CFM; DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES AT WEBSENSE
Gayle has been with Websense since 2002 and a member of IFMA since 2003. Initially, she volunteered on the golf fundraising committee, co-chairing the event with Paula Haberkern in 2009. This is her seventh year as Chapter Treasurer.
What is the most influential book you ever read?
The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. The most important: Be Proactive.
What was the best advice you ever received in your career?
Do what’s best for you (in your career) and the rest will follow.
Do you have any superstitions when it comes to performing your job?
Keep a healthy respect for water. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. Every place I’ve been I’ve encountered a weird water issue. In one location we lifted up the carpet and there was effervescence. Right when we moved into a space we took over from Samsung we discovered a wet spot in the carpet that turned out to be a place where a pipe from the kitchen had never been connected.
What was the greatest challenge you experienced in your career?
Whether to stay in a once positive but deteriorating work environment or to move on.
What is your biggest pet peeve at your job?
People telling you what the fix should be before explaining what problem needs to be solved. My clients will want something done to a room and they’re saying “do this.” And I’ll say, “why don’t you tell me what you’re trying to achieve and then we’ll talk about options.”
How did you end up in facility management?
Like most FM’s, it’s been a long and winding road. I started as an environmental management specialist (undergrad and grad degrees in urban/environmental planning & management) at the State Air Resources Board and then San Diego APCD. Realizing I was better suited to projects with shorter timelines, I went to Coleman College and then spent 14 years as a medical billing software developer from start up to 10x growth and acquisition. My first desk was a tiny 4’ wide particle board desk six feet from the restroom door. I promised myself I’d never let that happen to anyone else. So every time the company moved or grew, I volunteered to manage the project. By the time the company was acquired, I’d found my true calling: space planning and facilities project management.
What is your favorite “after hours” hobby?
Home landscape design-build; both hardscape and plant materials. It takes planning but can be a very freeform, artistic and satisfying process. I love digging in the dirt!
What is one of the oddest resources you have needed during your career in facility management?
A “bee whisperer,” someone to clear bees out of a communications box. Also, removal of invasive plant species from a flood prone creekside.
What is your personal secret to success or personal motto?
Influence and facilitate.
What is your favorite time of the year and why?
Fall – long, warm days good for working and playing outside.
If you were to sum yourself up in one word, what word would that be?
Ambidextrous. I write and eat left handed and everything else right handed. I’m very analytical. Most people at IFMA think of me as the budget finance person but I also have a creative side.