Welcome to PCAPPA – The Pacific Coast Region of APPA

Tom Polansky

Tom Polansky

Chair, Small & Community Colleges

Occidental College
Director, Facilities Management

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Meet Tom, PCAPPA Small and Community Colleges Committee Chair

Hello PCAPPA current and future members!

My name is Tom Polansky and I’m the Small and Community Colleges Committee Chair for PCAPPA. My goal this year is to get facilities professionals at these types of institutions fired up about what PCAPPA and APPA can do to make their jobs easier. What are the two goals of any manager? Deliver results and retain good people! APPA will help you get it done.

A little about me: I was trained as an architect, and I’ve been in and around construction and facilities management since 1990. Since 2013, I’ve supported the Facilities Management Department at Occidental College in Los Angeles. This has been a dream job for me, as I’ve been able to be a part of an organization that truly follows the maxim, “Lift as you climb”. Serving others, training, career advancement, dedication to our college mission, reducing our carbon footprint: Occidental is a fantastic place for facilities professionals to put their principles into meaningful action.

I love this profession because:

– I get to work with folks at every stage in their career, from first time job seekers fresh from college or high school graduation to forty-five year college staff veterans. All these people have things to teach me and their peers.

– I get to deliver measurable results in the service of the College: From financial benchmarks to aesthetic beauty, the definition of our department’s success is plain to see, and is undeniable. What other profession provides this sort of clarity of results?

I decided to get involved with the PCAPPA Board after meeting two Board members in Portland two years ago: Winnie Kwofie and Jason Wang. These two individuals embody the highest levels of commitment to the profession. For them to commit to PCAPPA meant that the organization was worthy of their valuable time. The more I learned about PCAPPA and the many benefits it affords its membership, the more I felt that I needed to step up my level of commitment to the organization.

Someone recently asked me to tell a few interesting stories from my experiences in this industry. Here’s one to start; however, the best stories I’ll need to tell you in person at the PCAPPA 2018 Conference in Spokane after a few soft drinks.

– The day at a prior job that both my boss and my number two person quit. The circumstances resulted in my simultaneous promotion and demotion, as I was forced to cover one position above mine, and one below. Not a great day, and it led to a pretty rough month.

I’ll leave you with this: If you’re working at a small or community college, and feel like you’re struggling to defend your budget, or you’re short on staff, or you’re reinventing the wheel, PCAPPA is here to help. By connecting with all the experience of our fellow members, you’ll see that others have faced similar challenges and are ready and willing to help you out. Send me an email, and I’ll get you connected with professionals that can help lift you up as they themselves are climbing.

Best regards, and GO PCAPPA!

Tom Polansky

View highlights of upcoming 2018 conference >