Celebrating 10 years!


November 12-14, 2023  |  Austin, TX

Agenda for HEFF ’24 coming next Summer!











10am-5:30 pm

Registration & Orientation

1:30-3 pm

BBQ Pitmasters

Showcase your cooking skills and collaborate with other peers, all while learning how to prepare delicious BBQ dishes. This unique experience is the perfect way to bond with colleagues over shared interests and enjoy some friendly competition.

12:30-5:30 pm

Golf Outing

Enjoy a challenging 7,200-yard, par 72 course designed by Arthur Hills, offering scenic views of the Lower Colorado River and beautiful wooded landscape. Network, play, and connect in this exciting and picturesque setting.

6:15-7 pm

Welcome Reception

7-9:30 pm

Dinner Program with Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday

Modern Stoic & NYT Best-Selling Author




6:30-7:00 am

Group Run / Walk

7-8:00 am


8-9 am

The State of Higher Ed Facilities

Russ Garcia

Industry Director, Higher Education – Johnson Controls (moderator)

Mike Chihoski

Sr. AVP, Facilities & Services – University of Rochester

Shane Conklin

Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities & Campus Services – UMass Amherst

Lisa James

 AVP, Facilities Management – Cornell

Doug Marsh

VP, Facilities Design & Operations and University Architect – Notre Dame

9:05-10:25 am

Sourcing Meetings

10:30-11:10 am

Innovation Talks

Minnesota’s Journey Turning Strategery Into Strategy

Does explaining your FM strategy sound like one of Will Ferrell’s comedic bits, or worse yet, do you avoid talking about it altogether? No one has time for strategery discussions that rely on concepts your staff and customers don’t understand and don’t know how to implement. While it’s tempting to just forget about it, the UMN has found that translating key strategic planning concepts into clear actions and plain language is a worthwhile and meaningful initiative.

In this presentation, you will hear how the University of Minnesota created and is implementing a 4-phase business strategy program over a 3-year period. The discussion will include the process, the tools used, and the final deliverables. We’ll also take a deeper dive into phase 1, which involved creating a strategic progress card and strategic objectives which align to a balanced scorecard methodology. We’ll offer some lessons learned and share materials for you to use on your own journey.

Bill Paulus

AVP, Facilities Management – Minnesota

Bridging the Gap: Principled Negotiation for Change

Principled negotiation is a powerful technique for bridging the gap between parties with varied, and often disparate, interests. In today’s higher ed environment, it is crucial for facilities leaders to secure buy-in across campus for new projects and facilities investments. Explore how this strategic approach can help you navigate complex stakeholder dynamics, foster collaboration, and achieve successful outcomes in your facilities management initiatives.

Peter Zuraw

VP, Market Strategy & Development – Gordian

Caroline Johnson

Senior Sales Director – Gordian

11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Sourcing Meetings

12:20 – 1 pm

Innovations in Mass Timber Construction

Join Patricia Layton, Director of the Wood Utilization + Design Institute and Professor of Forestry at Clemson University, as she delves into the groundbreaking advances in mass timber construction. This session will make a compelling case for why higher education institutions should be at the forefront of adopting these innovative techniques. Discover how mass timber offers not only environmental sustainability, but also unparalleled strength, cost-effectiveness, and accelerated construction timelines, all while providing a natural wood aesthetic that enriches any built environment.

Pat Layton

Director, Wood Utilization + Design Institute – Clemson University

1-2 pm

Networking Lunch

2:00-3:05 pm

Innovation Talks

Alternative Delivery Methods: When Design-Bid-Build Just Won’t Do

There are many factors to consider when selecting a suitable delivery method including available funding, programming scope, and urgency of need. Design-Bid-Build is appropriate for many projects, but several alternatives exist. Join Mike WIlson and Angela Jacobs as they discuss how the University of Illinois System works to align project needs with the appropriate alternative delivery methods, including Design-Build, P3s, Job Order Contracting, and more.

Mike Wilson

AVP, Capital Programs & Utility Services – University of Illinois System 


Angela Jacobs

Director, Capital Programs & Utility Services – University of Illinois System 

Inside the New Resnick Sustainability Institute

Opening in 2024, the 79,500-square-foot Resnick Sustainability Center will open new figurative portals to sustainability in the realms of research, education, and societal impact.

The Resnick Sustainability Center will serve as a gateway for sustainability education. All first-year students will be required to take a reimagined chemistry class where the students will be introduced to the concept of sustainability grounding their education in an understanding of society’s environmental challenges and instills an imperative to search for solutions across disciplines.

