One of our core values is Passionate. I often get asked why I am personally so passionate about what we do at Roth IAMS. There are two specific experiences that always stick in my mind that I always seem to come back to when I think about my “why”.
One of them occurred many years ago at an earlier stage of my career, and the second more recently after I had founded Roth IAMS and was over 20 years into my career journey. These two events highlight the driving force behind why I personally have put so much of my energy into improving the world of Facility and Asset Management.
The first experience occurred back in 2002. My team and I had started a major project to assess thousands of K-12 elementary schools. I was lucky enough to have been asked to manage this project, the biggest in our company at the time. As part of our pilot program, I accompanied our assessment team to several of the first schools that we were assessing. On this project, the client selected some of the schools in the worst condition to start with.
During one of the visits to an elementary school, we came across an open door (actually the door was missing as it had failed and been removed previously) with two orange pylons in front of it. When we looked into the room it housed several large pieces of electrical equipment and there was water all over the floor, caused, I believe by a recent heavy rain event. When asked by our team, the school staff indicated that at the time they had not been allocated the money to fix the door or the leaks that allowed the water into the room.
I was shocked that there were young kids running around that could easily have wandered into the electrical room, which would have been bad enough, let alone with standing water on the floor. In that moment, I realized that impact of underfunding facility maintenance and renewal was having on the world in which I was living.
Luckily, there is a happy ending to this story. Once completed, the data we collected helped to secure over $4 Billion of renewal funding for the school sector, allowing School Boards to address the most significant renewal needs, and to close some of the schools in the worst condition. I later found out that this particular school was one of the ones that was replaced as part of the program.