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SRAPPA members take in a general session in the convention center’s Grand Ballroom.

Southeastern U.S. university management experts gather for learning at SRAPPA convention and expo.

About 250  people attended the Southeast Region APPA (SRAPPA) convention and exposition in Mobile, Alabama, in October to pick up the latest information and trends leading university facilities management, and to meet and share ideas with movers and shakers in the field of building upkeep. Nearly 75 sponsors and exhibitors were on hand to promote new, as well as tried-and-true, ways to keep college classrooms, dormitories, administrative offices and other vital facilities clean, safe and modern. The five-day event was held October 9-12 at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, and included golf, state chapter meetings and a dinner and tour at the nearby World War II-era battleship USS Alabama.

Speaking engagements offered guests advice and relevant points of view during general sessions. Keynote speaker Paul Krismer, a consultant and executive coach who promotes the science of success, opened the event on Saturday afternoon. General Session speakers were Dave Irvin, APPA chair and associate vice president for facilities at Florida State University; and Rob Shallenberger, CEO of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership and a nationally popular speaker and executive coach.

For on-site learning, participants had choices of 30 educational breakout sessions, including “Three Things You Need to Know About ASME/IBC Code Updates,” presented by Don Holloway of Kings III Emergency Communications. Holloway focused on safety codes for elevators and escalators with updated technology, such as one-way video and two-way text communications requirements. Chief among the topics during this learning session was the proper way to test for elevator communication compliance and how this works into buildings’ overall safety programs. Among the other educational topics were “Mitigating Disease Transmission with Germicidal UV-C,” by Lorrie Todd of UV Resources; “Safety and Code Assessment for Decommissioning Fire Doors,” by Brandon Clements of National Firestopping Solutions; and “Optimizing the Value of Your Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS),” offered by Jonathan Thomas of Building Maintenance Optimization Consultants.

Facilities management is the all-encompassing title for the professionals who provide maintenance at large college campuses, office buildings, hospitals and residential buildings. The expo covered everything from painting to plumbing, lightbulbs to landscaping, flooring to fixtures, and — of course — vertical transportation (VT). In addition to Kings III, SRAPPA members were welcomed to expert advice from VT consultants Lerch Bates and VDA. In addition, Inpro, a global maker of protection systems for a wide variety of building systems, including elevators, greeted guests as one of the sponsors of the convention’s golf outing.

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