Amy Greenberg, Senior Vice President, Citi
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing client liaisons in today’s business climate?
The biggest challenge facing liaisons today is keeping current. While it was always important to keep abreast of trends in the past, there was at least time to implement and then take a breath. The world changes at lightning speed now and information is developed and disseminated instantaneously. It’s imperative to develop an organization that is nimble and able to pivot smoothly and rapidly.
In what ways has the association grown since your presidency?
It’s been over 20 years since I was president, so naturally the industry has changed and grown in many dramatic ways. So too has SHFM. Our membership was once strictly foodservice operators and the businesses and suppliers supporting them, however, most of us now manage multiple functions within our company’s managed services portfolios. Liaisons are now often responsible for multiple office services of all types whether they are conference center operations, audio visual and technology services, office mail, transportation, if it’s a service to be provided to the business, we manage it! It only makes sense to see that the number of our members employed by facilities management services businesses has increased so much in the past several years. Regardless, hospitality, engaging the customer, and delivering best in class service has become the name of the game. SHFM’s adoption of the word hospitality in its name, is a true reflection of that change.
Globalization has also dramatically expanded many member responsibilities covering company services across different regions and countries. Where previously there were a few global enterprises such as Motorola, for example, presently I’d guess a high percentage of our membership is part of or manages a global organization.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
How has your involvement with SHFM helped you professionally?
The role of the liaison is, by definition, outside the mainstream of the company employing you. Whether it is financial services, manufacturing, insurance, advertising, or communications for example, your job and responsibilities are outside the core business of that company. Hence, it can be challenging to find your “place”, a mentor, or guidance especially regarding specific and unique operational issues. For me, SHFM provided all of those things, and I will always treasure not only the relationships I’ve made within the organization, but the invaluable knowledge and education I’ve gained.
How has your professional role changed since your 1994-1995 year of Presidency?
I work for an entirely different company than I did 20 years ago, I manage multiple suppliers, with expanded responsibilities covering multiple sites.
What is your most fond memory from that year?
I cannot really pin point only one fond memory- it was so long ago. However, I can say that my year as president was one of the most rewarding professional experiences I’ve had. It taught me lessons in leadership, crisis management, strategic thinking, and most of all cemented lifelong relationships and friendships I will always treasure.