Central Ohio IFMA Chapter Members Celebrate 2017

     Festive lights, sparkling Christmas trees, and delectable desserts set the stage this year’s the Central Ohio International Facility Management Association’s Annual State of the Union President’s Luncheon Dec. 7, 2017, at the Wendy’s Corporate Headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.

     The 29th annual event was marked with celebrations, giveaways, and games meant to laude another successful year and bring chapter members closer together during the holiday season.

     With some 60 in attendance this year, including guests and new members, Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members applauded efforts to continually build on a solid foundation while increasing membership, programming, and community service by the group.

     There were Christmas trees. There were lights. There were festive bows.

     And there was the cold.

     With temperatures in the 50s – and even 60 degrees earlier in the week -- the annual luncheon ushered in the holiday season with a brisk afternoon and a hint of flurries to come.

     Central Ohio IFMA Chapter President Matthew Butterworth took to the podium early in the program to welcome everyone to the event and talk about this year’s IFMA World Workplace in Houston, Texas, Oct. 18th through the 20th. Seven members from the Central Ohio IFMA Chapter attended, with several sharing during the luncheon.

     “It was my first World Workplace,” said Butterworth, “…and it was amazing. There was a boatload there who are in the same industry so it was great to chit-chat and meet people. We are trying to see what we can do by taking the best of the best and applying those lessons-learned to our chapter to make it bigger and stronger and faster – if you will.”

     The time away as an executive board allowed members to get to know one another better. In addition, it was also a great bonding experience and a productive week. “If you have not gone, I would highly recommend it,” concluded Butterworth.

     Butterworth continued with the microphone, emceeing the holiday event. The celebration brought back the ever-popular white elephant gift exchange, complete with deals and steals that brought with it much strategizing and laughter.

   Gift cards to the Home Depot, Cabela’s, Olive Garden and Roosters were just some of the prizes raffled off this year.

     But the highlight of the afternoon was definitely the White Elephant Gift Exchange which included wine, lottery tickets, undergarments and rubber chickens – all camouflaged in Spiderman gift bags. The choosing was tricky, and the strategizing even trickier. Only three steals per round meant that some of the most coveted of gifts would quickly find a permanent home.

   The afternoon was also marked with board reports noting successes of the past year and initiatives to come. Special visitor Shelley Brown, Director of Corporate and Donor Relations at Central Ohio’s Salvation Army, took to the podium to thank Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members for their generous donations of toys and games which filled the back corner of the banquet room. The donations were part of the annual Cheer Toy Drive. Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members all received raffle tickets for bringing in a toy (or three, or five, or ten) to donate to needy families during the holiday season. According to Brown, more than 133,000 people were served last year in Central Ohio alone through numerous Salvation Army programs including aiding with housing, education, food, and children’s programming.

     “We really want to move some of our folks out of their situations and into sustainability including getting a job and maintaining housing,” Brown explained. “We really want to make their lives better in any way we can. It’s a very holistic approach.”

     Attendance awards were also presented at the event. Lisa Schultz took second place, with Kevin George in first place. Matthew Butterworth and Steve Bauman tied for the grand prize award for best attendance over the past year. According to Chris Allen, of the 28 events offered by the Central Ohio IFMA Chapter, 23 of them were absolutely free.

   The festivities ended with some final poinsettia give-a-ways, some hopeful lottery winners, and peppermint Frosties all around.

     Another year in the books, Central Ohio IFMA Chapter members look to 2018 with a renewed dedication, purpose, and hope. Happy New Year.