduct an annual on-site sampling verification program.
“A BOMA BESt certification not only helps the environment, it helps your bottom line,” said Froebelius. “We think that’s a significant reason to be a member and participate. It makes cities better places.”
BOMA BESt certifications also play a role in the association’s awards programs, which Froebelius would like to continue to strengthen for building owners and managers.
“When they’re organizing themselves for an award submission, they look at everything from environmental to security to safety to cleaning, and really strive for excellence,” said Froebelius. “That whole exercise is a big part of what BOMA is.”
Increasing BOMA membership at the local level is important and Froebelius said there’s a particular need to get more young people involved in property management, especially those who choose it as a career from the outset and don’t just stumble into it like has often been the case in the past.
A step in the right direction is BOMA’s Toronto and Calgary branches establishing a young professionals membership category for people 35 and under who can take advantage of discounted fees and mentorship opportunities.
“As buildings get smarter and more technical, a building operator from 10 or 20 years ago is going to be looking at a totally different way of running a building today,” said Froebelius. “Networking, building systems, lighting controls and many other things are totally different. Converged networks are now very common so you need an IT person or company just to keep the network running.”
Froebelius is the founder and president of Equity ICI Real Estate Services Inc. and has more than 25 years of experience in property management, leasing, project management and construction. He was chair of BOMA Toronto before accepting the chair position at the 71-year-old national association and has prior experience dealing with BOMA International and its 108 local affiliates, including 91 in the United States.
There is a “very strong bond” with the international association and Canada has played and will continue to play a leading role within it, he said.
2015 BOMA Canada board of directors
Froebelius is joined on this year’s BOMA Canada board of directors by:
* Don Fairgrieve‐Park, Bentall Kennedy, Calgary – first vice-chair;
* Kim Saunders, East Port Properties Ltd., St. John’s – second vice- chair;
* Anne Marie Guèvremont, GWL Realty Advisors, Montreal – secretary-treasurer;
* Pierre Azzi, Four Bridges Properties, Ottawa;
* Tim Doherty, Fortis Properties, Moncton;
* Darren Klassen, Colliers International, Winnipeg;
* Neil Lacheur, Bentall Kennedy, Toronto;
* Derek Page, Oxford Properties, Vancouver;
* Lisa Pegg, Bentall Kennedy, Regina;
* Z.A. (Tony) Prsa, Harvard Property Management Inc., Edmonton;
* Ken Skinner, Crombie REIT, Halifax
* Wayne Purchase, Martek Morgan Finch Inc., St. John’s;
* Jim Preece, BOMI Canada, Toronto;
* Dean Karakasis, BOMA Ottawa;
* Benjamin Shinewald, BOMA Canada, Toronto.