Kim Case-Nichols’s Journey Down APPA/PCAPPA Lane

Nov 12, 2020

When asked how in the world I went from a flight attendant career to Executive Director of Space and Facilities Management in higher education, I easily explain it was my APPA experience. Through systematic planning, organizing, and adapting to constant change, I evolved into the perfect nontraditional career.

I began my facilities management career over 16 years ago in northern California and landed in Nevada in 2010. I was fortunate to start my Stanford University career who heavily participated in APPA professional development opportunities. I quickly realized the benefit of adopting APPA industry standards and practices that made Stanford a well-oiled facility management machine. My introduction to APPA as a young facilities professional was the Supervisor’s Toolkit. After completing this intensive course, it is fair to say I drank the APPA Kool-Aid.

Over the next several years, I maximized the APPA resources. I networked with APPA members to learn about staffing models, custodial benchmarking, and building sustainability practices. I used the APPA tools and business partners to complete numerous facility audits that helped me validate aging facilities and advocate for capital planning projects.

I continued my journey attending the Facilities Institute 4-track program and earned my Certified Educational Facilities Professional (CEFP) credential. After ten years as an APPA member, I got involved with the Pacific Coast Region, PCAPPA, to continue my professional growth and give back to the membership. I joined the Membership Committee and was elected to the board as the Membership & Community Engagement Chair for the past three years. I collaborated with the board to spearhead a diversity and inclusion initiative, created our social media presence, and successfully facilitated our first virtual summit. As a recipient of the APPA President’s Unsung Hero Award, I am incredibly humbled by the support of APPA and the membership.

In reflection, I joined APPA as a hungry facilities professional looking for information and hoping to network. Not only did I find what I was looking for, but I have also made lifelong friends and found an affinity group that strategically helped me grow my career.