Trailblazers, trendsetters and topic authorities help you zero in on what you need to be an FM forerunner.

Jessica Rector

Valerie Thompson, RID, IIDA

Senior Analyst, Place Performance, HKS

Jake Smithwick

Professor, Simplar Institute & University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Partner at MetaProp Ventures

Robert Glennon

As the top burnout expert, Jessica Rector, MBA is the authority on turning negative thoughts into positive action! As a former TV talk show host and #1 top sales performer at a Fortune 100 company, Jessica uses her company’s research to help organizations, leaders, and teams to Blaze Your Brain and extinguish burnout. As a #1 best-selling author, Jessica has worked with NBCUniversal, the Dallas Mavericks, and American Airlines and has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Jessica enjoys learning about the exciting world of Transformers, so she can carry on real conversations with her seven-year-old son, Blaise.

Valerie Thompson & Jake Smithwick – Plenary Breakfast Speakers

Thursday, April 16 | 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Sponsored by: US Department of State

Jake Smithwick

The Leadership Toolbox for Organizational Change and Space Management

Technological and space management innovation is increasing by leaps and bounds.  Beyond just finding and selecting the right solutions and new approaches that become available, Facility professionals must also be able to successfully adopt and integrate these new space planning tools within their organizations, people, and business units.

This session will provide the best leadership approaches to space planning, organizational change, and operational efficiency.  Key highlights from IFMA’s new Space Planning Benchmark report and results from 500 case studies of technology implementations will be presented.  The right way to use change agents, communicate the change, how to train, how to measure adoption, and how to minimize and manage resistance will all be discussed.  Learn how to save O&M costs and find the best FM talent as you prepare for the future.

Valerie Thompson, Vice President in Place Performance at HKS, has over 14 years of workplace strategy and design experience partnering with clients to redefine their workplace as a business tool that can impact performance, productivity, and well-being. She brings experience leading clients successfully through large, complicated workplace changes, including developing and implementing alternative workplace strategies for Fortune 500 companies. Her strength lies in synthesizing complex data into an actionable strategy that leads to an impactful design.

Jake Smithwick is a professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. His research focuses on organizational performance bench-marking within facility management, construction, and business services. His industry experience includes work on more than $500M of procured services, field inspection of nearly 2,000 roofing systems across the United States, and six years in the US Air Force Reserve (civil engineering squadron).

Zak Schwarzman – Keynote Speaker & Lunch

Thursday, April 16 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Zac Schwarzman

PropTech 101

A primer and update on the fast-moving PropTech market from MetaProp, the industry’s most active venture capital firm.
Learning objectives:
  • What is PropTech?
  • Why should real estate leaders and facilities managers care?
  • Where are we in the PropTech market’s evolution? And where are we heading?
  • How are leading real estate firms responding to capture value from the PropTech opportunity?
  • Case studies of PropTech companies with facilities management application.

Zak Schwarzman is a Partner with Meta Prop, where he leads the firm’s venture capital investment activities. Meta Prop is a New York-based venture capital firm focused on the real estate technology (“PropTech”) industry. Founded in 2015, MetaProp’s investment team has invested in 100+ technology companies across the real estate value chain. The firm manages multiple investment funds for both financial and strategic real estate investors representing a pilot- and test­ready sandbox of 15+ billion square feet across every real estate asset type and global market.

Zak’s investment experience spans seed, multi-stage and corporate venture capital and he is an active member of New York’s startup community. Prior to joining Meta Prop, Zak was a Principal at Gotham Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm and affiliate of the Draper Venture Network.

Zak is a Kauffman Fellow and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in Political Economy and Business from Tulane University.

Robert Glennon – Closing Keynote Speaker

Thursday, April 16 | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Robert Glennon

Imagining the Water Future

Population growth and climate change are leading to many questions about the future of water. In a world of 10+ billion people, where will the water come from to grow our food, slack our thirsts, nourish our economy, and preserve our environment? Water expert Robert Glennon offers hope to solving our long-term water crisis by laying out a vision for a sustainable water future. He imagines a future in which technology allows cities to detect leaks in their water and wastewater pipes, thus saving trillions of gallons of water and eliminating the discharge of hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage into our rivers, lakes, and coastal estuaries. In this future, cities and companies embrace “the circular economy,” virtually eliminating the need for landfills. We will no longer dispose of human waste with traditional toilets and smart phone apps provide 24/7 information about our water use. Our water future is closer than you may think—and Glennon shares the steps to start getting there.

Robert Glennon is the go-to resource for any group that wants to understand why protecting our water supply is as much an economic issue as an environmental one.

With his deep grasp of the scientific, historical, economic and legal issues associated with America’s water predicament, Robert gives audiences a comprehensive understanding of why a water shortage is imminent and what it will take to save the country’s dwindling supply.

Robert expertly captured the tragedy and irony of the water crisis in his New York Times best-selling book Unquenchable and the highly-acclaimed Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters. On stage, he offers the same honest and urgent appraisal of the country’s challenges, while stressing the importance of technology and innovative thinking to solving the problem. With detailed, actionable suggestions, he lays out an attainable vision for a sustainable water future.

Robert’s gift for telling the broader story about water quenches the longing among audience members to identify their role in contributing to this growing cause of concern.

Internationally Renowned Water Resource Expert, Best-Selling Author of Unquenchable.

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