Board Interviews

Meet the President… Neville Devlaliwalla

1.       What excites you the most about IFMA’s work in the Triangle?

The engagement, involvement and passion of the chapter members who volunteer to improve the Chapter excites me.  Also, I get excited about the chapters focus on Education, Networking and Leadership to enhance and develop the core competencies of the facilities profession.  I am lucky have made great friends I would never have known without joining this Chapter.

 2.       What made you decide to be on the Board?

When Mike O’Brien introduced me to the Chapter, one of the first things I noticed was the Chapter’s great culture of education, community, friendship, helpfulness and giving back to society.  I was drawn to the chapter and wanted to be able to contribute to its success.  I got involved with the communications committee and there was no looking back from there.  I could not say no to Jeff when he offered me the opportunity to serve such a great Chapter.  It’s been a very rewarding and fulfilling experience.

 3.       What do you want to accomplish by serving on the IFMA Board?

The Chapter has a strong foundation that’s been laid over the years by the great work of various leaders and volunteers.  This year with the help of the Board and Committees I am putting in place some foundational changes that will lay the groundwork for future success and hopefully take the chapter to its next best place.  All of these foundational improvements tie directly to my four cornerstones:  1) Membership Involvement with a focus on engaging the FM’s 2)Operational Excellence with a focus on standardized and centralized (online) chapter documents and tools 3) Process Simplification with a focus on providing an improved user experience with our brand, event registration and email marketing and 4) Measurement/Data with a focus on online key performance indicators identified and tracked for each committee and a real time dashboard with a view of critical trended metrics against established benchmarks.

4.       How will being on the IFMA Board help you achieve your own personal goals?

For me it’s about learning and growing while making a positive difference.  There is much to learn every day and I am fortunate to have a strong board, chairs/co-chairs and the committees that I get to learn from and grow from while staying true to the Balanced Score Card (BSC) initiatives we’ve established for 2013-2014.

 5.       What legacy do you want to leave by virtue of serving on the IFMA Board?

I’m optimistic that the processes, systems, tools and leadership pipeline we are putting in place now will simplify, improve and expedite future success of the chapter.  I’m hoping we’ll see an increased membership involvement, online documentation of all chapter documents, an improved, simplified, integrated and social media enabled event management system and a single consolidated Chapter dashboard that will give us a view of our key metrics, past performance and the ability to project the future more effectively.  All of these things will help the future leaders and the Chapter be more successful.

 6.       What about IFMA makes you passionate about the organization?

At the local Chapter level, the great open culture, welcoming nature of the members, excellent educational programs, friendships I enjoy, the chapter memberships eagerness to help and engage all make me passionate about the Chapter.  At the international Chapter level, the educational seminars and networking through World Work Place and Facilities Fusion, and the Foundations support of the FM profession through scholarships are all very exciting to me.

7.       What is your proudest professional accomplishment?  What about accomplishments outside of work?

It’s hard for me to pin point one single accomplishment as each one has been a small stepping stone to that next place.  Constant recognition at my work at Cisco make me proud-My team and I were awarded a ‘Catalyst Award’ two quarters ago-an award that had not been awarded in over a year due to the lack of qualifying nominations.  Last quarter my team won an ‘Applause Award’ and this quarter we are in queue for a possible win again, fingers crossed.  These recognitions by my global peers and management team inspire me and make me proud of my teammates around the world.   Outside of work, I am proud of my service in the non-profit world to various non-profit organizations by serving on the board or participating with ‘Activate Good’, the Lucy Daniels Foundation, the Food Bank of North Carolina and serving food to the homeless in Moore’s Square through my church.

 8.       Do you have a professional mentor?  How important has mentorship been to your career?

I have mentors at work that I meet with regularly.  They have been indispensable and I owe much of my accomplishments and successes to them.

 9.       What are you really good at?

Taking on and leading complex and complicated projects through completion is something I enjoy doing.  I’m able to bring the right team together, connect dots where there are gaps with people and process and enable team success.  I’m often asked to step in where there are complex programs, initiatives or projects that need leadership and help to execute against.  I’m known to have the ability to identify, adopt and integrate innovation into anything I work on.

10.   What is something that most IFMA folks would not know about you?

I played in several rock ‘n roll bands and one of the bands I played in had a video that was featured on television.

 11.   If you were holding the winning Powerball ticket in South Carolina from this week, what would you do with the money?

Pay off the mortgage, setup trusts for my children, donate some of the money to various charities, open a non-profit with a focus on providing education and jobs to the people who need help with that.  And of course, change the world!

12.   What do you like to do when you are not at work or doing IFMA Stuff?

Spend time with my family and friends, the outdoors – hiking, camping, running, playing tennis, swimming and hanging with the boys.  I belive in leaving everything better that I found it and most importantly having fun!