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Much of the networking within the facilities management and building automation industries, including the sharing of intelligence and insight, takes place on LinkedIn.

If you have a LinkedIn account that remains largely inactive, you are not alone. But it’s time to build up your virtual network, especially as these industries grow in worldwide importance. Below are 21 experts who are active on LinkedIn and who offer valuable insights, especially in group forums.

For FM professionals, it would be a good idea to reach out to at least one or two of them.

Heidi Schwartz, Group C Media

Schwartz is the longtime editor and co-publisher of Today’s Facility Manager, where she has worked since 1989. The publication recently changed its name to The Facility Executive, where Schwartz continues her duties in creating articles and developing the business for both print and web outlets.

Jim Sinopoli, Smart Buildings

Sinopoli is the Managing Principal of Smart Buildings, an Austin-based firm that offers consulting and engineering services for integrated building technology systems. Sinopoli has spent more than a quarter century optimizing smart building systems and networks.

Andy Erskine, Ocean Integrated Services, Ltd.

Erskine is the Managing Director of Ocean Integrated Services, a 42-year-old facilities management service provider based just outside of London. “To recruit, to train, to certify and to deliver,” he told ThisWeekInFM last year. “These are our brand values, and as far as I’m concerned these are the four pillars of integrated FM. It’s about engaging with the client and fitting their business needs rather than your own.”




Andrea Sanchez, IFMA

Sanchez is the Senior Director of Strategic Communications at IFMA, which she joined in 2007, bringing with her more than a decade of experience in PR and journalism. Today, Sanchez leads the editing and production at the association’s various media outlets, and in her own words she “continuously challenges the status quo to invest in new ways of thinking.”

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Edward Ehlers, JLL

Ehlers, a certified facilities manager, is JLL’s Vice President of Integrated Facilities Management. He leads a 28-person team that manages the energy company’s various facilities around the world, managing a $40 million budget and 2.7 million gross square feet.

Michel Theriault, Consultant

Theriault spent many years in corporate environments before he moved into providing advisory and consulting services across a variety of management fields, which includes facilities management. He has written one book on FM called Managing Facilities and Real Estate, and he contributes regular pieces to media outlets such as Forbes.

Jed Link, IFMA

Link is the IFMA’s Communications Manager, which puts him in charge of public relations and event promotion, among other forms of external communications, for the world’s largest association of facilities management professionals.

Erin Sevitz, IFMA

Also with IFMA, Sevitz is the association’s Editorial Manager, putting her in charge of the creation and distribution of the Facilities Management Journal. She says her professional goal is “to separate the valuable knowledge from the noise and translate it in meaningful ways.”




John McDonald, Red Bull

McDonald is based in Australia and manages Red Bull’s facilities there. McDonald’s experience includes working with building management systems, HVA, fire alarms, elevators, and other elements of facilities.



Bob Bittner,

Bittner produces the podcast at, a company that offers a number of software solutions so that healthcare organizations, local governments, clubs and businesses save money through more efficient facilities.

Scott Sinclair, SES Consulting

Scott Sinclair is the President of SES Consulting, a company that works with large facilities to improve their energy efficiency. Scott himself is a mechanical engineer, and his background includes experience with HVAC systems, mechanical contracting and building automation.

Roscoe Hightower, Florida A&M

Hightower is a professor at Florida A&M, which offers a BS in Business Administration that gives students the option to major in Facilities Management; that program started in August 2012. Hightower is now working toward creating a Master of Science in Architecture with a major in Facility Management.

Leah Grout Garris, Freelance Writer

Garris has been writing, editing and marketing within the commercial buildings and healthcare industries for more than 12 years, getting bylines in publications across varied geographies and B2B markets. As such, she has developed some pretty significant industry insight.

Michael Chimack, Siemens

Chimack is the Director of Building Commissioning Services at Siemens Industry, and he leads a nationwide project management staff. His experience in energy management, sustainability planning, greenhouse gas reduction and management in general has served him well in this role.

Peter Andrew, CBRE

Andrew is a work and workplace expert based in Asia who collaborates with the heads of corporations to improve business performance. He describes his personal mission as creating “beautiful and functional buildings that drive business performance and enhance the lives of the everyday worker or learner.”

Steve Williams, Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology

Williams is the facilities manager for Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology’s Brighton Technical Center in suburban Detroit. Additionally, he just celebrated a full decade as vice-chair on the Livingston County (Michigan) Board of Commissioners.

Claudia Struyf, Facilicom Belgium

Facilicom is a huge facilities management company that works in France, the Netherlands, the UK and Belgium. After having worked as the company’s facilities manager for three years, Struyf just took over as operations manager in the company’s office in Antwerp, Belgium. Struyf has a long track record of building up knowledge and competence within the FM industry in the country where the European Union put its capital.

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Phil Zito, Johnson Controls

Zito is a technologist who works with large enterprises to find and deploy the right technology to scale projects. His role also requires him to constantly innovate upon existing technologies and work with Johnson Controls’ technology partners to meet clients’ needs. Zito also blogs regularly at

Derek Hendry, Hendry Group

Hendry founded his namesake company, an Australian building surveying consultancy, in 1981. The company has since grown into a group of companies, and they have “pioneered the private building certification system in Melbourne and Sydney.”

Charles George, IFMA

George is a certified facilities manager and a member of the IFMA Oregon and Southwest Washington chapter’s board of directors. He is also the Director of Facilities for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ casino, resort and spa in Rancho Mirage, California.

Ken Sinclair,

Ken Sinclair co-founded back in 1999 to serve as an informational resource and as a place for industry professionals to come together. He also created the Ask Auto LinkedIn Group to serve as a Q&A board for automation professionals.

images by:

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