The hybrid mass timber structure both supports chemistry research and education laboratories and promotes health and wellness in gathering and collaborative spaces. The biophilic design elements will bring researchers together in spaces that are visible throughout the building while promoting higher levels of concentration, improved productivity, and reducing stress similar to the effects of being immersed in nature. 

Leandra Davis

Executive Director, Planning, Design & Construction – Caltech

Digital Transformation at Virginia Tech: Data Aggregation Enabling Improved Operations

Virginia Tech is committed to long-term sustainability best practices in support of an improved environment for students, staff, and the local community. To help achieve these goals, Virginia Tech partnered with DSA to create a central operational data warehouse that securely integrated data from district energy assets and demand-side control systems to provide a real-time data fabric. The consolidated dataset has allowed VT to evolve operational processes to improve campus resilience and efficiency.

Mary-Ann Ibeziako

AVP, Infrastructure & Chief Sustainability Officer – Virginia Tech

3:10-4:10 pm

Sourcing Meetings

4:10-4:30 pm

happy hour

4:30-5:30 pm

Mastermind Roundtables

(Facilities Leaders Only)

1 – Nevermind Deferred Maintenance; What About Routine Response Maintenance?
Facilitator: Lisa James – AVP, Facilities Management – Cornell

2 – Best Practices in P3 Project Delivery
Facilitator: Dan Cook – Executive Director, Campus Construction – UT Austin

3. Managing Hybrid Work Modalities On Campus
Facilitator: Gerald Morgan – Architect | Director of Space Planning & Management – Mizzou

4. Managing Escalating Costs, Supply Chain Disruptions, and Labor Shortages in Project Management
Facilitator: Daniel Costello – AVP, Facilities – Texas State

5. Fleet Electrification & Other Sustainability Strategies for Campuses
Facilitator: Dan Bollman – VP, Strategic Infrastructure Planning & Facilities – MSU

5:30-6:45 pm

Free Time

6:45-10 pm

Yacht Rock Party!




7:45-8:30 am


8:30-9:30 am

Invest in Success: Being Intentional About Staff Professional Development

Join a panel of higher education facilities professionals as they address why it is critically important for senior facilities leaders to invest in their employees’ professional training and skills development.  The panel will address the benefits of a long-term concerted investment in staff for the overall stability and productivity of the organization.

Lander Medlin

President & CEO – APPA

Jim Jackson

Associate Vice Chancellor, University Operations – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Margaret Tennessen

Deputy Chief Facilities Officer – UW-Madison

9:35-10:15 am

Sourcing Meetings

10:25-11:25 am

Innovation Talks

Historic Renovations: The Good, the Bad, the Next One

Historic buildings are part of a university’s fabric and represent identity, pride, and, yes, even maintenance needs. The University of Texas has recently undertaken a successful, partially successful, and highly aspirational series of projects. The Associate Vice President of Campus Operations and University Architect will be joined by the Executive Director of Campus Construction to share lessons learned, highlight some best practices in technology and planning, and talk openly about how coordination of limited resources, communication, and priorities are impacting project outcomes.

Dan Cook

Executive Director, Campus Construction – UT Austin

Brent Stringfellow

AVP, Campus Operations – UT Austin

Combatting the Deferred Maintenance Crisis Through Asset Excellence

With a backlog of $112 billion in urgent deferred maintenance, US higher education campuses are under increased pressure to manage neglected works and the brand image of their university. This is a tough assignment for facility leaders to strategically manage the budget they have. By implementing an asset excellence program, higher education facilities leaders can reduce the total cost of ownership across their assets while increasing life expectancy, decreasing failures, and reducing carbon emissions.

Warren Celiz

Vice President – Global Workplace Services – CBRE

11:15-11:30 am

Bloody Marys + Mimosa Break

11:30 am-12:30 pm

Mastermind Roundtables

(Facilities Officers Only)

Strategies for Staff Development and Advancement

Addressing Safety and Security on Campus

Supporting Women in Facilities Management 

Managing Escalating Costs & Supply Chain Disruptions

12:30-1:30 pm

Bon Voyage Brunch

Wanna join us?



Qualified execs attend at no cost. The invitation includes accommodations for two nights, full meals and access to all networking excursions.



Partnering with HEFF is a great way to get your company in front of some of the nation’s top colleges and universities.